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HealthSheets™

* Abdominal Pain, Unknown Cause [Male]

Based on your visit today, the exact cause of your abdominal stomach pain is not clear. Your exam and tests do not indicate a dangerous cause at this time. However, the signs of a serious problem may take more time to appear. Although your exam was reassuring today, sometimes early in the course of many conditions, exam and lab tests can appear normal. Therefore, it is important for you to watch for any new symptoms or worsening of your condition.

Causes:

It may not be obvious what caused your symptoms. Pay attention to things that do seem to make your symptoms worse or better and discuss this with your doctor when you follow up.

Diagnosis:

The evaluation of abdominal pain in the emergency department may only require an exam by the doctor or it may include blood, urine or imaging studies, depending on many factors. Sometimes exams and tests can identify a cause but in many cases, a clear cause is not found. Further testing at follow up visits may help to suggest a clear diagnosis.

Home Care:

  • Rest as much as possible until your next exam.

  • Try to avoid any medications (unless otherwise directed by your doctor), foods, activities, or other factors that you may have contributed to your symptoms.

  • Try to eat foods that you know that you have tolerated well in the past. Certain diets may be recommended for some conditions that cause abdominal pain. However, since the cause of your symptoms may not be clear, discuss your diet more with your primary care provider or specialist for further recommendations. 

  • Eating several small meals per day as opposed to 2 or 3 larger meals may help.

  • Monitor closely for anything that may make your symptoms worse or better. Pay close attention to symptoms below that may indicate worsening of your condition.

Follow Up And Precautions:

See your doctor or this facility as instructed (or sooner if your symptoms are not improving). In some cases, you may need more testing.

Contact Your Doctor Or Seek Medical Attention

if any of the following occur:

  • Pain is becoming worse

  • You are unable to take your medications because of too much vomiting.

  • Swelling of the abdomen

  • Fever of 101ºF (38.3ºC) or higher, or as directed by your health care provider

  • Blood in vomit or bowel movements (dark red or black color)

  • Jaundice (yellow color of eyes and skin)

  • New onset of weakness, dizziness or fainting

  • New onset of chest, arm, back, neck or jaw pain