Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Pancreatitis?
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Pancreatitis?

Would pain due to pancreatitis be disabling in most cases? I am having post gallbladder removal problems, and I am concerned that my pain is due to pancreatitis? Had my surgery in June with a lot of problems afterwards. At one point I was diagnosed with a bile leak, and given antibiotics. After that I felt pretty good for several months, but now the pain has started again. I have a lot of pressure under my ribs, both sides. Stomach area is burning.The pain and the burning goes through my back as well. One question: What does greasy fatty stool look like? This is suppossed to be one of the symptoms of pancreatitis, but I have not idea what that would look like. Mine is floating most of the time. I am also constipated most of the time. I thought diarreha would be more of a symptom for pancreatitis? I'm going back to the dr. next week, but was hoping to get some ideas of what might be going on.
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Avatar_n_tn
You could be having some problems with pancreatitis, or something else amiss as a result of the surgery.  Many chronic pancreatitis patients developed the condition following gallbladder surgery.  The area of pain, and discription of pain sound familiar.  Stool that floats is what is considered greasy stool, this is often a sign of malnutrition, a problem with pancreatitis.  Diarrhea or constipation are problems also, I have had problems with both,  it always seemed like one or the other,  which really didn't get straightened out until my gastroenterologist started me on enzyme supplements, now it doesn't happen quite so often.

Make sure you mention all these problems to your doctor when you see him next week.  They should run some tests to see if this is your problem.  Good luck.
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While I am in pain, it is not disabling. I guess I was under the impression that pancreatitis would be even more painful, to the point where you can't do much of anything. In the past I have had bloodwork that was supposed to show if there was a problem with my pancreas. I have also had several CT scans, that did not show any problems with the pancreas. I guess I'm kind of baffled. It is also frustrating that I was doing fine for a while and now the problems are coming back. Do you actually have pancreatitis? Chronic or acute attacks?
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I don't want to throw you off track, but I too have had problems since having my gallbladder out in July.  I was re-hospitalized in September for severe pain.  I was beginning to think they hadn't taken the thing out at all.

I had acute pancreatitis when I went to the ER for my gallbladder attack.  If I remember correctly, my amylase level was 678 and my lipase level was 1098 (might have been reversed - all the test results are beginning to get mixed in my head).  It took four days to get it under control and then they removed my gallbladder.

I have never been 100% pain free since my gallbladder/pancreatitis attacks began in April 2002.  I have had just about every test known to man done and they all seem to be coming back "okay" or "normal" according to the doctors.

My GI is sending me to a hospital that specializes in ERCPs for SOD (Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction).  I have a lot of the symptoms you have posted about.  I too, like Nanny, have alternating bowel movements (constipation/diarrhea).

SOD may be somthing you want to research and talk to your doctor about.  

I actually did the research but was lucky enough to have a doctor who brought it up first.  I didn't have to push for him to try to find out what is going on.  He is interested enough to push it on his own.

BEST OF LUCK
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Bailey,

I have had four acute pancreatitis attacks.  About two years ago I developed chronic pancreatitis.  Some people can have an acute pancreatitis attack, recover, and never have any problems again.  I wasn't one of those lucky ones.  The chronic pancreatitis is here to stay.  

For some people with CP, the pain can be disabiling to the point that they are on daily narcotic pain relievers and they are unable to work or hold down steady employment due to their frequent attacks, which often take them to the emergency room and require several days to recover from.  Others, while still on pain medication, are able to work for a few years until their condition deteriorates so much that they can't stay at work.  I would say that the majority of the people I know with CP have found that it restricts their level of activity so much that they are not able to work anymore.

Nanny
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm not sure if you are females, but if you are, is your pain worse during your period? Also, I have read that pancreas pain is often releived by leaning forward or sitting. Mine is the other way around. Seems better when I stretch my body and stand, worse when I sit. I know everybody's different. I guess I'm just looking for some piece of mind. I am so worried.
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I am a 31-year old female.  I do find that my symptoms seem to increase with PMS.  Oddly enough both visits to the hospital have been shortly before the beginning of my cycle.  When I had my gallbladder out I actually started my cycle on the second day of my six day hospital stay.  My second trip was also a six day stay and I started my cycle a few days after returning home.  

I have not come across research on hormones and their affect on any of the potential conditions they are looking for with me (IBS, SOD, CP).  It would be interesting to know.

I have found that the fetal position works best for me when my pain begins.  I also find that very slight rocking back and forth helps - not sure quite why.  I find these thing still help with the pain even after Darvocet has takent he really bad edge off.  I have to be careful when I stretch - seems like it intensifies the pain.  Feels like it lengthens it out - if that makes any sense (kind of like stretching an elastic or gum).

