Most types of abdominal pain or problems are not serious and rarely require medical attention. However, some types of pain can be unbearable and could be life threatening if not caught early. Because some ailments are serious, it's important to know when you need to go to urgent care and when you can wait and talk to your regular doctor. Here are three types of abdominal issues that you may want to have a doctor check out right away.
Pain from gallstones can come on intermittently, gradually, or suddenly be one constant, severe pain in the upper abdomen. These pains are often noticeable after eating greasy food. You may also have nausea and vomiting and notice a small amount of blood in your vomit. Sometimes, a fever accompanies gallstone issues. For most people, gallstones don't cause a problem until they become large enough to cause constant pain and an infection. This can lead to more serious complications, so it's important to get help as soon as possible. You may be able to treat your gallstones through medications, but if it's serious, you may be referred for surgery.
Severe diarrhea that is chronic or lasts a long time can lead to dehydration and nutritional deficiencies. It may also be a sign of a more serious problem, such as an inflammatory bowl disease, which may require long-term treatment. Diarrhea that is accompanied by a fever may be a sign of a virus or infection and could be contagious. See a doctor if you have a fever, are lethargic, or can't catch up on your hydration.
Food poisoning symptoms often resemble stomach flu and can also include vomiting and a fever. You might also feel tired and have headaches. Unlike the stomach flu, food poisoning sometimes lasts longer than three days and can result in dehydration if you're not careful. In many instances, food poisoning can resolve itself on its own. However, if you find that you can't keep up with your fluids, especially after a day or two, then visit an urgent care center for intravenous fluids.
If you're having chronic stomach issues or you're generally not feeling well, then visit a walk-in clinic, such as West Ocean City Injury & Illness Center, to have things checked out. They can determine whether you have something minor, and can wait to see your regular doctor, or if you need to be referred to a hospital. If you are experiencing something immediately life-threatening, such as possible appendicitis or possible abdominal blockage, then call 911 and get to a hospital right away.