On your way home from dinner, you start experiencing sharp pains in your abdomen. You ate seafood—could you have food poisoning? What else might be causing your pain? Appendicitis?
Should you head to the emergency room, or should you wait and see how you feel in the morning?
Numerous ailments can affect the GI system and the abdomen. Because the organs are so close, it can be difficult to conduct an accurate assessment. Also, pain in another area of the body can affect the GI system. For example, patients with chronic migraines often report nausea.
Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
· Chapter 6, “Vital Signs and Pain Assessment”
Chapter 18, “Abdomen”
Dains, J. E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. (2019). Advanced health assessment and clinical diagnosis in primary care (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
Chapter 3, “Abdominal Pain”
Chapter 10, “Constipation”
Chapter 12, “Diarrhea”
Chapter 29, “Rectal Pain, Itching, and Bleeding”