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Recurring Abdominal Pain

You have reported that your pain is worse when you are lying down. Although this symptom does not predict your diagnosis perfectly, it can suggest that your pain is sensitive to shifting fluid in the upper abdomen.

Fluid in your stomach may cause symptoms when it splashes or shifts with movement or redistributes with gravity. When you lie down, fluid in the stomach can flow backwards (reflux) into your esophagus. This problem, named gastroesophageal reflux, can cause irritation in the chest from acid (heartburn). Gastroesophageal reflux can sometimes cause recurring abdominal pain.

Depending upon the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may recommend tests or may recommend that you start taking anti-acid medicine, to see if this improves your symptoms. Anti-acid treatments are available over-the-counter.

If your doctor recommends testing, he or she may want to view the lining of the esophagus, stomach and small intestine. Tests that can identify irritation or injury in these structures include esophagogastroduodenoscopy ("EGD" or "endoscopy," in which you swallow a small camera on a flexible tube) or a series of x-rays after you swallow barium ("barium swallow" or "upper GI series").


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