Why does my belly hurt? What are these symptoms from? What can I do to fix it?
This is a very common reason for a person to see a gastroenterologist. Not surprisingly, such a simple question can have many different answers!
Some diagnoses to consider:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
These are a small list of diagnoses that can be fair play for such a presentation - all of which have different treatments and disease courses.
With so many different possibilities, how to I figure out what is wrong with me?
So many different factors go into an evaluation of a presenting issue like this - age, gender, quality of pain, location, duration, other associated symptoms, and many more. As they say - A journey begins with a single step.
I would encourage any of my patients to sit back for a few minutes before their visit and think about the presenting symptoms. When did it start? How long does it typically last? Is it related to eating? How about when you use the bathroom? Have you started any new medications, over the counter medications, or herbal remedies/supplements? Any and all information you can provide is helpful. A nice exercise to try at home is to keep a food diary for a few days. No need to do anything fancy - just write down what you ate, and half hour later write down next to it how you feel. After a few days you can review the food diary and see if any patterns have developed that may point you towards the source of your pain. Definitely feel free to bring the diary to your consultation appointment!
What can you expect from a typical new patient consultation?
A detailed discussion regarding the symptoms for starters. From there, often lab evaluations will follow (if not already performed by another doctor recently and available), and scheduling of any appropriate testing including imaging or procedures. Procedures such as endoscopy and colonoscopy do not happen at the time of the initial consultation, so no need to prepare before coming to the office.
No two patients are alike, and the evaluation will vary based on the individual circumstances. Once the workup is completed, a detailed discussion of the results and plan of care is important.
As I mentioned before, a journey begins with a single step - if you are not feeling well, whether it is from abdominal pain or other GI related illnesses, please contact us to schedule a consultation. Together we will work to evaluate the problem and find a solution to get you back on track.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this blog is intended for Informational Use only and is not intended to replace personal evaluation and treatment by a medical provider. The information provided on this website is not intended as substitute for medical advice or treatment. Please consult your doctor for any information related to your personal care.