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Dr. Shah
Dr. Shah, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 3898
Experience:  Years of experience in patients' management.
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severe abdominal pain..Her doctor has run CT scan, blood work..bowel

Customer Question

My mother is suffering from severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and cannot eat anything due to this. Her doctor has run CT scan, blood work, colonoscopy, and an upper gi test and cannot find the source of the problem. Can a bowel obstruction not show up on these tests? Could it be scar tissue from previous surgery (eg. gall bladder removal, colonoscopy, etc)?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Shah replied 7 years ago.
How long is she having these symptoms? Is there any fever, constipation, abdominal distention or any other symptoms? What is the severity of pain and where is it located in abdomen?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
She has these symptoms pretty much all day, every day now for over a month. No fever, she has had some constipation, but thinks it's because she cannot keep anything down. Is distention bloating? If so, she does have occasional bloating. it is on the right side of her abdomen under her rib cage. She experiences severe pain when her doctor performs a physical exam and pushes on that spot.
Expert:  Dr. Shah replied 7 years ago.
Based on the information, she seems to have some physical symptoms in abdomen like bloating, pain, nausea/vomiting. Looking at the duration of her problem, it's been there for very long time and all her investigations were negative for any disease process. Anyone who has abdominal operation carries risk for adhesion and bowel obstruction but bowel obstruction can not last for months and years. having only abdomen pain and constipation does not mean that she has bowel obstruction. If there were any bowel obstruction, her investigation would have disclosed it, so chances of having bowel obstruction is slim. I also feel that she has been evaluated adequately to pin point the cause and rule out serious problems. She has been struggling with this problem for many years without any alarming features which exclude likely possibilities of serious problems.
As you said, her problems are worse during these few weeks, she can have some blood test, liver function test, serum amylase/lipase and test for H. Pylori to rule out pathology in the surrounding organ. If everything come backs normal, she will be benefited by visiting a counselor and pain management clinic, they will guide her to develop skills for coping up with pains to reduce the suffering.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I can understand that pain management will help her cope with the pain, but she cannot eat anything and I am obviously starting to worry. She has not eaten a real meal in over a month! In your experience, are there any other kinds of test to run to determine a digestive disorder?
Expert:  Dr. Shah replied 7 years ago.
Well she can have upper gastrointestinal endoscopy to directly visualized the digestive track and see if any pathology exist. If she has problems with solid food then she can switch to semisolid and liquid diet.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your time.