Alcohol Use and Abdominal Pain in a 49-Year-Old Man

Gregory Taylor, DO; Michael Semple, DO; Matthew Warpinski, DO

Disclosures

November 06, 2018

Editor's Note:
The Case Challenge series includes difficult-to-diagnose conditions, some of which are not frequently encountered by most clinicians but are nonetheless important to accurately recognize. Test your diagnostic and treatment skills using the following patient scenario and corresponding questions. If you have a case that you would like to suggest for a future Case Challenge, please contact us.

Background

A 49-year-old man with a significant medical history of alcohol abuse, tobacco dependence, and pancreatitis presents to the emergency department (ED) with abdominal pain that has lasted for 3 days. The abdominal pain has been intermittent, achy, and located in the periumbilical region. Associated symptoms have included nausea and vomiting, with several episodes of watery, brown diarrhea.

The patient reports a history of alcohol abuse, stating that he has ingested at least 1 pint a day since he was a teenager. He states that this pain feels different from the pain associated with his last bout of pancreatitis.

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