- Biliary colic
Biliary colic is also referred to as gallstone attack. It often presents as pain in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen, which occurs as a result of gallstones blocking the bile duct and interfering with the normal flow of bile into the intestine (Gurusamy, Koti, Fusai, & Davidson, 2013). The pain can extend to the back but it lasts for approximately 1-5 hours and is commonly experienced after one takes heavy or fatty meals.
Dyspepsia is commonly referred to as indigestion. In most cases, it occurs as a symptom of other digestive disorders, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and ulcers, among others. However, it can also result from overfeeding, eating too fast, or eating foods that contain a lot of fats. Dyspepsia can cause pain in the right upper section of the abdomen and is often accompanied by bloating, belching, and acid reflux among other symptoms (Tack, & Talley, 2013).
- Duodenal ulcer
Duodenal ulcer is highly associated with pain in the upper abdomen, which often occurs few hours after eating or when one is hungry (McColl, 2012). Other symptoms may include feeling full after eating, bloating, and retching, among others.
Dyspepsia is the most appropriate diagnosis in this case given that pain occurred in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen where duodenum is located. Sensation in the stomach is one of the most common causes of non-ulcer dyspepsia (Tack, & Talley, 2013). Overfeeding might have triggered the duodenal sensation. In addition, dyspepsia can occur due to the slow emptying of the stomach contents into the duodenum. As such, this might be the reason why the patient experienced acute pain, feeling gassy, and bloated.
To confirm a diagnosis for dyspepsia/indigestion, the following medical tests should be ordered:
- Small intestine X-ray
- Several blood tests
- Upper stomach endoscopy
- Prescribe laxatives to increase bowel movement and reduce the gas (Tack, & Talley, 2013).
- If the pain increases, give pain-killers
- The patient should not eat anything until the stomach discomfort is over.
Gurusamy, K. S., Koti, R., Fusai, G., & Davidson, B. R. (2013). Early versus delayed laparoscopic cholecystectomy for uncomplicated biliary colic. The Cochrane Library.
McColl, K. E. (2012). Pathophysiology of duodenal ulcer disease. European journal of gastroenterology & hepatology, 9, S9-12.
Tack, J., & Talley, N. J. (2013). Functional dyspepsia—symptoms, definitions and validity of the Rome III criteria. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 10(3), 134.