Abdominal Pain - Diagnosis

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How was your case of abdominal pain diagnosed?

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What are the methods used to diagnose abdominal pain?

The key to diagnosing abdominal pain is to identify the underlying cause of the pain. To reiterate, the patient's history and physical exam will help to narrow the choices and further tests to get a preliminary or even final diagsis.

Blood tests to look for signs of infection, liver, and renal problems are usually ordered.

Depending on the possible causes, other tests such as a chest and/or abdominal X-ray(s), EKG, D-dimer, or pregnancy test may be ordered. Often, a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis also is ordered or a sonogram is ordered. Although these tests often identify the cause, sometimes they do not.

Other studies, usually done by appointment and often in consultation with a specialist, may include an MRI, barium X-rays (upper and lower), various types of endoscopic procedures and biopsy of tissues. Infrequently, a surgeon may need to examine the abdominal cavity with a laparoscope or open the abdomen surgically.

Return to Abdominal Pain (Causes, Remedies, Treatment)

See what others are saying

Comment from: keytolife, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 05

I had pain in my left side. X-rays, ultrasounds, and CT scans didn't reveal anything. Finally, I went to a gastroenterologist, who listened to me and didn't say it was a psychiatric issue. He did a colonoscopy, which came back normal. I was adamant about my pain, so he decided to look into my ileum, where he found cancer. He said this changed the way he does colonoscopies, especially if a patient has other symptoms like pain and fatigue. Since then he has found others who had cancer in ileum.

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Comment from: rosk, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

A few years ago I was given an antibiotic by a fill in doctor... It was called clindamycin, I believe. It was too strong for me and I took full dose until it was done, I think 10 days. At that time I asked the doctor for the Z-Pak but she said it wasn't strong enough. After that my stomach hurt anytime I ate, and swelled. I went to my doctor and the test results he told me was, my muscle didn't work in my stomach. He gave me metoclopramide for burning of stomach to take before meals. It does help but I still swell up pretty bad, and in pain when I eat.

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