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Experiencing stomach pain. Test reports negative. Feeling better after vomiting. Still complains of pain. Guide?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
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Hello, my father has been experiencing stomach pain all day, definitely out of the ordinary and not the average stomach ache. We actually took him to the hospital earlier, tests were taken and all came back negative, vital signs were OK. He felt better after vomitting and was discharged after a few hours, around 11pm. Now its past 4 am here in NJ and he is complaining of the stomach pain again, similiar to what he had earlier today. really dont feel like having to go back to hosp again. This time the pain is in the lower part of his stomach in the middle while before it was up higher in the middle of his abdomin/stomach. Hasn't eaten much today, just cereal in morn and a little pasta after returning from hosp. He is 70 years old, with type 2 diabetes but other than that is in decent health. Slightly overweight, around 5'10" 215 lbs. Thanks in advance for your help!
Posted Thu, 29 Aug 2013 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 1 hour later

Thank you for the query.

It is quite common for stomach issues that all regular tests are negative (abdominal ultrasound, blood work). Its because this tests do not tell much about stomach condition.
Such abdominal pain seems to be caused by peptic ulcer or stomach inflammation. In some cases, also stomach cancer can give very similar symptoms. That is why, as all tests are negative, next step is gastroscopy. This test allows to see the stomach from inside and take samples for histopathology. Helicobacter Pylori infection can be checked as well.

As your father is over the age of 50, large intestine issues should be also considered. You need to know that every person over the age of 50 should have colonoscopy every 10 years. Its because the risk of colon cancer significantly increases over 50. This condition should be suspected especially if constipation, diarrhea, blood in stool, weight loss, nausea are present.

Other possible reason of your fathers condition are adhesions due to past surgeries. If so, abdomen gets bloated, gas gets obstructed and nausea appears.

Here is what should be done:
- gastroscopy at first
- colonoscopy as second
- if abdomen gets bloated, abdominal CT with oral contrast (enteroclysis) should be considered.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Experiencing stomach pain. Test reports negative. Feeling better after vomiting. Still complains of pain. Guide? 8 hours later
OK thank you so much I appreciate the quick response! I have one or two additional questions that have arisen since last night. It is now almost 2pm Eastern time here and my father still has the stomach pain but not quite as severe as last night. Still in the same spot in middle abdomen. He says about 3 or 4 on a scale of 1-10 while last night it was around 8.5 he said. He has vomited a few times and feels better when he does. The vomit is brown in color. Thank you in advance, we just want to determine what is causing the stomach pain its been over a full day now but feels somewhat after vomiting.
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 37 minutes later
This is also very characteristic for peptic ulcer. The pain is dull, localized in middle abdomen and does not go away completely. It will be there until the stomach wont get healed. Please imagine that there is a wound in the stomach. It gets irritated by food (as food stimulates stomach acid secretion) and the pain gets better after emptying the stomach.
There is also one disease which gets better after vomiting. It is bowels obstruction. However as your father has had some tests this should give positive results. So it seems to be ruled out (hope that abdominal X-ray were done).

He should definitely have gastroscopy done. Till that time, he may try PPI treatment if available without prescription (Omeprasole, Pantoprasole).

Hope this will help.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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