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524 – Confusing or Ambiguous Upper Gut Symptoms

By choosing the appropriate test, a doctor can make a precise diagnosis of a structural upper gut disorder, such as esophagitis or peptic ulcer, by recognizing the diseased area through testing. The patient’s history provides the information that permits the doctor to choose the right test. In the case of the disorders of gastrointestinal function, such as dyspepsia or non-cardiac chest pain, there is no structural abnormality and no diagnostic test. Hence diagnosis of these disorders depends even more upon how the patient describes his or her symptoms. But many people use words to describe symptoms that are vague or misliading to a doctor. Examples are explained – such as indigestion, gas, nausea, chest pain, or vomiting.

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