What Causes Fluttering In The Upper Abdomen? Here Is The Reason

What Causes Fluttering In The Upper Abdomen

An abdominal aortic aneurysm usually develops slowly, with no or just slight symptoms such as a gnawing sensation around the stomach or a throbbing sensation in the abdomen. If you suddenly feel fluttering in your upper abdomen, panic is usual. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. It might lead you to the question, i.e., what causes fluttering in the upper abdomen? Do you need to see the doctor? The majority of the time, a fluttering sensation is not significant. This article will help you in this regard.

What is this fluttering feeling?

To answer what causes fluttering in the upper abdomen, first, you need to know this fluttering feeling? A fluttering sensation is a personal story, and as a result, it differs from person to person.

What is fluttering to you may be different from fluttering to someone else. However, in general, if you get a quivering or vibrating feeling. There are various reasons why you can be feeling fluttery.

Your abdomen contains several vital structures. Because the upper stomach is below the chest, you may experience fluttering in your upper abdomen and fluttering in your lower chest.

The diaphragm is the most typical cause. So, let’s have a look at what this diaphragm is all about.

What Is A Diaphragm?

The diaphragm is a muscle that connects the upper abdomen to the chest. When you breathe, it is the primary muscle responsible for pushing air into and out of your lungs.

Also, when you inhale, your diaphragm contracts to allow your lungs to expand and take in oxygen; when you exhale, your diaphragm relaxes to allow carbon dioxide to escape.

The diaphragm is a unique muscle that is entirely functional, and it suggests that you are free to move this muscle in whatever way you like.

Why Does My Stomach Hurt When I Cough? Read Here

What Causes Fluttering In The Upper Abdomen?

Diaphragm flutter, also known as diaphragmatic flutter or diaphragmatic myoclonus, is an uncommon condition characterized by repetitive, involuntary contractions of the diaphragm.

People with diaphragm flutter frequently have difficulties breathing due to the role of the diaphragm in respiration. The primary symptoms of diaphragm flutter vary in severity from person to person, and they may not appear at all in moderate instances.

Symptoms might include Chest discomfort and difficulty breathing, Palpitations in the heart, abdominal pain. The illness is uncommon, and it frequently coexists with other severe disorders, such as:

  • encephalitis
  • peritonitis
  • stroke
  • rheumatic fever
  • tumors of the spine or chest
  • pleurisy

Some medical illnesses and problems can induce diaphragm spasms, obstructing regular breathing and pain.

Diaphragm Spasm

A diaphragm spasm is an uncontrolled diaphragmatic contraction that causes a fluttering feeling in the chest. During the spasm, it is often typical to feel a brief tightness in the chest or trouble breathing.

A diaphragm spasm can develop for various reasons and in varying degrees of severity. Sometimes the spasm is temporary, especially if a “sucker punch causes it.” Other reasons are more complicated and may get accompanied by various other symptoms.


Another answer to what causes fluttering in the upper abdomen is hiccups. Your chest may be fluttering as a result of the hiccups, and hiccups are synchronous diaphragmatic contractions.

Hiatal Hernia

It is a disorder in which the esophagus aperture enlarges excessively. As a result, the stomach passes through the larger hole to the chest, causing the diaphragm to inflate.

You might feel the fluttering in the upper abdomen due to the Hiatal hernia’s thrust. A hernia can be slight or severe, and the degree of the hernia will decide any additional symptoms. The most severe instances need rapid medical treatment because they might harm the stomach, cause bleeding, or obstruct breathing.

Work out

An exercise, believe it or not, can cause a diaphragmatic spasm, and the probability of this occurring rises if you do not warm up correctly.

Side stitches, sometimes known as ribcage cramping, can occur when you initially begin exercising or as your exercise program gets more strenuous—drinking juice or eating immediately before a workout might increase the likelihood of side stitches for certain people.

Exercise-induced bronchospasm can produce chronic spasms, chest tightness and pain, dry cough, and shortness of breath.

Fluttering feeling due to pregnancy

The fluttering sensation might get caused by pregnancy. The fetus develops inside the mother’s uterus. However, it gets occasionally felt in the upper stomach. This sensation is similar to having gas in your stomach.

But you may experience fluttering as well. It happens about 20 weeks of pregnancy. So, if you feel a flutter at that period, it’s most likely due to your future child. 

Fluttering feeling due to anxiety

You may have fluttering in your upper stomach before an interview or a first date. It is understandable for anyone to feel this way, and it occurs due to psychosomatic interactions. It means that your emotional condition can impact your physical state as well.

Fluttering feeling due to stomach gas

After eating, stomach gases might cause fluttering sensations. If you eat too quickly or without properly chewing, you are more prone to produce gas. Beans, pulses, broccoli, cabbage, onions, garlic, dairy, carbonated soft drinks, and other foods can cause flatulence.


So, what’s the most effective way to deal with this fluttering sensation? The underlying reasons of the situation mainly determine it.

  • If it’s only a spasm, it’ll go gone on its own. If you’ve just had this spasm once, your body will heal it. Diaphragmatic spasms usually resolve on their own.
  • If the spasms continue, you should see a doctor. If the spasms give you discomfort, you should notify your doctor. They can examine you and rule out any serious problems. If they believe it is essential, they can also give you anti-spasmodic drugs.

Final Thought

To summarize, spasms get caused by natural overexertion and can easily be alleviated. In other cases, an underlying problem may need to be addressed first, after which the spasm will get treated.


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