Go to an emergency room when...
- The pain is not only sudden but severe, and unlike any stomachache you've ever had. You may have an intestinal obstruction, appendicitis, or acute pancreatitis and require immediate medical attention.
- The pain is high in the middle of your abdomen and goes into the center of your chest, neck, or shoulders. You could be having a heart attack. Call 911. Chew and swallow an aspirin, and drink a glass of water—this thins the blood, helping to get more of it to the heart.
From Self-Diagnosis 101