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What causes upper abdominal pain?

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Answered by

General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 1290 Questions
I'm a 42 yr old female. I started having pain on the right side of my upper abdomen a few weeks ago. It only happens when I get up from a seated position, cough, sneeze, or bend over. It is a very intense, burning pain limited to a small area. It seems to radiate downward 1-2 inches in a straight line. Then it disappears quickly. Over the past 2 days I noticed similar, although less intense pain, on the left side of my abdomen: 1) Directly across from the initial pain on the right 2) A little further down on the left. Again, I only feel pain when coughing, sneezing, or bending over. The pain is mitigated when I press on my abdomen while coughing or wear an abdominal support belt. I do not feel pain at any other time. I do feel a bit bloated (gassy) lately, which is unusual for me. Any idea what it could be? Please don't advise me to see a doctor (unless it could be life threatening); I don't have a doctor or medical insurance at this time. Thanks!
Posted Sun, 17 Aug 2014 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Ashish Verma 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
its not life threatening

Detailed Answer:

Welcome to HealthcareMagic.

As per your history and symptoms there are two main possibilities - pluritis and kidney stones.

And the bloating is due to gastritis (acidity). And for this you may take a ppi tablet like omeprazole. Mylanta is not working for you. And taking painkillers will make the gastritis worse, so take them after a meal.

Now coming to the main complain. If you are having more of cough then it is more likey to be pluritis.

Else, it goes more in favour of kidney stones. And this will require an ultrasound of your abdomen for confirmation.

Hope i have been helpful.

Dr. Ashish Verma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes upper abdominal pain? 21 minutes later
Thanks for your reply. Can it still be kidney stones if I have no back pain? All the pain is in the front, brought on by movement (primarily getting up from seated, bending over; cough and sneeze infrequently) and quickly fades. My husband had kidney stones a few years ago; he was in constant pain- mostly on the side/back of one side (flank pain). He also had bloody urine, but I do not have either of these symptoms. Thanks again.
Answered by Dr. Ashish Verma 26 minutes later
Brief Answer:
its just a possibility

Detailed Answer:

Yes pain due to kidney stones are mostly present on the sides, but they may also present in the front.

And your pain could be only due to gastritis even. It can also present with similar type of pain.

I would suggest that you start on the ppi for 2-3 days. Take it twice a day. If the pain resolves, its gastritis only. And then you continue it for a few weeks for complete healing, and may make it once a day after one week.

If the pain doesn't improves much, then you need to get an ultrasound, to help reach a diagnosis.

Dr. Ashish Verma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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