Possible Pancreatitis or just a bad case of Fatty Liver?

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hello all, 

I'm new here so please be gentle with me smile

My story is: For about 15 years I've been having off and on pain in my right side, around the right side of my back, and it's gone into my right shoulder blade too. In the last 5 years it's become pretty constant, so much so that I don't ever lay on my right side for fear of making things worse. For a while I thought that it was my gallbladder, and still think that might be part of the problem. I also developed some form of acid reflux too. Within the past 3 months I've noticed more instances of loose bowel movements, sometimes even diarrhea. I'm sick to my stomach more often, reflux has gotten worse, the pain has gotten MUCH worse in the past few months, and I'm even starting to get pain on the left side too, and the left side of the back. Plus I'm getting dizzy more often, of course I have problems with anxiety and panic attacks (have my whole life) so this is just making that worse too.

Things got so bad that 2 weeks ago I finally went to the hospital. They did the regular blood test, lipase came back normal. They also did an ultrasound on the whole area of the torso that has all the organs like: gallbladder, liver, stomach, pancreas, etc, and all the way around the back too. Needless to say the ultrasound caused even more pain. They said everything looked normal there, nothing wrong with the gallbladder, no sludge or stones - which obviously surprised me. They also did a full torso CT scan with contrast which also came back mostly normal except for fatty liver, and a pretty big size cyst on my right ovary. Now, the doctor claims that a fatty liver can't cause pain, which I find hard to believe since fatty liver sometimes turns into cirrhosis which I would think would cause considerable pain. But I digress, they put me on a ppi for the acid reflux (which made the reflux worse) and sent me home with instructions to go to a GI Doctor and get an endoscopy, which is pretty much useless for the pain I'm still in. 

My question to you all is: Could I still possibly have pancreatitis? Or could it just be an advanced fatty liver? Any help or advice anyone can give me, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you in advance for reading my semi-ramble.

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  • Posted

    Your symptoms are very similar to mine! You can read my earlier post and you describe a lot of the symptoms I had/have.

    What I have done since doctors and GIs have all given up on diagnosis is the following:

    - No alcohol. 0.000% nothing. (this one was hard)

    - Low fat food

    - No sugars (as best I can)

    - 4kms jog daily (hate this one)

    - Probiotics. Any brand.

    - Positive attitude

    With the above I have been able to get rid of most of my symptoms. I still feel bloated on my right side and pain is on and off but mostly the pain and uncomfortable feeling have become very bearable.

    I occasionally have some warm tea with honey and some THC if I am feeling very uncomfortable and want to get a good night sleep. That thing works wonders.

    My scan showed an inflamed head of pancreas which led me to believe that it had to do with CP. I still have not ruled it out (3.5 years and counting) but at this point it doesn't matter if it is CP or not. In my case the recommendations are the same regardless. Fix your bad habits. Eat and sleep better. Keep positive.

    1 of 2 things will eventually happen. 1 your symptoms develop further which allows for a proper diagnosis and treatment or 2 you get better and keep living a happy long life with healthier habits.

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    • Posted

      I did stay away from coffee for a while. Then I kinda started taking a cup every now and then. No change. I upped the coffee cup count to 4 or 5 cups per week. No change. I have not gone beyond that but I am not a heavy coffee drinker. My guess is that it would not make a difference, but I guess your mileage may vary. 

      My advice is take is sloooow. Change only 1 thing. Turn it on and off again before ruling it out as good or bad.

      Good luck!

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    • Posted

      I never drink alcohol, ever, so that's not a problem. I hardly have any fat in my diet as it is so I don't think that's a problem either. The only problem I'll have with my diet is sugar, but I've already started to limit as much as I can. I'm starting to take stuff like Apple Cider Vinegar and Turmeric to see if it will make any difference. I already have been taking probiotics for years so I don't really have to change anything there.

      I still haven't gotten any answer from the GI doctor that I contacted, so I'm not sure what's going on there. I'll keep you posted though.

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  • Posted

    Hi there and welcome.  Having had a lot of serious gynaecological problems in the past including ovarian cysts I can tell you they caused me a great deal of pain, including as you describe.  No gastric reflux because of it although I often had nausea.  I had to have a cushion in bed so I could lie on my side a little, I couldn't lie on my side without one for support the pain was too great.

    Whilst the tests you've had seem pretty thorough and would usually be considered conclusive it won't hurt to see a gastroenterologist although I doubt pancreatitis is your issue.  Fatty liver doesn't hurt btw.

    I'd recommend you also see a gynaecologist about that cyst as a priority.  I had terrible inflammation which caused a lot of pain and you mention the ultrasound hurt, honestly to be touched hurt me so much it brought me to tears at times so can understand how the pressure of that exam on your abdomen hurt.

    Anxiety which seems to have increased during this testing process can cause bowels to be upset and cause many of the symptoms you raise so don't be surprised when doc's bring it up.  Good luck.


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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    I’m sorry but happy, as I just posted and then read yours. How similar cases we have, except that you have had 15 years and me only 2 years. I also have fatty liver but cp not diagnosed. 

    I try to start with food. I saw someone mentioned FODMAP, maybe you can have a look. 

    Take care!

    I don’t know what to do with the pain, not so bad that I need pain killer, while my gp termed them as nerve pain. Maybe waiting is a choice, but at meanwhile I really wish  the problem could be fixed before it gets unsolvable...

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