Upper abdominal pain misery

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I’ve always suffered from indigestion of some kind. The last 3-6months it started to ramp up & affect my life. Saw the GP and was prescribed Ranitidine, no change... then oOmeprazole for 4wks, no change.. About 4wks ago I started having intermittent pain in upper stomach between my ribs and also pelvic pain & bleeding (although mid cycle bleeding isn’t unusual for me).  Dr gave me Lansoprazole and treated them as separate issues. Pelvic infection and UTI tests were clear so was referred for pelvic scan. Regular blood tests were ok too apparently.

 

Have taken the Lasonprazole for 4wks, however the last 2wks I’ve been miserable with the upper abdominal pain, constant in upper stomach between my ribs - and sometimes sharp pains like a needle. Sometimes it goes into my back and feels as if it’s radiating up and down into pelvis.  It’s central and doesn’t affect the left or right more – although i do have a pain down my right arm when lying in bed.

My pelvic scan is tomorrow. Had to make another visit to dr today as was so bad last night. I'm not eating very much but I think its ramping up after food. The pains recently are like gnawing hunger spasms but very ver sore. He’s given me a referral to ask the hosp to scan whole abdomen to check liver, any poss gallstones etc. If I know the NHS however they will make me wait another few wks to get results. I’ve also separately been referred for endoscopy but waiting list means it will be months away.

I’m age 40, my BMI is ok at 23, I don’t smoke and have a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise. I do have a horrible family history though of maternal breast cancer and paternal rare blood leukaemia.

I feel like a nuisance but am really tired of this constant pain. We go on a family holiday next wk that we’ve been looking forward to all year – am worrying that I either won’t be any better or things will get worse while I’m away.

 

Any thoughts what it could be? I did wonder if it could be gallbladder but dr felt pain would be more to one side. I’ve been given anti spasm/muscle relaxing meds usually for angina and been advised to play with the Lansoprazole dose whilst I’m away.

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17 Replies

  • Posted

    I had very similar problems to yours although I thought it was kidney stones. Lansoprazole helped acid reflux but not the pain. Eventually I had a scan and was found to have a large gall stone. The gall bladder was removed in April and since then I have felt loads better. Recovery was slow and struggled with stomach cramps to start with but I just take Lansoprazole when I need it now. Try the FODMAP diet too as it definitely helped me.

    Get a scan done

    Good luck

    Jo

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    • Posted

      thanks Jo. I'm thinking gallbladder too - hopefully i will get some answers at the scan tomorrow. worst case scenario will be no problems seen - unless of course it just goes away....

      will check out the FODMAP diet now

      A

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    • Posted

      Hi, Some of your symptoms sound like lve had, some not so much, but did have  the severe pain in rib area that  was typical gall bladder for me also, though l didnt have gall stones, but inflammation-choicylitus, with removal of gall bladder the pain heartburn stopped.  But l had a long standing problem of intersticial cystitus undiagnosed untreated, which did cause pelvic pain, though you,d have bladder frequency with that, but on bad attacks the pain would travel up body, ureters kidney,s, into rib area, different type of pain to gall bladder one, that sharp and severe, pelvic pain more soreness stinging,  think its part inflammation part nerve pains, On seeing gastroenterolgist for nausea he said inflammation doesnt travel upwards, but it can defindetly travel up ureters to kidney,s, so rightly or wrongly l was sceptical, he did say nerve pains can affect bigger area,s of the body, as with trapped nerves. At least the tests are underway for you, that might bring diagnoses, but its always a wait, and thats a drag when your feeling bad, If you get a very bad attack you could always go to  A and E, or pay for private consultation, But hope your hols, even if anxious on going, been there, will settle it a little.  
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    • Posted

      Thanks Lynn, I seriously thought about A&E last night because it was so bad and because i'm getting anxious that core hrs apmnts are so slow. 

      Even more frustratingly I do have private medical cover, but I live 80 miles from nearest private Gastro dr and no apmnts available for 8wks. 

      I will have to man up and be patient! Hopefully the anti spasm meds will help.. 

