Abdominal Pain (Causes, Remedies, Treatment) (cont.)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- Definition of abdominal pain
- What are the ways to describe abdominal pain?
- What are the causes of abdominal pain?
- What are the less serious causes of abdominal pain?
- What are more serious causes of abdominal pain?
- When should I call my doctor about abdominal pain?
- What are the methods used to diagnose abdominal pain?
- What are the home remedies for certain causes of abdominal pain?
- What medications can be used to treat certain causes of abdominal pain?
- What lifestyle choices can I make to prevent abdominal pain?
- Pictures of Abdominal Pain - Slideshow
- Pictures of What's Causing Your Pelvic Pain - Slideshow
- Pictures of Appendicitis & Appendectomy - Slideshow
- Find a local Doctor in your town
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 diagnosis.
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.
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