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Recurring Abdominal Pain

You need to be evaluated for bleeding, irritation, infection or cancer within your upper digestive tract. Contact your doctor for an urgent evaluation.

Pain with blood in the vomit or blackened stools could represent an ulcer in your stomach or small intestine, irritation in the stomach lining ("gastritis"), or cancer. Fever could arise from infection in or near the gallbladder, cancer, severe inflammation within the pancreas, or a break (perforation) in the stomach lining at the site of an ulcer.

Based on your symptoms, your doctor may recommend evaluation with either an endoscopy test (esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or "EGD"), an ultrasound, an x-ray series with swallowed contrast ("upper GI series"), or a computed tomography scan (CT scan).

  • With an EGD, a doctor can view the inside of your esophagus, stomach, and the first part of your small intestine by way of a flexible tube and camera.

  • An ultrasound is able to identify gallstones or an infection in the gallbladder.

  • An upper GI series can identify inflammation in the small intestine.

  • A CT scan can be useful if infection or pancreatitis is suspected.

Diagnoses that your doctor may consider include

  • acute pancreatitis

  • cholecystitis (gallbladder infection)

  • chronic pancreatitis

  • Crohn's disease

  • stomach cancer

  • gastritis

  • pancreatic cancer

  • peptic ulcer disease.


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