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Diagnostic Tests for Indigestion

Diagnostic Test list for Indigestion:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Indigestion includes:

  • Physical examination
    • Look for evidence of anemia - e.g. pale skin and conjunctiva - may suggest chronic oesophagitis, chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer or stomach cancer.
    • Look for evidence of jaundice - e.g. yellow skin and sclera of eyes - may suggest gallstones that pass into common bile duct or cancer of the pancreas.
    • Abdominal examination for tenderness - e.g. tenderness in epigastric area (midline below ribs) may suggest peptic ulceration; tenderness over the right upper abdomen may suggest gall bladder disease.
    • Abdominal examination for mass - e.g. epigastric mass may suggest stomach cancer.
  • Blood tests
    • Full blood count and ESR
    • Iron studies
    • Electrolytes and renal function (especially if persistent vomiting as renal failure can present with dyspepsia and vomiting) liver function tests
    • Helicobacter pylori serology (to test for presence of bacteria that is now accepted to cause duodenal ulcers, but does not distinguish from past or present infection)
    • Gastrin levels, if multiple peptic ulcers to help diagnose Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
    • Tumor markers including Carcinoembryonic antigen (for bowel cancer) and alphafetoprotein (for hepatoma)
  • Stool occult blood test - may be positive with peptic ulcer, oesophagitis, stomach cancer.
  • Exercise ECG - may be required to rule out ischemic heart disease.
  • Radiological investigations
    • Abdominal ultrasound scan - can give information about the liver, bile ducts, pancreas, kidneys. This is the best test for gallstones.
    • CT Scan abdomen if ultrasound suggests pathology but undefined
    • HIDA scan can exclude an obstructed bile duct
    • Barium swallow and barium meal can diagnose esophageal motility disorders and obstruction of the upper gastrointestinal tract
    • Scintographic gastric -emptying studies may help to diagnose delayed gastric emptying e.g. in diabetes
    • ERCP, if jaundiced, which provides information about the bile ducts
  • Urea breath test - test of choice for following the response to treatment of Helicobacter pylori.
  • Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (with biopsy of mass if found and for Helicobacter pylori) - may be required to diagnose peptic ulcers, stomach cancer.
  • ERCP, if jaundiced
  • Manometry studies may be useful if investigating difficulty with swallowing
  • Physical exam
  • X-rays
  • Endoscopy

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Indigestion causes:

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Indigestion:

To diagnose indigestion, the doctor first rules out other problems, like ulcers. In the process of diagnosis, a person may have x-rays of the stomach and small intestine or undergo endoscopy, in which the doctor uses an instrument to look closely at the inside of the stomach. (Source: excerpt from Indigestion: NIDDK)

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Indigestion:

The following list of conditions have 'Indigestion' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Indigestion or choose View All.

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