I'll be interested to see what other responses come back.
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Hello to everyone. This is my first post so I hope I do it alright. I too, like all of you had the pain. I had the pain for almost 4 years. I finally went to a specialist about it this past January. He done every kind of test you could think of. I even had the ERCP(the light test-I hope that's right)done twice. The first time everything went great. The second time, it through me into pancreatitis. I stayed in a drug induced coma for 6 weeks. I also developed ARDS (Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome- it made my lungs start harding). I had to be on a respirator then they did a tracheotomy. It was really bad. In May, they removed my gallbladder because of gallstones. Not 100% yet but getting there. I would advise anyone who was having pain like that to go to the doctor as soon as possible. I put my husband and 2 evey small kids through h***. Please if anyone is suffering don't wait until it's to late. Thank you for letting me write this and thank you for reading it.
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I was diagnosed with gallstones (by ultrasound) approx 1 month ago.  I have appt with surgeon in a week as my doctor wants me to have my gallbladder taken out.  My question is that although my initial pain with the gallstones were painful (which came with nausea, weakness etc), it has increased tenfold and is now on both the left and right bottom area of my ribs.  I scream at the touch of my lower ribs on either side of me.  Could there be complications that have developed from the gallstones?  Could it be pancreatitis?  Any advice would be appreciated.
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I'm writing because I have been having pain in the area of my stomach for some time now and my doctor has been unable to find out what it is.  I have constant sharp pain in one spot in the area of my upper stomach on my left side, just next to the top of my ribs, and I get a horrible burning pain in my stomach-area from time to time.  The pain is so bad sometimes, i can hardly bear it.  I tried a couple of medications for acid suppression, which only ended up making me sick with diarrhea.  Then I had an ultrasound to make sure it wasn't my gall bladder, which came out negative.  I also had blood tests which came out fine.  Yesterday I had an endoscopy to check for ulcers, etc and my doctor says everything looked fine other than minor stomach irritation.  Now he wants me to have another blood test the next time i have an attack of the burning pain to check my lipase and amylase levels and make sure it is not my pancreas.  I was so sure it was my stomach, due to the fact that it seems to burn after I eat or get full and it dies seem to be in the area of my stomach, but now I am at a loss and with my insurance deciding not to cover this for some reason, I am in debt trying to pay for all of this.  Please let me know if you have any ideas as to what this could be or sounds like.  Thank you so much.
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Hello - I am new to this and have been reading your comments. It has helped me as I am having a lot of the same symptoms. I am due to see consultant next week about pancreas. I too am more comfortable when I stand and am worse when I sit. I have been having the pain on and off for 6 years but all the time the last year. I have been diagnosed with kidney pain but now they know it isn't kidney. Has anyone elses pancreas pain been confused with kidney pain? Mine is in upper left back and coming to front. Then up between shoulder blades. Worse at night when I lie down. Floating stools and I have lost a stone in weight.
Pain in upper abdomen now all the time and sometimes in gall bladder area. Undigested food in stools too.
Can anyone relate to same symptoms? Sweat at night sometimes too and feel weak sometimes like I haven't eaten even when I have.
Never feel hungry either these days.
Thanking you
Maich
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello Everyone,

I am new to this list serv, and have been reading some of your posts.  I empathize with all of you.  This is a terrible disease we have.

I have had pancreatitis on and off for years now.  I've had ERCP's, Stints, and all sorts of medications.  For about three years, I was completely incapacitated, couldn't work, had to move in with my parents, and had a very limited social life.  It was horrible, adn I thought I would never have a normal life.  I know how you all feel, and I am so sorry we all have to go through this.  

But, I am doing much better now.  I do have a full time job, and can work with little problems.  In the past year, I have had only one hospitalization.  And, I bounced back very quickly. After only two weeks, I returned to work.  I think part of my good health is from a very strict diet that I follow.  Another part is just good luck and timing.  But, if anyone would like to hear specifics about my diet, let me know.  For me, it seems to make all the difference.

I wish you all the best of luck, and hope that your health will improve.  Obviously, there are no answers with this disease, and I could relapse tomorrow.  But, right now, I am doing great.  If anyone would like some information on this diet, let me know.

Good luck.
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I would be very pleased to hear about the diet you are talking about.  Please email me at nadia_84***@****.  Thanks
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I would also like to hear more about your diet.  I have had pancreatic problems for several years, have had CT scans (both with and without contrast dye, MRI, ultrasound, endoscopic, colonoscopy, and ERPC (do I have the letters in the correct order?)  The gastroenterologist suspects Sphincter of Odi problem...any diet tips would be gratefully appreciated.
email: ***@****
Paty
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