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Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum
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Massive Upper Abdominal Pain With No Other Symptoms Or Triggers

For over two years now my wife (now 34) has been having
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Avatar universal
(continued from my original post)

The pain started while she was pregnant with our 3rd child and they thought it was just heartburn. A few weeks after delivery she had her first real bad attack and we took her to the ER (first of many trips). They said they saw gallstones, and that sure seemed like a likely cause for her symptoms so they took out her gall bladder. Well as you guessed, that didn
Avatar universal
I am having the same problems. I had bloodwork done, CT Scans, Ultrasound of my Liver and Pancreas....all normal.  My gallbladder was taken out 20 years ago, but it is the same kind of pain. I cannot tolerate any fatty foods. My pain is under my right rib cage and radiates to my back. It does feel like a vice-grip and also a feeling of a sock rolled up under my ribs. My pain is always there now..not always severe but constant. My gastrologist and surgeon I saw have no clue. I am just about ready to give up and just try to live with it.  My family doctor has suggested that I get tested for Lupus also. I have had this pain for about 10 months now and I can understand what your wife is going through...if we just knew what caused it, maybe we could deal with it. About 6 weeks ago, I developed on rash on my face that lasted for 3 weeks....maybe I should be tested for lupus but I'm so tired of being poked at and told that they can't find anything wrong.....Keep posting please...maybe one of us will find out just want is happening.........Aniee1
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The pain you discribe is the same as I have or now had. First my question is what part of the country do you live in? Does your wife seem to have stronger attacks right before or during her period? Does the pain ease with eating or does it get worse?

I had the same attacks you discribe for a number of years. My first one was when I was 16 (I'm 36)they came on and off every 3 months or so for many years. Then one day they just kept coming and didn't end until last week. In my case I always got them at night. At first it felt like alot of gas pressure. I'd get up walk around they would go away. The pain has been it's worst just these past 2 years. They'd start sometime during the night and sometimes wouldn't go away until lunch time.  The pain was always in the same spot right under the sturmun and radiate to the back - sometimes the back pain was just as bad.
I just recently found a Dr after several - who knew when I walked in what was wrong. The opening to my bile duct didn't open enough to let the bile out, so for years it backed up into my gallbladder. Then my gallbladder failed and had to go. When the gallbladder wasn't there to take the back up my liver started showing signs of problems then my pancreas. I was in so much pain and not one of the Drs would even concider the bile duct. They all just threw their hands up and said no can't be that. Well it was and last week I had the surgery to fix it and haven't had pain since. I really feel like a new person.
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How did they find out it was your bile duct? What kind of test did they perform.. I have thought about that maybe this was the problem, since I can't seem to digest anything with fat in it. I finally found this out just by trial and error.. I had a hamburger one night..got servere pain, an egg salad sandwich one night....same pain..and then I ate 1/2 sub and thought I was going to end up in the ER.  Since I had my gallbladder taken out years ago, I guess no one thought of the bile duct. But it makes sense to me. It is the same kind of pain I had when I was having my gallbladder attacks..I am now on a extremely low fat diet..I haven't had a bad attack since I have done this but the pain is still present on a constant basis...just not servere. I see my gastrologist on Monday and I'm going to mention this to him. Wish me luck and thank you.. And again , what test did the Doctors perform in order to give you this diagnosis?
Avatar universal
lor and aniee1: Thanks for your replies. Here are the answers to you questions. We live in Colorado. The attacks don't seem to have any relationship to the time of her period as far as we can tell. Eating does not seem to have any affect on her pain. Doesn't make it better or worse as far as we can tell. She doesn't eat many fatty foods, but that doesn't seem to cause her pain either. She doesn't usually get nausea or diahrea with the pain. That is where her situation seems to differ from most of the people I've read about here. Nothing that we can identify seems to cause the pain to occur and she doesn't have any other symptoms besides the pain. It just comes and goes randomly (well, I'm sure there is a cause, we just can't identify it). That is part of what is making it so hard to diagnose. Lor, I'm glad to hear they were able to relieve your pain. It seems so many people here are un-diagnosed, so it's encouraging to hear that they figured someone's problem out.

Guy
Avatar universal
I had an ERCP with menometry. This is where they measure the pressure in the bile duct. Ask your Dr about Sphincter of oddi disfunction. I asked one Dr last year he about laughed me out of the office. This condition will mimic a gallbladder attack. I found mine to be more severe than the gallbladder attacks.
If you live in Georgia (I do) I really would suggest the Borland Groover Clinic in Jacksonville. Even if SOD isn't what you have. I'm sure would be able to help you. Look them up at borland-groover.com  I have military insurance and they were able to work with me. They'd jump over hoops to help.
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