Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Severe abdominal pain
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Severe abdominal pain

I suffer from severe stomach pain directly below the breat bone. It does not feel better when I lean forward or take antacids or ulcer medication. It is very tender and started with diarrea (diarrhea) lasting for approx one month- runny stool is gone, but I still have severe pain. I spent 10 days in the hospital, every test possible was done, dr's ruled out pancreas, gall bladder and ulcer. I am a diabetic. There is no vommitng associated or nausea. My pain becomes considerably worse after I eat. When I lay down is the only time I seem to get any relief, even then my stomach still hurts but it does not keep me awake or wake me up. I am scheduled to have a colonoscopy done but in the meantime I am worried if there could be an underlying deadly disease, like cancer. Would'nt all the upper Gi's, blood work, scan etc.. show any cancer??????? What can I take to aleviate some of this pain?? In addition I have and keep and overall feeling of weakness. I am very worried that the doctors have not come up with a diagnosis yet. Have you any suggestions at all???? Can you suggest what I may do to relieve some pain?? Do u know of any foods I can eat that will not cause me such severe pain????
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The possibility of cancer depends on what kind of tests have been done.  A CT scan can evaluate for a pancreatic or liver mass, and an upper endoscopy can evaluate for tumors in the upper digestive system (i.e. stomach/esophagus/small intestine).  If you haven't had an upper endoscopy, I would suggest obtaining one.  

Since the pain worsens with food, I would suggest a more thorough evaluation of the gallbladder.  I would assume a gallbladder ultrasound has already been performed.  I would suggest a HIDA scan with CCK stimulation for further evaluation.  

The colonoscopy that has been scheduled is also a reasonable next test to comprehensively evaluate the lower GI tract.

As to treating the pain - it would depend on what is causing it.  I would suggest obtaining the tests mentioned above for further evaluation.  If the pain is gallbladder related, I would suggest staying away from high-fat foods.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Thanks,
Kevin, M.D.
8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
why dont you tell us what are you eating now and what medication have you taken so far??
certain food does make thing worse-nuts,dairy products,chocolate,peppermint,caffeine,fat etc
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a diabetic and follow a very strict diet. I do not eat peppermint or chocolate. It does not seem to matter what I eat, I can eat a bowl of soup or a piece of toast and my stomach starts hurting. Prevacid nor Tums work, the doctor has given me Reglan 10mg to take before each meal and at bedtime; however, my condidtion does seem to improve whatsoever!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I know this pain well. It would keep me up all hours of the night. It didn't matter what I ate, anything from soup to a hamburger. I spent several nights in th ER and every time the doctor would try to diagnose it as my gall bladder (which has already been removed) they did blood tests and more tests.They even were trying to find out if I had some life threatening bacteria in my stomach. Demerol barely helped. I was sent in for an endoscopy and about to be sent in for an ultra sound when i had one of these pains again and finally just went to my family doctor. I told him about these cramps in my stomach and with a big grin on his face he said, "These are called stomach spasms, and I have pills for that." He came back in the room with a box of pills called Nu Lev. After thousands of dollars in medical bills, one 50 dollar visit to my doctor cured it. I still suffer from this very rarely  but the one pill takes it away almost instantly... go talk to you doctor about it and I bet it helps you.
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Avatar_n_tn
How very interesting when I read your concern's.  I could have written this myself.  I have had the same pain for two weeks now, I held it for days thinking it was a pain that was re-occuring from a cyst that ruptured a few months ago.  Finally I was rushed into the hospital unable to take the pain anymore. They had found a back up of stool in my colon even though I was very regular, which strikes me as odd, it seems I was going and yet some decided to stay in the colon.  After an enema they thought that would solve everything, well it hasn't.

I was shocked to see you have the same thing happen when you eat, I must go lay down as well so the pain can get back to the normal pain I am having. That is the most severe it gets when I am eating.  I too have had the blood test, x-ray's and on having a cat scan on Friday, the 20th, they have found some swelling betwen the liver and pancreates.  They are setting up an appt. for an upper endoscopy just as the Dr. had recommended you to do.  

