General Abdominal Pain That Is Made Worse By Meals

What Causes General Abdominal Pain Worse After Meals?

General abdominal pain worse after meals can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose general abdominal pain worse after meals, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "general abdominal pain worse after meals" as a symptom.  Here are four possibilities:
  • Atrophic Gastritis
  • Mesenteric Ischemia
  • Gastritis
  • Stomach Cancer

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
significant right iliac pain
significant abdominal pain
dull epigastric pain after meals
severe left iliac pain
moderate meal-increased pain
weak appetite
frequent episodes of diarrhea
severe hypogastric pain
chronic vomiting
regular unexplained nausea
occasional unexplained vomiting
chronic diarrhea
... and more than 30 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of general abdominal pain worse after meals:
Cause Probability Status
Atrophic Gastritis 96% Confirm
Mesenteric Ischemia 22% Unlikely
Gastritis 5% Ruled out
Stomach Cancer 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate abdominal pain increased by eating, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Do you regularly experience general abdominal pain that is present before eating and becomes worse roughly 20 minutes to 3 hours after eating a meal?
Possible responses:
→ No / eating doesn't make it worse / don't know
→ Rarely / a few times a year
→ Yes, it started less than 1 week ago
→ Yes, it started about 1 to 4 weeks ago
→ Yes, I've had it for 1 month or more
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate infrequent meal-related pain, meal-related pain for under a week, meal-related pain for 1-4 weeks or meal-related pain for over a month, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Mesenteric Ischemia

Because total blood flow to the intestine can vary from 25% when fasting to 35% after eating, symptoms are more prevalent after eating.

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