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What causes sharp abdominal pain and swelling?

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Posted on Mon, 25 Sep 2017
Question: I have been officially diagnosed, but my former primary care physician was on the path of inflamitory bowel disease. she never ordered colonoscopy because she felt that the prep of this exam may be excruciatingly painful for me. This was 4 years ago. Since then my symptoms have worsened and my attacks have come to bloody stools, severe and sharp abdominal pain and extreme bloating/swelling of my abdomen. I am in the process of finding a new PCP and getting my medical coverage in order because my good medical was dropped and I currently have Medicare only which doesn't cover hardly anything. My previous PCP was diagnosed with cancer and took an extended leave of absence only to sadly lose her battle with cancer a short time after diagnosis.
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Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj (5 hours later)
Brief Answer:
You need colonoscopy and treatment guided based on its results

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

Thank you for asking at healthcaremagic.

I carefully read your question.

I am sorry for the health situation you are having and being in the process of trying to arrange proper medical coverage.

Inflammatory bowel disease is almost always needed to be diagnosed with colonoscopy, it is not just a clinical diagnosis. We suspect it clinically and set the final diagnosis with colonoscopy. This will determine if it is ulcerative cholitis or Crohn diasease as even though they are classified together they have different characteristics clinically and might differ a little in treatment.

So the first step is to have the colonoscopy done- it is crucial. There are medications that can be given to help it be less uncomfortable. That is not done in the acute phase so your doctor might need to give you some treatment first and than when you area better have it done to set the diagnosis.

After you have the final diagnosis than treatment oriented to that diagnosis might be determined. Generally steroids are given and 5-aminosalicilic acids (mesalamine, olsalazine) are the mainstay of treatement. Antibiotics might be needed sometimes, especially if you develop fever.

You should also see the need to have blood tests done to check for anemia as bleeding causes iron loss and also the bowel not absorbing well might cause lack of B12 and folic acid. So have a CBC test and if you are found anemic you need proper tretmtment for that also.

I hope this is helpful and answers to your questions but please feel free to let me know if anymore clarification is needed on this.

Kind Regards,

Antoneta Zotaj, MD

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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Dr. Antoneta Zotaj

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 4436 Questions

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What causes sharp abdominal pain and swelling?

Brief Answer: You need colonoscopy and treatment guided based on its results Detailed Answer: Hello, Thank you for asking at healthcaremagic. I carefully read your question. I am sorry for the health situation you are having and being in the process of trying to arrange proper medical coverage. Inflammatory bowel disease is almost always needed to be diagnosed with colonoscopy, it is not just a clinical diagnosis. We suspect it clinically and set the final diagnosis with colonoscopy. This will determine if it is ulcerative cholitis or Crohn diasease as even though they are classified together they have different characteristics clinically and might differ a little in treatment. So the first step is to have the colonoscopy done- it is crucial. There are medications that can be given to help it be less uncomfortable. That is not done in the acute phase so your doctor might need to give you some treatment first and than when you area better have it done to set the diagnosis. After you have the final diagnosis than treatment oriented to that diagnosis might be determined. Generally steroids are given and 5-aminosalicilic acids (mesalamine, olsalazine) are the mainstay of treatement. Antibiotics might be needed sometimes, especially if you develop fever. You should also see the need to have blood tests done to check for anemia as bleeding causes iron loss and also the bowel not absorbing well might cause lack of B12 and folic acid. So have a CBC test and if you are found anemic you need proper tretmtment for that also. I hope this is helpful and answers to your questions but please feel free to let me know if anymore clarification is needed on this. Kind Regards, Antoneta Zotaj, MD