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A Doctor's View on Abdominal Pain: Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Read the Comment by Jay W. Marks, MD

Abdominal pain is a common symptom for may people. It can often is difficult for a health-care professional to diagnosis the cause of a person's abdominal pain. Print out this list of questions to ask your doctor about your abdominal pain, and be ready to provide your past medical history to the healthcare team. Read the entire Doctor's View

How is the cause of abdominal pain diagnosed?

Doctors determine the cause of abdominal pain by relying on:

  1. characteristics of the pain,
  2. findings on physical examination,
  3. laboratory, radiological, and endoscopic testing, and
  4. surgery.
Return to Abdominal Pain (Causes, Remedies, Treatment)

See what others are saying

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.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
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: informed patient, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 22

Pain started right away after a colonoscopy 6 years ago, when a biopsy and polyp snare was taken. I had increasing abdominal pain with lower left lump sticking out but usually reducible. Many physicians either ignored pain symptoms, if the lump didn"t show up (It hides internally, but much less so now after all the years of pain), or offered exploratory surgery, or nothing. Visits to emergency room proved futile, by the time I got there, and a doctor finally came to see me, either intravenous pain killers or time had reduced symptoms. Yes, very frustrating. Even now after years of trying to find answers it feels more like an obstruction in my bowel, which presses on and affects my urinary tract. The pain is excruciating and difficult for me to tolerate to the point that I have to do something, but need it to be safe, the right choice; and most important, a good surgeon.

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