My experience with possible mild acute pancreatitis attack and ongoing symptoms since

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Hi everyone,


Thanks everyone for sharing their experiences and providing advice on the forum it has been very helpful.


I wanted to share my experience of possible acute pancreatitis and ongoing symptoms since.


I’m in my late 20’s and my problem started with a heavy binge drinking session.  Not usually a drinker and was only because I was out with heavy drinkers and got carried away and didn’t realize I was drinking a very dangerous amount of spirits cocktails.  I didn’t drink any water during the evening.  The next day I woke up with a pulsing in my mid back.  As the day progressed I mainly had lower back pain.  I was very dehydrated.


The next few days after this it felt like all my internal organs were aching and I started to have very strong back pain in to my mid back area which would also radiate down to lower back or right shoulder blade.  I did not vomit at all, I felt very ill but had a normal appetite.  The pain did not seem to have a link to food and seemed to be fairly random to me.


I decided to go to a GP a few days later as was in fairly agonizing pain and he said he thought it was just a bad case of gastritis.  So I waited another week as the back pain while less had not gone away.  On the second week he ran full blood count and kidney functions tests which came back normal.  On the third week the back pain seemed to be coming back stronger and I went back to GP and asked him to do the pancreas function tests.  My lipase and amalyse both came back normal.


Around a month after the drinking incident I saw a gastroenterologist about the ongoing back pain (I also had some abdominal pain but the strong pain was mainly in my back) and he said he thought it may be my pancreas and ordered an abdominal ultrasound.  I had an abdominal ultrasound and everything was normal.


A few weeks after this I had a flare up of back pain.   I also had epigastric pain (but the main pain as in my back).  Was in so much pain for about a month and a half.  Was taking either tramadol or codeine which didn’t seem to help much.  Was getting strong back muscle spasms.  The pain is mainly right hand side of my back and mainly around mid back but radiates up to shoulder blade and down to lower back.  During this period I had lots of blood tests run (including pancreas function) and these all came back normal.  I also had a CT scan done of my abdomen and everything was normal.  The CT scan did say that my pancreas was slightly bulky in appearance but that this can be consistent with my age.


It is around 8 months since that binge and I am still getting strong mid back pain which radiates to shoulder blade and also lower back.  I’m not using any pain killers at the moment.  I also get strange muscle spasms in my back occasionally and occasional arms and legs.  The abdominal tenderness and pain that I have is much improved. 


Another weird symptom since the binge drinking incident is that from the time of the incident my urine has changed to a bright yellow color.  Rather than being clear to very pale yellow it now stays very bright yellow (even though bilirubin in my blood is normal and I have had a urine test and this was normal as well).  This is the case even though I drink plenty of water.


Has anyone with pancreatitis noticed a change in their urine after having it?


Apologies for the very long post.  I have been running around to many doctors to try to determine what is going on.  It is quite frustrating to have this ongoing pain and can feel something is wrong internally when all the medical tests come back ok.  Though it is better to get results showing nothing.


Anyway I’ll keep this post updated for those that are interested in how this progresses.  Booked back in to see the gastroenterologist and urologist in about a month.


I haven’t touched alcohol since the incident and will not drink alcohol ever again as a precaution (this wasn’t difficult for me though as was not a regular drinker and only had binges very occasionally).


Wishing everyone the best with their health.



1 like, 6 replies


6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Brett, first off avoiding alcohol is THE most important thing that you can do in trying to evaluate where your condition is originating from. The tests you have had thus far for evaluating pancreatic disease are insensitive and not specific. An MRCP w/ contrast is sensitive to evaluate the pancreas and the ductal structure for damage. If that's normal, an EUS should be pursued. Its the most sensitive test for ruling in or out pancreatic disease.
    • Posted

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks very much for the advice.  Will definitely be never touching alcohol again.  Just wish I hadn't started in the first place.  And thanks very much for the information on the pancreas tests.  I will definitely be following up with my gastroenterologist about seeing whether I can arrange to have one of these tests done to evaluate further for pancreatic disease.

    • Posted

      Hi Greg

      I have a question for you. I Did MRCP several months ago but it was without the contrast. I've asked them If this test is provided with contrast they said no. My result was normal but I want to know is this test accurate since it was without contrast.

      You know I'm suffering from the upper abdominal pain that radiates to my back as well. But I don't have fatty stool or lose if appetite. I was worse 9 months ago and I got little better recently.

      I don't know if chronic Pancretites pain comes and goes or gets little better over the time.

      I also don't know if people with this deasises must have all the symptoms as well.

      Just for my curiosity I eat Cheese and butter every morning and I eat beef for lunch just to see if they'll bother me but they don't.

      So I don't know if I have this condition or not.

      But as much as I research about it I get more confused. I changed 3 GI doctors and none of them even mentioned this condition. I told them that I had gallbladder removal 3 years ago and told them that the Surgon used cholangiogram as well but they shook their head and told me that I'm fine.

      Beacuse all my tests comes back normal. I be asks for another CT but they told me its to much of radiation. I've asked for another MRCP but they told me your insurance won't pay it since you had it recently.

      I'm stuck and confused.

      I have burning pain in my upper right and upper left side that radiates to my back.

      I also have this pain when I have bowl movement.


    • Posted

      Hello just want to say that my story's dry similar to yours. I went 2 years undiagnosed ! I was treated as if I were crazy...or a drug seeker. I was not a big drinker which made them for some reason rule out the possibility of pancreatitis...I also had my gallbladder removed...which also tends to be the 2nd leading cause of pancreatitis (stones passing through causing damage to pancreas) had every test..changed Drs when felt a need. 1 told me I had "Tracy's version of IBS" Did my research bc I know my body. Although towards the end..I started to think maybe I was crazy..or had a low tolerance for pain..?! & there was 1 test that hadn't been done yet...& that was the EUS. I insisted it needed to be done. It was. & they go in looking for 5 signs or characteristics...any 1 of them would be classified as Chronic pancreatitis...& I had 3 of the 5! 12 yrs later...still have pain & nausea. Some days worse then others..but still have a problem when I make a trip to the er with pain I cannot manage at home...or dehydration bc I am unable to keep anything down! Bc once chronic...your pancreatic enzyme levels do not elevate as they do with AP. & unfortunatelymost er docs...are not aware of this...which to me is pretty ridiculous..& scary!!! So needless to brings me back to the same feelings I had 14 yrs ago as I am still treated the same! I strongly believe that there are a lot of Drs out there...that don't have a clue..don't listen to their patients or make assumptions before any actual tastings are done. They could have graduated 1st in their class or last in their class. We don't know! But there is a reason they call it practicing medicine! If you don't feel good about what your dr says...I suggest you do your research & move on to the next one... Then research & repeat as much as you have to. You know your body. Don't just take their word as truth. Good luck! It's a tough road...but with the right Drs..right MEDS...some discipline & good food choices...there are some nice freshly paved ones! wink)
  • Posted

    my husband had pancreatitis...acute case...I found that a lot of the doctors were rather clueless about this fact, I seemed to know as much (if not more) from reading extensively about it on the internet.  You might want to contact an ACTUAL pancreatic gastroenterologist specialist... I agree with greg on the additional tests needed    Best of luck   keep us posted
    • Posted

      Hi wildjflippin, thanks for the advice.  I have also been doing a lot of reading on the internet about it as well.  That is a very good idea about contacting a pancreatic specialist.  I will do some research about finding out about one in the city where I live and see if I can go and get an opinion from them.  Will definitely keep you all posted.  Thanks very much.

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