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what to expect at GI Dr. appointment?
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what to expect at GI Dr. appointment?

I have been putting off making the appointment with the GI doc.  I absolutely must do it now.  I have been having upper abdominal pain in the middle of my body, radiating into the back.  Since the attack that took me to the ER, I noticed it happening after drinking lemonade and after eating an apple.  Other than that, nothing remarkable comes to mind.  (ER determined that it is not my gallbladder via ultrasound)  Additionally, my insides make noises.  At night, when I go to bed, I really notice it.  It has been so loud that it will wake me up.  Anyone know what I should expect when I go to this appointment?  Thanks for the information.

Malayna
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi!
I too had similar symptoms that sent me to the ER.  I later had to see a GI doctor too.
My first visit, I had to put on a gown (I kept my pants and bra on--just took my shirt off), but your doc may just examine you without the use of a gown.
Generally, he/she will most likely examine your abdomen by pressing in various places and feeling for any palpable abnormalities in your abdominal organs.  
I had also kept a symptom diary for a few weeks before my visit.  My doctor was extremely impressed and said that it helped him a lot in understanding what might be going on with me.  I would recommend you keep a diary also, for the doctor to see how your symptoms change/progress over several days or weeks, but mostly so you can know exactly what symptoms you had on what day.  I have found that writing all that down helps me remember what I want to ask the doctor, too.

Anyway, it's not a big deal--the doctor will go over your symptoms with you, examine you, and perhaps schedule some tests or bloodwork to further aid in your diagnosis.

Good luck and don't worry too much about the first visit!
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Avatar_n_tn
Did your problem turn out to be serious?  I know I may not have the same thing, but I'd like to have an idea.  After reading on the internet and looking at different things, it sounds like it could be bad, or could be totally nothing.  (One extreme or the other.)  Thanks for the info on the first visit to the GI doc.  I feel a little better about going now.

Malayna
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi!
Well, we're actually still trying to figure out what exactly my problem is.  On and off for about a year, I have had right upper quadrant abdominal pain.  I had an "attack" in October 2001 that was the worst pain I have ever experienced.  To say it hurt would not do it justice.  It was excrutiating pain--every time I tried to take a deep breath, it would essentially "knock me down" with pain.  It was awful.  I had been having the RUQ pain, so I thought, okay, this is a gallbladder attack.  They kept me overnight for observation, and an ultrasound the next morning showed no gallstones.  I was diagnosed with pleurisy and sent home.  I have been ok since then except for this past month.  I haven't had any more sharp attacks, but my RUQ is tender and achy all the time, constantly, and it radiates to my right side and back.
A month after the ER visit (that's how long it took to get in with him), I went to see the GI doc.  I saw him for that first visit and he began ordering tests.
The GI doc started with a procedure called an EGD in which they consciously sedated me, ran a tube with a camera on it down my throat, and looked at my esophagus, stomach, and part of my small intestine.  He found a small hiatal hernia, but it didn't explain the pain I was having.  
Well.  I have since undergone a CT of the abdomen/pelvis with contrast, various bloodwork, a HIDA scan (regular) and a HIDA scan that shows gallbladder ejection fraction.  I do not have gallstones, but my gallbladder ejection is only 22%.  The normal is anywhere from 30-35%.  So, it could be that my pain is caused by an abnormally functioning gallbladder.  Normally, surgery is recommended for that.  I met with a surgeon this week and he is going to review my CT scan to check for abnormalities in my liver.  I am to see him back next week to discuss more.
I am convinced my pain is from my gallbladder.  He wants to be absolutely sure before he operates on me.  I guess I'm ok with that.

Anyway, if you think your pain is from your gallbladder, make sure they do a complete blood count (CBC) to check your white blood count (if it's elevated, there's infection or inflammation), and a liver profile (if your alkaline phosphatase is elevated, it could mean gallbladder problems).  It wouldn't hurt for them to check your pancreatic enzymes (amylase and lipase) also.

I hope my story hasn't worried you.  I just wanted to offer a little background so you could see what has happened with me.  I am sure you will be fine.  Just ask lots of questions and do your own research.  I have learned a LOT from the Internet this past month.  It could be many things that are completely harmless, such as irritable bowel or reflux or something like that.  The best bet it to have the tests to rule out all the serious stuff.

Good luck to you and let us know how it goes!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so much for your info.  I don't have my appointment until March 1.  I'm hoping it's something minor.  Good luck with your doctor/surgeon appointments.  Thanks agian.

Malayna
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