Is this the pancreas?

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I have been having pain at the kidneys recently and when i wake up in the morning my urine is dark but i drink a lot of water every day.

Recently i have been having pain under right rib which spreads to the back. Normally the pain is dull but twice over the last 2 weeks it has been really sore and i woke up one night with it and was sweating really bad. I have also been having pains in abdomen.

One good thing is my constipation has stopped but i have lost a lot of colour in my face.

I used to drink alot, i am 30 and have barretts esophaus as well, had a ultrasound a year ago and showed nothing. Recent LFT showed 2 of the bloods were raised and just terrified it might be pancreatic cancer.

Any advice would help, doctor is requesting another abdomenal ultrasound.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Oh the pain under the right rib has been for about 9 months but starting to get worse and my kidney tests came back fine as did my urine sample
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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear you are feeling this way!  I am not sure what pancreatic cancer feels like, only the symptoms.  However, I do have CP and splenic vein thrombosis with symptoms similar to your, only I do not drink a lot of fluids as it usually causes more pain.  Gallstones could also cause similar pain and a change in your bowels.  If it was your amylase and lipase that were elevated in your blood test, it is likely your pancreas, so your doctor is wise to request more testing.  I hope that it is something less than cancer ailing you, though sadly any problems involving your pancreas are usually dreadfully painful and difficult to diagnose.  Best wishes.
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    • Posted

      Hi kerry,

      thanks for your reply, i have been going from constipation to loose bowel habits for over a year so might not be anything serious touch wood.

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  • Posted

    Hi.  Sorry you're feeling bad and not knowing why.  What you described could be hepatitis, unless the doctor has already ruled that out.  Hepatitis can involve pain in the right upper abdomin, under the ribs. It can also cause dark urine. In some people it can cause light colored stools, lighter than normal. i don't know if you have that. Hepatitis can cause both constipation and diarrhea. It sometimes causes the whites of the eyes and the skin to turn kind of yellowish, but not always.

    Heavy drinking especially over a sustained period of time can poison and damage the liver. Eventually it can cause cirrhosis, which means scarring of the liver. Scarring, or just inflammation, can cause various symptoms because the liver is the important "laboratory" in the body that processes chemicals to help with all kinds of bodily functions I agree with kerry05339, that gall bladder trouble can cause pains in the upper right of the abdomin, usually surgery is the cure and it's usually a pretty simple procedure.  i don't think it causes abnormal liver tests, but not sure.

    Your elevated LFTs can be caused by various things, but are always there with chronic and acute hepatitis.  Even mildly elevated LFTs can be a sign of chronic hepatitis C.  The two LFTs that are elevated in hepatitis are the ALT and AST (transamines). They are also sometimes called SGOT and SGPT.  In chronic hepatitis, ALT is usually higher than AST and is the more specific one for hepatitis. 

    There are antibiody tests to see if you've ever had different kinds of hepatitis. If you have antibody evidence of ever having one of those, there are PCR viral load tests that can measure current active virus in the blood, if any.  

    Chronic hepatitis combined with drinking raises the risk of getting cirrhosis of the liver, or scarring.  The common test for cirrhosis is a liver biopsy, but i think in recent years certain kinds of imaging studies are used now, to less invasively detect and grade cirrhosis.

    Liver cancer is a risk especially when chronic hepatitis is combined with drinking.  Liver cancer shows up pretty good on ultrasound so it's reassuring that your ultrasound didn't show anything a year ago. If you have risk factors for liver cancer, such as chronic hepatitis, history of drinking or cirrhosis, doctors may do abdominal ultrasound every 6 months, which can do a good job screening for liver cancer, which is curable in early stages, the part of the liver with the cancer can be removed (resected) and if caught early enough, it won't have spread to other parts of the body.  

    i know these things because i had chronic hepatitis C beginning maybe in the 1970s, not sure because there was no diagnosis for it then and doctors thought my symptoms were psychological, but when they invented the antibody test around 1990, they diagnosed chronic hepatitis C (HCV). 

