High Abdominal Pain

Updated March 23, 2017

High abdominal pain may be caused by various medical conditions and diseases. Some conditions may be non-serious while others can be life-threatening.

Medical Conditions

Various medical conditions may cause high abdominal pain. Such conditions include angina, heart attack, aortic aneurysm, appendicitis, bile duct inflammation, gall bladder inflammation, gallstones, hepatitis, intestinal obstruction, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer, pericarditis, pleurisy, pneumonia and small intestine inflammation.


The most common disease responsible for high abdominal pain is gastro-oseophageal reflux disease.

Upper Left Abdominal Pain

Pain that is located in the upper left abdominal area may be associated with diverticulitis, spleen enlargment, ruptured spleen, fecal impaction, hiatus hernia, kidney infection, kidney stones, pancreatitis and shingles.

Upper Right Abdominal Pain

Pain that is located in the upper right abdominal area may be associated with hepatitis, liver cancer and stomach cancer.


Seek emergency medical treatment if your abdominal pain is severe enough to prevent you from sitting still or if you feel the need to curl your body into a ball to relieve the pain. Also, you should seek medical treatment if the abdomen is swollen or tender to the touch.

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About the Author

Based in Laurel, Miss., Melody Morgan Hughes covers topics related to education, money and health. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English education from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master of Education from William Carey University and a Master of Education from Nova Southeastern University.