English for Medical Purposes - Pain that Comes and Goes

Pain that Comes and Goes

Doctor: How long have you been having this pain?
Patient: It started in June. So for more than five months now. My stomach hurts after some meals, but not always.

Doctor: You should have come in earlier. Let's get to the bottom of this. Have you changed your eating habits during this period?
Patient: No, not really. Well, that's not true. I'm eating the same foods, but less. You know, the pain seems to come and go.

Doctor: How strong is the pain exactly? On a scale of one to ten, how would you describe the intensity of the pain? 
Patient: Well, I'd say the pain is about a two on a scale of one to ten. Like I say, it's not really bad. It just keeps coming back...

Doctor: How long does the pain last when you get it?
Patient: It comes and goes. Sometimes, I hardly feel anything. Other times, it can last up to half an hour or more.

Doctor: Is there a type of food that seems to cause stronger pain than other types?
Patient: Hmmm ... heavy foods like steak or lasagna usually brings it on. I've been trying to avoid those.

Doctor: Does the pain travel to any other parts of your body - chest, shoulder or back? Or does it remain around the stomach area.
Patient: No, it just hurts here.

Key Vocabulary

to hurt
to get to the bottom of something
eating habits
to come and go
on a scale of one to ten
to keep coming back
to last (an amount of time)
heavy foods
to avoid

Check your understanding with this multiple choice comprehension quiz.

By Kenneth Beare, About.com Guide