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Recurring Abdominal Pain

Your problem can probably be blamed on one of the digestive structures in the upper abdomen, but it is difficult to narrow down the list of possible explanations without a physical examination and testing.

A variety of blood tests and stool testing to check for blood in the stool may be helpful. It is likely that your doctor will recommend a test to view the lining of the stomach and small intestine. Tests that can identify irritation or injury in the stomach and intestine lining 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 ("upper GI series").

The diagnoses that are most likely based on your symptoms include

  • acute pancreatitis

  • celiac disease (celiac sprue)

  • chronic pancreatitis

  • Crohn's disease

  • gallstones

  • gastritis

  • gastroesophageal reflux disease

  • gastroparesis (slow stomach emptying, a complication of diabetes)

  • indigestion

  • lactose intolerance

  • peptic ulcer disease.


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