Is my GP right or wrong?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hello fellow pancreas sufferers !

I'm wondering if anyone can advise me. My GP doesn't know what's wrong with me { her own words!}. So, I'm confused. I got acute pancreatitis six months ago. Today, my lipase and amylase results are completely normal. Also, a recent ultra sound scan indicated that my pancreas looked normal. So, that's the good news. But, I still get pain in my right mid abdominal area. My GP thinks I shouldn't have any pain considering my good results. Therefore, she wants me to have a colonoscopy as the pain is very much to the right hand side and may not be from the pancreas at all.

So, is the GP right or wrong? Can you have pain due to pancreatitis if your test results are all normal? Another person with acute pancreatitis tells me she has similar pain and therefore on that basis, I am inclined to think that my GP is indeed wrong. What do you think? Any info much appreciated.  

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  • Posted

    Wrong. If you develop chronic pancreatitis all your blood levels may very well be normal and just because they pancreas looks normal on ultrasound is rather meaningless as a yes or no to the question of do i have pancreatitis. Sadly. I was in your boat when i first started getting symptoms. And just fyi a colonoscopy can not get high enough in you intestine to explain pain in that area. You need to see a dr thats a gi who also specialises in the pancreas. Good luck hope this helps
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    • Posted

      Thanks Bonnie! Yes I 'll have to see a gastroenterologist. So far, I haven't. They diagnosed me with Acute Pancreatitis. I understand that this can turn into Chronic pancreatitis although I'm not sure how long this might take. My GP is concerned that I might have bowel cancer, as I continue to lose weight, and have abdominal pain in an area where a radiologist, doing the ultrasound, said that that area was my colon and not my pancreas. The plot thickens! One thing is for sure,I'll have to see a gastroenterologist asap. Thanks again for your help, Bonnie.
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  • Posted

    Your GP just wants to make sure that there is no ulceration in the area (splenic flexure / transverse colon) as these are prime sites for disease smile
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  • Posted

    Hi Pete, great to hear your tests and ultra sound show normal now and you know how to manage an attack for future reference.  Hopefully it was a one off.

    Long story as short as I can make it:  I was born with a rare disease with a variety of symptoms which confuses everyone treating me.  It's difficult to pick up and difficult to treat and can be life threatening.  It features severe abdominal pain and requires hospitalisation and specialised treatment, (which for me doesn't work). The severe acute attack runs it's course (for me) for 3 days with or without treatment although they do save my life, keep the basics going so to speak, I'm not being critical.  Afterwards I'm left with symptoms that can last years although when younger I could pretty much bounce back fairly quickly.  Tests do not show unless specialised lab gets samples so most assume I'm having an attack of that when I present with severe pain especially.  One treats the symptoms which everyone does and they all hope for the best but after brief tests the ER assume other disease and I'm shunted up to ICU for awhile.  I'm usually too sick for them to bother with too many other tests they just get on with it.  This has been the pattern all my life.

    Sooo, I've been hospitalised numerous times in the last decade, I haven't needed ICU, they treat as usual for that disease however and whilst I've been telling everyone it's something different every doc was just grateful when I recovered and was out of their hair for awhile I think lol.  I was sick of telling everyone to look elsewhere for cause but luckily my GP complied when I asked for an abdo ultrasound and it showed my calcified pancreas.  I was referred to an eminent GI who specialises in the pancreas 7 months ago and I'm very happy with him. 

    I have CP and it's now becoming a problem 24x7.  I'm a little cranky that no-one would listen earlier, like 10 years ago, however I also realise my other disease can cause pancreatitits (rare though) and I've never been a drinker and always ate well etc, etc, so who knows whether I could have prevented or slowed down the progress of CP, I'll never know.

    My point Pete is that sometimes we have to convince our doc's to just stop, to look outside the box for things other than what initially appeared obvious.  Doctors can get stuck in a groove just like the rest of us.  Perhaps your liver is playing up or your stomach is inflammed causing your pain (I have both those issues).  

    I'm just pointing out possibilities here Pete, perhaps it's because of something else altogether and you need further investigation and not turfed out with an elephant stamp due to your diligent management because the AP has settled down (on paper anyway).  

    Sadly doctors rely on test results these days and they refer to specialists the minute something even slightly awry appears so they don't know our bodies as well as doc's did in previous generations.  Sometimes it's up to us to request what we want.  My GP will now go through results with me and we discuss whether going this way or that is appropriate based on tests but she trusts my assessment most of the time, we work together.  Sorry for the epic,,, Regards Reef

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    • Posted

      Hi Reef! Thanks for your reply to my question. Sorry to hear that you have had such a hard time with many admissions to hospital. It's not easy! I know what it's like. I have had quite a few myself at this stage. But, we will live to fight another day! Yes, I'll have to see a gastroenterologist. My GP has referred me back to the hospital where the original diagnosis was made. But, the only problem is that the doctor who treated me was a general surgeon and not a gastroenterologist. So, I'll have to insist on seeing a gastroenterologist this time around.I think it might make a lot of difference. Thanks again for your advice Reef. One way or the other we will survive!!
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  • Posted

    Hiya Pete!

    I am new to this stuff. However, upon leaving the hospital and getting an ultrasound a week later I was found to have some fat in my liver. The doctors believe this to have been caused by the pancreatitis and the high fat diet I was on (My live in boyfriend has the diet of your average Puma so when I moved in I ate what he ate - NOT GOOD For me). My liver and liver levels went back to normal in the hospital and in eschewing alcohol I began drinking herbal teas. When I got my blood test the levels were elevated again so I quit herbal tea and am awaiting recent results. My ultrasound results found my pancreas and gall bladder unremarkable, however my gall bladder is sensitive and still gives me a bit of pain. Right mid abdominal is where the gall bladder is. Have they checked the liver and gall bladder?

