ZocdocAnswersIs there medical advice for people experiencing abdominal pains and changes in their weight?

Question

Is there medical advice for people experiencing abdominal pains and changes in their weight?

I've been experiencing abdominal pain for a while now but I've been trying to ignore it. Also I've been losing weight, not on purpose but now it's getting a little excessive. I'm not sure if these symptoms are related but they're getting less manageable! Is there a medical solution, or maybe something is wrong with my lifestyle? I'm a 29 yr old female.

Answer

This is a discussion you should have with your primary care physician. The differential diagnosis for abdominal pain is very broad, as the pain could be originating from any of the numerous organs within the abdomen (including the stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, bladder, ovaries, etc). Generally, in the evaluation of abdominal pain, a doctor tries to identify "red flag" signs that warrant further, more aggressive evaluation. These red flags include weight loss, vomiting, and blood in the stool, to name a few. Abdominal pain and weight loss can be linked by different mechanisms. For example, in celiac disease, in which there is poor absorption of nutrients in the small intestine, a patient may experience bloating and abdominal pain and may lose weight due to diarrhea and inability to digest food. On the other hand, someone with a stomach ulcer may choose not to eat food because the intake of food may exacerbate the underlying pain, leading to weight loss by another way. In any case, it is very important that you seek out the help of your primary care physician. A more detailed medical history and physical exam can be performed, and if needed, an initial evaluation with blood work, +/- urinalysis, +/- imaging (such as with ultrasound or CT scan) may be performed and your doctor can initiate the appropriate treatment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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