I am a 29 year old female who does not drink but do smoke. About 3 months ago I started having frequent diarrhea that is often greasy. I have also had pain in my upper left abdomen just below my ribs. After eating I get extremely bloated and I often have undigested food in my stools. I also have iron deficiency anemia. I went to a gastro a little over a month ago and they wanted to do a colonoscopy well I chickened and cancelled. I now have a large knot just over my bottom ribs on my left side. My ex-sister-in-law is a nurse and I had her look at it and she said it feels like fluid in the area and recommended seeing my doctor for possible pancreas problems. Could something be wrong with my pancreas or am I worrying for nothing.
An evaluation of your pancreas is very reasonable. Cystic neoplasms of the pancreas are most commonly found in young women. I have seen teenagers with 6 inch diameter pancreatic cysts. If there is a palpable mass an imaging study would be in order.
Doctor tried to set up the CT Scan and my insurance denied it. Said I needed to have a colonoscopy or upper GI done first (both of which are more expensive than the CT). I must say this has irritated me to no end. My doctor also tested my amylase which came back at 90 (normal 31-124) so at least that is in normal range.
Given the iron deficiency anemia the endoscopic evaluation is appropriate but a CT scan should also be done if there is a palpable mass in the left upper quadrant. I appreciate the frustration but I understandvthe thought process.
Hi there, youmentioned you've had many blood tests, and that you are iron deficient anemic. I was wondering if your tests included any of the following. If you are unsure, you can request copies of your blood tests and records and then compare them to what they should be and what they mean.
Below is a excerpt from wiki and outlines important tests in order to establish iron deficiency anemia for the purpose of appropriate treatment and also reason for deficiency. Keep in mind that a person can be anemic and iron LOAD at the same time, and many drs are not catching this, and recommending improper treatment, prescribing iron supplements to treat the deficiency while the person actually needs to get RID of iron.
"Body-store iron deficiency is diagnosed by diagnostic tests, such as a low serum ferritin, a low serum iron level, an elevated serum transferrin and a high total iron binding capacity. A low serum ferritin is the most sensitive lab test for iron deficiency anemia. However, serum ferritin can be elevated by any type of chronic inflammation and so is not always a reliable test of iron status if it is within normal limits (i.e., this test is meaningful if abnormally low, but less meaningful if normal).
Serum iron levels (i.e., iron not part of the hemoglobin in red cells) may be measured directly in the blood, but these levels increase immediately with iron supplementation (the patient must stop supplements for 24 hours), and pure blood-serum iron concentration in any case is not as sensitive as a combination of total serum iron, along with a measure of the serum iron-binding protein levels (TIBC). The ratio of serum iron to TIBC (called iron saturation or transferrin saturation index or percent) is the most specific indicator of iron deficiency, when it is sufficiently low. The iron saturation (or transferrin saturation) of 12%) than for men (>15%), but this may indicate simply an overall slightly poorer iron status for women in the "normal" population."
These tests are extremely important, not just hemoglobin and hematocrit readings on regular CBC's.
If you have copies of your blood test results you can check and see if these other more sensitive and definitive tests have been done.
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