How to Diagnose Stomach Ache

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How to Diagnose Stomach Ache

Abdominal pain is an ache or discomfort in a part of a trunk between the ribs and pelvis. The pain comes from organs within abdomen or organs within the belly area. The cause of stomach pains is distention of an organ, inflammation or loss of blood supply to a vital organ.

Various conditions could cause stomach ache hence the need to diagnose the actual cause. A doctor will observe the medical history and conduct one or combination of these tests to diagnose the cause of pain.

Physical Examination

Physical examination involves careful observation of physical signs and other present symptoms. Physical examination includes a look at the patient’s abdomen, lungs, and heart to pinpoint the specific source of pain.

A doctor will touch various parts of an abdomen checking for tenderness and other relevant signs that help to locate a source of pain. If there are no clear signs of the specific cause, the examination could determine the extent to an examination of other organs that could be the source of infection that manifest in the form of pain in the stomach. For instance, it is advisable to check the patient's eyes and determine if there is dehydration shown by yellow discoloration (jaundice).

A rectal exam can help in determining if the stool has traces of blood or if another problem such as internal or mass hemorrhoids exists. It is also essential to examine the patient for signs urinary tract infection.

For women, a physician can perform a pelvic exam to establish in the ovaries, fallopian tubes or the uterus could be the cause of abdominal pains.

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Laboratory Tests

Lab tests can help to determine the cause of abdominal pain or to eliminate ambiguity in diagnosis. A doctor will use the information from answers to questions he asks the patient during a physical examination. Specific urine and blood tests can help in determining the cause of some of these possible outcomes.

  • A woman is pregnant, and pregnancy is known to cause stomach pains
  • A higher white blood cell count could indicate there is a presence of an infection or a reaction to stress from pain and vomiting.
  • Blood in urine which is invisible to the eye is a sign of kidney stone
  • Low red blood count could be assign of internal bleeding although most causes are not painful
  • Other blood tests such as pancreas or liver enzymes can help in determining the organ causing the stomach pain but will not diagnose the cause of infection.

Radiology Tests

Lab tests can help to determine the cause of abdominal pain or to eliminate ambiguity in diagnosis. A doctor will use the information from answers to questions he asks the patient during a physical examination. Specific urine and blood tests can help in determining the cause of some of these possible outcomes.

X-ray

An X-ray shoes the outside of bowel when there is suspicion of an organ rupture or perforation. Sometimes X-rays can capture a kidney stone.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is the use of high-frequency sound waves that help in capturing live images from inside the body. The painless procedure also called sonography enables the doctor to examine problems with vessels, organs, and tissues without making an incision. Doctors orders for an ultrasound in the following circumstances:

  • Suspects that there is a problem with pancreas, gallbladder, liver or women reproductive organs.
  • Wants to diagnose a problem in the kidneys and spleen
  • Diagnose a problem in the blood vessels coming from the heart to supply blood to parts on the lower section of the body

CT (Computerized tomography) scan

A CT Scan is a unique X-ray test to produce cross-sectional images of body parts using a computer and X-rays. It helps doctors to visualize the small tumors and nodules that plan. X-ray cannot see. It provides useful information about the internal organs including the pancreas, liver, kidneys, spleen, uterus, and intestines.

MRI

MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) is tested using powerful magnetic radio waves to make a detailed picture of the body such in the abdomen or chest. It does not use radiation like CT scans or X-rays. MRI is less potent than a CT scan for stomach examinations although specific symptoms require its use as a radiologist can compare the distribution and size of the bright and dark area of an organ to determine if the tissue is healthy. In some instances, it can show if a tumor is benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). It also helps to find blockage or stones in the bile duct or lower abdominal organs for bleeding and tumors. The cause of stomach pain can be clear with physical examination or require more tests. The critical thing is to diagnose the cause of stomach pains and their seriousness.