Skip to main content

Abdominal Pain? Here's When You Should Be Concerned

Abdominal Pain? Here's When You Should Be Concerned

Stomachaches are common and usually don’t call for medical treatment. For example, indigestion can cause stomach discomfort for a few hours until the food moves through your digestive tract, and gas and bloating triggered by certain foods can cause temporary cramping. 

If over-the-counter medications and antacids don’t resolve the issue, it may be time to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nirav Naik, our experienced gastrointestinal specialist at New Life Medical in Bakersfield, California. Here, he explains how to determine when your abdominal pain may indicate the need for medical care.

Potential causes of abdominal pain

Your abdomen is the midsection of your body, and it contains several organs. Abdominal pain could potentially involve any of these organs:

Important note: Heart attacks often feel like severe heartburn or abdominal pain. If the pain radiates from your chest to your arm and you feel lightheaded and dizzy with shortness of breath, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Signs that your abdominal pain requires medical care

Because your abdomen includes many organs, and medical conditions involving them have overlapping symptoms, it’s best not to self-diagnose. Dr. Naik has many years of experience diagnosing and treating abdominal pain, and he understands that the symptoms can be stressful and confusing. 

That’s why he’s compiled this list of signs that indicate when you should see us:

If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Naik as soon as possible so he can perform a thorough exam and begin treatment.

Some abdominal pain shouldn’t wait for the next available appointment, however. Seek emergency care if you experience any of these symptoms:

These issues may indicate life-threatening conditions. 

Conditions that cause abdominal pain

Infection, disease, injury, and digestive issues can lead to abdominal pain. When Dr. Naik examines you, he asks questions about your pain, including the location, type, and duration. He also asks about how your pain behaves: Does it come and go, get worse over time, move from place to place, and does anything relieve the pain?

Your answers give him valuable information during the diagnostic process. There are too many conditions to list here, but below are some of the most common causes of abdominal pain.

Acid reflux or GERD

When the muscular ring at the bottom of your esophagus doesn’t function properly, it allows the acidic contents of your stomach to flow up into your esophagus, where it creates a burning sensation. Because this area is located in your chest cavity near your heart, it earned the nickname heartburn. 

Acid reflux that regularly occurs several times a week is called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Severe cases may require heartburn surgery.

Gallstones

Your gallbladder produces bile to aid digestion. If substances in the bile calcify and block the bile duct, you may experience abdominal pain.

Hernia

Hernias form when weakened muscles in your abdomen allow your internal organs to push through the abdominal wall, causing a painful bulge. Constipation, heavy lifting, being overweight, and chronic coughing can lead to a hernia near your groin, diaphragm, belly button, or past surgical sites. 

Hernias don’t resolve on their own, so surgery is often necessary. Dr. Naik specializes in all types of hernia surgery

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IBS is one of several gastrointestinal conditions that can cause abdominal pain, and it affects your large intestine and causes bloating, gas, cramping, and abdominal pain. You may have IBS with diarrhea, constipation, or both. 

Some cases of abdominal pain can be serious, and you shouldn’t ignore warning signs. If you’re concerned about abdominal pain, don’t hesitate to call us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Naik. He gets to the bottom of stomach discomfort so you can get back to living pain-free.

You Might Also Enjoy...

When to Choose Botox® AND Fillers

When to Choose Botox® AND Fillers

You’ve seen the ads and listened to your favorite social media influencers but still don’t know when to decide between Botox® and dermal fillers and when to get both Botox AND fillers. Here’s how to choose.

How to Prepare for Hemorrhoid Surgery

Hemorrhoids — they can itch, hurt, bleed, and make it nearly impossible to focus on anything else. Your upcoming hemorrhoid surgery will solve all of that, but you can give your bottom a better chance at success if you prepare well. Here’s how.

How to Care for Your Skin After Laser Hair Removal

Shaving, waxing, and tweezing are painful, time-consuming, and costly. Switch to laser hair removal for long-lasting, painless, and cost-effective results. Here are some aftercare tips to ensure you stay smooth and comfortable.
5 Factors That Make Heartburn Worse

5 Factors That Make Heartburn Worse

You always keep a bottle of antacids nearby, but you still can’t get rid of your recurring heartburn. Chances are, you’re doing one of these things that bring on heartburn or make it worse.
Recovering From Gallbladder Surgery: What to Expect

Recovering From Gallbladder Surgery: What to Expect

When you’re scheduled for gallbladder surgery, you’re focused on how your life will improve after the procedure. Here’s what you need to know about your recovery and how to get from surgery to success smoothly.
Am I a Good Candidate for the LINX™ Procedure?

Am I a Good Candidate for the LINX™ Procedure?

When your esophagus weakens, you get severe acid reflux, and no amount of antacids can help — but LINX™ can. It stands in for your failing esophagus permanently. Find out here if the LINX procedure is right for you, and you’re right for LINX.