When to Seek Care for a Stomach Ache

Saturday, November 20th, 2021, 7:44 am

In most cases, stomach pain isn’t something to worry about and will pass with time. But, there are some instances in which stomach pain indicates a more serious issue and requires prompt medical care. As a patient, it’s often difficult to determine when you need to seek care for a stomach ache. Here, we’ll explain the signs that stomach pain is an emergency and the signs that it needs non-emergency medical care.

Signs That Stomach Pain Could Be an Emergency

Some types of stomach pain require emergency medical care. These include pain from appendicitis, stomach ulcers, kidney stones, gallstones, hernia, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, bowel obstruction, and bowel perforation. The signs and symptoms that you may have a case of severe stomach pain and should seek out emergency care include:

  • The abdomen is very hard to the touch
  • Tenderness in the abdomen
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vision changes
  • Vomiting with an inability to pass a bowel movement
  • Vomiting or coughing up blood

You should also seek emergency care for significant stomach pain if: 

  • You’re pregnant
  • Your abdomen is expanding rapidly or bruised
  • The pain began after a procedure in/around the stomach
  • The pain began in the week following abdominal surgery
  • The pain began soon after trauma to the abdomen
  • You’ve had surgery on the digestive tract

Signs That Stomach Pain Requires Non-Emergent Medical Care

While severe stomach pain may require emergency care, other types of stomach pain can be treated with non-immediate care. If you experience the following symptoms with stomach pain and they persist for longer than a day or two, call your doctor: 

  • Blood in urine
  • Burning with urination
  • Diarrhea that persists for longer than five days
  • Fever that exceeds 100 degrees or lasts for longer than three days
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain that worsens or doesn’t improve in one to two days
  • Blood in stool
  • Bleeding of the rectum
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding

If you have stomach pain that doesn’t last, isn’t severe, and isn’t paired with symptoms listed above, it will likely go away without medical care. The most common causes of mild stomach pain include constipation, eating foods that are hard to digest, and gas. 

For prompt treatment for a broad range of gastrointestinal concerns, visit Suncoast Urgent Care or contact us to schedule an appointment!


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Category: Infections

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