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Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain is common and may be caused by a wide variety of problems. The commonest cause of abdominal pain seen in gastroenterology clinics is irritable bowel syndrome. The site, nature (is it sharp, colicky, throbbing or achy), radiation and relieving and exacerbating factors may all give clues as to the origin and causes of the pain. Other associated symptoms will also give clues as to what the likely cause may be. Often further investigation is undertaken to exclude worrisome disease, but it is always important to balance the risks of missing worrisome and disease against the risks of what can sometimes be invasive and unpleasant investigations, which of themselves may carry some risks. Your healthcare team should discuss the pros and cons of further investigation with you.

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