Abdominal pain is common amongst people, and it is mostly caused by minor problems such as consuming spicy food, constipation, gastroenteritis, acid reflux, and overfeeding. Poor feeding habits and an unbalanced diet may also cause stomach pains. Such abdominal pain should not warrant urgent medical care, as you can easily take over the counter medicine, wait for a bowel movement or take water only, and give your stomach time to digest. You do not need urgent healthcare services for these abdominal pains unless they are persistent — which indicates a more severe problem.

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However, abdominal pain may be caused by severe conditions such as bowel perforation, appendicitis, kidney stones, kidney infection, and gallbladder stones. The stomach pain will be severe and cause you a lot of discomfort as it comes and goes, with each time being more painful than the other. It is also referred to as colicky pain. When you experience such pain, you should visit the closest urgent care location for urgent healthcare service.

When should you head to an urgent care facility for abdominal pain?

Certain health conditions should make you seek medical attention from your closest urgent care location. These include:

1. You have recently had a bowel resection, a gastric bypass, or a colostomy. In this case, persistent stomach pains maybe as a result of the surgical procedures, and it could be life-threatening. Before receiving emergency care, you should let the physician know about your previous surgical procedures.

2. Pregnant women should seek emergency care upon experiencing major stomach pains as they could or indicate a stressed pregnancy. Severe abdominal pain in expectant mothers should be treated with urgent care.

3. After being involved in a fatal crash, an accident, or a fight and you experience sharp stomach pains, you should seek medical care at the closest urgent care location.

4. When you experience stomach pains shortly after undergoing abdominal surgery, you should seek medical attention. The stomach pains could mean that the surgery was not successful. You should not delay in seeking urgent care, as the pain could be a sign of a life-threatening condition.

Most people may ignore abdominal pain, and wait for the pain to pass. When it is as a result of the minor conditions as earlier mentioned, you should be fine within a couple of days. However, you may develop other symptoms besides the stomach pain, and this should necessitate a visit to the closest urgent care location.

These symptoms include persistent vomiting, fainting and dizziness, bloody diarrhea, coughing and vomiting blood, chest pains, and neck pains. Additionally, you may also experience abdominal tenderness upon touch, an extremely hard abdomen, or you may not have a bowel movement.

At times, you may experience severe stomach pains without experiencing any of the conditions mentioned above. You should contact a doctor if the pain lasts more than a day or when you feel that the pain is abnormal. Most of the time, you are aware when it is your fault that you are experiencing abdominal pain. You may have taken food that normally gives you stomach discomfort or taken a type of alcohol that makes your stomach gaseous.

Besides the abdominal pain, you may experience other mild conditions such as fever, blood in the urine, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. Additionally, you may feel nauseated after eating, excessive vaginal bleeding, or spot blood in your stool. When you experience such symptoms, you should see a doctor, so that you can receive early treatment and prevent the conditions from getting worse and causing you severe stomach pains.

Urgent care centers in North America treated an average of 12,000 patients in the 2015 fiscal year. This translates to 32 visits per day or three patient urgent care visits per hour. Whenever you experience severe abdominal pain consider visiting the closest urgent care location for immediate medical attention. Some of the severe abdominal pain may be life-threatening if not attended to early.