upper stomach pain

by mary mcpeak
(san diego)

Yesterday I started having vague left sided upper abdominal and pain that wasbearable but constant uncomfortable. Pain lasted 5 hours. Went to sleep and it was gone. In may I had obgyn exsminstion and they I large fibroid that was laying against my bladder that was size of grapefruit but senses it was not causing me pain it could wait. Rhythm now I again began having pain. I feel the fibroid is even bigger and is creating this pain. I'm thinking of course other things like tumorvor AAA. But its really the 2 nd night I have hadvthis. No nausea vomiting or diarrhea.

Hello Mary.
I can say that your upper stomach pain is almost certainly not due fibroid or bladder problems. I take it that you are in your 20s, 30s or 40s; so it is also very very unlikely that your upper stomach pain is due abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) or tumour or cancer.
The pain and discomfort you've described on your upper abdomen sounds like one most likely caused by what is termed reflux or GERD (or GORD). GERD is the acronym for Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disorder (in UK English, it is GORD, because esophagus is spelt oesophagus - so the full word in UK English is Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease).
What this means is that the acid normally produced in our stomach to help digest food, is "refluxing" or flowing backwards from the stomach into the gullet or oesophagus, causing that burning sensation and sometimes sour or metallic taste in the back of the throat.
This is usually due to a slack or weakening in the band of muscle (sphincter) that closes up normally and protect food and fluid from flowing backwards from our stomach into our mouth.
Though this condition can happen in anyone, it is more common in people who are pregnant, who carry more weight than is ideal for them, or who have some other conditions like hiatus hernia.
The symptoms tend to occur more at night, because of the flat lying position we assume when sleeping, encouraging a back flow, or after a heavy meal.
It is one of the most common causes of upper abdominal or upper stomach pain. This condition is so common that up to 4 out of 10 persons you will meet, on the average suffers with one form of upper stomach pain or the other.
Other more likely things that could be responsible for the type of pain you describe include:
  • Hiatus Hernia
  • Gastritis
  • Gall stones (though not likely in your case based on the limited symptoms / history you've volunteered)
  • Duodenal or stomach ulcers

My suggestion is for you to:
  • Have a light meal well in advance before going to bed, in case you normally have dinner late
  • Use more pillows and sleep with your head higher than you normally do
  • Get some Gaviscon tablets or liquid if you are not allergic and if your doctor certifies this to be safe for you - you should be able to get this over the counter from your local chemist or pharmacist
  • If the upper stomach pain or discomfort still carries on after three days, then see your doctor. He may prescribed medicines like Lansoprazole (Prevacid ) or Omeprazole ( Losec) .

Please should you develop more severe central upper abdominal pain, or if you vomiting coffee coloured material or if your stool were to become black, you will need to see your doctor - preferable go to Emergency Room, as a matter of urgency.
I hope I have not bored you to sleep with this long discuss on the most likely cause or causes of your upper stomach pain.
You can get more info on causes of upper stomach pain here.
I hope this helps throw some light on your condition and on what to do.
Please do not hesitate to contact us, should you require any further info or signposting .
Thank you again for using our free online consultation services, Mary.
Get Well Soon!

Dr O. Edema

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