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1348686 tn?1310657843

I am losing my mind!!!

I am so sick to my stomach with worry.  I am freaking out over pancreatic cancer!!!  I was getting concerned because  I lost weight and I was really itchy and I have back and stomach pains.  So of course I did the very thing that I tell everyone not to do and I looked on the internet for what the possible causes were.  Well one of the things that came up is pancreatic cancer.

I went to my dr on Tuesday and the weight loss wasn't as bad as I thought, I lost 20 lbs in a year (I thought it was 20 in 5 months).  She said that it was alot to lose but since the past year was a bad time for my anxiety she wasn't too concerned.  Especially since I only lost 4 lbs since July.  She questioned me about the stomach and back pains and she said she thinks it is my gallbladder.  I do get pain on my right side under my ribcage but I also get it on the left side under the ribcage.  She said the gallbladder problems can sometime cause pancreatitis  (sp?) but I am so freaking scared.  I think if I didn't have the weight loss or the itching I wouldn't be so freaked but neither of those are symptoms of pancreatitis but they are of pancreatic cancer!!!

I have 4 kids and I am so scared.  Alot of what I read said that pancreatic cancer isn't usually diagnosed until it is in later stages which for the most part are not curable!!!  I just keep crying because I am so sick over this whole thing.....
3 Responses
82861 tn?1333457511
Listen to your doctor.  Gallbladder problems are probably exactly what is going on.  I had the same things happen when mine went south.  One way to have gallstones form is to suddenly change your diet.  If your anxiety has been out the roof and you've been skipping meals or crash dieting, that can cause changes in the bile that is stored in your gallbladder.  Hormones changes with pregnancy and perimenopause can also cause changes in bile that make it thicker and more prone to forming stones.

Bile is manufactured in the liver and is basically cholesterol that is used to help digest fats.  The gallbladder stores it until you eat a fatty meal, and then contracts to release the bile to help digest those fats.  If you suddenly drop your fat intake, that bile just sits in the gallbladder and eventually thickens.  That makes it harder for the gallbladder to eject.  Given enough time and the right circumstances, actual stones will form and block the duct causing pain and eventually nausea and vomiting.

Typical gallbladder pain is under the right ribcage and can include the shoulder and shoulder blade.  Pain can also be referred to the epigastric area (right in the middle where your ribs divide) or the left side.  

The reason your doctor brought up pancreatitis is because the pancreas and the liver/ gallbladder share the same duct to dispense digestive juices into the small intestine.  That's the common bile duct.  If it gets filled up with sludge from the gallbladder, it can slow down the enzymes that empty from the pancreatic duct.  If that's part of the problem (and it's common in gallbladder patients) the ducts can be flushed out via a procedure called an ERCP.  Think of it as a high-powered endoscopy.  The pancreas is a sensitive organ.  If it can't empty it's digestive enzymes properly, believe me - you'll KNOW it.  The pain is horrendous.

Yes, pancreatic cancer can be sneaky, so it's actually good news that you have these symptoms.  Logically, they point to a gallbladder problem.  Has your doctor scheduled you for an ultrasound?  Even if you don't have stones, your gallbladder may not be functioning properly.  There are tests for that too so don't freak out if an ultrasound comes up normal.  Hope that helps.  :-)
1348686 tn?1310657843
Thank you so much for responding.  I now that I am being irrational when it comes to jumping to the conclusion of pancreatic cancer but sometimes I can't help myself.

I am so physically exhausted it isn't even funny.  Like right now I just I feel like I could just sleep the whole day away.  I pretty much got about 6 hours sleep last night so I shouldn't be so tired.  I have been feeling like this since Thursday....I guess not eating right and constantly worrying can do this to you!!!

I am going to do my best to not think about the whole cancer thing.  I will schedule the ultrasound for this week.

Thanks again for the support.
345079 tn?1299206076
Trust your doctor. I had pancreatitis and there is no mistaking that issue with anything else! I was the same way after I had it and was sure that I was going to get cancer. I still have the pain and after lots of testing I still have no diagnose. My gallbladder hasnt even shown anything.
Try and relax and think about all the positives you have that would not be likely to be cancer.
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