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What causes abdominal pain?

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Posted on Sat, 25 Oct 2014
Question: I am having pain in my upper abdomen which radiates to my back. It hurts worse after i eat anything. My appetite had been normal up until yesterday. I have not eaten anything in twelve+hours. I have lost at least ten pounds in two weeks without changing my diet. I had my gallbladder removed for years ago and the surgeon told me that my pancreatic tail had necrosis and the only part left was the head. I had exploratory surgery in the late seventies on my pancreas and spleen. I have just recently been diagnosed with diabetes six months or so ago.
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (19 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
need assessment as soon as you can

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Unfortunately unintentional weight loss is always a concern to both a patient and doctor especially if it is as significant as 10 pounds.

When a person complains of abdominal pain, the cause is related to the structures in the particular area.
In the upper abdomen the possible causes would be from the stomach, duodenum (first part of the small intestine), pancreas, in some cases the liver.

Pain that is severe enough to radiate to the back is most commonly the pancreas (pancreatitis) or peptic ulcer disease.
Peptic ulcer disease is the presence of an ulcer in the stomach or the duodenum.

Peptic ulcer disease would be more likely if you have a history of reflux symptoms.

You need to consider visiting your doctor as soon as possible.

Your doctor will take a careful history to elicit symptoms that can pinpoint a diagnosis, examine your abdomen and suggest investigations.

You will need bloods such as complete blood count, amylase (checks pancreas), electrolytes, ESR (checks inflammation in the body)

Imaging of your abdomen would likely also be suggested.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any additional questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James (25 minutes later)
I havent had any refux symptoms. no heartburn. my NP has prescribed the zantac thinkingvthat is what the problem is. Also had the light run less than six months ago..nothing. no h-pylori, no ulcers, negative on the biopsy. I have also been very nauseated and started with diarrhea last night. NP tried three times to get blood says I am dehydrated finally got it on fourth try. haven't gotten results yet. testing h-pylori and amalyse. abdomen is tender to touch.
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (12 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
may still need imaging

Detailed Answer:
HI

The h pylori would check for this bacteria because of its associated with peptic ulcer disease and reflux. IF this is found then you would need a course of 2 antibiotics and also a proton pump inhibitor (eg nexium, omeprazole, lansoprazole)

The amylase is mainly used to check the pancreas though it can be elevated in other circumstances.

You may still need imaging of the abdomen especially since it is tender to the touch.
Imaging can take a look at the stomach, pancreas and other structures in the abdomen.
If you still continue to feel unwell, it would be best to revisit your doctor today for re assessment.

If you are dehydrated then you need to also concentrate on using fluids today. Oral rehydration solutions should be available at your local pharmacy or you can use a sport drink like gatorade which would also give back electrolytes with fluids.

Please feel free to contact with any other queries

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James (32 hours later)
Can a H pylori blood test come back positive when the biopsy came back negative six months ago. put me on tetracycline bismuth zantac and flagyl. I am still hurting terribly should I still have the imaging done?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
imaging still needed if pain still severe

Detailed Answer:
HI

If the pain is still severe then imaging is likely to be part of the next set of investigations so that your doctor diagnose the source of the problem.

It is possible that H pylori would not show on a biopsy. The biopsy would likely be looking for any abnormal changes in the cells of the area tested

You can ask any additional questions that you may have
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16811 Questions

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What causes abdominal pain?

Brief Answer: need assessment as soon as you can Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic Unfortunately unintentional weight loss is always a concern to both a patient and doctor especially if it is as significant as 10 pounds. When a person complains of abdominal pain, the cause is related to the structures in the particular area. In the upper abdomen the possible causes would be from the stomach, duodenum (first part of the small intestine), pancreas, in some cases the liver. Pain that is severe enough to radiate to the back is most commonly the pancreas (pancreatitis) or peptic ulcer disease. Peptic ulcer disease is the presence of an ulcer in the stomach or the duodenum. Peptic ulcer disease would be more likely if you have a history of reflux symptoms. You need to consider visiting your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will take a careful history to elicit symptoms that can pinpoint a diagnosis, examine your abdomen and suggest investigations. You will need bloods such as complete blood count, amylase (checks pancreas), electrolytes, ESR (checks inflammation in the body) Imaging of your abdomen would likely also be suggested. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any additional questions