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Back pain and abdomen pain on left side under rib cage...scared!

I'm not sure where to start. A lot has been going on in the past month. It all started when I started to feel like I had a couple of drinks when I had not. I was able to calm myself down because I thought I might be having some sort of anxiety attack. Long story short the symptoms did not go away. So I saw my doctor last week. With my vague answers to his questions he mentioned he wanted to do some further testing. Part of the testing was blood work and a 24 hour urine. That was last Wednesday. I had the blood draw on Thursday and turn my 24 hour urine and on Friday morning. It just so happened that I started my period on Friday. Its normal for me to feel a lot of lower back pain during my periods. this time is a little different. I started to feel the lower back pain then the pain moved to my upper abdomen on the left side. Then the pain moved to my lower right side of my back. now the pain is back on the left side of my upper abdomen. Of course everything that I have been reading leads to one thing... Pancreas. after calling my doctor my blood work has come back normal. However my urine test has not come back yet. They told me it could take up to a week. In the past this pain may have been here and it has gone away. But because of how much reading I have been doing on whyI have been feeling funny I've noticed the back pain and the abdomen pain a little more.

I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon. However I'm really scared.

175 Replies

  • poweronman poweronman JSJLMS72

    I'm not saying it's not your pancreas but I have pain on my left side just under my ribs and in the same place on the back but after several years of testing only thing found was a hiatal hernia so I am just suggesting that it can be that possibly I have had this now for 3 years 

    good luck 

    • JSJLMS72 JSJLMS72 poweronman

      Went to GP and was told gas. 24 hour urine was not back. So he took my urine just to make sure there was no blood and there wasn't. He decided to send that urine off to test for cancers since he did not have that down to test for the 24 hour one. I expressed my concerns about the pancres and all I have read. He stated the symptoms I mentioned to him he assured me he wasn't concerned or thought there were anY concerns regarding the pancreas.

      That night I started feeling very weird. Tingle and heaviness in my left leg....heart palpitations. ....tingle through out my body and tingle in my jaw like you get when you blow up a balloon. Didn't get much sleep that night.

      Next day...m.back pain gone but still felt the funny feeling minus the heart palpitations. Laid around ALL day. Woke up this morning and lower left side of back hurting again. I also feel the feeling in my jaw vomiting.

      He also ordered a ultrasound as he mentioned any cyst or hernia.

      Any feedback would be appreciated. ....freaking out a bit.

    • lynds214 lynds214 JSJLMS72

      I'm experiencing the same thing. I feel drunk all the time. Weakness in legs. Heat palpitations due to sudden onset of hyowrthyoridism.

      I just had a lipase level test come back low. It was 8. Standard range 11-82.

      Lipase deficiency causes that dizziness foggy feeling. But I have no idea why my lipase is low. I'm scared too.

    • karen04684 karen04684 lynds214

      Here is the correct info!

      In a healthy individual, a normal blood amylase level is 23-85 units per liter (U/L), although some lab results for amylase go up to 140 U/L.

      A normal lipase level is 0-160 U/L.

      If the pancreas is damaged, these digestive enzymes can be found in the blood at higher levels than normal. Amylase levels more than four times normal levels, or greater than 450 U/L, and lipase levels greater than 400 U/L, are likely to mean there’s damage to your pancreas or pancreatitis.


    Went to GP and was told gas. 24 hour urine was not back. So he took my urine just to make sure there was no blood and there wasn't. He decided to send that urine off to test for cancers since he did not have that down to test for the 24 hour one. I expressed my concerns about the pancres and all I have read. He stated the symptoms I mentioned to him he assured me he wasn't concerned or thought there were anY concerns regarding the pancreas.

    That night I started feeling very weird. Tingle and heaviness in my left leg....heart palpitations. ....tingle through out my body and tingle in my jaw like you get when you blow up a balloon. Didn't get much sleep that night.

    Next day...m.back pain gone but still felt the funny feeling minus the heart palpitations. Laid around ALL day. Woke up this morning and lower left side of back hurting again. I also feel the feeling in my jaw vomiting.

    Any feedback would be appreciated. ....freaking out a bit.

    • amber26140 amber26140 JSJLMS72

      I hope you have gotten some answers to your problem. I've recently experienced the same pain high in my left ribcage that radiates to my back. I have always had terrible anxiety and sometimes hard to tell if that makes it worse. I had to take three .5 mg xanax just to get relief from this nagging pain. I've had blood work and ct scan but all were normal. Its truly maddening to feel like your pain will never be diagnosed and everyone thinks you're crazy. I'm so torn as to whether its stress related or something serious and if you're anything like me you think every pain in your body is a death sentence😕My pain seems to worsen right before my period. Does this seem to be worse for you around the time of your period?

