Epigastric pain describes discomfort that occurs in the upper portion of the abdomen, just under the ribs. It is usually accompanied by other digestive symptoms, such as bloating. There are numerous potential causes of epigastric pain, and not all of them are serious. Sometimes the cause is something as simple as overeating, whereas other times, epigastric pain can be due to an underlying health condition, like GERD.
When epigastric pain is due to indigestion, a person may also experience burping or bloating, which happens to everyone from time to time but can also indicate a food intolerance. Repeat indigestion accompanied by epigastric pain and an acidic taste in the mouth can suggest GERD.
In more serious cases, epigastric pain may be caused by a health condition like peptic ulcer disease or a gallbladder disorder. In this case, epigastric pain is accompanied by additional symptoms, like fatigue, shortness of breath, or in the case of a gallbladder disorder, clay-colored stools and yellowing of the skin.
Occasional epigastric pain is typically not a cause for serious concern, but if you have ongoing or severe epigastric pain, alongside other troubling symptoms, it is important to consult a doctor to determine the cause and whether you need additional tests or treatments.
- “After a night of overeating, I woke up with discomfort in the upper part of my stomach, and I felt gassy and bloated.”
- “I was experiencing frequent bouts of upper abdominal pain, along with a burning sensation in my chest and an acidic taste in my mouth. It turned out I had GERD.”
- “Aside from pain in the upper right portion of my stomach, I was suffering from nausea, vomiting, and high fever. It was due to gallbladder inflammation.”