Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal


Would pain due to pancreatitis be disabling in most cases? I am having post gallbladder removal problems, and I am concerned that my pain is due to pancreatitis? Had my surgery in June with a lot of problems afterwards. At one point I was diagnosed with a bile leak, and given antibiotics. After that I felt pretty good for several months, but now the pain has started again. I have a lot of pressure under my ribs, both sides. Stomach area is burning.The pain and the burning goes through my back as well. One question: What does greasy fatty stool look like? This is suppossed to be one of the symptoms of pancreatitis, but I have not idea what that would look like. Mine is floating most of the time. I am also constipated most of the time. I thought diarreha would be more of a symptom for pancreatitis? I'm going back to the dr. next week, but was hoping to get some ideas of what might be going on.
13 Responses
Avatar universal
You could be having some problems with pancreatitis, or something else amiss as a result of the surgery.  Many chronic pancreatitis patients developed the condition following gallbladder surgery.  The area of pain, and discription of pain sound familiar.  Stool that floats is what is considered greasy stool, this is often a sign of malnutrition, a problem with pancreatitis.  Diarrhea or constipation are problems also, I have had problems with both,  it always seemed like one or the other,  which really didn't get straightened out until my gastroenterologist started me on enzyme supplements, now it doesn't happen quite so often.

Make sure you mention all these problems to your doctor when you see him next week.  They should run some tests to see if this is your problem.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
While I am in pain, it is not disabling. I guess I was under the impression that pancreatitis would be even more painful, to the point where you can't do much of anything. In the past I have had bloodwork that was supposed to show if there was a problem with my pancreas. I have also had several CT scans, that did not show any problems with the pancreas. I guess I'm kind of baffled. It is also frustrating that I was doing fine for a while and now the problems are coming back. Do you actually have pancreatitis? Chronic or acute attacks?
Avatar universal

I don't want to throw you off track, but I too have had problems since having my gallbladder out in July.  I was re-hospitalized in September for severe pain.  I was beginning to think they hadn't taken the thing out at all.

I had acute pancreatitis when I went to the ER for my gallbladder attack.  If I remember correctly, my amylase level was 678 and my lipase level was 1098 (might have been reversed - all the test results are beginning to get mixed in my head).  It took four days to get it under control and then they removed my gallbladder.

I have never been 100% pain free since my gallbladder/pancreatitis attacks began in April 2002.  I have had just about every test known to man done and they all seem to be coming back "okay" or "normal" according to the doctors.

My GI is sending me to a hospital that specializes in ERCPs for SOD (Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction).  I have a lot of the symptoms you have posted about.  I too, like Nanny, have alternating bowel movements (constipation/diarrhea).

SOD may be somthing you want to research and talk to your doctor about.  

I actually did the research but was lucky enough to have a doctor who brought it up first.  I didn't have to push for him to try to find out what is going on.  He is interested enough to push it on his own.

Avatar universal

I have had four acute pancreatitis attacks.  About two years ago I developed chronic pancreatitis.  Some people can have an acute pancreatitis attack, recover, and never have any problems again.  I wasn't one of those lucky ones.  The chronic pancreatitis is here to stay.  

For some people with CP, the pain can be disabiling to the point that they are on daily narcotic pain relievers and they are unable to work or hold down steady employment due to their frequent attacks, which often take them to the emergency room and require several days to recover from.  Others, while still on pain medication, are able to work for a few years until their condition deteriorates so much that they can't stay at work.  I would say that the majority of the people I know with CP have found that it restricts their level of activity so much that they are not able to work anymore.

Avatar universal
I'm not sure if you are females, but if you are, is your pain worse during your period? Also, I have read that pancreas pain is often releived by leaning forward or sitting. Mine is the other way around. Seems better when I stretch my body and stand, worse when I sit. I know everybody's different. I guess I'm just looking for some piece of mind. I am so worried.
Avatar universal

I am a 31-year old female.  I do find that my symptoms seem to increase with PMS.  Oddly enough both visits to the hospital have been shortly before the beginning of my cycle.  When I had my gallbladder out I actually started my cycle on the second day of my six day hospital stay.  My second trip was also a six day stay and I started my cycle a few days after returning home.  

I have not come across research on hormones and their affect on any of the potential conditions they are looking for with me (IBS, SOD, CP).  It would be interesting to know.

I have found that the fetal position works best for me when my pain begins.  I also find that very slight rocking back and forth helps - not sure quite why.  I find these thing still help with the pain even after Darvocet has takent he really bad edge off.  I have to be careful when I stretch - seems like it intensifies the pain.  Feels like it lengthens it out - if that makes any sense (kind of like stretching an elastic or gum).

I'll be interested to see what other responses come back.
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn which OTC medications can help relieve your digestive troubles.
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
Discover common causes of and remedies for heartburn.
This common yet mysterious bowel condition plagues millions of Americans
Don't get burned again. Banish nighttime heartburn with these quick tips
Get answers to your top questions about this pervasive digestive problem