Pain In The Middle Of The Abdomen

What Causes Central Abdominal Pain?

Central abdominal pain can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'needs attention' to 'life-threatening'.  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 central abdominal pain, 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 "central abdominal pain" as a symptom.  Here are three possibilities:
  • Pancreatitis
  • Possible Urgent Medical Need
  • Gallbladder Disease

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:
history of birth control pill use
very black/tarry stools
moderate meal-induced pain
meals worsen epigastric pain
dark urine color
significant chest pain
meals worsen top-right abdomen pain
slight abdominal distension
stabbing epigastric pain after meals
meals worsen top-left abdomen pain
having foamy urine
moderate unexplained fevers
... and more than 50 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of central abdominal pain:
Cause Probability Status
Possible Urgent Medical Need 92% Confirm
Pancreatitis 25% Unlikely
Gallbladder Disease 2% 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 unaffected by eating, abdominal pain reduced by eating or abdominal pain increased by eating, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
MIDDLE-CENTER abdomen: Do you experience discomfort or pain in the area of your navel (belly button)?
Possible responses:
→ No / only after meals / don't know
→ Occasional mild discomfort
→ Frequent mild and/or occasional moderate pain
→ Frequent moderate and/or occasional severe pain
→ Frequent or constant severe pain
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate mild periumbilical discomfort, moderate periumbilical pain, significant periumbilical pain or severe periumbilical pain, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
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