Seeing your doctor because of Abdominal pain or any other type of medical issue can be complicated because most patients do not know how to describe the pain they are feeling. Often times, when patients cannot describe their pain and the symptoms that come with their health concerns, the likelihood of misdiagnosis is high. Knowing how to correctly describe all of your medical symptoms increases the chances of accurate diagnosis and immediate treatment.
Here is a quick checklist to remember when speaking to a medical professional about stomach aches and pains:
#1 – Use The Stomach Clock
Help your doctor locate the area of stomach pain easier, use the stomach clock as a guide. Much like the face of the clock and how we discreetly point towards a direction, using the stomach clock will help doctors pinpoint the probable reasons for your pain.
For example, the pain felt at the 12:00 position is most likely heartburn which can be quickly remedied by an antacid. However, if the pain persists at this location, there might be underlying issues such as GERD that your physician might want to examine further.
#2: Use Accurate And Detailed Adjectives
“Pain” can be described in so many ways and using the right adjectives will help with your diagnosis. Different types of stomach pain feel different. A dull and throbbing pain is unlike a sharp and stabbing pain. Knowing how the pain feels and describing it using the correct set of adjectives is the perfect way to let your doctor know what’s happening inside your body.
#3: The Pain Scale
By now everyone already knows the pain scale. It is one of the most basic tools used by medical professionals when diagnosing stomach aches and pains, the highest being 10 and the lowest being 1. Remember to be honest about the level of pain you are feeling. Avoid exaggerating the amount of pain you feel as this can lead to a misdiagnosis that can harm you instead of help.
#4: Share Instances On What Makes The Pain Worse
Share with your physicians some examples on where and when the pain became worse. Was there a specific position? Did you engage in any activity? Does the pain increase when you walk, run, eat, or drink anything? It is best to be as thorough with this additional information as possible.
#5: Also Share What Makes It Better
Recount on your recent experiences to see if there were activities or remedies that reduced the pain. Did an OTC pain killer make the pain disappear or just more manageable? Did burping or going to the bathroom decrease the level of pain? If there was any remedy that helped ease your pain, even just temporarily, share the information with your doctor.
Your physician can narrow down the cause and reason for the pain more efficiently with the help the additional and important information. Learning how to describe your pain is the best way to reach the correct diagnosis. The sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner you can get the proper treatment to alleviate the pain.
Abdominal pain can be a very complex symptom for many. It is best to consult your doctor for a proper workup.