    There are medical (medication) treatments for the different kinds of hepatitis. These days they are supposed to be pretty effective, much better than treatments were in the 90s and 2000s, those were less effective and were toxic to the body, so this is improving.

    i am not very clear about why you are suspecting involvement of your pancreas based on what you described.  I have less knowledge about pancreas disease than liver disease, and i didn't know that raised LFTs can be associated with disease of the pancreas, except in the case of pancreatic cancer once it spreads to the liver, which it can do when not caught early. Then one would have liver signs and symptoms.  This happened to Steve Jobs.  But the pain you're describing sounds more like liver pain or gall bladder pain than pancreatic pain, which can be really severe. i don't know if pancreatic cancer is painful, but pancreatitis is very painful, more than what you're describing.  What causes you to think your pancreas is invovled?

    i don't know if this is still true but there was once a time when doctors would insist that people who said they were having liver pain were wrong, the liver doesn't have any nerves and can't cause pain. But people who have chronic hepatitis commonly have right upper quadrant pain, and doctors know that, so whatever is causing it, pain is commonly associated with it. I felt the pain of mine in front under my ribs, and sometimes in my back.

    My experience with my pancreas is that for some years (i now know in retrospect) i had an insulinoma tumor on my pancreas, which i just found out about last year. They are almost always benign, very rare, they dont' cause pain, but they secrete insulin into the blood which causes extreme hypoglycemia, which can be life threatening, having seizures, unconsciousness, coma at worst, and many less severe symptoms. Doctors figured out that's what i had last year and it was surgicaly removed. It's something really different from the more common pancreas things people get.  

    My experience was that doctors see cirrhosis of the liver as having a bad prognosis. i never had a biopsy because i had gotten onto a holistic healing path in my life and was getting a lot better, so i stopped thinking about my liver and worrying about things like cirrhosis, but i did worry about it before i started doing the holistic stuff which eventually over time cleared up all my symptoms and brought my lab tests to normal and i felt great.  I still had a positive viral load test for HCV but it was relatively low and i felt so well, energetic, never sick, not getting colds and flu, i stopped worrying about my health for the first time since the late 70s (it was in the mid 90s that i started on the holistic thing).

    Doctors have ways of thinking about liver disease that was more pessimistic than what i experienced. But it's definitely serious to have liver disease, especially if you don't do major holistic things for it. But with or without holistic lifestyle, i will say that chronic hepatitis C can be a mild illness for most people who have it, that is what the statistics show, many people are undiagnosed and asymptomatic. Some have mild symptoms, and most will grow old and die from something else. I don't know if that's what you have but what you describe sounds similar.  Anyone who has hepatitis C should not drink at all, that works against the liver being able to heal and being able to live to a ripe old age with HCV.

    i would like to know what your doctor says about your liver, given that you have had abnormal LFTs and upper right quadrant pain. i am not sure but my impression is that pancreatis pain is more general, covering a less localized area, and can cause people to double over and not be able to eat.  

    Good luck finding out what's wrong and being able to do something about it.

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    • Posted

      Hi Jaw,

      The doctor is going to scan my liver again, there was no change to that or the galbladder last time. the bowel habits are still bad jumping from good to bad.

      I don't have hepatitis they checked that in the blood tests.

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  • Posted

    How much are you drinking now Tambdy?

    Can you tell me, here or privately, which two LFT results were raised.

    Your doctor is clearly checking things out properly. Lots of different medical conditions can cause the symptoms you have, most of which are not too serious so try not to convince yourself you have pancreatic cancer.

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    • Posted

      Hi Paul,

      It is just all the horrible symptoms i am getting. I am not drinking again, i did drink over xmas and 2 days before that last blood tests but i have stopped again now.

      The scan will give us a good insight, and the 2 which were raised were the one's which would be raised by alcohol. One was 205 should be under 100 and another was 80 should be under 60.

      A lot better than it was during my drinking but hopefully will return to normal

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    • Posted

      It's good that you are not drinking and you should notice your health continue to improve. Just remember all of this if you ever think a drink is worth it again smile
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