    • alvis48886 alvis48886 amber26140

      Hello amber. Im just like you every little thing that hurts freaks me out. Right now i have same left ribcage pain, it started 5 days ago, i have no idea what it is, started all sudden. Kinda scares me, plus i got dizziness 24/7, but thats different story.

    • jpoul jpoul alvis48886

      I have upper abdominal pain that radiates to the back, and pain up by my left shoulder blade that wraps around to underneath my rib cage. The pain is worsened after eating. It's usually these combined symptoms that are indicative of pancreatitis. If you have these combined symptoms, it's worth having your dr. rule this out, especially if you have nausea as well. Pancreatitis is hard to diagnose. An ultrasound alone is only 50-70 percent accurate, excpecially if pancreatitis isn't suspected. The most accurate test for pancreatitis is an endoscopic ultrasound. Untill then keep a daily diary of your symptoms to show when you're experiencing the pain throughout the day, then show your dr. In the mean time, try not to worry.

    • karen 6769 karen 6769 jpoul

      indicative of pancreatitis??? Have you ever had pancreatitis? I have been hospitalized 8x from 2005-2014 with it. The pain is no joke and the only thing that can be done to help is no food or liquids and pain medicine. Complete rest for the pancreas, I went 6 day without food or drink, just an IV drip and pain meds. During my last stay in the hospital a Intern asked if anything was consistent with each episode and in fact there was. Every time I was hospitalized for pancreatitis I had also just started my cycle. Mind you every time I got my period I did not end up in hopistal, but every time I had pancreatitis I just started my period. I did some research and I found a blog with other women who like I experienced similar symptoms. Upon my discharge I scheduled an appointment with my gyno and asked if he had any knowledge of a link b/w pancreatitis and Endometriosis, he hadn't. I also had an endoscopy w/ultrasound and my pancreas was fine. My gyno and Gastro consulted and I went in for a total hysterectomy at my request. That was just over two years ago and I have not had a pain since.

    • JSJLMS72 JSJLMS72 amber26140

      Hi sorry for late response . I ended up having:

      Mri ... Normal

      Ct scan with injectable dye... Normal

      Intensive ultra sound .... Normal

      Blood work ..., normal

      24 hour urine .... Normal

      Per reg dr .... Anxiety

      Followed up with neurologist to view Mri..... With my story ANXIETY!

      Started taking Ativan and felt great! A whole year went by and now I'm having back pain. Always have lower back pain during period. But this is lasting a little longer. Also feel a little dull ache on my sides (waist area). Been taking a lot of baths, heating pad, TENS and going nuts with my essential oils. Oh and have been doing yoga the past few weeks. It really started with sciatica symptoms . Those have quieted down and now back. Ugh!!!! Not sure what dr to go to? Regular doctor? Chiropractor? Acupuncturist? How about you... Any better? I had blood work done a couple weeks ago because I was having heart palpitations. I never heard back from the doctor so there didn't appear to be any problems . Ended up going to a cardiologist and got a echocardiogram. Came out normal . Or my back issues anxiety related?

    • jennap04 jennap04 jpoul

      Wait what???? First off, I will start by asking if you are a medical professional???? The reason I ask is because the things you said,

      You said so confidentially YET I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news & say that a lot of what you said, couldn't be more incorrect..... I can speak from YEARS of personal experience with pancreas issues, I'm talking I got diagnosed when 13 & am now almost 30 & still have it & have had just about every thing possible removed & test & study done... Also, you said that it's hard to diagnose??? Again, I'm sorry but if that's what you've been told OR if you are a medical professional I would suggest you make sure that what you put is 100% correct because again that is incorrect, especially saying that an ultrasound is the most accurate way??? First off- most ALL pancreas cases can be detected very quickly by drawing blood & testing 2 levels your amalyse & lipase.. Those are usually very elevated if you have pancreatitis, for people like me who have had pancreas probs for so long I have now developed chronic panc & a lot of times my blood levels don't ever go down they are always high or sometimes I've had it where they've only slightly been elevated... And also the symptoms, although I know everyone's cases can be different, someone with pancreatitis will present with abd pain usually in the center of your belly under your breasts & it feels like you are being stabbed through to your back so it radiates there, you also usually have nausea/vomiting, & those are the most common symptoms & again blood work is the #1 way to diagnose & it is not that difficult, a good amount of peoples panc issues is due to alcoholism, also gall bladder can cause issues....

      Not trying to be rude here but you just need to be careful with what you say unless you 100% know what you are saying because your health is a very serious thing.....

