When does an embarrassing or annoying symptom become a red flag? Listen to your body. Abdominal pain, depending on its location, may indicate appendicitis, hernia, intestinal obstruction, or another serious condition. A rigid and tender abdomen is a grave sign that immediate surgical intervention may be needed. Abdominal pain might actually be a symptom of a heart attack, especially if it's accompanied by pain in your chest, arm, shoulder, neck, or jaw. Gastrointestinal (GI) tract bleeding, relentless heartburn, and unplanned weight loss should always be investigated by your doctor. Seek medical attention right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting blood
  • Black stool or bright red blood in the stool
  • Change in bowel habits, especially an inability to have a bowel movement
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Persistent heartburn