How do doctors give diagnosis without ever laying hands on you or running some kind of test. II feel I might have a haital hernia or an ulcer. I have read a lot on the subject. I spoke to my doctor about this but I was told to try the medication again.
There is a process known as differential diagnosis that combines the results seen and the most likely problem and urgency of the matter. I am glad you are reading up on the subjects but one of the many problems is that the information provided online is not very good for differential diagnosis.
I do my best to stay away from self diagnosing using most information on the internet, even with everything I have learned in school.
So to get to your specific question. It would have a lot to do with the symptoms that you are experiencing and how the pain is radiating where it is being felt. Since I am in the pharmacy world, I don't deal with a lot of diagnosing. But generally, to get tested for an ulcer you would have to be knocked out and have a camera put in your throat. I have seen this done several times while sitting in on surgeries - it isn't pleasant.
I think the goal is to try to reduce problems with out having invasive surgery.
My recommendation is try the medicine if the problems are not being resolved with that and some changes in lifestyle (not eating before bed, avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and acidic substance that make gerd worse, etc) then go back or see another doctor.
**Part of trying the medicine and seeing if it works is part of the diagnostic process.**
Brian PharmD Candidate
Famotidine is used for treating and preventing ulcers as well as reducing stomach acid so your doctor is covering the bases.
I would give it a try and see if it doesn't clear up the symptoms, that will actually tell the doctor more about your condition. The alternative is to have testing like endoscopy, previously mentioned, barium x-ray or CT scan. Ultimately the treatment may be the same anyway, so if the medicine works no need to go through the testing.
They can't tell exactly unless they do a scope, ultrasound, x-ray with chalky type solution to watch as it goes down. If you had done one of the above recently, he may be basing his conclusion on that. If not, I would get a second opinion by a doc that doesn't mind laying hands on you do to an examine.
My first question is have you ever had an ulcer? How would you know what it feels like? When I was first diagnosed with an ulcer years ago, I was vomiting blood. I have Gerd now, & always will apparently because every time I stop my omeprozole, I have horrible burning clear up to my throat. I have been scoped several times over the years, & the last time was told my stomach produces too much acid ie the proton pump inhibitor. The reasonable thing to do in your case in my opinion would be to see if the medication works,& if it does quit worrying about it. If it doesn't help, get a referral to a gastroenterologist & have a scope done to see exactly what is going on. The way you are being treated is exactly correct unless there are further symptoms or more problems with the meds not working. Just my opinion...
- Famotidine Information for Consumers
- Famotidine Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Famotidine (detailed)
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