      Also- to the woman who wrote the original post, to me it sounds like you have some severe anxiety issues maybe, & I hope that by now you have gotten some answers & are feeling a lot better!!!!

    • Jeffrygirl Jeffrygirl jennap04

      Hi Jenna, I just read your message re: pancreas pain. I have had this stabbing pain in my upper left since 1989 ( my first pregnancy) doc said it was gas, but now I am 45 and it is almost constant pain, and I'm an alcoholic now. Could you please give me any pain remedies until I can save up enough money for the dr. Visit?? I don't know what to do. Your reply would be greatly appreciated.

    • kristine19196 kristine19196 Jeffrygirl

      Stop drinking. Keep your fat grams to 20 or less per day..with no more than 5g at any one time. Lollipops, saltines, cranberry juice are good for pancreatitis....if that's what it is....but alcohol is your enemy if it is. Slow suicide! Look up pancreatitis diets. Im not a health professional, however I do have ongoing pancreatitis and have been diagnosed in the ER with acute in February, alcohol related. Still hasn't resolved and I follow my diet strictly, no more alcohol and I have severe upper abdomen pain especially after eating. And if I try to eat more than 15g per day of fat, I'm really sorry I did. Puts me in bed for days...a good day for me is when I can make it outside to go to the mailbox! Have hiatal hernia...a reherniation from emergency surgery for large parasopagial hernia four years ago. My stomach was behind my heart! I have more testing coming up...full ultrasound of organs next week. Ct showed all sorts of things:. Enlarged liver, nodes on kidneys, diverticulosis, hiatal hernia and beginning stages of COPD. Haven't treated myself very I suppose its payback time. Been in very sad shape since February...still loosing weight...45lbs so far. Don't know how long I can continue with 15g fat per day! So, I hope my ramblings have some merit for you.

    • brenda68402 brenda68402 karen 6769

      Back in 2001, my kids & I were in a wreck & the airbag deployed & hit my stomach & my health hasn't been the same since?! My stomach has lots of swelling (from the wreck) so bad that every time I get an ultrasound, the tech can't see my bladder bc there is so much gas in my stomach?! I'm always passing gas, tho?! My Dr tells me to eat healthy & lose weight & I will feel better?! The last 4 months have been horrible bc my 2 younger kids & I had to move about 30 minutes away from where we were living & we travel down home every single day bc my 16 yr old has 2 very good jobs (was 3) down home!! I've been suffering from depression, anxiety attacks (since the wreck) & I've been overwhelmingly stressed out! I'm a single parent of 3 (23 yr old living on their own, 21 yr old special needs & a 16 yr old who is very busy & doesn't have their license yet)!! Today is my 2nd day of work at my new job (Burger King) & I called off bc I have pain in BOTH sides of my rib cage at the same time, sometimes sharper than others! My 16 yr old was diagnosed with pleurisy just last week, but won't slow down! I'm going to try to make it to Stat Care today bc I can't keep doing this!! All of my Dr's keep telling me that all the tests are fine?! I've asked my gynecologist to give me a hysterectomy, but he won't bc he says it will make my depression worse?! I feel like that's the problem bc every time I get ready to start, my energy levels are drained, my pain levels are so high that it makes me vomit white/clear foamy stuff, I have dizzy spells & I'm pretty much dead to the world around me?! Now coming from a female with 3 kids, I've been really fortunate to have had EXCELLENT health up until the wreck, but now the medical professionals can't figure out what's going on & it's been 15 yrs?! I've even thought about writing to some of the medical shows (Dr Oz for 1) on TV for their advice, but that would mean that I have to travel which causes me MAJOR anxiety & panic, so I never did it!! Yes, I've always wanted to travel, but unfortunately it's just not possible with these "issues" I'm having!! Do any of you have any ideas?!

    • rachel73882 rachel73882 Jeffrygirl

      Jeffrygirl, are you still drinking alcohol? Pancreatitis can develop from being an alcoholic and it's extremely painful. Please check with your doctor or a rehab to get into recovery for alcoholism. My mother passed away at 52 from complications of alcoholism. You can't abruptly stop drinking or you could go into life threatening withdrawals. Once you can quit drinking you can work on your pancreatitis. I hope you're feeling better!

    • Joegee Joegee karen 6769

      My mom had suffered with pancreaitis for a lot longer but was never hospitalized once. She suffered through it because no doctor could tell her what was wrong. It wasn't until her last time going into the ER that they noticed she was jaundiced. They admitted her thinking it was "just pancreaitis" they thought maybe a stone was blocking a duct. They operated to discover she had pancreatic cancer. She suffered more than 20 years with that pain.