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    • Posted

      l went to private yorkshire clinic, mine through nhs, but met other patients that came long distances, suprised me.  l guess your more anxious with a holiday coming up, l was the same, frustrating when you should be just looking forward to it, to be anxious about how if will affect symptoms, it was like going on a wing and prayer, maybe being able to relax on hols will help, good luck
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  • Posted

    Hi

    Your problems sound very much like mine at least thebupper abdominal ones which started nearly 10 months ago. It could be your stomach which is inflamed - the endoscopy will diagnose whether there is anything wrong with your stomach such as an ulcer or gastritis. You may also have the bug H Pylori which can cause untold misery for some people. If your endoscopy appt is a long way off you could ask your GP for a blood test, breath test or stool test to determine whether you have this bug or not. Although your pain is central it could still be the gallbladder causing problems, either stones or simply malfunctioning. An abdominal ultrasound would determine whether there are any stones but a Hida scan would be needed to test whether the gallbladder is working or not. The pancreas is another possibility too, a ct scan would be useful to rulemout this possibility.

    I started with difficulties eating due to severe pain and was diagnosed with gastritis but it didn't clear up with Omeprazole. I then had a Hida scan which revealed that my gallbladder was only working at 8% so after 7 months in agony I had it finally removed. It resolved the horrendous pain but hasn't solved my difficulties eating and at times I find myself drowning in acid despite high doses of Omeprazole and Ranitidine. I feel nauseas all the time and retch frequently and I'm under a gastroenterologist to try and sort this out. I've lost nearly 2 stone in weight which I can't afford to lose. Like you I had also suffered for many years with indigestion for which I took gaviscon but I would never have believed that I could end up in such a state.

    I'm in the UK too and dependent on the NHS and am enduring one waiting list after another. Weighing in at 6 stone 5, I asked my doctor for some nutritional drink supplements but have to be referred to dietician for this - dealing with the NHS is like fighting a losing battle.

    Make sure you are referred to a gastroenterologist as your problem sounds too complex for a GP to treat and the waiting list for specialist care is anything up to 18 weeks. My GP messed about for 3 months before referring me and when faced with the 18 week wait I ended up paying private because I was in so much pain. I'm currently on 80mg of Omeprazole and 300mg of Ranitidine and I've felt some relief at times but have relapsed frequently.

    Wishing you all the best and hope you soon get some relief of your symptoms.

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    • Posted

      Hi Debbie, lve had simular to you, had gall bladder removed years ago following severe bouts of pain and heartburn, it solved those probs. But started with bouts of nause 2yr ago, lasted weeks at a time daily, could barely eat due to it,  and generally felt so off it and tired, looked pale, l started to lose weight, and ripples left where the most weight gone from, but l was 2-3 stone oweight. It became constant last oct, and unable to eat, certainly didnt have any vits mins protein, lost a stone, finally a referral to gastro, months going by, scan and scope showed bit of inflammation, omprazole didnt help, also tried rantidine, gaviscon, ginger, probiotics, but really run down with it. l bought supplaments to try build myself up, had petscan, saw urologist for scope to find cause, now waiting to see another gastroenterologist

      As it happens its fairly settled last few week, not gone, and still off food, but can eat a small plain meal in evening, some nourishment at least, but as it happens l was 2-3stone oweight at start so losing over a stone not a big problem. lve also had relapses on several occassions, now on settled spell, but being very careful with small plain diet. It is a battle and waiting for months when feeling ill and not functioning normally is a huge drag.  l hope you both get some answers soon, and relief, best wishes

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    • Posted

      So sorry to hear that you are feeling like me -  but at the same time its nice to know that someone understands the situation..  I presume you are in the UK and dependent on the NHS by the length of time that you have been suffereing from this and obviously subjected to the appalling waiting lists.  I could override the pain (even when excrutiating) but with almost constant nausea its impossible to eat.  All i need is to swallow a capsule sometimes and I'm running for the nearest bathroom or sink although fortunately I don't actually bring anything up.  I certainly don't regret having my gallbladder out though as the pain from that was literally unbearable even though I didn't have any stones.  I was initally glad to lose a little weight (half a stone at the most) as I'm only 4ft 11 tall but I'm getting desperate now.  I have just had a manometry test of the oesophagus done and a 24 hour Ph test of the oesphagus to check for acid reflux and whether the sphincter at the bottom of the oesophagus is working properly - thankfully they were both normal - I say thankfully because otherwise it would have meant another operation to repair a small hiatus hernia and tighten up the sphincter and from what I've read it is not a pleasant operation and can cause difficulty swallowing for up to six months.  The only test in my case that comes back abnormal is the endoscopy which has reported on two occasions that I have mild gastritis - doctors very much play this down saying it is nothing and wouldn't cause the symptoms that I have - nevertheless my symptoms are all classic symptoms of gastritis so not sure whether I believe them.

      Anyway Lynne I hope that you get some answers soon and some relief from your problems - we just have to keep battling on in the hope that we find a solution.

