Alarmist scenario: An ulcer or stomach cancer.
More likely cause: Gas or acid reflux.
Reality check: “Most occasional abdominal pain doesn’t have an underlying cause,” says gastroenterologist Carol Burke, the director of the Center for Colon Polyp and Cancer Prevention at the Cleveland Clinic. While ulcers are fairly common, affecting one in ten Americans, they involve additional symptoms, including weight loss, burping, nausea, vomiting, and bloating. Stomach cancer is rare (primarily affecting men older than 72) and usually accompanied by nausea, weight loss, gastrointestinal bleeding, and bloating.
Rx: Try over-the-counter remedies, like Tums, Mylanta, and Prilosec, and avoid anti-inflammatories. If you have severe symptoms that occur more than three times a week or persist for more than two months, see a doctor.