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When a Stomach Ache May Be Serious

August 24, 2015

Over the course of his medical career, which spanned more than a quarter century, Dr. John Lupiano treated patients as an internist and preventive medicine specialist at several hospitals in and around New York City. Dr. John Lupiano also maintained a private medical practice, where he saw numerous patients with stomach pain and other health issues.

Stomach pain is a common symptom in both children and adults, and it frequently signals nothing more than gas or overeating. However, in some cases, a stomach ache may be a signal of a more serious condition, such as when sudden or sharp abdominal pain wakes the patient from sleep or causes an immediate stop to activity.

Similarly, while occasional or brief pain is infrequently a cause for concern, constant or lasting pain is often a sign medical attention is necessary. Tenderness to the touch is also likely to signal a concerning medical condition, as is pain that worsens with movement. In addition, patients may have cause for worry if abdominal pain occurs with other symptoms, like fever or dizziness.

Vomiting may be a sign of a serious condition as well, particularly if it persists and keeps the patient from keeping food inside the body for two days or more. Similarly, if diarrhea or vomiting reaches the point where it causes dehydration, the patient may need medical attention. Finally, any sign of internal bleeding, such as blood in the stool or vomit, often signals an extreme medical emergency.

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