      Best wishes

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    • Posted

      Hi Thanks for response, strange as my scope showed a bit of inflammation, that the gastrologists words, bit of gastritus, and he didnt seem to think it caused such severe nausea, but did refer me to a new gastrologist who he says might have more idea,s, still waiting now a few weeks.But it is reasonably settled at present, great relief, as you know its just horrendous to have nausea so constant, bad memories just thinking abouit it, waking every morning with it, and throughout the day, cant eat, cant be active, an ordeal doing minor things, unbelievable feeling, so praying it stays settled, as it has settled before for weeks then returned for weeks. But l,m sticking with small plain diet, lactose free, cimetidine, pro b, and live in hope. l was 2-3stone weight, lost 2stone, only posative about it for me, but if your slim to start with its a worry, l dont know if mine will keep coming off or lve reached a base, my trousers are all too big and falling down, stretched up in garden to put seed in bird feeder and they slipped down to my knees, lol, need to buy a smaller size. But it is a puzzle read others with simular on gastritus thread, many given no reason for it after tests, maybe allergy, but where do you start, l even stopped drinking tap water in case the flouride was aggrevating, but cant tied anything up with flare ups or settling. Will see in new gastrologist is wiser, and yes its nhs, so who knows how long lists are.  l cant imagine theyll leave you to it when yourweight has got so low, 6 stone not much even for 4.ll, surely that must be a essential to sort it.  Chicken pie, lve talked to radiologists, who are so good, but tried to read their words, faces, impossible, so hope your gp can give you reasons and reassure you till you see gastro, Hope you have a lovely holiday, 
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  • Posted

    Thanks Debbie, it does sound very similar.

    Been for my scan, went thinking it was gallstones as pain felt more toward right side. The lovely lady radiologist said nothing of concern in pelvic scan, then moved onto upper scan. I asked if any gallstones, she said no & carried on scanning whilst I lay on each side etc. I asked at the end if all was clear, she just said the report would be with the GP today & he'd be in touch. Trying not to read anything into that reply & assume she just couldn't say anything. 

    Annoyed I still don't have answers. Was given Apidine for the pain but now have crushing headache and continued upper stomach ache. Not sure if it's related to the new pills or not..

    Will just need to get on with it & try my best to enjoy hols while wait for my gastro apmnt in Sept. Will check in with GP tomorrow to confirm but looks like my answers will be at the Gastro.

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  • Posted

    It certainly sounds as if you are going to be told that everything is normal from the scan - just remember that it doesn't mean that your gallbladder is healthy though.  You will probably have to wait for the results of the endoscopy to see whether you have stomach problems and it certainly looks that way.  Nevertheless if you do get the all clear from the endoscopy then it would probably be a good idea to request the Hida Scan.  None of the GPs at my surgery (there are 9 of them) had even so much as heard of the Hida scan and were blindly only considering the normal ultrasound so really not taking things seriously and even blaming it on stress as they do when they can't pin point what is wrong with a patient.  Your gastro consultant will hopefully get to the bottom of your problems, its just a pity that we have to wait so long between one appt and test and the next.

    Best Wishes

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  • Posted

    Totally agree about the stress thing. I've felt quite patronised at the amount of times they've asked me if I'm anxious or stressed. Yes I'm anxious but because of the pain! I've had some very stressful times in my life and so far my body has never reacted in a way to make me physically unwell. Not sure why it would start now when I'm days away from a long await family holiday...
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  • Posted

    Heard from doctor today. Nothing spotted in pelvis nor gallbladder. However an incidental growth seen on my liver. Will be scheduled another apmnt for ct scan. Dr sais most likely benign but not really what I wanted to hear just dew days before my holiday.
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  • Posted

    Heard from doctor today. Nothing spotted in pelvis nor gallbladder. However an incidental growth seen on my liver. Will be scheduled another apmnt for ct scan. Dr sais most likely benign but not really what I wanted to hear just dew days before my holiday.
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    • Posted

      Def not what you want to hear as your ready to set off for r and r, 

      `incidental` strange way to describe anything, but if its not being treated as an emergency sounds like they know what theyre saying a suggesting it being benign. l was in a simular position many years ago as have many others, and it is a worry, but hope you can push it away to back of your mind as much as poss, and get some r and r on your hol,  Also your  future scan will bring you treatment to get rid of symptoms.  Best wishes and good holiday 

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    • Posted

      Thanks Lynne. I understood incidental to mean they kinda found it by accident. I am not going to research too much & try put to back of mind.. I will enjoy my hols with my precious kids smile 

      x

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