    • Trevinski17 Trevinski17 karen 6769

      Hi there! I was wondering how you've been doing after your hysterectomy? I'm 37 and a long time sufferer of endometriosis and in the recent months i have had to do iron infusions because my iron is low and although my numbers are bck to normal, I still feel crappy. I have been getting a lot of pain on the left side more often and surprised you found that might be a link to endo. I hv been seriously considering a hysterectomy to end all this misery!

    • HM1 johnson HM1 johnson Jeffrygirl

      please stop drinking now. If you cant decide you love your family more than alcohol, well then spend as much time with family ass possible. I have seen  what alcohol does from so many angles, from a dead girlfriend to my older brother 20 yrs a quad full care cant even talk or eat. and neither were at fault. one was killed in her prime at 22 yrs old, and ny brother at 29 in his prime. both hit by a drunk driver. it can change your life in an instant or over years, either way it kills everything or drives away everything youve ever loved. Not to mention its expensive as hell. stop drinking and youll have the money to go to the doctor. best wishes! 

    • JellyBean75 JellyBean75 amber26140

      Hi amber26140, I see this post was about a year ago and was curious if you ever got a diagnosis. This explanation sounds just like mine minus the xanax and periods. Same pain symptoms though. Thank you for any feedback 🙂

    • lora30951 lora30951 Joegee

      Hi Joegee

      I'm really sorry to hear about your mom...I'm scared I'm in a similar situation.. I'm 39 years old..I've been sick for 3 years...hospitalized once..terrible upper left side abdominal pain into my back..seen a ton of docs and can't give me a straight answer...I'm wondering what were your mom's symptoms and did her tests come back negative initially...thanks for your help


    • karen04684 karen04684 jennap04

      Pretty much everything you said is exact, after my gallbladder was removed I had severe acute pancreatitis five times in just as many years, the pain is worse than having a heart attack according to my Gastro doc. The only way to diagnose severe acute pancreatitis is amylase and lipase blood testing ..

      In a healthy individual, a normal blood amylase level is 23-85 units per liter (U/L), although some lab results for amylase go up to 140 U/L.

      A normal lipase level is 0-160 U/L.

      If the pancreas is damaged, these digestive enzymes can be found in the blood at higher levels than normal. Amylase levels more than four times normal levels, or greater than 450 U/L, and lipase levels greater than 400 U/L, are likely to mean there’s damage to your pancrease or pancreatitis.

      I too was hospitalized after they verified it was not a heart attack and I was given morphine or dilaudid or several other medications before the pain would relieve itself, I too was on IV intervention and NPO until I was released all five times it was three days later. I was told to avoid all beef unless it was T-bone or New York strip, I was told to avoid fatty greasy rich foods, I was told to avoid alcohol as well. I sometimes feel like people want to have pancreatic issues and they so do not, believe us folks when we tell you it's a pain like you've never experienced on a scale of 1 to 10 it is probably 10 times higher than that, if it's on your left side it's probably: related, if it's on the right side it could be kidney or liver, keep in mind that epigastric pain that spreads to the right like you're being slit with a knife is most probably severe acute pancreatitis which can lead to chronic pancreatitis, for the rest of my life I will be on levsin and Librax to ward off any potential future attacks...

    • kt12192 kt12192 jennap04

      I found your response the most helpful. I had a couple questions though. Well some advice and insight.

      I got a sudden stabbing pain in my upper stomach and side that felt like a hot knife going into both areas combined with the pain of a charlie horse. It became a dull burning ache after about 20-30 minutes....but I continued to get the stabbing pains about every 10-15 minutes. Early this morning I was woken up by a the same stabbing pain but it was radiating to my back as well and caused me to get sick. Its been doing the same off and on pain between stabbing and dull burning all day...I haven't consulted a doctor yet as I dont have insurance. I also noted you said gallbladder issues could cause this as well. I had my gallbladder removed August 2014 after 2.5 years of pain and misdiagnosis because it was only functioning at 8%. I've never been a heavy it possible since I no longer have my gallbladder I am having issues with my pancreas. I am concerned because my grandfather had pancreatic cancer that spread through his body so Im concerned. Any feedback or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • JustGotHere JustGotHere mandy 45085

      Wow.  I just got diagnosed yesterday with pancreatitis--I think.  LOL.

      Two of them, lots of tests, c-t scan, and waiting on results of thyroid.  But in the end, the nurse called and said to just take Omeprazole twice a day.  Ugh.  Reading on nutrition and health (always!), I know that will increase some of my problems.

