Pancreas problem?

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Sorry for the length of this post.

Male, 38

For the past couple of years, I have had occasional pains in right upper abdomen. Had an ultrasound 2 years ago that showed slightly fatty liver. I put the pains down to this and got on with life. The pains would come and go. This time, they have stayed. The most recent symptoms started around 10th may. This was a day after a couple of bottles of beer (5-6) when sitting in garden. They were only on the right side around my ribs and slightly wrapping around into the back occasionally. Around 29th may, the pains had mostly settled down. I had a bbq and a few beers on this day. Probably more beers than i should have had. Pains ramped back up a day or so later. It stayed this way upto approx 10th June when the pains started to move to the centre. A couple of days later, I noticed that the pains moved into the upper right back and to the left upper abdomen. The left abdomen pains are very mild and persistent. About a week after this, I noticed a lot of mucus in poo. I also passed some mucus when I broke wind. This has not happened again

For about 3 weeks now, I have been feeling weak. Almost like i am not getting enough energy from my food. I was not eating normally because of high anxiety. I am eating normally now but feel constantly hungry. I have lost a lot of weight over the last 6 to 7 weeks. (About 10pounds). I have not been eating much fatty food. I also do not eat well when I am anxious. My calorie intake has been around 1400. I have upped this as it is not sustainable. I have put around 2 pounds back on and weight seems to have stabilised at 16st. 

I have had an ultra sound of liver and gallbladder done. This was ok. A little fat in liver. I have also had a dual phase ct scan of pancreas done as it was not seen on ultrasound scan. This also came back entirly normal. I have had bloods done. ALT was slightly raised (71). All other bloods were normal. Went to see a gastro last week. Told him all of my symptoms and my concerns for pancreas problems. He said that the pancreas is normal as well as all the other internal organs. He has said that i have IBS. From What i have read, IBS shouldnt cause back pain and cause weekness and weight loss. Does this sound like Chronic Pancreatitis? As far as i know, I have never had an acute attack. I have had real bad pains over the years that would last for a minute or two. I put this down to indigestion or heart burn as they would only last for a short period of time and not come back for months or years.

If this was a pancreas problem, given the length of symptoms, would the CT have picked this up?

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  • Posted

    I've had similar problems for 7 years now. Only left sided pain but lots of mucus. I've had so many tests and told ibs and maybe gastritis. If you on on face book there are great support groups that you will get lots of replies from. Chronic pancreatitis support group. Gastritis support group and irritable bowel support group. I also get pain in my back up high on left side. Worse after alcohol.

    Hope you get some sort of diagnosis it's horrible not knowing for sure.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for getting back to me. The pains are never bad, about 2 out of 10. Just really annoying because they are there all the time. Do you suffer when you are in bed? I wake up fine most of the time. Soon as i think about it, they are back. Also feel really weak. Not sure if anxiety is making me feel worse. Got another appointment on 3rd august at the hospital. Hopefully get some answers as to what is causing this.

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Leigh,

    First, I am not a medical practitioner in any sense of the word. When I have certain symptoms which my physicians cannot interpert I go to the internet to trusted sites to find honest information. Keep in mind that your symptoms might not be exactly the same as those presented so you must determine whether or not you fit the profile. It is not a good idea to go to the sites that give promises of cures, most of which will likely not be of a real medical solution. 

    It is rather sad that your doctors have not determined exactly what is going on with your pancreas, as your symptoms point to that problem. If you are going to a General Practitioner, i.e., family doctor, he/she might not be as familiar with your situation as you have hoped. Ask them to refer you to a specialist such as an 

    'Endocrinologist' who is a specially trained physician who diagnose diseases related to the glands. The diseases they are trained to treat often affect other parts of the body. If your medical insurance allows you to select your own specialist then just do it. But make sure this person is legit and has a good reputation of being the right physician for your problem.                                                   

    Unfortunately drinking any amount of alcohol can cause the pancreas to be reactive and your symptoms indicate your pancreas is letting you know to not do that again. Alcohol consumption can also cause a fatty liver. There are, of course, other reasons for pancreatitis, being gallstones, of which I can attest. On June 30th I had surgery to remove the offending gallbladder and now feel confident I will be able to keep from having attacks of unbearable pain. Now I know that fatty foods, 'hot' spices such as peppers, should be avoided.

