Undiagnosed abdominal pain

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Hi I am new to this forum so forgive me if posted in the wrong place. I am writing on behalf of my husband.

My husband has suffered from abdominal pain since Jan last year. It came on suddenly, with the inability to pass urine.

He was quickly diagnosed with pancreatitis, but after 10 months and many negative scans this has now been ruled out.

The pain is severe and constant, and he has abdominal spasms below his belly button.

He lost 5 stone in 2 months, there is always a gurgling noise in his belly, like an internal burp.

In 2014 he had his gallbladder removed due to stones which I think has contributed to his problems now.

Of all the tests he has had, two have come back showing anything. One was a sehcat scan showing bile salt malabsorption, but medication for this made no difference and the other was a liver function test slightly too high. But the doctors have said this isn't a contributing factor.

In November last year he was given an enema, after an xray showed his intestines were full of hard stool but he was still having bowel movements so we're not sure how it happened. He had a short time of relief but the pain soon went back to normal. Since then, he was suspected to have Crohns which in the end he did not have and then sphincter of oddi dysfunction. Having the botox injection made no difference. He has had biopsies during a colonoscopy which came back negative.

Since this started he has been on every pain killer from paracetamol to oramorph, though he has stopped all morphine following enema. No pain medication has made a difference so there is no point in taking them tbh.

This has all taken its toll on his immune system and he is still steadily losing weight.

Personally I think all of the above has made his body stop working together particular not eating as he couldn't keep anything down and the amount of morphine he was given. But where do we go from here? He is quite literally half of the person he used to be, besides work he spends his time in bed. We don't know what we can do.

I'm of course not looking for a diagnosis on here, I guess atleast some advice on how to actually keep him alive and what other options are there in terms of pain management?

The tests he has had: MRI, small bowel MRI, CT, endoscopy, colonoscopy, sehcat, liver function tests, gen blood tests (24 samples last A&E visit, and the rest), xrays, ultrasound, urine and stool samples, botox injection for sphincter of oddi. Many of these multiple times, and most showing nothing.

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, so sorry for you both. I cannot understand how the doctors can allow this to continue, especially with such weight loss. He needs a diagnosis soon so he can be treated. He must be at least anaemic which can be serious. I can only suggest a referral via GP to the best GI departments in UK, St Marks, London or John Radclffe, Oxford. My son attended the latter for Ulcerative Colitis, related to Crohns, they know what they are doing, they had several people on his ward who were in for observation and tests where their local hospital had failed to diagnose.

    Good luck to you, let us know what happens. 

    Sheila. 

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  • Posted

    So sorry to hear how he is . But let me start by telling you that it sounds a lot like his digestive track is out of whack. Start by putting him on probiotics at least four times a day. If he likes yogurt give him activia 4 times a day, this is a very good probiotic. It will get his stomach flora back on track and also keep his bowels flowing regular. This will make a difference and for the noise in his stomach this could also be the reason. Keep him on pepermint tablets or if he like tea, give him peppermint tea 3 times a day. He can have this as ice tea or hot tea. Peppermint soothes the stomach. Garlic boiled as a tea is also great for the stomach, hot or cold. I drink it like water out of the refridgerator. Do this for 7 to 10 days and I know you will see a difference. Stay away from wheat bread and milk for those days. Contact me with the results...Use a hot bag on his stomach for any pain.. Try not to use the prescription meds for a while as your body becomes dependent on them. Try my way and see the difference.
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  • Posted

    I can't offer much, but just know from experience that most painkillers are said to slow bowel functioning.

    Maybe ask the docs about alternative pain management for a little while...in order to get at least that part of his system back on track.

    Sending healing thoughts to your husband...and continued strength to you.

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