Could this be pancreatitis?

Posted , 6 users are following.

I'm male, and 29 years old. Earlier this year around February I woke up with the most excuciating abdominal pain on my upper left side (it felt like hundreds of little needles stabbing me from the inside out). It passed after a few hours, and I assumed it had been something that I ate. About a month later I had another similar attack, and between Feburary to August I had around 6-7 total. Each instance lasted about 3-4 hours, before the pain receded to a dull ache.

When I first went to the local clinic they thought it might be an ulcer, and so prescribed me the H Pylori treatment (PPI and two antibiotics) to be taken for 14 days. Ever since (June)  I have had constant upper abdominal pain, that sometimes goes into my back between my shoulder blades. My stools vary between different shades of yellow (from a dark mustard colour to a brighter yellow). For the most part they are formed, and I don't have diarhea.  In short, life has been utter hell, and I struggle everyday to find the strength to keep going.

I've had a CT Scan, 3 ultrasounds, an upper endoscopy, chest x ray, countless blood tests, and a stool test. Each test has come back negative, although the first two ultrasounds saw a small cyst on my pancreatic tail. Subsequent scans showed that the cyst was no longer there. I have an upcoming MRI next week as well (not sure if it's a regular MRI with contrast or an MRCP).

I'm not a heavy drinker, and haven't had any alcohol since April 2016. I did drink more when I was younger (late teens to early 20s), but generally not excessive (usually no more than 5-6 beers a week, with ocassional binges on the weekend). 

I'm very much afraid I have chronic pancreatitis, and I know that the prognosis is not good. For those of you with confirmed diagnoses, do any of my symptoms fit? And what other tests can I do to confirm or rule out CP? I'm planning to ask for an endoscopic ultrasound depending on the results of the MRI.

Any thoughts or help would be much appreciated.

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    The symptoms certainly sound like pancreatitis but if your tests are coming back clear then I don't know. It's a tricky old disease though. The only advice I could give would be to avoid alcohol completely and eat as low a fat diet as you can. That seems to be helping me. The head of my pancreas is bulked (inflamed) and my specialist can't decide if it's one attack that's taking its time to subside or the beginning of chronic pancreatitis. Because I don't have gallstones or drink he's puzzled. I have had the same symptoms as you.

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  • Posted

    Go to the Doctor and say you want a EUS Scan!

    Don't worry it could be many things but it requires diagnosis to be sure.

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  • Posted

    Hello,

    This sounds similar to my case. I still continuing visiting the clinic and do tests but all negative. Dr. did not determine the real cause of the pain. just this week, Dr thought it is a gastric, so gave me Omeprazole. But the pain still exist but on and off. I just strict on diet; avoid high fat foods and no alcohol. My blood test show high in haemoglobin so dr refer me to see blood specialist (haematologist) for further checks. But, let's not give up and we fight this pain together until we determine and cause and find its solutions.

     

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the replies. I really hope this pain goes away and is not related to my pancreas. I'm going to press for more tests until it's definitively ruled out.

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  • Posted

    I am 60 but have had upper left quadrant pain with yellow stools on and off for the past 8 years. I have had every test in the books but my gastroenterologist says I have IBS. Five years ago, I was nauseated for 8 months with the pain and really believed I was dying. I gained my weight back and have had periods with no pain but have flares of these symptoms. I had an MRI 8 months ago but everything was normal. I have had stomach ultrasound, two abdominal CTs, endoscopy, colonoscopy, gastric emptying, Hida scan-you name it and all fine. It is very disturbing to live this way because a lot of fear surfaces.

    Have you tried anything which has been helpful?

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    • Posted

      No wonder the NHS IS broke!

      If you have had so many tests & all are Neg. get on with your life, it could be you need to see a therapist for counselling it can help, I had such help after the Iraq war you will be surprised what a disturbance in the mind can do to you in the way you evaluate your life!!

      Get some help.

      Tom

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  • Posted

    Thinking of asking my GP if I could try digestive enzymes to see if it'd help.

    Does anyone know if it isn't my pancreas, what are the risks of taking them?

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  • Posted

    So my MRI came back normal. Any suggestions for further tests? I'm getting frustrated that I have all of this pain, and yet no one can tell me why or where it came from.

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    • Posted

      Question, do u take pain killers by chance? I take digestive enzymes with probiotics, they really do help. Idk what I have either, left side pain comes and goes. Sometimes afraid to eat, cat scan came back said pancreas looks fine, gallbladder removed 6 months ago an haven't really been the same since. I gave up finding out what was wrong, the pain will come and go when it wants. I feel if I continue asking doctors to further investigate they get annoyed. I mean really if a ct scan says it's good I take that as an okay no pancreatic problems right? If your taking pain killers an are immune to them, ur pain signal is off an the smallest pain feels like something much worse. The mind is a powerful thing.

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    • Posted

      Hi sarah, at the moment I'm only taking amitriptyline and gabapentin for the pain. I'm probably going to do a trial of digestive enzymes to see if they help though.

       

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    • Posted

      The guy is as powerful as the brain in reacting to subconscious emotions and fears so your pain my be related to something that doesn't have an actual physical cause. Counselling, mindfulness or CBT might be venues to explore or ask for a reference to a pain clinic. It could also be diet related. If you're constantly worrying you have something wrong, even if the tests are coming back negative then that can cause all sorts of physical reactions. You may even have some kind of allergy that hasn't revealed itself. Believe me, learning to let go of fear is incredibly difficult but can have amazing results.

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  • Posted

    Also want to add, do any of you find the skin of your abdomen below the sternum is super sensitive? For example, my t-shirt brushing against it causes discomfort.
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