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Assessment Of The Abdomen And Gastrointestinal System (Essay Sample)


Assessment of the Abdomen and Gastrointestinal System
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.


Review this week's Learning Resources, and consider the insights they provide about the case study.
1 Consider what history would be necessary to collect from the patient in the case study.
Chief complaint: Severe abdominal cramping
History of past illness: Ms. “X” is a # years old female. Ms. X complains of soft tissue abdominal cramping for #-# duration. The patient described the pain as “severe”. Ms. X has rated pain #/10. The abdominal pain was previously diagnosed to be diverticulitis but after CAT scan revealed to be pancreatic cancer.
Past medical history: Ms. X showed no signs of other active problems. No history of hospitalizations, surgeries, and other procedures. Ms. X is negative for medication.
Family history:
* Mother's medical history not known
* Father's medical history not known
* No known family history for appendicitis
Social history:
Ms. X is a (job occupation). She is (social status) and has (# of children). Ms. X currently experiences (emotions). She denies/admits the use of cigarettes. She denies/admits the use of illicit drugs. She denies/admits the use of alcohol. Ms. X is covered by insurance from (Insurance company name).
2 Consider what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate to gather more information about the patient's condition. How would the results be used to make a diagnosis?
Blood test, urine test, CAT scan. Abdominal examination: inspection, auscultation, palpation, and percussion (chronologically).
After the initial diagnosis, clinician obtains the results from follow-up diagnostic tests and procedures to get more data in deciding whether to support or reject the original diagnosis. The clinician will also attempt to narrow it down to a more specific level or diagnostic possibilities.
3 Identify at least five possible conditions that may be considered in a differential diagnosis for the patient.
1 Pancreatic cancer – symptoms: jaundice, abdominal or back pain, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, enlargement of the liver and gallbladder, blood clotting, abnormalities in fatty tissue, diabetes (rarely) and enlargement of the pancreas.
Primary disease of the patient due to severe abdominal pain and enlargement of the pancreas as indicated by the information given for the case. CAT also confirms the disease to be pancreatic carcinoma.
2 IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) – symptoms: abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, diarrhea or constipation (sometimes both) and gas.
3 Appendicitis – symptoms: pain near the navel or upper abdomen. Pain sharpens at lower right quadrant. Loss of appetite. Nausea and vomiting. Abdominal swelling. Fever. Loss of ability to gas.
4 SBO (Small bowel obstruction) – symptoms: recurring abdominal cramp, loss of appetite, constipation, vomiting, loss of ability to

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