Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"Why do I get sharp stomach pains every so often?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy do I get sharp stomach pains every so often?


I'm a 26 year old male. I have had very severe, sharp pains in my upper abdomen that come and go. Sometimes so severe that I need to stay home and lay in bed. I work as a computer consultant and I'm a full time college student. I'm married and have a 6 month old son. I'm not taking any medications besides a daily vitamin, and I don't have any known allergies.


Stomach pains are a concerning symptom. I would recommend that you see your primary care doctor to have this evaluated. If you require it, he or she may refer you to a gastroenterologist ( a stomach specialist). Regardless, abdominal pain (stomach pain) as you describe should be evaluated. There are a few possibilities of what could be causing your serious symptoms. The most common would be heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (known as GERD). This is caused by acid from the stomach going up into the food pipe (esophagus). Normally this is a burning pain and not a sharp pain. Peptic ulcer disease (or PUD) is a cause of sharp pain. This is when the acid in the stomach erodes intestinal tract and causes a whole in it. This can be evaluated by a gastroenterologist who can look at the stomach using a small camera (a procedure known as an EGD). Other causes of abdominal pain include pancreatitis (or inflammation of the pancreas). Gallstones can also cause this, and are often worse after a fatty meal. Kidney stones can also cause this. Heart pains can also sometimes cause pain in the stomach area. I would recommend evaluation by your primary care doctor. These worrisome causes should be ruled out. Good luck!

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.