Abdominal Pain - Test

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

Please share your abdominal pain diagnosis experience.

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black triangle:

Exams and tests

While the history and physical examination are vitally important in determining the cause of abdominal pain, testing often is necessary to determine the cause.

Laboratory tests. Laboratory tests such as the complete blood count (CBC), liver enzymes, pancreatic enzymes (amylase and lipase), pregnancy test and urinalysis are frequently performed in the evaluation of abdominal pain.

  • An elevated white count suggests inflammation or infection (as with appendicitis, pancreatitis, diverticulitis, or colitis).
  • A low red blood cell count may indicate a bleed in the intestines.
  • Amylase and lipase (enzymes produced by the pancreas) commonly are elevated in pancreatitis.
  • Liver enzymes may be elevated with gallstone attacks or acute hepatitis.
  • Blood in the urine suggests kidney stones.
  • When there is diarrhea, white blood cells in the stool suggest intestinal inflammation or infection.
  • A positive pregnancy test may indicate an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus).

Plain X-rays of the abdomen. Plain X-rays of the abdomen also are referred to as a KUB (because they include the kidney, ureter, and bladder). The KUB may show enlarged loops of intestines filled with copious amounts of fluid and air when there is intestinal obstruction. Patients with a perforated ulcer may have air escape from the stomach into the abdominal cavity. The escaped air often can be seen on a KUB on the underside of the diaphragm. Sometimes a KUB may reveal a calcified kidney stone that has passed into the ureter and resulted in referred abdominal pain or calcifications in the pancreas that suggests chronic pancreatitis.

Radiographic studies.

  • Abdominal ultrasound is useful in diagnosing gallstones, cholecystitis appendicitis, or ruptured ovarian cysts as the cause of the pain.
  • Computerized tomography (CT) of the abdomen is useful in diagnosing pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, appendicitis, and diverticulitis, as well as in diagnosing abscesses in the abdomen. Special CT scans of the abdominal blood vessels can detect diseases of the arteries that block the flow of blood to the abdominal organs.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is useful in diagnosing many of the same conditions as CT tomography.
  • Barium X-rays of the stomach and the intestines (upper gastrointestinal series or UGI with a small bowel follow-through) can be helpful in diagnosing ulcers, inflammation, and blockage in the intestines.
  • Computerized tomography (CT) of the small intestine can be helpful in diagnosing diseases in the small bowel such as Crohn's disease.
  • Capsule enteroscopy, a small camera the size of a pill swallowed by the patient, can take pictures of the entire small bowel and transmit the pictures onto a portable receiver. The small bowel images can be downloaded from the receiver onto a computer to be inspected by a doctor later. Capsule enteroscopy can be helpful in diagnosing Crohn's disease, small bowel tumors, and bleeding lesions not seen on x-rays or CT scans.

Endoscopic procedures.

  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD is useful for detecting ulcers, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach), or stomach cancer.
  • Colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy is useful for diagnosing infectious colitis, ulcerative colitis, or colon cancer.
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is useful for diagnosing pancreatic cancer or gallstones if the standard ultrasound or CT or MRI scans fail to detect them.
  • Balloon enteroscopy, the newest technique allows endoscopes to be passed through the mouth or anus and into the small intestine where small intestinal causes of abdominal pain or bleeding can be diagnosed, biopsied, and treated.

Surgery. Sometimes, diagnosis requires examination of the abdominal cavity either by laparoscopy or surgery.

Return to Abdominal Pain

See what others are saying

Comment from: BestDadEver, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: October 08

Force your doctor to order a sonogram. If they did this for my dad during one of the 4 appointments he had with the doctor, they would have found the gallstones. Instead, he was misdiagnosed with heartburn. He died of sepsis in August 2013 due to a gallstone blocking the pancreatic duct.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: rosk, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

A few years ago I was given an antibiotic by a fill in doctor... It was called clindamycin, I believe. It was too strong for me and I took full dose until it was done, I think 10 days. At that time I asked the doctor for the Z-Pak but she said it wasn't strong enough. After that my stomach hurt anytime I ate, and swelled. I went to my doctor and the test results he told me was, my muscle didn't work in my stomach. He gave me metoclopramide for burning of stomach to take before meals. It does help but I still swell up pretty bad, and in pain when I eat.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!