How Will the ER Diagnose the Cause of My Abdominal Pain?


Abdominal pain that’s disabling needs attention, but it can be hard to diagnose. If cramps or other pain send you to the ER, the medical team has the tools and know-how to figure out the source of your pain and offer relief.

Abdominal pain can be alarming and extremely uncomfortable, but it is often due to mild causes, such as menstrual cramps or constipation. If your pain is disabling, though, it can signal an urgent issue such as appendicitis or a ruptured ovarian cyst.

Come to Clear Creek ER if you’re concerned about your abdominal pain. If you can’t stand up straight or pain is localized and intense, our team definitely wants to see you.

Medical history

A review of your medical history is an important part of diagnosing abdominal pain. When considering your symptoms, the doctors at Clear Creek ER want to know if you’ve recently had abdominal surgery or a procedure. This includes an endoscopy or gastric bypass surgery. It’s also important to let the doctors know if you’re pregnant.

Abdominal pain can be a complication of any of these procedures or conditions.

Accompanying symptoms

The team at Clear Creek asks about any accompanying symptoms, as these can give an indication as to the cause of your pain. They want to know if you have chest tightness along with upper abdominal pain — a possible indication of a heart problem.

Women who have vaginal bleeding along with the pain may be suffering from a problem with the reproductive organs.

Symptoms such as vomiting blood, blood with bowel movements or tarry stool, a high fever, or difficulty breathing further inform the ER staff about the potential cause of your abdominal pain.

Physical exam

Of course your visit to Clear Creek ER also includes a thorough physical exam. Our doctors are looking for signs such as localized tenderness when they press gently on areas of your abdomen or when you change position, such as from seated to standing or turning from your back to your side. They listen for abnormal bowel sounds using a stethoscope.

Screening tests

Depending on the nature of your abdominal pain and accompanying symptoms, you may undergo any number of screening tests. These may include ultrasound, X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. These tests can reveal issues with your internal organs or possible blockages.

Laboratory tests can also find markers of inflammation that may help get at the root of your pain. These include urine and blood tests. If you’re a woman of childbearing age, you may also undergo a pregnancy test.

What happens next?

How your abdominal pain is treated depends on its severity, suspected cause, and the seriousness of potential complications. In about a third of cases, abdominal pain requires patients to be admitted to the hospital. This is usually in cases of a heart attack or appendicitis.

If it’s determined you’re having a bout of irritable bowel, severe constipation, or gastroenteritis (a stomach bug), you may be given medications to ease your nausea and pain as well as recommendations about to how to relieve your symptoms at home with hot compresses, rest, bland diet, and over-the-counter stomach relief.

When you’re suffering from severe abdominal pain, don’t hesitate to visit or call Clear Creek ER. The expert team here will give you a thorough analysis to ensure you don’t need additional medical care and will provide treatment to alleviate intense symptoms.



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