Upper Stomach Pain and Bloating

Anyone who has experienced upper stomach pain and bloating will agree with me that it causes a lot of discomforts. Basically, it is a sign of digestive abnormalities. One experiences this problem when a large amount of gas gets trapped inside the abdominal cavity. It gives a strange sensation of pain and tightness in the upper abdominal area. If you experience it once in a while, then it may not be a major health problem. However, when you get it all the time, then it could be a serious issue and will need some attention.

Stomach Pain

What Causes Upper Stomach Pain and Bloating?

Some of the most commonly found causes of upper abdominal pain and bloating are as follows:

Intestinal Obstruction

Severe abdominal pain and bloating is an indication of a partial or total obstruction inside the intestine. As a result, the contents of the intestine cannot pass smoothly and gives cramping in the upper stomach. It is often accompanied by vomiting and bloating. Formation of gallstones, growth of the tumor, scar tissues can cause this kind of obstructions. Sometimes, abnormal functioning of the intestine can slow down the overall digestive process and give rise to this problem.


In this condition, inflammation occurs in the stomach lining and one gets a constant dull pain in the upper stomach area and is accompanied by a bloated feeling, nausea, and burning sensation in the chest. It is triggered by a number of factors that include excessive alcohol intake, side effects of some medicines, and mental stress.

Lactose Intolerance

Certain enzymes of the small intestine are responsible for the digestion of the lactose (a glucose molecule) present in dairy products. However, the digestive system of some people cannot break down this glucose component. When this undigested sugar remains in the intestine for a long time, then it undergoes bacterial fermentation and leads to pain in the upper stomach region along with bloating.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (or IBS)

This gastrointestinal tract disorder tends to make the large intestine highly sensitive towards intestinal gas. As a result, normal bowel movements get affected and the patients tend to get diarrhea and constipation alternately. In both conditions, they complain about painful upper abdominal cramps and bloating.

Celiac Disease

This disease destroys the inner lining of the small intestine and its normal functioning gets affected. As a result, it loses the ability to digest gluten substances like wheat, barley, rye, etc. So, these patients get upper stomach pain after eating foods with gluten components. They also experience bloating, nausea, vomiting, etc.

Other Causes

Excessive bloating caused due to water retention can lead to upper abdominal pain. Those who consume a high amount of salt tend to get this problem. It is one of the symptoms of food poisoning caused due to the consumption of contaminated water or food, and it accompanies diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Upper left stomach pain and bloating could be a warning sign of acute pancreatitis where the pancreas gland gets inflamed. It is a common complaint among women during menstruation. Muscular cramps in the intestines contract the intestinal walls and obstruct the normal passage of the food contents. As a result, accumulated gas trigger pain and a sense of bloating.

Treatment for Upper Stomach Pain and Bloating

The treatment of this condition is based completely upon the underlying condition. Some of the causes of upper stomach pains and bloating can be treated simply with a change in diet and lifestyle. Foods that cause gas like beans, broccoli, cabbage, onions, etc., should be eliminated from the diet. Fatty foods, spicy foods, and sugary foods need to be avoided. Your doctor may also ask you to stay away from caffeine, alcohol, and chocolates. Those who have lactose intolerance should eat dairy products. Patients with celiac disease should follow a gluten-free diet. Irritable bowel syndrome is treated with the help of fiber supplements, anti-diarrheal medicines, antibiotics, etc. Food poisoning is often treated with antibiotics and oral rehydration. For some cases of intestinal obstruction like gallstones and tumors, surgery is needed. Even certain cases of pancreatitis need to be treated with the help of surgery only.

These are the causes and treatment options for upper stomach pain and bloating. If you are getting them quite often, then you should not ignore the matter and consult your doctor to find out the exact cause behind the problem, and undergo treatment accordingly.

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