Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Pancreatitis????
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Pancreatitis????

It's been a while since I have felt the need to post anything on this forum.  

I had my gallbladder removed in April of 2001.  After that I continued to have pains in my right side that would come and go.  In November of last year I had an ERCP where they didn't find any stones in the bile duct or anything but ended up with Pancreatitis and hospitalized for 4 days and out of work several weeks.  Then the pains subsided and other than having terrible Acid Reflux I didn't appear to have any problems.  Then out of the blue last Friday around noon time I started getting terribly nausiated.  I thought that I might be coming down with the flu.  Since Friday I continue to get nausiated after eating ANYTHING and continually have a nagging pain in my upper right side which gets worse after I eat.  The pain shoots through to my back.  The only time I remember having pains like this was when I was hospitalized with Pancreatitis after having an ERCP done last November.  I went to my primary care physician yesterday.  He seems to think that it might be pancreatitis and that I should go back to my gastrointerologist.

Could a pancreatic attack happen out of the clear blue sky?  Does anyone think this is what it might be???  I'm anxious to hear from others.  Thanks for your time.  Have a WONDERFUL Day!!!



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10 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
The exact thing has happened to me.  I had my gallbladder removed at the sametime that you did.  In the past 4 months, Ihave had attacks, too. I get nauseated and have diarrhea and then throw up.  I am to go and see my gastro Dr. next Weds.  I hope that I can find out something.  Someone told me that it could be your sphincter of Oddi having spasms.  All I know is that I feel like I would rather die than suffer through another one of these attacks.  Let me know if you find out anything.
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Avatar_n_tn
There is a distinct possibility that this could be pancreatitis again, based on your previous history.  After having it once, some people seem to be more prone to having repeated attacks, and then often they develop chronic pancreatitis as a result.  And yes, it can just come out of the blue like that, but it's more likely that SOMETHING triggered this episode, you just haven't been able to identify what it is.  The pain does radiate to the back with an attack.  

I don't suspect an SOD problem, though, usually the SOD attack is fast, severe and totally debilitating during it's brief duration.  A "knock you on the floor" type of pain, up in the sternum.  A pancreatitis attack usually starts more with a nagging, continually discomforting pain, with nausea, and can be on the right, middle or left part of the upper abdomen, beneath the ribs.

I agree with your PCP, you should go back to your gastroenterologist and have him check you thoroughly.  For your sake, I hope it's not become chronic, but it's best to find out what it is now and take care of it before it gets worse.  Good luck.
Nanny
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Avatar_n_tn
I think I am in the same boat with you, I got my gall bladder out in July of this year, I recover well and fast but the last 3 months I have been feeling nauseous and with a pain in my right side, some days I feel better and some other I feel so sick, I have had and endoscopy, ultrasound  and everything is normal, yesterday I had a can scan w/ and with out contrast and I hope my  GT can find what's wrong with me. IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS LET ME KNOW.
I have been searching for answers and I have been reading , and is always a good reason to get pancreatitis but the attack is with out notice. hope you get better and let me know the latest news.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sounds like we are all pretty much in the same boat.  

My story is so close to those listed.  I had my gallbladder out in July 2002 and was hospitalized again in September.  I had pancreatitis at the time I had my gallbladder removed and have been through just about every test and NOTHING shows up.  I have not had an ERCP yet.  I dont' think my gastro wants to do one until I see a specialist in December.  With all the risks involved he would rather me just have one done.  

My Gastro is thinking SOD because I present with classic pain symptoms.  I have noticed recently that my right sided pain is now radiating into the left side also.  Not as much or as often but occassionally I'll get that stabbing pain under my left rib.

Hopefully come December I'll get some answers.  If anyone find anything out please post.  I know we would all be interested in learning more about what this could be.