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda, yes they checked the gall bladder and found that there were no stones. So, on that basis,they put the acute pancreatitis down to drinking too much alcohol. They assumed I was an alcoholic! I haven't touched a drop for six months and I hadn't any problems in doing so. I'm not an alcoholic! All the recent blood tests were normal and my GP thinks I shouldn't have any pain that being the case. So far,two people on here disagree. They maintain that you can have normal amylase and lipase and also have pancreatic pain. So, I'm a bit confused. I will have to see a specialist gastroenterologist. It's the only way to go. GPs can't know everything I suppose. Thanks for your help Linda.
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    • Posted

      Firstly, your not an alcoholic. Only 3 % of alcoholics get pancreatitis. Secondly, there is a huge stigma out there about those of us who get this disease. You are a person who cannot drink like other people and it is a genetic pre-dispostion. My doctor told me about the four Fs: Fairskinned, Fourties, Fat, and Family. I am not fat but I've got the other Fs.

      These people are not medical doctors who specialize in addiction medicine and have no business diagnosing you as such. YES you can't drink anymore and NO it's not because you're an alcoholic. That was mean spirited and ignorant. 

      First husband Ph.D. in Geophysics and knew f**k all about anything else. Second husband Ph.D. in computer science and knew f**k all about anything else. Present partner Geologist and know f**k all about anything else.

      Specialists are specialist in ONE field. So get thee to a gastroenterologist. It doesn't matter how you came to not being able to drink anymore. You just can't and they can take their petty little insults to some one more easily intimidated by ignorance.

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  • Posted

    Hi Pete70517

    Do you have a dignosis of chronic pancretitis or did you just hve the one off acute pancreatitis episode? It is unusul to have pain this long after an acute episode unless you have chronic pancretitis. 

    I have chronic pancreatitis and i get discomfort and pain to my upper middle, left and right hand side that varies in severity.  There may be other causes - has your GP done a full set of bloods on you or just your lipase and amylase? It may be worth asking for a full blood screen. 

    With acute pancretitis in my experience is an episode of extremely severe debilitating pain which does subside with treatment.  

    There are many different diagnosis for right upper quadrant pain and your GP will be working through what may be the cause of the pain hence the colonoscopy

    Has your GP prescribed you adequate pain relief to help you  

    I hope that you get sorted soon 

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    • Posted

      Hi Stoke.girl,

      Thanks for your reply to my question. Yes I was diagnosed with Acute Pancreatitis in January last, but the pain has been coming and going since then. Most days I'm fine. I can get on with my life and feel ok. I get the pain in certain positions only,like sitting down. It's as if something in my anatomy is coming under stress due to my sitting position. I take fairly strong pain killers and then the pain subsides. I think I'm not too bad compared to other accounts of pain. But, as you say, it might now be chronic pancreatitis due to it lasting so long. I'm due to see the original doctor who diagnosed me next week so I'll see what he has to say. He is a surgeon and not a gastroenterologist. My GP made the decision, but I think I' m going to have to insist on seeing a specialist.I'm getting fed up at this stage and would prefer to know exactly what's going on.

      I think my GP did all the blood tests but then said that they were all normal and on that basis she thinks my pancreas shouldn't be causing me pain. I'm not sure if this is correct or not as others have disagreed with her assessment.

      Thanks a lot for your help and I hope you are well yourself.

      Regards, Pete

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  • Posted

    Hi pete70517,

    I'm new here and your story sounds alot like mine. Recently in the hospital for 6 days, and told it was paraduodental pancreatitis. My labs were normal, but my CT scan, MRCP, and Endoscopy all say PP. At first my dr said he was very concerned bc this is rare. Now he's play the wait and see game. I'm having trouble eating even small meals, bloating, pain and pressure with nausea. While in the hospital they did a colonscopy it was normal. I saw doc today and now he says chronic, but also says he thinks it's from my gut. Thinks I should try gluten free diet and see how that goes. I'm going to see a specialist and go from there. I've been never drank, nor drug. My lipids are all normal so have no idea why pancreatitis... My pain comes and goes more after I eat and at night. I've lost weight but he doesn't think anything it. Hoping for some answers!

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    • Posted

      Hi Kim!

      Thanks for your reply.Sorry to hear you haven't been well. Yes there are similarities between the two of us

      The doctors are unsure and we are trying to figure out what to do!

      I have heard that coeliac disease can cause pancreatitis. I was diagnosed with it some years ago, but my doctor doesn't think that it the cause of my pancreatitis. You can buy a simple test in the pharmacy for coeliac disease which indicates the likelihood or not of this disease. But, the definitive test is a biopsy of the colon to see if the villi have been damaged or not. A gluten free diet as you know is the answer if you were to have coeliac disease. It's an inherited condition.

      As you know eating small meals is recommended, but others have suggested cutting out all fats almost, and alcohol of course. I haven't found this diet too difficult. But anything is better than pain! Taking Creon, a digestive enzyme, is also beneficial. I think a positive attitude also helps, and once your health starts to improve you will feel much better.

      Thanks again for your help. Regards, Pete

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  • Posted

    Thanks pete,

    I was tested for coeliac disease when I had the colonscopy, it was negitive. I quess they took several biopsy to check for different things. You mentioned Creon, my dr precribed it but I haven't started taking it yet because one of the nurses asked if he had tested my stool (fat test), and he hadn't. She said it's only needed if the test is abnormal. My copay for 1 month was $60 bucks. I don't know how I can afford it. Wonder if the company has a discount program?

    Thanks for all your helpsmile

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