When To Call a Doctor
Abdominal pain can be a sign of a serious or even life-threatening condition, especially if you have a heart condition or are older than 60. If you are having sudden or severe pain and are not sure what is causing it, you may need immediate medical treatment. You should be especially concerned if you are having trouble breathing or you faint or lose consciousness. For more information, see the topic Reference Abdominal Pain, Age 12 and Older. For more information on abdominal pain in children, see the topic Reference Abdominal Pain, Age 11 and Younger.
Call your doctor immediately if you have:
- Pain that may be caused by gallstones (continuous moderate to severe pain in the Reference upper right abdomen Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window) along with a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher and chills that are clearly not caused by stomach flu or any other reason.
- Pain in the upper midsection or upper right abdomen, along with a yellow tint to your skin and the white part of your eyes, dark yellow-brown urine, or light-colored stools.
- Diabetes or an Reference impaired immune system Opens New Window and you have symptoms that may be caused by gallstones.
If you have symptoms of gallstones but no fever, chills, or yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eyes, you may still require evaluation and treatment. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Watchful waiting is a period of time during which you and your doctor watch your symptoms or condition to see whether you need treatment. Watchful waiting is often the first approach to a first attack of gallstone pain.
Who to see
Symptoms caused by gallstones can be evaluated by any of the following health professionals:
- Reference Nurse practitioner Opens New Window
- Reference Physician assistant Opens New Window
- Reference General practitioner Opens New Window
- Reference Family medicine doctor Opens New Window
- Reference Internist Opens New Window
- Reference Gastroenterologist Opens New Window
- Reference General surgeon Opens New Window
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Reference Making the Most of Your Appointment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference July 15, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology