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Do you have these horrible symptoms???


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Old 03-28-2006, 11:56 AM   #1
InPain!
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Unhappy Do you have these horrible symptoms???

So, I have serious stomach problems. I guess I should be more specific. I have abdominal problems.

These pains started about 2 years ago (I am only 24) which felt like heartburn. OTC drugs like Pepcid Complete would work quickly. About a year ago, the pains started getting worse. The pain starts in my upper abdomen, midway between my navel and ribcage, and shoots through to my back. The pain is pretty narrow in the front, pinpointed like to the size of a silver dollar, but in my back it spreads to the size of a salad plate. I get severe attacks usually at nighttime, regardless of what time I've eaten, that start mild and end in 10+ pain, usually for at least 4 hours, sometimes the effects can last for up to 8 hours.

I have a high tolerance for pain, and normally I wouldn't care about this if it wasn't interfering with my sleep. The pain is not relieved by Pepcids anymore (I've taken up to 6 at a time!) and was only slightly diminished with Prevacids - my doctor initially prescribed thinking it was mild reflux. The pain is sort of alleviated by sitting in a ball (as opposed to lying down) but it is pointless - I am still not sleeping. And on the rare occasion I may make it through the night now without an attack, I am anxious about sleeping for fear of an attack. I am also driving my boyfriend nuts!!!

So, so far I went for an upper GI (showed a little reflux, nothing major) and renal/abdominal ultrasounds. The ultrasound showed gall bladder "thickening" which is usually indicative of gall stones, but they didn't see any stones. So. Now I'm not so convinced it's a gall bladder problem.

Answers I am looking for: Is there anyone else with these symptoms? Is it possible to pass a gall stone (2 days before my ultrasound I was in the worst pain of my life)? Does anyone have any other suggestions as to what this may be, so maybe I can bring them up to my doctor?

Thank you for your help everyone!

Amy

 
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Old 03-28-2006, 02:11 PM   #2
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Re: Do you have these horrible symptoms???

Did he check your pancreas?? The fact you said it was shooting through to the back and that the pain was better when you were in a ball (or how about leaning forward??) this is indicitive of a pancreas problem.

Last edited by Sunlover; 03-28-2006 at 02:13 PM.

 
Old 03-28-2006, 02:50 PM   #3
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Re: Do you have these horrible symptoms???

No, they didn't specifically look for a pancreas problem. I will ask my doctor. But I am unaware of what other things they may have seen with the renal/abdominal ultrasounds. Thanks for your reply

 
Old 03-28-2006, 03:31 PM   #4
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Re: Do you have these horrible symptoms???

Hi, Amy. Sorry to hear about your attacks. I have attacks with similar symptoms. I have a disorder called sphincter of Oddi dysfunction. It's a rare disorder--you can read more about here at Healthboards under Digestive Disorders. I've been talking to some other people about it. But here is some advice I would give to you . . .

Next time you have a bad attack, even if it is in the middle of the night, get yourself to the ER for blood work (if it happens during the day, your doctor may be able to order the blood work for you and you can just go to the hospital lab). The important thing is to have the test while you are in pain. You need to be tested for elevated liver enzymes and pancreatitis; the blood work terms are LFTs (liver function test), amalyse, and lypase (these last two are pancreatic enzymes). Don't be afraid to be assertive and ask for these tests. I've learned that you and your doctor are partners, and you need to be able to voice your needs and concerns.

Likely causes for pancreatitis or elevated LFTs is a gall stone getting stuck in your pancreatic duct or bile duct. Your doctor may need to run further tests on your gall bladder. There is sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, but again, it is rare, so I wouldn't jump to any conclusions there. I would focus on your gall bladder and getting the aprropriate blood work done.

Take care, and I hope you get better soon!

Jennio

 
Old 03-28-2006, 09:06 PM   #5
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Re: Do you have these horrible symptoms???

Thank you! Wonderful advice. I have been reading these boards all day, and saw some of your posts on SOD. Many of the test names and everything were starting to confuse me, so I started my own post. Also, I coudln't find beginning posts that just stated symptoms, you guys have already been diagnosed. Is pancreatitis painful like that? My girlfriend said she was having similar symptoms for over two years before her appendix actually was on verge of bursting, she had it removed last summer and said she never felt pains since. I wonder if it's related.

But thank you, I will try to gather courage to visit the ER.

 
Old 03-28-2006, 10:12 PM   #6
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Re: Do you have these horrible symptoms???

Yes, pancreatitis hurts like the pain you describe, as could elevated liver enzymes: upper abdominal pain and chest pain that radiates into the back, and it is a 10+. I've had both pancreatitis and elevated liver enzymes caused by sphincter of Oddi spasms, but your pain would be almost identical to mine if it were caused by a gall stone in the pancreatic duct or bile duct. The original mechanism or cause may be different, but the result is the same.

Good luck and take care.

Jennio

 
Old 03-29-2006, 04:27 AM   #7
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Re: Do you have these horrible symptoms???

Quote:
Originally Posted by InPain!
Thank you! Wonderful advice. I have been reading these boards all day, and saw some of your posts on SOD. Many of the test names and everything were starting to confuse me, so I started my own post. Also, I coudln't find beginning posts that just stated symptoms, you guys have already been diagnosed. Is pancreatitis painful like that? My girlfriend said she was having similar symptoms for over two years before her appendix actually was on verge of bursting, she had it removed last summer and said she never felt pains since. I wonder if it's related.

But thank you, I will try to gather courage to visit the ER.
I don't know about the other poster, but I never had anything with pancreas, I am a hypochondriac and do continuous research on things (I know more than my doctor! LOL!), but it does not sound like the appendix. I am sure that pacreatic pain could be very painful and it says that "to get relief people will bend forward" so it sounds pretty bad. I don't know what is done for it, but I'm sure they treat it somehow.

 
Old 03-29-2006, 06:36 AM   #8
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Re: Do you have these horrible symptoms???

hmmmm. I do a lot of reading too. The pain that I have read on pancreatitis does not match what I am feeling. The location is similar, but the timing is off. Regardless, I will ask my doctor, but I doubt it is that either.

The appendix does not sound plausible to me either. But it just happened that I was discussing these pains with my friend and she said it sounded exactly like what she was experiencing. I doubt, too, that this is true, because she was having problems eating (getting full or bloated after 4 bites)... I have no problem eating, in fact, it's hard for me not to overeat. But I pay for it later, trust me.

 
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