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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Epigastric pain is felt in the middle of the upper abdomen, between the ribs and the bellybutton. The pain may be mild or severe. Pain may spread from or to another part of your body. Epigastric pain may be a sign of a serious health problem that needs to be treated.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
- Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest that lasts longer than 5 minutes or returns
- Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
- Trouble breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat, especially with chest pain or trouble breathing
- You have severe pain that radiates to your jaw or back.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have severe pain that starts suddenly and quickly gets worse.
- You cannot have a bowel movement and are vomiting.
- You vomit or cough up blood.
- You see blood in your urine or bowel movement.
- You feel drowsy and your breathing is slower than usual.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever or chills.
- You have yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
- You vomit often or several times in a row.
- You lose weight without trying.
- You have symptoms for longer than 2 weeks.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Medicines may be given to treat pain or stop vomiting. You may also need medicines to reduce or control stomach acid, or treat an infection.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Manage your symptoms:
- Keep a record of your symptoms. Include when the pain starts, how long it lasts, and if it is sharp or dull. Also include any foods you ate or activities you did before the pain started. Keep track of anything that helped the pain.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special diet. Certain foods may cause your pain, such as alcohol or foods that are high in fat. You may need to eat smaller meals and to eat more often than usual.
- Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Do not have drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.