Abdominal pain is so common, and everyday concerns, like gas, can sometimes cause such severe pain that it’s hard to know whether to seek emergency care or not. When symptoms such as severe pain, fever, and vomiting develop, it’s time to get immediate medical help.
If you’re not sure whether your abdominal pain is serious, call the team at River Oaks ER in Houston. By asking just a few questions, they can quickly determine whether your abdominal pain needs emergency attention.
When you have abdominal pain, your doctor needs information to evaluate the cause of your pain and the severity of the problem. You can help by providing specifics such as:
When you have localized pain, the underlying cause can often be determined by the organs associated with the area of the pain.
Upper abdominal pain may arise from problems with your stomach, liver, gallbladder or pancreas, while pain in the middle of your abdomen (near your navel) tends to come from a problem with your small intestine or kidneys.
When pain is in the lower part of your abdomen, it may involve your colon or organs in your genitourinary tract, such as the bladder, uterus, and ovaries.
An inflamed appendix can be tricky, because its pain often begins around your navel then moves down to your lower, right abdomen, which is where the appendix is located.
It’s normal to pass gas 13-21 times daily, so everyone produces enough gas to cause pain when it’s trapped in their abdomen. Sometimes gas pain is severe enough to make you wonder whether you should get emergency help, but it seldom requires immediate attention.
However, if you have other accompanying symptoms, they’re a clue that your gas may represent a more serious problem. Call River Oaks ER if you have blood in your stool, difficulty swallowing, constipation, diarrhea, or weight loss.
Call River Oaks Emergency Room when your gas occurs together with the following symptoms:
Pain that develops quickly, called an acute abdomen, almost always signals a serious problem that needs immediate medical attention. When your pain increases with movement — and you know it’s not due to a muscle strain — it’s also a sign that you may need emergency attention.
Abdominal pain develops from three primary causes: inflammation or infection, an obstruction, or bleeding. Many different health problems are included in those broad categories, but some of the most common sources of abdominal pain requiring emergency medical attention include:
Referred pain occurs when a health problem outside your abdomen causes abdominal pain. Sources of referred pain tend to have other more common symptoms, but you should make a trip to the emergency room when referred pain arises from:
When abdominal pain is serious, it can represent a life-threatening emergency, such as loss of blood supply or a rupture that allows infection to spread inside your abdomen. Don’t wait to call or visit River Oaks Emergency if you’re uncertain about your pain. However, if you think you need immediate medical treatment, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency department.