    My situation is a bit different as I determined at a very young age that alcohol can be a major problem for anyone. My own parents were beer, wine and liquor consumers and I saw what happened to them. Eventually they were not able to take care of me and my younger brother and we were taken away. At some point in time we were adopted by a relative of our mother.

    My trip to the emergency room showed my Lipase level to be 32,000, when a good level is more like 1,000 to 2,000. This resulted in immediate admission to the hospital. Another attack like that could cause debilitating heart and kidney damage, or even death, which is not what I wanted.

    The  hospital physician came to see me and said that alcohol consumption is the main reason of pancreatitis, and was convinced I had a problem. No matter what I told the idiot he kept insisting that this was causing the attack. I told him my background, and that if he mentioned alcohol again I would check myself out of this hospital and get transported to a better facility, did he mention that sometimes a bad gallbladder can be the cause of such an attack. Well, a simple ultrasound proved the gallbladder was in terrible condition and the hospital began my 'cooling down' regimen. You must rest the pancreas by not drinking or eating for several days. In the meantime they support you with various methods such as intervenous fluids, pain medication, and other such support.   

    Please do some online research and read what alcohol and fatty foods can do to the pancreas and liver and kidneys. Do follow up with a well qualified specialist.                                                                                                      

    I hope your medical problem can be resolved before it becomes dangerous or life threatening. It would be a good thing to hear back about what has or has not helped you.

    Take care,

    Jean

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  • Posted

    Yes me too, U/S showed fatty liver, Endoscopy showed mild gastritis, had every type of PPI but doesnt do any good. Pain worse day or so after alcohol. Not unbearable just torublesome intermitent throbs. Upper bloat and rumbling. Mucas also. Three years since U/S so being repeated again this week and then another endoscopy. The puzzle continues !
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    • Posted

      Hope you get sorted and get a diagnosis. Can't get it out of my head that it's something serious. The gastro I seen was rubbish to be homest. I asked him if it could be my pancreas playing up. He said it is not that because the ct scan was fine. I'm gonna punch my doc for a fecal elastase test. Keep us posted

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    • Posted

      Hi, had my US yesturday, he said he got a good view of the pancreas and was perfectly fine. waiting now for 2nd endoscopy, the puzzle continues, 
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    • Posted

      Thats good news. We should keep this going untill we get a diagnosis. Too many people get a diagnosis and never come back to update the forum.

      I went back to the docs today to try to get a faecal elastase test done but he wont order it. He wants to wait for the faecal calprotectin test results to come back and go from there. I've been feeling weak and tired lately and my wife said my breath smells of alchohol even though i have not touched a drop for months. Bought a diabetes tester from boots to check for diabetes. So far, its in the normal ranges. Got an appointment at hospital in 2.5 weeks. Hopefully get some ideas from them. Everything for me has come back normal apart from ALT of 71 and slight fatty liver. 

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  • Posted

    Update.

    Was at the hospital today. Told doc of my symptoms and my anxieties about pancreatic problems. He said that it downs not sound like pancreas problem. Especially with neg ultrasound, ct scan and negative blood tests. They took a lot of blood a month ago and tested for all kinds of things. All came back normal apart from raised ALT. He has said that by my symptoms, it sounds like a gallbladder problem. He confirmed that I have fatty liver diesise and has booked me in for a fibroscan to check for scaring of the liver and also booked me in for an eus to check for any stones in the bile ducts. He has told me not to worry and not to go private as this is not something sinister. Will update once I have had scans in about 6 weeks time.

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    • Posted

      Hi , so your puzzle goes on as well! It's good they don't find anything but you desperately want to know what it is.What is an eus? I Also had a fibroscan 4.8 which was a big relief! Now waiting 4 2nd endoscopy end of August but certain it won't tell them any different to last one. If they just discharge me after this I will go mental! Going round in circles! Good luck keep us posted

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    • Posted

      Hi. Eus is an endoscopy with an ultrasound on it. Looks at organs from the inside. Supposed to be really accurate in finding tiny abnormalities.
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    • Posted

      Hi had my endoscopy this week gastris has gone! Unfortunately or fortunately problem isn't that! At least they haven't thrown me straight back to Dr, waiting follow up appointment now with specialist!

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  • Posted

    Well. I've managed to get the eus booked early as there was a cancellation. I will be going in on Monday. Dreading it. Will update afterwards. 

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