Epigastric Pain is a name for the type of pain and discomfort that originates below the ribs in the area of the upper abdomen. It is often accompanied by other symptoms of the digestive system such as heartburn, bloating and gas.
Epigastric pain is not always a cause for concern because the condition has many possible causes. A person should be able to tell the difference if the pain is a result of something harmless, like overeating or lactose intolerance, or caused by some underlying condition such as GERD, inflammation or infection.
Other conditions that may produce epigastric pain are:
- Hiatal hernia
- Peptic ulcer disease
- Gallbladder disorder
Random and occasional epigastric pain is not a cause for concern, but if the symptoms last for more than a few days, or occurs twice a week, this may be a sign that you need to see a specialist.
Signs and symptoms that require treatment include:
- Intense pressure or squeezing pain in the chest
- Coughing up blood
- Blood in the stool
- Nausea and vomiting in adults lasting more than 24 hours
- Extreme fatigue
- High fever
Most of the epigastric pain including chronic symptoms can be managed, treated and prevented by making small changes in ones diet and lifestyle. Some conditions can be treated with medication as well.