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When Not to Ignore Abdominal Pain Santa Monica, CA
Person holding hands on a aching stomach

Abdominal pain is more common than you may think. Flu season may give you an upset stomach, especially if you did not get your flu shot. Contaminated or spoiled food can cause abdominal problems. Many women experience lower abdominal pain as part of their menstrual cycles. Most pain will resolve on its own; however, certain abdominal pains should not be ignored.

Localized Abdominal Pain

Localized pain is that which you can point to specifically. The pain may radiate out from a particular area, but the strongest pain is focused in one spot. The most common reason for localized abdominal pain is acid reflux. This heartburn is usually located at the base of the esophagus where it meets the stomach. Usually soothed with milk or acid reducers, it can easily be treated.

Localized pain in other areas of the abdomen is not as common. If symptoms persist despite OTC pain meds or worsen quickly, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. If that is not an option, you may want to go to an urgent care center or ER facility.

Cramping Pains

Cramps are most often associated with women’s menstrual cycles as well as with constipation or diarrhea. If you can explain the reason for your discomfort and bowel disruptions, it is usually safe to take OTC medications like Pepto-Bismol® or Imodium® to help relieve symptoms. If symptoms worsen, your pain intensifies or does not go away, make an appointment with your primary care doctor as soon as possible. It may be necessary for you be examined at a local emergency room.

Colicky, Sudden Abdominal Pains

Sharp pains that come on suddenly are the most concerning. If the pain does not subside quickly or seems to increase, you should go to an emergency room for treatment. These types of sudden pains are referred to as “colicky” and can be a sign of a larger problem, such as kidney stones or an infection. In women, it may be a sign of tubal or ectopic pregnancy.

No matter what kind of abdominal pain you are experiencing, Dr. Brent Michael is happy to follow up with you. If you sought treatment at an urgent or emergency care center, Dr. Michael can continue any treatment plans that began with that visit, ensuring your continued health.

Posted on behalf of Brent J. Michael, MD

2001 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 880W
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Phone: 310-829-7777

FAX: 310-829-9951


Mon-Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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Our Patient Reviews

Brent J. Michael, MD

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 34 reviews

Tammy Siever

Dr. Michael is the most Caring Dr. I have had the privilege of having taking care of my health needs. His calm and personal demeanor is above and beyond what I have ever experienced. I have never had issues with the the waiting time but, if ever I did I would not complain because he is worth the wait. I get his complete attention the entire visit. When I leave I feel very confident that he has completely covered my heath needs from head to toe. I would recommend him to anyone who wants is concerned or wants a Dr. to be concerned about their health.

Gianpaolo von Nacher

Dr. Michael has been our family doctor for over 10 years. He has always been the main pillar in our family care; specially a few years ago when my father wouldn’t have been able to get through a very difficult period without his care. He always goes the extra mile. His staff is amazing. Anita, his nurse, always efficient, loving and caring. Aileen, in the front desk, always responsive and helpful. I’m very grateful to have them on our side.

Mark B

I could literally write pages about Dr. Michael. I thankfully met him and his staff over 13 years ago after I had been suffering from a serious lung infection for over a month that 2 other doctors had missed.- 1 due to being totally arrogant and thinking I just had a cold. I was burning up and so sick I could barely walk. Dr. Michael took the time and actually listened to me - instead of just saying its probably just the flu (as the other doctors had done) or just a cold and sending me home, he actually did a complete physical on me an then had the intuition to order a chest x ray on me (I was not even coughing at the time) and then really looked at it and discovered that I actually had a really serious lung infection and started me on antibiotics. While this may sound like no big deal - it actually was, as he actually saw that it was not a normal looking lung infection and I later learned he went above and beyond and had a infectious disease specialist look at the x ray just to be safe and as he suspected it was even more serious. Since that day he has always been my main doctor. I would also like to add that I have a serious long term health condition and most doctors would generally attribute many of my current and past health issues to my main condition (it usually is the case) but Dr. Michael always looks at whatever is happening to me at the moment as if I was a new patient. This is probably his biggest talent and gift as a doctor as he has on more than one occasion over the years thought outside the box with me and has figured out quickly why I was sick at the time - sometimes it was minor but more than a few times it was really serious. His quick way of thinking and knowledge and intuition is what kept me from getting sicker and going into the hospital. If you are looking for a doctor that actually treats you like a person and not a number then see this man. I am not a celebrity or a wealthy person - far from it - but he treats me like I am - many Vets like myself go to the VA and its a great blessing but I just do not have the energy to go there as its so big. Dr. Michael is seriously brilliant and really patient and I am truly thankful I found him.

Edward Dragavon

Dr. Michael takes the time to explain the meaning of medical terms and test results in a way that a lay person can understand. He is very thorough and answers any question that you may have. His staff is also very professional and competent at their tasks. Given a choice, I wouldn't go anywhere else.

Tim Whalen

Dr. Michael is an intelligent caring human being who is focused on positive outcomes. He has a great ability to synthesize the details of lab results and other tests into preventive measures. I greatly respect his approach to care.

William Barry

A very smart and caring doctor. Very intuitive and yet he will base his decisions on test data. Patient for over 10 years. 5 stars

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logo Brent J. Michael, MD Santa Monica, CA

Brent J. Michael, MD

2001 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 880W
Santa Monica, CA 90404



Mon-Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM