Painful pancreas/gallbladder problem ? Need your opinions please

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Hi, I'm a 27 yo male with a history of moderate to heavy drinking in my twenties. I've also had poor eating habits over the past years.

My symptoms started 5 months ago. I noticed a progressive discomfort in my epigastrum. A couple of weeks later, my stools had changed to a light brown/yellowish with poorly digested particles. To this day, my stools are still the same, ranging from diarrhea to soft and sticky. There's also a strong and acidic smell.

About two months ago, I've started feeling the pain under my right ribs and eventually to my midback and between shoulder blades. Sometimes, It also appears to be a moving pain under my chest/ribcage/back. I can feel tenderness when I press on my thoracic discs. I also feel something inflamed or out of place around the liver. I can't bend over or tie my shoes without pain.

I have frequent indigestion, gas ,bloating and early satiety. My appetite has notably decreased. I am down 15 lbs over the past 3 months. The abdominal discomfort is present from the time I wake up until I go to bed at night with spikes of pain after meals.

My mouth is frequently dry and I have thick and beige/brown mucus like expectorations which taste and smell weird. A smell similar to bile or other digestive fluid.

I try to drink lots of water and herbal teas to stay well hydrated. My urines are sometimes darker and smellier than what I'm used to.

Over the past months, I had two episodes of acute and severe mid back pain (stabbing pain) that could be felt through my upper abdomen/ lower chest. Both attacks lasted around 45-60 minutes before gradually easing. The pain was accompanied with general unwellness, rapid heartbeats and confusion. I first thought they were back spasms/ contractions since I had been dealing with frequent back aches. I work in an office and tend to have generally poor posture. I now fear that they were undiagnosed acute attacks.

I've consulted my family doctor and been to the ER multiple times which led to a quick consultation with a team of gastroenterologists. They've yet to find anything other than a light inflammation in my small bowel. I've had blood works, abdominal ultrasound, abdominal x-rays, CT scan, colonoscopy and gastroscopy. They all came back without abnormalities.

I had my elastase level checked. Expecting results within 2-3 weeks.

What are your thoughts on that? Any advice or recommendation? I'm scared and stressed out.

Thanks for your help, it will be much appreciated.

Alex

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    it could well be ibs....

    trigered by anxiety....

    my advise is take it easy...try to calm down and dont watch your urine and poo for a week...just try it....relax and try to exercise...

    if its get worse meanwhile contact gp

    ....

    my money are that it will go away as you will easy your mind.... do not overthink and smile... life is too short for worries...i know its easy to say...but you can do it

    ..

    take care

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your opinion.

      I did believe it could be IBS/ functional dyspepsia at first.

      However 4-5 months into it, the pain is constant and present every single day. 5 minutes after eating, my stomach starts to rumble and I start having back pain and trigger points under my ribs. My upper abdomen feels distended and is tender.

      I've lost now 20 pounds over the past 2 months. My stools are pale sometimes yellowish, oily, foul smelling and extremely sticky. I can tell there is undigested food in it.

      I'm not an expert but the way literature describes IBS, it doesn't match the weight loss, stools and stabbing back pain.

      I try my best to relax and focus on other things. But the pain keeps reminding me something is not normal inside me.

      Alex

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    • Posted

      well you had all test....and all negative....

      stress is a major factor in our digestive system....it could cause variety of issues...

      i am just saying give a go week without stress and replace it with excercise....

      i am sure it will improve...

      and remmeber if you suffer for couple months it will not go away in one day...it needs time...but for start 1 week wil do

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  • Posted

    HI, I was wondering if you have seen a urologist to rule out anything with the kidneys since you mentioned the color of your urine, I also am wondering if you may have something called porphyria, there is a urine test for this that tests for PGB's in the urine. It is more rare but it does happen and the urine can be reddish color. And for any sign of infection in bladder or kidneys

    Also was the cat scan done with contrast, this gives a much better picture. On the blood work I assume they tested white blood cells for infection, as well as maybe the Thyroid and also the H.pylori testing as well. Many folks don't have any symptoms but some can. Stool sample testing for anything like parasites, or other infections and including checking for Calprotectin in the stool/excess mucus etc. Have them test for anything at once so you only have to do one time stool sample. I also wonder if these stabbing pains could be kidney stones passing through your urethra, they are quite painful. Did they check your pancreas enzymes and liver enzymes. Do a blood fasting glucose test for diabetes. You should be to young for this but it should be tested. Check your blood calcium levels. (parathyroid ) and test for anemia including B-12 test. Also a chest x-ray to rule out anything with the lungs or heart. Was the gastroscopy the same thing as an endoscope? If not then try this test as well, do the one called-- ERCP . An MRI may also show up things that a ct scan does not. You can also try a course of CULTUREELE , but I think you need more testing, also do the test for Gastroparesis, could be an issue there. As you can see there are alot of tests you can have done, Your gastro should start with the least invasive ones first and move down the list till you get answers. Try to keep your diet mainly FRUITS AND VEGGIES, with some added protein as well. Eggs, nuts, some lean meats, mostly chicken/fish would be best. As with many folks I also suggest a food diary, if you eat out, is it worse ?, what foods bother you the most. keep a diary and write down what you eat when and your symptoms happen, you may eventually see a pattern emerge. As we get older, our bodies dislike all the fat content of fast food. It also is loaded with salts/nitrates/sugars etc that you dont get with fresh fruits and veggies. They make alot of steam in the bag microwave veggies, very east yo make. I would also suggest doing the Hida test for the gallbladder, it is easy to do. It checks the functioning of the gall bladder, not just what it looks like. Good Luck and hope you find the root cause.

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    • Edited

      Hi yonder01,

      Here are some of the tests I've had :

      • Abdominal ultrasound
      • Stomach x-rays with barium
      • Abdominal x-rays
      • CT scan
      • Blood tests
      • Stool tests (parasites,bacterias,blood,calprotectine,elastase)
      • Urine
      • Gastroscopy
      • Colonoscopy

      So far, the only thing that came out is an inflammation in the terminal ileum as well as small nodes that were biopsied. They ruled out IBD.

      The pain is so high in my abdomen and back. The stools are sticky, pale, oily, foul smelling and full of undigested particles.

      They looked for stones in my gallbladder and kidneys, none were found. All my organs except my small intestine were "without abnormalities" on CT scan.

      I've lost 20 pounds so far. I stick to 5-6 small meals (low fat, high protein and carbs). I have a hard time digesting all foods but red meats, fatty and refined foods are causing lots of pain.

      I have so many non-digestive symptoms.

      • Dry mouth, sticky and foul tasting/smelling light brown saliva.
      • Blurred vision and dry eyes.
      • Lethargy, weakness
      • Chills, cold hands and feet.
      • Numbness and tingling in my extremities.
      • Migraines
      • Pain in my neck and jaw
      • Body aches
      • Excessive sweats
      • Psoriasis plaques on my face and scalp

      Man I don't know what's going on but my whole body is giving up on me.

      I'm scared I might have chronic pancreatitis or some sort of autoimmune affection

      I'm expecting results for my elastase test within 2-3 weeks.

      I have a scan with a contrast injection on friday.

      Hopefully, they will find what's wrong soon enough.

      Alex

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    • Posted

      yes, I hope so as well, I am in year 5 of an undiagnosed issue...keep looking and also try other types of docs, Rheumotologist as well. I def recommend the Thyroid testing due to the sweating issue. possibly see an Endocrinologist as well for possible other hormones imbalances. It can also cause weight loss as well.


      Hyperthyroidism is the production of too much thyroxine hormone. It can increase metabolism.

      Symptoms include unexpected weight loss, rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating, and irritability, although the elderly often experience no symptoms.


      Make sure you give your doc a list of your symptoms . A hormone imbalance can cause you to feel very bad. It can also affect the eyes as well.


      Common symptoms include:

      Excessive sweating

      Heat intolerance

      Increased bowel movements

      Tremor (usually fine shaking)

      Nervousness, agitation, anxiety

      Rapid heart rate, palpitations, irregular heart rate

      Weight loss

      Fatigue, weakness

      Decreased concentration

      Irregular and scant periods (menstruation)

      Fine or brittle hair

      Rapid heartbeat

      Thinning and/or smooth velvety skin

      Sleep disturbances

      and it can in severe cases cause confusion. I would see an Endocrinologist as soon as you can. You can ask for a phone appt and get the testing ordered. Go to the lab wearing a mask.Even your Primary care doc can order this testing as well. Good Luck !!

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  • Posted

    All of the tests you've had won't show if you are having gallbladder attacks. Sometimes the doctors miss things on scans. You are no better today correct. So you need to have them done again especially the Ct because a second opinion is welcome in your case. I was misdiagnosed. That's why I'm telling you this. The lady talking about an ERCP. They are not tests for diagnosing anything. ERCP is a surgery to fish out a stuck stone in the ducts. Anyways stop eating fats, fried foods and spicy. No drinking because it will make you sick. Eat healthy for a week and see how you feel. Good Luck

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