I just thought of another symtom that I feel needs to be shared. I have these red blotched that when you look at them real close they almost look like spider vanes. I have them on my cheeks, my chest and am starting to get them on my stomach and my arms. Is this a sign of anything. Or am I just getting old.
Usually only a gastro or pancreatic specialist would able to recommend, read and understand the appropriate tests necessary to diagnose Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction. It can not be seen in an ultrasound or basic CT-scan. It is a complicated dysfunction and often difficult to diagnose. Specific tests to measure the pressure in the sphincter are used to diagnose this. Pancreatic and SOD problems are really beyond the training levels of a general practioner.
I have several friends with SOD in my pancreatitis group, since the problems are interrelated. They describe the pain as being very sudden, violent pain in the upper abdominal and upper sternum. Pain strong and sharp enough to cause them to break out in a sweat, totally dehabilitating while it lasts, often accompanied with vomiting. Diarrhea usually follows after the SOD attack. The attack diminishes within an hour or so. Chronic pancreatitis attacks, while strong and excrutiatingly painful when a flare up occurs, are usually not so high in the sternum, are usually less severe and last of much longer duration, often taking days to subside. Vomiting and nausea can also accompany this, so you can see where the two conditions are difficult to differentiate due to the similarity of physical symptoms.
Hope this helps.
Thank you so much for your help. It is very interesting how the two can be so much alike. Thanks again.
I forgot to comment about the red areas, that look like little spider veins. I've noticed those in the past year, too, I have them right around my ankles and they are just noticable. I attributed that to old age (I'm 50), but who knows! No one else has noticed them, (or has been too polite to say anything), so I really haven't been too concerned.
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I was just treated a month ago with SOD. The test to determine it is the ERCP with menometry. It measures the pressure in the bile duct. I had all the symptoms you do. For me the pain was unbearable. The pain seems to go along with eating. Either you can't eat or you can't go on a empty stomach (which is what I had) For me some of my worst attacks came with my mestrual cycle. Funny most women dread that time - I did even more. I never knew when they would happen I got to the point where I just stopped going out. Which is hard with 2 very active kids. I had been to so many Drs who always came up with the same thing either IBS or reflux. I took 15 different meds trying to stop the pain. Nothing helped.
It is associated with gallbladder removal. About 10% of us get this. My story my be different than others. My pressures had been high for years. The bile duct wasn't opening enough to let the bile out, so it would back up into my gallbladder. When my gallbladder finally failed the attacks started becoming more frequent and a lot stronger. When I had it removed the pain started that day and was everyday and several times a day mostly starting in the middle of the night. My liver started showing signs next. Then my pancreas even though the tests came back ok. The stomach pain was undeniable. I went ahead with a sphincterotomy - I have had no pain since. I did get pancreatitis from it (ERCP w/menometry has high risk) and still am dealing with the after effects of the pancreatitis. I would do it again in a heart beat knowing what I know now. It should only be done by a Dr who does these daily and is very experienced. I had mine at the Borland Groover Clinic. Look up SOD at borland-groover.com