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Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum
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Avatar universal

could this pancreatitis?

I am a 35 yr old female with stomach discomfort for the past couple of yrs.  the following are my symptoms and what tests my Dr has ordered without all the results.
every morning as soon as I get out of bed I am extremely nauseated and do vomit.  whatever I ate yesterday makes a reappearence the next morning.
I am not in excurciating pain, but I am experiencing major discomfort in the pit area of my stomach, feels like someone is sqeezing it, and experience a stabbing pain on my left side shortly after eating, but this goes away as fast as it showed up.  eating is not apealling to me these days and I have lost about 16 lbs in the past three or so months without trying. I do have very oily BM.
the liver enzyme tests show that I have an extreme elevation of LIPASE.  
I have had endoscopy with biopsy and I do not have GERD( which is what my GP has been treating me as having)
I have also had GB ultrsound that was negative for stones or inflamation
and yesterday I had the abdominal CT with contrast
I do not see the Doctor again until the 30 of Sept. unless he calls to see me sooner.  he has given me nothing for my discomfort or nausea.  He seemed concerned about this elevated lipase but gave me zero information as to what where or why? I have looked and read what I can online, but not sure what I read.
any input into this would be greatly appreciated.  thanks in advance Jodi  aka mckeymowse
6 Responses
Avatar universal
Jodi,

From what you have already explained, it does sound as though chronic pancreatitis may be your problem.  I have  CP and experienced many of the same symptoms before I was diagnosed.  I still have pain, but much of my problems are controlled by a low fat diet, enzyme supplements with meals and snacks, antioxidants and vitamins, and class II narcotics when my pain episodes are unmanageable.  I've pasted some information from a research source below for you to review.  Feel free to post again if you have any more questions.

What are the symptoms of chronic pancreatitis?

The symptoms are very variable.

Pain occurs in most patients at some stage of the disease. This may vary in intensity from mild to severe. It may last for hours or sometimes days at a time and may require strong painkillers to control it. It often radiates through to the back and can sometimes be relieved by crouching forward. It is commonly brought on by food consumption and so patients may be afraid to eat. It is also commonly severe through the night. The pain varies in nature, being gnawing, stabbing, aching or burning, but it tends to be constant and not to come and go in waves. It may sometimes burn itself out but can remain an ongoing problem.

The mechanism of the pain is unclear. It seems to be related to pancreatic activity since it is frequently caused by food, especially fatty or rich foods. Some patients will have obstruction to the small ducts in the pancreas by small stones, and this is thought to cause back pressure and destruction of the pancreas. There is no relationship between the severity of the pain and the severity of the pancreatic inflammation.

The pain is often difficult to diagnose and can be mistaken for pain caused by virtually any other condition arising from the abdomen or lower chest.

It can be difficult to distinguish pain caused by pancreatitis from pain caused by a peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, angina pectoris, gallstones.

Diabetes is also a common symptom which affects over half of all patients with long-standing chronic pancreatitis. Long-standing chronic inflammation results in scarring of the pancreas which destroys the specialised areas of the pancreas which produce insulin. Deficiency of insulin results in diabetes. Diabetes causes thirst, frequent urination and weight loss. It may be possible in the early stages of chronic pancreatitis to treat the diabetes with tablets, but in the late stage of chronic pancreatitis, insulin injections are usually needed.

Diarrhoea occurs in just under half of patients. Normally, all the fat in food is broken down by enzymes from the pancreas and small intestine, and the fat is then absorbed in the small bowel. With a reduced level of digestive enzymes the fat is not absorbed. When the fat reaches the large intestine, it is partially broken down by the bacteria in the colon. This produces substances which irritate the colon and result in diarrhoea. The undigested fat also traps water in the faeces, resulting in pale, bulky, greasy stools which are difficult to flush away. They may make the water in the toilet look oily, smell offensive and be associated with bad wind.

