How to Tell if Stomach Pain Should Be Assessed by a Doctor

How to Tell if Stomach Pain Should Be Assessed by a Doctor

We all get stomach pain from time to time, and sometimes it is the result of eating too much or too quickly. And while most of the time stomach pain is not a major cause for concern, at other times it can be the result of a more serious problem. But how can you tell if your stomach pain is nothing to worry about or if it is something that requires urgent medical attention? Below are a few signs that your stomach pain is something that should be checked. 

Pain Accompanied by Constipation or Diarrhea 

If you are suffering with low abdominal cramps along with bloating and constipation or diarrhea, it could mean that you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This is a condition that affects the digestive system. There is no cure for IBS, but the symptoms can often be controlled with changes to diet and medications. 

Severe Pain After Eating Fatty Food

If you suffer with severe pain after eating a fatty meal, you might be suffering with gallbladder disease. This is a common problem among women in particular, but those over the age of 40 who are overweight also have a higher risk. Gallbladder disease is caused by gallstones, which are made of cholesterol and form in the gallbladder. In most cases gallstones do not result in any symptoms, but if they get trapped in the gallbladder, they can cause severe pain that usually lasts for between 30 and 60 minutes (but can continue for up to five hours). Eating a diet rich in fiber and including lower fat foods can keep the symptoms under control. If the condition is severe enough, it can lead to inflammation and surgery may be necessary to remove the gallbladder itself. 

Sudden Pain Located on the Righthand Side of the Abdomen

Sudden pain in the lower righthand side of the abdomen could indicate a problem with the appendix. Inflammation of the appendix is known as appendicitis. However, the pain may begin around the belly button area before radiating out to the right. People with appendicitis often have other symptoms including fever, constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting. It is vital that you get medical treatment as soon as possible if you suspect appendicitis as a ruptured appendix can be fatal. 

Pain that Gets Worse with Movement

If you have pain in the lower lefthand side of your abdomen that gets worse when you move, it could be caused by a condition known as diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is when small bulges in the lining of the intestine become infected or inflamed. Those with the condition often have severe stomach pain coupled with fever, constipation, or diarrhea. 

Sharp Stabbing Pain in the Lower Abdomen

People who experience severe stabbing pain in the lower abdomen could be suffering with kidney stones. This is considered to be one of the most severe forms of abdominal pain and is often accompanied by fever and chills as well as nausea and vomiting. 


In most cases, stomach pain is nothing to worry about, but as shown with the examples above, it could be a cause for concern and requires medical attention. Furthermore, if you have persistent pain that does not have any obvious cause, it is always best to speak to a doctor. The experts at Utah pain clinic KindlyMD say that it may be the case that you need to be referred to a clinic where pain management doctors can provide a full assessment and treatment plan to address the pain you are experiencing. Remember, severe sudden pain or pain that does not go away should always be checked by a medical professional.