Pain in the mouth of the stomach is the popular name for the so-called epigastric pain or epigastralgia. This pain arises in the upper abdomen, just below the thorax, a region that corresponds to the part where the stomach begins.
Most often, this pain is not a cause for worry as it may only indicate a change in the stomach, oesophagus or at the duodenum, such as reflux, gastritis or poor digestion. It can as well be associated with other symptoms such as heartburn, feeling sick, vomiting, gas, bloating or diarrhoea.
However, it is important to note that in some rarer cases, pain in the mouth of the stomach may also be indicative of more serious diseases such as inflammation of the gall bladder, pancreatitis or even a myocardial infarction. Therefore, whenever this pain arises with strong intensity, it does not improve within a few hours and it is accompanied by symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, feeling of chest tightening or fainting, then it is necessary that seek immediate check up for further evaluation.
Even though stomach pain may have several possible causes and only a medical evaluation can determine the specific alteration and treatment for each case. Here are some
Although a stomach pain may have several possible causes, and only the medical evaluation can determine the alteration and treatment in each case, here are some of the main causes:
This is the inflammation of the mucosa the mucosa which coats the inner part of the stomach. It results in pain in the mouth of the stomach that varies from mild, moderate to very intense. Gastritis causes a pain that comes with a burning sensation or tightening and it arises especially after taking a meal.
Generally, apart from pain, gastritis causes other symptoms such as nausea feeling too full after eating, belching, excessive gas and even vomiting, which causes relief. This inflammation can be triggered by various causes such as feeding, stress, frequent use of anti-inflammatory drugs or presence of an infection.
What to do: The gastroenterologist is the most appropriate doctor who will make a diagnosis and prescribe the correct treatment, which may vary depending on the symptoms presented by the patient.. In mild cases, changes can only be made in the diet while in more severe cases, the doctor can prescribe the use of drugs that decrease acidity of the stomach or use of antibiotics.
Esophagitis is inflammation of the tissue of the oesophagus, and it is usually caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease or hiatus hernia. The inflammation causes stomach pain and a burning sensation in the chest region, which worsens after meals and after taking specific foods such as caffeine, alcohol and fried foods. Moreover, the pain is more frequent at night and does not improve even with rest.
What to do : Treatment is prescribed by the doctor and it involves prescribing medications that will decrease acidity of the stomach and improve gastrointestinal motility as well as initiating changes in habits and food intake.
3. Poor digestion
Too much eating or eating foods that the body cannot tolerate well or that are contaminated with microorganisms or even those that contain lactose are prone to causing difficulty in digestion, irritation of the stomach mucosa, excessive production of gases, reflux and increased motility of the intestine.
This will lead to pain that can arise in the mouth of the stomach or anywhere else around the abdomen. It can be accompanied by gas diarrhoea or constipation.
What to do: In such cases, the pain may be relieved after a few hours and it is recommended to take medications hat will relieve this discomfort. These may include antacids and analgesics, as well as drinking plenty of liquids and eating light foods. The doctor should also be consulted so that he may identify the caused and prescribe the right treatment.
Presence of gallstones can cause severe abdominal pain which in most cases arises on the upper right part of the abdomen but can also be felt in the mouth region of the stomach. The pain is usually a colic type and it worsens very fast and it can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
What to do: The gastroenterologist may prescribe use of medications such as analgesics and antiemetics to relive the symptoms. In some cases surgery may be performed to remove the gall bladder.
5. Acute pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, an organ that is located at the centre of the abdomen and it has a very important function in food digestion and hormone production. In this case, the pain arises almost suddenly and is usually excruciating and may radiate to the upper part of the abdomen. The pain may also be accompanied by vomiting, bloating and constipation.
What to do: Acute pancreatitis is a medical emergency and treatment should be started immediately so as to prevent the pain from worsening and causing generalised inflammation of the body. The initial measure include fasting, hydration in the veins and use of analgesics.
6. Heart problems
These are usually caused by a cardiac alteration such as myocardial infarction, that is if the pain is present in the mouth of the stomach rather than the typical chest pain. Although not common, stomach pain may be associated with heart attack and it results to a burning or tightening sensation. It may also be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, cold sweat or shortness of breath.
Changes in the heart are often common in people who already have a risk factor of infarction, such as the elderly, those who are obese, diabetic, hypersensitive, smokers or people with heart disease.
What to do: If cases of infarction is suspected, it is necessary to go for check up immediately so that the doctor can make evaluations so as to identify the cause of pain, such as using electrocardiogram and then start the most appropriate treatment