Weight loss occurs in virtually all patients with chronic pancreatitis. It is due to failure to absorb calories from food and diabetes may also contribute to this. In addition, patients may be afraid to eat because eating brings on the pain. Depression is also common in chronic pancreatitis and this can also reduce appetite and lead to weight loss.

Jaundice (when patients develop yellow eyes and skin) occurs in about a third of patients with chronic pancreatitis. It is usually due to damage to the common bile duct which drains bile from the liver to the duodenum. The common bile duct normally passes though the head of the pancreas. In long-standing chronic pancreatitis, the scarring in the head of the pancreas narrows the common bile duct. Some degree of narrowing may occur in up to half the patients with chronic pancreatitis but when the narrowing is severe, it prevents the bile draining from the liver into the duodenum. It then spills back into the blood and the patient's eyes and skin become yellow. In addition, the stools become paler (since bile makes the stools brown) and the urine becomes dark (because it contains more bile than normal).

Vomiting after meals is a less common symptom but can occur as a result of severe pain. It may also be due to duodenal ulceration, which is often connected with chronic pancreatitis. In rare cases, the duodenum may be narrowed as a result of scarring secondary to chronic pancreatitis.

Vitamin and mineral deficiency. Prolonged passage of stools containing fat can result in low levels of calcium and magnesium in the blood. In addition, some vitamins may not be absorbed properly. This includes vitamins D and A.

I hope this information is helpful.

Nanny
Avatar universal
Jodi,

I forgot to mention, if your doctor hasn't given you any help with medication for the pain or nausea, I have a couple tips.  Fresh ginger root can be sliced and sucked on briefly to control your nausea.  This is a natural and safe way to keep it away.  Ginger ale also helps.  Some people take dramamine (s.p.) - OTC motion sickness pills.

There aren't too many OTC pain relievers that really help, but you can try extra-strength Tylenol temporarily.  It doesn't work for me, but others have had success with it.

Also try to eat only really low fat foods, no alcohol and no fried foods.  If it is CP, high fat foods and high proteins are very harmful and can cause more pain.

Nanny
Avatar universal
Just a little FYI....the squeeky wheel gets the oil!!!!!! Keep calling your DR. because they will not call you back. I just went through this with my daughter's GI Dr. She had extremly high liver enzymes from some bloodwork and wanted another bloodtest done to check on it and no one ever called me back until I called them a few times only to be told  that they are still elevated....well duh! So you should keep nagging because if you don't, they think it isn't as bad as you say. Trust me I am a nursing student and also I know from experience with Dr.s that have seen my daughter and also myself as well.  Good Luck!
Avatar universal
HI thanks to the responses  have more questions if you dont mind my asking.

I have been uncomfortable and nauseated now for quit sometime.  I also now have continuious diahrea.  It hurts to breath sometimes.  I feel like I have major gas pains in my right side shoulder and back.  I have started running a low grade fever.  I get the chills and the cold sweats and feel clammy.  this morning I awoke not in any more discomfort, but with the major shakes, like I am freezing only not.  My GI has not given me anything for any of my symptoms. I have also lost another 4 lbs since the end of august.In fact he doesnt even want to see me until the end of Sept.  I have a big problem with waiting that long. I called his office to make an earlier appointment and they told me no I will be seen at the end of this month.
As stated in previos post I have not been to the ER because lack of insurance and cant stand to be admitted.  I cant say this is pain, although from what I read about pancreatitis it sould be.  
I have lived like this a few times in the past only it has never lasted this long or required ER services, so I am trying to be the champ and not run to ER, but now I am becoming very concerned.  Is my body going into shock or something, I have never had the shakes like this before?  I tried the ginger for nausea, didnt help, I threw up while trying it. I tried heating pad for gas pains( more like a pressure) and that didnt help either.  any suggestions for this.   ( diarhea is bright yellow, very oily and comes on real fast.)
Avatar universal
You really should seek immediate medical attention.
taylee
Avatar universal
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