When severe stomach pain occurs, it can be difficult to decide whether to see a doctor (specifically gastroenterologist nearby), go to the emergency room, or wait for the pain goes off. It is always advised that a person may need to seek medical help immediately if the pain is severe or debilitating.
Stomach pain can have many different causes and some of which you can address by resting a while, avoiding spicy and heavy meals, taking medications or using a heating pad. For some cases, it may require urgent medical care.
In this article, learn about the different factors that causes severe stomach pain which require prompt medical treatment.
When to call an ambulance or emergency services
Stomach pain can be cause by some life threatening conditions such as appendicitis, bowel obstruction (blockage of food material somewhere in the small or large intestine) or a bowel perforation (a leak of food material from the intestines). These emergencies cause intolerable pain.
- You stomach pain is a sign of requiring urgent medical treatment if:
- You are pregnant
- You had an abdominal surgery in last week or a diagnostic endoscopy
- You ever had a colostomy or a gastric bypass
- You have a bruised abdomen or is rapidly expanding in size
You may have a mild stomach pain in the beginning but it may get worse after a few hours. Below are some of the symptoms for a severe stomach pain:
- Extremely hard abdomen
- Abdominal tenderness when touched
- Difficulty breathing
- Persistent vomiting
- Vomiting blood
- Chest pain
- Vision changes
- Inability to have a bowel movement
In these instances, you should not wait and see or take any medications by your own. Contact your gastroenterologist or stomach pain treatment specialist, immediately.
Stomach pain that is safe to treat at home
Many types of stomach pain are safe to treat at home. These include:
- gas pain
- bloating from overeating
- stomach pain from food sensitivities
When to consult a gastroenterologist
If your stomach pain is not severe and you don’t have any symptoms mentioned above, it is likely to resolve on its own. As said earlier that stomach pain is usually caused by minor problems like constipations, gas, eating something unfavourable or spicy food. In such cases waiting a few hours, having a bowel movement, or passing gas usually helps. Here are few things you can do to make yourself comfortable:
- Just have clear liquids for few hours
- Avoid foods that are tough on your digestive system
- Try antacid or gas relieving products
- Try to have a bowel movement
- Use a hot water bottle or heating pad
With these tips, your stomach may completely vanish in a day or two. And if they don’t you should consult your gastroenterologist.
Stomach pain can be really uncomfortable, but it often signals minor illness. Most of them get better on their own. Severe stomach pain can be alarming and this is a clue that a serious condition is to blame. Further if you are not sure whether your stomach pain is serious, it is best to get medical attention.