Abdominal pain is an increasingly common reason to make a trip to the ER [source: Brophy Marcus]. Usually extending beyond normal indigestion, abdominal pain can result from a slew of health complications including food poisoning, kidney stones, or more serious medical conditions or illnesses.
According to one government survey from 2007, abdominal pain was one of the leading reasons people visited emergency rooms [source: Niska et al.]. Before moving forward to treat patients with abdominal pain, doctors will try to find out if the pain stems from a health problem directly related to the digestive system or if it's a sign of problems in other areas of the body.
Poisoning is likely to contribute to abdominal pain cases as well, as it sends approximately 1,940 people to emergency departments each day in the United States [source: CDC]. Bacterial and viral infections, as well as organs not functioning properly, can give rise to abdominal pain, too.
People should seek emergency treatment if they're experiencing continual nausea or uncontrolled vomiting, experts say [source: American College of Emergency Physicians Foundation].
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