Lots of conditions can cause pain below the sternum. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, or ACG, abdominal pain can occur throughout the abdominal area or in one specific abdominal location or quadrant. Some types of abdominal pain manifest in the upper middle part of the abdominal area, below the sternum or breastbone. Pain in the upper middle abdominal area may be moderate, moderate or severe, depending upon the cause of the pain and the tissues involved.
What Causes Pain Below Sternum
Acute pancreatitis can cause substernal pain or pain just below the sternum. According to MayoClinic.com, pancreatitis is the medical term that describes inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a long, thin gland and organ that is positioned behind the stomach in the upper abdomen. The pancreas generates digestive enzymes and hormones that assist glucose, or sugar, processing in the blood. Pancreatitis can take place as severe pancreatitis or chronic pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis appears suddenly, whereas chronic pancreatitis happens over many years. Common signs and symptoms connected with severe pancreatitis include upper abdominal pain or pain listed below the sternum, back pain, abdominal pain that is even worse after consuming, nausea, vomiting and abdominal inflammation. Possible causes of intense pancreatitis consist of alcohol addiction, cystic fibrosis and a family history of pancreatitis.
Lower Lobe Pneumonia
Lower lobe pneumonia can cause pain beneath the sternum. The University of Maryland Medical Center specifies that pneumonia, including pneumonia in the lower lung lobes, is inflammation of lung tissue caused bacterial or viral infections. Sometimes, pneumonia might be caused by chemicals that irritate the lungs. The body immune system of a healthy private typically has no difficulty fending off pneumonia infections, although people with jeopardized body immune systems may establish pneumonia more quickly. Typical signs and symptoms associated with lower lobe pneumonia include severe abdominal pain below the sternum, fever and chills, a dry cough, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, fast breathing, raised heart rate and dyspnea, or shortness of breath. According to the UMMC, avoiding ill people and practicing good hygiene are the most effective ways to prevent lower lobe pneumonia.
Abdominal Muscle Strain
A stomach muscle strain or a partial tear of the fibers making up the abdominal muscles can cause sharp pain below the sternum. Stomach muscle pressures generally happen in the rectus abdominis muscle — a paired muscle that runs vertically on the front of the abdominal wall. Stomach muscle pressures are a common injury amongst athletes, particularly athletes that participate in weightlifting, throwing activities, gymnastics, rowing, battling and pole vaulting. These activities are similar because they all require quickly, whole-body motions and rapid changes of direction. Common signs and symptoms connected with abdominal muscle pressures consist of pain below the sternum, inflammation in the afflicted area and pain when the stomach muscles are contracted. The Sports Injury Clinic site states that a lot of stomach muscle stress respond well to conservative care approaches such as rest, heat and ultrasound.
Pain Below the Sternum After Eating
Above we described constant pain below sternum. Developing pain after you eat might cause anxiety whenever you have a meal. Pain that establishes below the sternum may be the outcome of a few digestive conditions. Talking with your doctor is the most efficient method to receive a medical diagnosis and treatment options for your condition. If you see that the pain develops immediately and causes a burning feeling, it is more than likely from heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease — GERD. If the pain establishes within a couple of hours after eating, you may have a peptic ulcer. Particular foods can cause pain below the sternum after eating with a peptic ulcer.
Heartburn symptoms can occur throughout your chest and may establish below the sternum. Heartburn that takes place on occasion does not need any further medical evaluation. If you establish heartburn more than two times a week, make a consultation with a gastroenterologist to figure out the cause. This condition might happen within a couple of minutes of eating. Some foods are more likely to activate heartburn symptoms, such as fried foods, alcohol, chocolate, mint, onion, garlic, caffeine, tomatoes and fatty foods.
The pain that develops from a peptic ulcer may be felt between your navel and the top of your chest. A peptic ulcer is a wound that forms in the lining of your digestion system, mainly in your esophagus, stomach or opening of the small intestines. As food digests, leaving the stomach empty, you may develop pain from increased stomach acid interacting with the wound. Some foods, such oranges, pineapple, tomatoes, caffeine and alcohols can aggravate the ulcer, causing severe pain below sternum after eating.
Peptic ulcers were at one time believed to be the result of stress and eating too much spicy food. While stress and spicy foods can activate ulcer pain, they are not the reason for your symptoms. Ulcers are mostly the outcome of an infection that is treated with antibiotics. Your doctor might figure out that your ulcers are the outcome of the overuse of particular medications, the abuse of alcohol or using tobacco. If this is the case, you will be encouraged to make modifications in your lifestyle options.
Is Pain Below the Sternum Dangerous?
Sometimes heartburn is puzzled with a small cardiac arrest. If you become brief of breath or feel a painful experience in your left arm, call you doctor right away. Call your doctor if you vomit blood or give off vomit that appears like coffee premises. If you discover that your stools are maroon or black, contact medical specialists.