Does this sound familiar: you’ve just finished a long, stressful day and had a good dinner and now the cramping begins. You spend the evening vacillating between trying to ignore the growing pain in your abdomen and trying to find relief in the bathroom. If this sounds like you, you may be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
“IBS is an often painful and recurring condition that could be masking a more serious condition. It could be caused by something like a bacterial infection or it could be caused by changes in the muscle contractions of the intestine,” said Medco ER’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan. “Some people find their IBS symptoms are triggered by stress and others find certain foods contribute to their discomfort.”
Symptoms of IBS
According to the NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, any or all of these symptoms may be present with Irritable Bowel Syndrome:1
- Abdominal pain
- Constipation and diarrhea
- Changes in bowel movements
When IBS is an Emergency
If your abdominal pain or IBS is interrupting your life and the pain is so persistent that you can no longer function, go to the nearest emergency room. Your doctor will want to rule out other, more serious conditions.2
If you have a fever that accompanies abdominal pain or cramping, you should seek medical help.
Any unexplained and rapid weight loss needs to be discussed with your doctor.
If you have to get up in the night with diarrhea, that is something to discuss with your doctor.
When there are signs of any rectal bleeding or dark, tarry stools that indicate blood in the stool, you should go immediately to Medco ER.
If you have nausea and vomiting accompanying abdominal cramping, if you are dizzy or faint, if you have chest pain, or if you have difficulty breathing, go to the ER.
If your abdomen is painful to the touch or is hard and distended, go to Medco ER right away.
“Persistent abdominal pain that doesn’t lessen with trips to the bathroom can indicate a serious condition,” said Dr. Khan. “Come to Medco ER right away when you think something is wrong and let us take a look. We have full diagnostic capabilities at Medco ER, we have rapid results labs, and our doctors are board-certified and experienced in treating IBS.”
Treatment for IBS
If IBS is diagnosed and other, more serious conditions are ruled out, your doctor will have ideas to help you start to feel better. Since IBS is not a form of cancer and doesn’t damage the intestines, treatment usually begins with diet modifications. Your doctor may discuss a diet low in gluten and high in fiber.
Lifestyle changes, probiotics, exercise, sleep, and fluids could be recommended. Laxatives, fiber supplements, antidepressants, anti-diarrheal medications, and pain medications are some pharmaceuticals that your doctor may consider.2
Get Help Fast at Medco ER
While IBS may not seem like an emergency most of the time, when the pain interferes with your life, increases dramatically, or has accompanying symptoms like fever, nausea or chest pain, the team at Medco ER are ready to help you any time, day or night.
- Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive, Plano, TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-747-0370
- Carrollton: 2745 E Belt Line Road, Carrollton, TX 75006
Call us @ 469-840-4600
A sharp, piercing side pain is obviously appendicitis—or inflammation of the appendix—but what if your pain is more of a general throbbing, vague abdominal pain, or upset stomach? One of the greatest emergency room challenges is figuring out what is causing your abdominal pain. At Medco ER & Urgent Care of Plano, TX, we are experienced in pinpointing the source of your abdominal pain and finding the treatment that’s right for you.
“Appendicitis doesn’t always manifest in a simple way,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan. “But our board-certified emergency medicine physicians are able to use our in-house diagnostic tools to find the root of the pain.”
Causes of Appendicitis
While the cause of appendicitis may not always be clear, here are some common reasons:1
- Blockage of the opening of the appendix
- Enlarged wall tissue in the appendix caused by an infection in gastrointestinal system
- Disease such as inflammatory bowel disease
- Growths in the appendix
- Matter that clogs the appendix
- Abdominal trauma
Symptoms of Appendicitis
- Pain or discomfort in abdomen, often near the belly button
- Pain localized on lower right side
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Abdominal bloating
- Abdominal tenderness
- Loss of appetite
- Stiff abdomen
Diagnosis of Appendicitis
To diagnose your abdominal pain to determine if it is appendicitis, your physician will do a physical exam including checking for abdominal stiffness and the tendency to guard or react when pressed. A rectal or pelvic exam may be performed to locate the source of the pain. A blood test may show an elevated white blood cell count which may mean you have an infection. A urine test will eliminate a urinary tract infection or kidney stone that would be causing pain. Finally, an imaging exam, such as a CT scan, X-ray or ultrasound may be used in diagnosis.2
Treatment for Appendicitis
“There is really only one treatment for appendicitis – an appendectomy,” said Dr. Khan. “If the appendix hasn’t ruptured, it is a straightforward procedure that can be done as a minimally invasive surgery to remove the appendix. Recovery should be rapid and antibiotics may be prescribed to ward off infection. However, if the appendix ruptured, the surgery and recovery will be more extensive.”
Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
Appendicitis is a serious medical condition. If left untreated, sepsis may occur, which is life-threatening. If you are experiencing pain or have any of these symptoms, come to Medco ER & Urgent Care right away:
- Abdominal pain or back pain
- Intense pain on your right side
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills
Get help fast at Medco ER & Urgent Care
With little-to-no wait time, you can get right into an exam room and be seen by a board-certified physician within minutes. At Medco ER & Urgent Care, we offer you top-quality care from physicians rather than PAs, CNPs or assistants. Our ER is equipped with the imaging and lab equipment needed to quickly diagnose and to treat your abdominal pain. Open 24/7 every day of the year, we’re here when you need us.
- Plano location:
3960 Legacy Drive, Plano TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-392-4000
If you’ve ever suffered sudden, acute pain in the abdomen, a chronic ache in the gut, or a long, drawn out ache in the stomach, you probably wondered when would be the right time to go to the ER. In most cases, the board-certified emergency medicine physicians at Medco ER & Urgent Care recommend coming in for a fast evaluation if you have any doubts about your abdominal pain.
“Abdominal pain is one of the most common complaints that we see often in the Emergency Room setting,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Regional Medical Director, Dr. Tariq Vora. “It could potentially be caused by any of a number of serious medical conditions. Patients require medical evaluation to determine the root cause of pain.”
Causes of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain can be acute (coming on suddenly) or chronic (persistent over time). It can come and go, or it can be steady and even pulsating. Everyone suffers from abdominal pain at some point in their lives. Understanding some of the causes can help you know if it’s time to head to the ER. Some of the serious causes of abdominal pain include:
- Spleen rupture
- Kidney stone or infection
- Bladder inflammation or urinary tract infection
- Heart attack
- Aortic aneurism
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Diverticulitis or intestinal blockage
- Stomach flu
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Ovarian cyst
- Celiac disease
- Sickle cell anemia
- Irritable bowel syndrome
“As you can see, there are a wide array of reasons why a person may be suffering from abdominal pain,” said Dr. Vora. “It’s important to know how long the pain has been going on, if it comes and goes or is steady, if any activity or food seems to trigger it, or if there are any accompanying symptoms.”
Emergency Signs Accompanying Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain can be an indicator of a life-threatening condition. If your pain is sudden or severe, come to the ER right away. If the pain is in the mid-to-lower right side, come to the ER for evaluation.
Come to the ER immediately if your abdominal pain comes with:
- Bloody stool
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Tender area that hurts to touch
- Bloated, extended abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss
- Yellowing skin
- Pink urine or difficulty urinating
“There’s a reason for your abdominal pain and it shouldn’t be ignored. Any time you are suffering from pain or chronic ache, you should be seen by a qualified physician. We have a range of helpful diagnostic tools, such as lab tests, CT scan, ultrasound and X-ray right here for easy access,” said Dr. Vora. “If you are experiencing abdominal pain, come right in and let us help you.”
Treatments for Abdominal Pain
Since there are so many different causes of abdominal pain, the treatment may also vary and possibly include prescription for pain medications and/or antibiotics, regulating diet, initiating immediate surgical intervention or implementing a long-term maintenance plan for chronic conditions.
Fast Help at Medco ER & Urgent Care
When you are experiencing abdominal pain and are suspicious that something’s not right, the emergency physicians at Medco ER & Urgent Care are ready 24/7 to take care of you. Don’t delay coming in for an immediate evaluation. We offer No Wait access to top emergency care physicians and our trained team will go to work fast to help you start to feel better again.
- Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road.
Call us @ 469-392-4000.
Self-reliance, toughing it out and playing through the pain is so ingrained in our psyches that it is common to hear of someone who waited too long to go to the doctor. Some symptoms are early indicators of a serious health condition and should not be ignored. To help you know the difference between a passing pain and a serious symptom, the physicians at Medco ER & Urgent Care have compiled a list of 10 things you just shouldn’t ignore.
“If you are noticing any of these symptoms,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Regional Medical Director, Dr. Tariq Vora. “Come to Medco ER immediately or call 9-1-1 for assistance. Even if it turns out to be a minor condition that is easily treatable, it is best to err on the side of caution in most of these cases.”
1. Sudden Pain
If you have sudden, shooting or stabbing pain, you should pay close attention. If there is no cause for it that you can easily identify, it’s time to head to Plano’s Medco ER for evaluation. If you have pressure in your chest or pain in your neck, jaw or shoulders, it could be heart-related. Any piercing headache that comes on suddenly should also receive a prompt medical evaluation.
2. Difficulty Breathing
When your breathing becomes strained, reduced or labored, try to remain calm and not panic. Shortness of breath can be a sign of a serious medical condition such as COVID-19, Pneumonia or heart problems, OR it may be caused by a benign condition such as anxiety. However, you must seek medical attention to rule out a serious disease.
If you notice an unusual sensation of numbness, such as in a foot, arm or hand, it could potentially be an early sign of stroke. At Medco ER, we have the diagnostic tools, such as a CT scan, to help evaluate your condition and treat you quickly to prevent serious health consequences of a stroke such as paralysis.
4. Sudden Weakness
If you suddenly feel your legs give out, your strength drops, you are dizzy or you feel weak all over, it is time to get medical help. Weakness may be a sign of stroke or heart attack. You could be experiencing a drop in blood pressure or a heart issue. Additionally, fainting should never be ignored.
5. Racing Heart
If your heart suddenly goes into overdrive and is racing for no apparent reason, you need to be evaluated by a qualified ER physician. Have someone drive you to the nearest ER or call for an ambulance. It is important to rule out a heart attack or cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm).
6. Searing Pain
If you suddenly have a searing headache or a burning pain in any other part of your body, this is not something to ignore. Your body is trying to tell you something. Our board-certified physicians excel at diagnostics and are ready to help. For example, a sudden onset of an excruciating headache can potentially be a sign of aneurysm or bleeding in the brain and requires an emergent CT scan of the head for evaluation.
7. Blood in the Stool
If you notice a dark, tarry looking stool, it may have blood in it. If you think there is blood in your bowel movements, it is time to be checked out by a qualified doctor. At Medco ER, our qualified physicians can perform blood tests to check for anemia, liver disorder and even a CT scan to rule out potentially serious bleeding in the abdomen.
8. Unexplained Weight Loss
If you are losing weight without a change in diet, exercise or activity level, that is enough reason to go see the doctor. Weight loss may be a sign of cancer, which may be caught in its early stages by a CT scan.
Any confusion or change in mental status should be immediately evaluated at the nearest ER. If the patient shows unusual signs like being unable to do simple math, tell time or recall a major event, it is time to head to the ER. Confusion may be an early sign of stroke or bleeding in the brain.
10. Dimming Vision
Any changes in the vision, especially if occurring suddenly and accompanied by a headache, should be immediately examined at the ER. “We can examine the patient and refer to an eye specialist, if appropriate,” said Dr. Vora. “Or, it could be related to a medical condition that we can begin to treat right away.”
Find help at Medco ER & Urgent Care
Any condition of a sudden onset can be quickly addressed at Medco ER & Urgent Care. Our no-wait ER has Board Certifies physicians standing by 24/7 to diagnose and treat your condition. We provide fast access to some of the highest quality and safest medical care in the region.
While many conditions presenting to the ER may be benign, it’s important to rule out the serious ailments before they become life threatening. We take pride in our staff and Board-Certified physicians at Medco ER who can recognize the severity of any presenting medical complaint and act fast to save lives in an efficient & timely manner.
- Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road.
Call us @ 469-392-4000.