      I had been on this site before going to the doctor yesterday, trying to find out about my liver--and found this thread.  So when they said pancreatitis, I had some information.  

      But your point about jaw pain--in the middle of the night, it hit.  I have not had HORRIBLE, debilitating pain--mostly just heavy discomfort.  They prepared me it could get worse.  But after the jaw pain, I started thinking "heart??".  Then at work today, got very weak, heart palpitating, felt flushed, and short of breath.  It subsided.  

      I am still waiting on the results of my throid test.  After the call to only take omeprazole, which they keep prescribing every time I go in, seems like maybe NOT pancreatitis?  

      Another thing--I have been doctoring about 15 months (and in the midst they removed my appendix!), and they constantly suggest I need prescription for depression.  Wait...what???  It is making me think they think I just started making things up.  

      I am so frustrated, but grateful you brought up the jaw thing--it really scared me but they were short at work so I had to go.  

    • peedee222 peedee222 jennap04

      Hi Jennap04 I've been experiencing pain under My upper left/ mid middle abdomen after I eat on and off for the past 3 months. I notice depending on what I eat it happens or don't happen. My doctor said My blood test came back normal but i dont know what they tested My blood for ultrasound normal but was going to do a MRI which I have tomorrow. I had a Endoscopy Last year for a different issue turned out to be acid reflux but I know the pain from that and its not the same. I believe where My pain is My pancreas is. Is it possible that I have pancreatitis now and last year I didn't so that's why it was not seen with endoscopy? Every time I put in My symptoms like upper middle left pain after eating accompanied by back pain at the same time. I keep getting Pancreatitis. I am not throwing up and I have no nausea. My stools are fine and My urine is normal color.

    • Jojoann Jojoann peedee222

      I just had a clear abdominal ct scan but have been suffering from pain under my left rib that moves all the way around my back, along with heartburn, gerd and shortness of breath. awaiting my endoscopy/colonoscopy scheduled in  months. its an awful feeling. My bloods were normal. I think it is my Hiatal Hernia or maybe gastritis but I dont know. It is very unsettling though. How did your MRI go?

    • royalty royalty jennap04

      Hi I've just read your post I am awaiting results from a fibroscan I started with pain in middle just under where bra goes like deep stabbing pain but now and the last four weeks having awful pressure around n under my left rib I can't raise my left arm as shoulder pain n heaviness in arm also top of right shoulder really aches I have pain round my lower back too, to say I'm scared is understatement, I should get result of s an in five days but when lady did scan she said to the other lady pancreas and nothing else so I'm thinking pancreatis . I do not suffer with anxiety at all but these probs are worrying me I'm petrified of having the camera down throat as have big fear of choking

    • royalty royalty Jojoann

      What was your outcome hope everything went ok and you got your diagnosis through n you are ok I'm v scared as mine is very similar to yours it affects my breathing I can't get enough air in 

    • Jojoann Jojoann royalty

      Hi royalty. Sorry that you are not feeling well. It is a horrible feeling. Well from my endoscopy earlier this week they found I had a yeast infection on my esophogus. Was not expecting that. It must have grown from when I was on steroids and I used asthma inhaher pumps as well. I am on medication for it now and it has alleviated much of the nausea and the heartburn has calmed down alot thank god. My pulmonologist says that my breathing issues are due to the heartburn and the infection causing esophogeal spasms which is kicking up the shortness of breath. Unfortunately that has not been resolved yet, my asthma hasn't calmed down yet but I am hoping it does soon!

      What other symptoms do you have and are you taking anything for it?

    • royalty royalty Jojoann

      My symptoms are pressure under n around left rib cage breath fullness like I can't get enough air in heavy pain in left arm up to shoulder revered pain in right arm right shoulder pain around side and back left side it's awful x

    • royalty royalty Jojoann

      I am just thinking pancreatis I'm no dr or medical expert I'm on steriods for autoimmune hepititis n I'm on imuran which is azathrioprine a immunosuppressant I do not drink or smoke and cos of the breathing issues I was having I was sent to hosp where they did a ECG blood tests n then said it could be asthma I'm 60 years old in fortnight I didn't think it was asthma as I don't cough or wheeze never do

    • royalty royalty Jojoann

      Hi just wondering how you got on with hour endoscopy n colonoscopy I'm in tremendous pain still found left rib arms into my back it's making my legs ache had to go accident n emergency twice in five days the other week getting no further forwards bloods ok apart from liver level chest X-ray clear I have autoimmune liver disease awaiting second fibroscan due in two weeks n my hepologist has recently done free light chains blood test n doing a myeloma screen 


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