Upper left abdominal discomfort/ upper left back pain when lying down

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Hi all, this is going to be long and so I do apologise for that. I have just turned 25 and have always been in good health. Over the last year, however, I was taking ecstasy once per week and smoking weed every day, my diet was pretty poor and I was skipping meals regularly. However I don’t think this relates to what I’m experiencing.

-(8 months ago) I began feeling a constricting/squeezing or ballooning type sensation in my upper left abdomen: just below my ribs but not under the ribs. This sensation would last for around 5 seconds and would then go away. It wasn’t painful but it was a very strong sensation. I would get it once or twice per day and later realised that I could sometimes make this sensation happen when I raised my arms above my head to wash my hair or reach for something. I no longer get this sensation in quite as much severity but I do still feel sensations like it, sometimes alongside the back pain. A couple of months ago I realised that the ribs in this area stick out quite a lot more than the right side.

-(6 months ago) I began to experience infrequent dull back pain in my upper left back area. It’s almost exactly around from where I experience the squeezing feeling at the front, perhaps a bit higher up. I only get this feeling when I lie on my back or on my stomach. The pain was not so regular at first and not too sore but is now present every time I lie on my back or stomach and is growing in severity in terms of pain. There is a specific area in my upper left back which causes this pain and if I apply pressure to it when lying down the pain intensifies. The pain also intensifies sometimes if I press down on my front ribs.

- (6months ago) -I  checked my weight for the first time in a while around this same time and noted that I’d gone from 9 stone 6 to around 8 stone 9. (lost 7pounds). Began to worry about pancreatic cancer from here on in.

- (4 months ago) I tested positive for the helicobacter virus and was given the three medication antibiotic and stomach acid medication. I had blood tests done and theses were all fine.

-(3 months ago) pain in my gallbladder when pressed by doctor. ultrasound of whole abdomen done. no gallstones or anything else notable. Although doctor says the scan missed a small section of the tail of my pancreas.

-(3 months ago) noticed a small dent in the thenar space of my right hand. Doctor put it down to overall weight loss but this has increased a lot in size despite me gaining weight. Other areas of my body feel soft and squidgy, this is not normal for me as i am very slim and toned. I have been less active over the last while but my body seems to be going very soft, and inactivity surely couldn’t explain why there’s apparently wasting in my hand next to my thumb?

-Present day-  Back pain is the most frequent symptom, always present when lying down on front or back, in the same specific area. I need to go on my side to make it go away. I feel sick most mornings when I wake up,and overall my appetite is definitely down.  I’ve been having a lot of night sweats and hot flashes (I do suffer from anxiety and the stress of the situation could be causing this). And the wasting seems to be progressing, areas of my neck and back are squidgier than ever.

I am aware that all of these symptoms fit the bill for pancreatic cancer. The doctors don’t seem concerned but this seems to be solely because of my age and because my blood tests around 4 months ago were fine. I don’t find that particularly convincing, pancreatic cancer is very rare for someone my age but it still does happen. I’m waiting for an MRI scan now which I should get in a month’s time, however, does anyone have any alternative suggestions about what could be going on?

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  • Posted

    forgot to say: in terms of going to the toilet everything is normal. Urine is perhaps a bit more dark but I'm not sure. Stool is fine.

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  • Posted

    Maybe your h pylori came back; it sometimes does.  Go back to your doctor and get re tested.  

    I panicked about my pancreas and asked my doctor if it was seen on my ultrasound and he said no,   I then asked if anything could be wrong with my pancreas and he said it was highly unlikely.  I was eventually diagnosed with IBS.

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    • Posted

      I am certain that this is not related to gastritis or anything like that Pippa, thanks though. The back pain feels like something is irritating the muscle or other tissues in there. When I focus my weight onto it when lying down the pain intensifies. So it's not helicobacter related unfortunately.

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    • Posted

      If you are worrying, it will put you off your food and in turn you will lose weight.  I lose appetite and lose half a stone in a week if I get stressed.  This could be an explanation for the 'wasting'. Maybe the back pain is a muscle strain.  Have you tried anti inflammatories for the pain and heat pads?   Try to take one step at a time and don't speculate too much about your health.  It will make your symptoms worse.  See what the MRI says.

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