All of my symptoms point to the stomach flu only i have had the lower back pain for months. I have been extremely sick the last 36 hours. The back pain I have had for so long became severe yesterday morning. Fever hitting 102, severe diarrhea, sever pain both sides of my lower back. I feel like I have a fist under my ribcage on the left side. I had my gallbladder taken out on Dec 23. Before the surgery I had an ultrasound done of my entire abdominal area and no stones were seen in my kidneys. Maybe I do just have the stomach flu and if I do would that amplify my lower back pains if it were muscular? The only thing that seems to help is icing my lower back to the point its completely numb. When I breath it feels like I have a knife in my guts.
I'm really sorry that you are suffering. I'm not a doctor and I know next to nothing about this stuff but I'm learning through my own illness. Your symptoms could be SO many things including Post-Cholecystectomy Syndrome, Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction, Small Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth, pancreatitis, etc. I apologize for the length of this post but I really want to help you.
Doing your own research can only help. Check out the "First Principles of Gastroenterology", http://gastroresource.com/GITextbook/en/Default.htm. I would take special note of the biliary system, Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction and pancreatitis.
Are you taking Metamucil or a similar daily fibre product? This is a great help for MANY people with right upper quadrant pain. It does not make you go, it makes you regular by adding fibre to the watery stools, making them firm.
Many people with right upper quadrant pain have great success with digestive enzymes and pancreatic enzymes. This is something you can talk to your primary Doc about. I'm told that they won't do any harm so really - unless you have side effects - there's not a downside to trying them. Your Doc might even have samples. This is something you can do now and it reduces the amount of work the pancreas has to do which will reduce any damage if damage is occuring to the pancreas.
A low-fat, high fibre diet can make a big difference to people post-gallbladder surgery. Eliminating fried foods from your diet and starting with bland foods, you may get to a point where you have no pain. Then you can add new items to see how you feel.
There are some less invasive tests such as the Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) and MRCP-S (Secretin) which can image the whole thing including pancreas and ductal system. The EUS does require sedation and is similar to an upper endoscopy. If you don't have a Gastroenterologist, I would ask my primary care physician to refer me. Once you've been seen by them, they might be willing to try an EUS or MRCP-S to determine what is causing your symptoms. Right now, EPISOD studies are being conducted in the United States which might be a way to get to the bottom of your symptoms without the cost if you qualify.
It helps to keep a journal or a blog and your welcome to read mine if you want but I write a lot (can you tell). :) It's a great way to review your situation objectively and identify patterns in your foods, symptoms, medications, bowel habits and pain level. Hindsight is 20/20 and keeping a log might help you look at things more objectively over the longer term. Also, when you do go into Emergency, you can say, this has been the pattern...
You are not alone! Try to stay positive and reach out for support when you need it. Talk to your Doctor, family, friends, co-workers, church or social service volunteers or anyone you feel safe with.
I belong to a support group [SODP] that is wonderful. To find it, search the web for Yahoo! groups. Once you have the page where you can search the Yahoo! groups, search or "sphincter". There are about five of them. Only two of them are really worth joining. Michele's [Sphincterofoddi_pancreatitis] is by far the best as she is a registered nurse and an uncommonly kind, empathetic and supportive woman. Maddi's [sphincterofoddi-pancreatitis1] is wonderful, too. Just put in a request to join and within a day or two, they'll let you know that you've been accepted. Hopefully, if you join, you'll say "Hi" to me there?
When you do find answers, it would be wonderful if you could let us know the root cause(s) and how you got rid of your pain. It gives people on this site hope to hear success stories.
Take care of yourself. Good luck and Godspeed. All the best,
Thanks for writing to the forum!
Yes, your symptoms point towards stomach flu. During stomach flu a lot of gas in the intestinal tract causes pressure like symptoms and a gas filled colon can cause the backache to become more intense. Taking yoghurt and lactobacillus can help relieve the bloating and increased pain sensation.
Persistent low back ache can be due to spinal nerve compression at the lumbar vertebral level. A MRI can help diagnose this.
Hope this helps. It is difficult to comment beyond this at this stage. Do consult your doctor. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
Could you please let me know how you are doing in two weeks? The Doc agrees with you that it is probably the stomach flu (aka gastroenteritis, gastro and gastric flu). Stomach flu runs between 1-6 days but definitely doesn't last longer than 10 days. If you still have the same symptoms in two weeks, you'll know that you need to consider something else. I sincerely hope it is just the flu and nothing more serious but please take care of yourself and, if you're not well by then, get in and get looked at. God bless.
Hey Mike, Sam asked me to tell you about my son, he had just turned 18 but had been having pain off and on since he was in 7th grade, actually the first time he had chest pains was the day of the Oklahoma City bombing, he stayed home from school and I stayed home with him. The pain continued until his senior year, it was in Sept or Oct, he woke me up around 4 am in severe pain, I took him to the emergency room and they did all kinds of test and told him it was pleurisy and to take ibuprofin. He continued to have pain every morning that would last till 2nd hour in school.
It was on Mother's Day and we were on our way to a family reunion, he told me his urine was brown, but I just blew it off. He had been drinking lot of protein drinks and working out so I just thought it was from that. Later that day he was in such severe pain he told me to take him to the hospital anywhere he didn't care just make the pain go away.
I took him to the emergency room and the Doctor seemed to think he had hepatitis. The whites of his eyes were yellow and he was throwing up brown stuff. They admitted him to the hospital, he was running fever and they didn't really know what was wrong. They finally decided he had a diseased gallbladder and caused him to have pancreatitis. Three days later they removed his gallbladder and he was able to go home the next day. A few months earlier there was another boy a few years older than him who went to a different hospital, it was too late for him. His pancreatitis had gone to far and he died. We were so fortunate to have good Doctor. The doctor did say that if he had been a girl they would have probably caught it a lot sooner. Anyway I hope this helps.
Sounds to me like yours might be your appendix, but I am not a doctor.
Thanks, Cheryl. I'm worried about Mike and with a Doctor telling him it's the flu, I want to make sure he knows that it could be other things. Symptoms like lower back pain, fever, fatique and diarrhea just scream gallbladder to me and I don't want him to wait too long before going in.
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