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Avatar_n_tn
I know your symptoms are so similar to mines, I have so many question and my doctor seems to be lost.
Do you fell sick all the time?, I don't. some days I am better and the pain in my right is not constant. the nauseous are some day worst than other ones, my skin is getting affected like w/ a rush (can be the weather..). also I have been having the same pain in my left side, is not to painful and just for a short period of time. I had my CT scan last Tuesday I will see my doctor next weak, I hope they finally find the problem. I will let you know....
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Avatar_n_tn
Please go back to jillybean's question : "Real bad stomach pain' & read bebbie's comment..... Maybe it will help?
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Avatar_n_tn
Just wanted to update you.  I have not heard back from my Gastro doctor yet.  I sent a fax to the office where I've seen a couple different ones.  I'm sure they are trying to decide what to do next before they let me know who I need to see.  I'll keep you posted.  In the meantime, things are not any better.  My stomach hurts all the time and gets worse when I eat with sharp pains and being nausiated.  Stay tuned for an update as soon as I hear something.  Best of luck to ALL of you!
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Avatar_n_tn
I know you are very experienced with this.  Can you shed some light on the symptoms, etc... with others who have tuned in????  Talk to you soon!
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I'm not too sure if your 'attack' happened out of the clear blue sky, if indeed this is pancreatitis.  (I think you may have a good chance of having this...ONLY because you are at risk)  You may have been at risk for one of these attacks, as you have had your gallbladder removed.  A number of different things can cause pancreatitis, one of which (in your case) is surgery.  By the way, pancreatitis is an inflamtion of the pancreas (I'm sure you know that...), and the pancreas functions in secreting digestive enzymes into the small intestine through the pancreatic duct.  These enzymes help to digest foods such as fats, proteins and carbohydrates.  NORMALLY, these enzymes don't start to 'work' until they hit the small intestine...and then they start to digest food.  Somteimes though, they become active in the pancreas, and start to digest the pancreas itself.  There are two types of pancreatitis...the acute and chronic type.  The acute type is resolved in a matter of days, wheras the chronic type slowly destroys the pancreas.  For the acute type, a doctor would look for an increase in amylase and lipase (digestive enzymes found in the pancreas) in the blood (about 3 times more than normal). Changes in blood glucose levels, as well as calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and bicarbonate might also occur.  Once the acute type resolves itself, and the pancreas improves, these levels return to normal.  In the chronic type, the digestive enzymes attack and slowly destroy the pancreas and nearby tissues, causing scarring and pain (The pain may eventually disappear, once no more digestive enzymes are being produced by the pancreas).  This type may be triggered by only ONE acute attack, especially if the pancreatic ducts are damaged.  (The damage causes the pancreas to be inflamed, which causes the tissue to be destroyed, which then promotes the devolopment of pain and scar tissue).  A doctor might be able to monitor the amount of enzymes being produced, by pancreatic function tests, to determine if the pancreas is making ENOUGH digestive enzymes.  Treatment for pancreatitis may involve surgery, but normally, the treatment is to support vital functions of the body and to prevent any complications (like lung collapse due to lack of oxygen in the cells and tissues), as well as to alleviate pain.  Serious problems may arise with your body (...development of diabetes), if this is left untreated.  It's best to explore the possibility of this with your physician (...seeing as I am NOT one)...as well as to start exploring what type of treatment should be used for you.  Best of luck to you.
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Avatar_n_tn

Sorry it took a few days for me to post.  I have some type of pain on some level I would say 95% of the time, if not more.  Sometimes I can ignore it and almost forget it is there, other times it literally brings tears to my eyes.  I have suffered from migraine headaches for the past 15 years and I thought nothing could be worse.  BOY, was I wrong.  Pancreatitis blew me out of the water.

I notice that withint 15-30 minutes of eating the pain really seams to kick in.  I also notice that at night when I get ready for bed and finally lay down it seems like it steps up.

As for nausea, my gastro put me on Nexium 2X a day and that really seems to help.  When I was only taking it once a day about the only thing I could tolerate through the nausea was warm, flat Coke.  I still have days where I get hit by waves of nausea, but for the most part I can eat "meals".   The one thing I do have to be very careful about is water.  Believe it or not if I eat and then drink water (4 oz) I am bolting for the nearest restroom to vomit.

I go to the specialist on 12/20 to see if he is agreeable to proceeding with any further test or if I have to learn to live this way.  I have had my appointment date since October and am beginning to feel like its never going to get here.

The three major things I plan on asking about are chronic pancreatitis; sphincter of oddi dysfunction and irritable bowel syndrom (syndrome).  My gastro seems to think that I have IBS regardless of whatever else is going on so I want to dicuss it with the specialist.

I'll post once I know more.  If I don't have any information I'll at least post to vent.  Those who don't suffer from constant pain have no idea what it is like.  I know I didn't before any of this happened.


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