I would be very curious to find out your progress and will continue to share mine, again, the things we are suffering from are exactly the same.  These types of mystery issues are so difficult to deal with, when you just don't know.
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Avatar_n_tn
I couldn't beleive when I was reading your question, it is the same exact thing taht is happening to my husband. He is also a diabetic and has spent the last 3 weeks in and out of the hospital, he was in intensive care for one of the 3 weeks. They have done all the tests and can not find out what is wrong. He is able to funcition only with constant pain meds and he is on a nausea med. that is normaly given to cancer paitents that are getting chemo. these meds are the ONLY thing so far that have kept him from constant severe pain and vomiting. He has an appt. with a diabetic spec. and a gastroenterologist spec. but the appts. are not soon enough because of the waiting time to get an appt. with these doctors. It is so frustrating, and the waiting is horriable. I am just thankful to see him not in pain and not vomiting. But I want them to find out what is wrong!
I will keep you posted and please keep me posted, maybe we can help each other find out what is wrong?
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Avatar_n_tn
I couldn't beleive when I was reading your question, it is the same exact thing taht is happening to my husband. He is also a diabetic and has spent the last 3 weeks in and out of the hospital, he was in intensive care for one of the 3 weeks. They have done all the tests and can not find out what is wrong. He is able to funcition only with constant pain meds and he is on a nausea med. that is normaly given to cancer paitents that are getting chemo. these meds are the ONLY thing so far that have kept him from constant severe pain and vomiting. He has an appt. with a diabetic spec. and a gastroenterologist spec. but the appts. are not soon enough because of the waiting time to get an appt. with these doctors. It is so frustrating, and the waiting is horriable. I am just thankful to see him not in pain and not vomiting. But I want them to find out what is wrong!
I will keep you posted and please keep me posted, maybe we can help each other find out what is wrong?
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Avatar_n_tn
i can understand how you all feel. My husband seems to be having the same adominal (abdominal) pain. He complains the pain is under his belly button. He also tends to get a sharp stabbing pain there when he eats. He tried consuming the clear liquids as the drs told him to do but that didnt help either. He has had sever diarrhea. His pains tend to worsen at night and keeps him tossing and turning.He has had this problem for about two weeks and isnt getting any better. He has a drs appointment with a physician to check if he has diabetes.For several months he had been getting the shakes and dizzy, and when hed something like a candy bar hed feel better. I suggested that he may have diabetes.But since then he has come down with these symptoms and continues to lose weight and fell horrible. Going to the emergency room they suggested he had some sort of a stomach or intestinal virus.There were no signs of obstruction of his stomach,appendix, or any other problems.He has taken everything a person could take that is over the counter for any type of gas.heartburn.diarrhea.If you have any other suggestions on what to do please let me know thank you. I am very worried.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am finding it comforting that I am not alone in this very mysterious thing! With swelling that they found in my c scan between the liver and pancreates, it has made this more mysterious to where my pain is, is what the Dr. is saying.  Your husband's symptoms sure sound like diebetic (diabetic) issues.  The loosing weight, shakes, dizzy are all common of one who get's diagnosed with it.  The stomach pain however, seems to not be part of that.  I know what he is going through with the not being able to sleep well, that has become the hardest part of this.  

After going to my gastrologist yesterday, he is sending me in for an upper endoscopy and will also have another abdomonal c scan.  He might think because I was on aciflux for over two years for my reflux that I could be having some damage to my esaphagus, also he was thinking maybe an ulcer. I tried the clear liquids as well and eating differently, it doesn't matter.

It seems with all these common side effects people I am finding in here and in speaking with people, we could all have something different!  While people find it disheartning to hear that can't find anything with all the test's, at least they aren't finding anything major and I am resting in that.  My test isn't scheduled until 3/12, isn't that something how we have to get in line, patience!  I will hang in there and I hope your husband get's some relief/results, keep after the Dr. to keep trying to find out.  Keep updating, as will I.
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A related discussion, celiac disease was started.
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