When Does Stomach Pain Warrant a Trip to Urgent Care?

When Does Stomach Pain Warrant a Trip to Urgent Care?

The feeling that something isn’t right with your stomach is a common complaint shared by virtually everyone. Sometimes, you know the cause of your discomfort, such as overindulgence in a holiday meal or a reaction to medication. Occasionally, the source of pain is a mystery, but the symptoms pass quickly. 

Persistent stomach pain is out of the ordinary. Pain might be severe, sharp, or long-lasting, and you may wonder if it’s time to seek urgent care for your condition. When you make that call, contact American River Urgent Care in Orangevale, California. 

As an urgent care and walk-in clinic, they’re well-suited to review your symptoms and diagnose your stomach issue. Understanding more about stomach pain and its causes can help you to know when it’s time to make the call. 

Reasons behind stomach pain

As a key part of your digestive tract, your stomach is responsible for making enzymes that break down the food you eat before advancing its contents to the small intestine.

You may develop pain from gas or experience discomfort from bloating when you eat too much food, or when food disagrees with you. These issues typically resolve quickly, perhaps with the aid of over-the-counter medications.

Common causes of stomach pain may include:

Excessive stress can also contribute to stomach pain and other digestive issues. Women may experience abdominal cramping and pain as part of their monthly period.

Pain in your stomach or abdomen can also be a warning sign that something more serious is wrong. For instance, a sharp or persistent pain in one specific area can be a symptom of a heart attack, organ rupture, or other serious medical condition.

Persistent abdominal pain can also stem from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or kidney stones. 

When it’s time for urgent care

Dr. Andrew W. Nangalama and the team at American River Urgent Care recommend that you seek diagnostic evaluation for your stomach pain when it lasts longer than a week or when it gets more severe, even with rest and home care.

Watch for these signs your stomach pain may need medical attention:

Contact the office whenever stomach or abdominal pain is severe enough to interfere with your quality of life and ability to function. Note that some stomach or abdominal conditions may require computed tomography (CT) scans for diagnosis, so you may be directed to an emergency room if necessary. 

What to expect during your visit

Your evaluation starts with a check of your vital signs and your personal and family medical history. We ask you about the type of pain you’re experiencing and about your diet in the days before the start of your pain.

We may follow your physical exam with diagnostic blood work, ultrasound, or other diagnostic imaging tests to identify inflammation, infection, or any other issues that could be contributing to your stomach pain.

Upon diagnosis, we develop an appropriate treatment plan to relieve pain and protect your stomach. The plan could include over-the-counter or prescription medications, such as antacids to neutralize stomach acids, laxatives to treat constipation, or antibiotics to clear infections.

If your pain is due to more serious issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome or kidney stones, we recommend a long-term treatment plan to manage your condition, along with referrals to specialists for additional care.

When stomach pain gets in the way of your life, connect with American River Urgent Care by phone or online to schedule your examination. 

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