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Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum
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Avatar universal

would like opinions

Since last November I've had epigastric pain, nausea, lack of appetite and of course weight loss to go with it.  I've now lost 28 lbs.  The pain is mostly under my ribcage in the centre, but often it radiates to my back as well, as well as having pain in the area of my liver.  I've had liver function tests, amylase and lipase tests, full blood test, test for inflammation, hep test, as well as an gastroscopy, ultrasound and CT scan.  Everything came back pretty well ok.  Not knowing what to do my doctor put me on a course of antibiotics for heliobactor, with no result. I have found that the pain especially comes on if I eat something high in fat, usually I stick to a low fat diet.   Now I'm seeing a gastroenterologist who just ordered a heap more blood tests, especially another one for pancreas, and told me to come back.  I'm also suffering from fatigue which I guess is understandable with the weight loss and lack of appetite.  Any ideas, or suggestions as to what I should ask the gastro.

Barb
8 Responses
Avatar universal
I HAVE THE SAME PAIN THAT RADIATES TO MY BACK, I DONT HAVE ANY ANSWERS FOR YOU THOUGH. BUT IF YOU FIND OUT SOMETHING PLEASE LET ME KNOW!
Avatar universal
A lot of people think that if you have a stomach pain and radiates to the back is Pancreatitis.

But it can also mean a different disease.

But in your case the amylase and lipase tests came out good.
Also Pancreastitis has severe stomach pains that is not your case.

You might check out http://www.pancreasfoundation.org for more answers on Pancreatitis issues.

Let me ask you this questions?

Do you notice any yellow pigmentation in your skin or eyes?

What is the color of your urine?

Have you had changes in your bowels movements?
The color of your stool?
Does your stool float on the sink?

Are there any pains after you eat?

Do you drink alcohol? If you do, does it hurt after alcohol consumption? Do you drink more than the average person?

Do you itch?

I have had similar symptons and my pain goes to my back.
But in my case the back pain came first and then I had four weeks of stomach complications.

I am now slowly adding food to my diet.
Specially rice, apple juice, pasta.

I am also having Metamucil (Over The Counter Fiber Supplement) that has helped me a lot.

Acute Pancreatitis is the inflamation of the Pancreas than can be treated and cured if diagnosted on time.
In the other hand Cronic Pancreatitis can not be cured.

They say it is very difficult to diagnose but a good Doctor should come out with an accurate diagnostic.

I wish you all the best and hope you are blessed with health.

Please keep me advised on the back pain.

Truly yours,

Max



Avatar universal
Could it be your gallbladder? People that have that problem have trouble digesting high-fat foods. My mom had attacks of pain, nausea and vomiting, her ultrasound didn't really show anything but then when they removed her gallbladder they said she was lucky because it was ready to burst.
Avatar universal
Sometimes chronic pancreatitis cannot be detected by a cat-scan, ultrasound or even testing amylase and lipase levels, there are times a&l levels remain normal, even though the patient has pancreatitis.  The questions that Max1 addressed are all excellent  for determining a better diagnosis.  Your symptoms are the same as mine before I was diagnosed with acute, then, chronic pancreatitis.  The very first thing I  noticed was the pain in the sternum, right at the center behind my lower ribcage.  Then came the back pain, slight stomach discomfort, inability to tolerate high fat foods, weight loss of 20 pounds, floating stools, nausea, etc.  All the symptoms Max1 guestioned about eventually came into the picture.

It is good that you have gone to a gastroenterologist and that they plan to investigate further.  It could be something else.  The important thing is that you are smart enough to go to a specialist instead of thinking a PCP has the knowledge to handle a specialised problem.  They should be able to determine the cause of your problems.  Good luck, and let us know what they find out.
Avatar universal
Sometimes chronic pancreatitis cannot be detected by a cat-scan, ultrasound or even testing amylase and lipase levels, there are times a&l levels remain normal, even though the patient has pancreatitis.  The questions that Max1 addressed are all excellent  for determining a better diagnosis.  Your symptoms are the same as mine before I was diagnosed with acute, then, chronic pancreatitis.  The very first thing I  noticed was the pain in the sternum, right at the center behind my lower ribcage.  Then came the back pain, slight stomach discomfort, inability to tolerate high fat foods, weight loss of 20 pounds, floating stools, nausea, etc.  All the symptoms Max1 guestioned about eventually came into the picture.

It is good that you have gone to a gastroenterologist and that they plan to investigate further.  It could be something else.  The important thing is that you are smart enough to go to a specialist instead of thinking a PCP has the knowledge to handle a specialised problem.  They should be able to determine the cause of your problems.  Good luck, and let us know what they find out.
Avatar universal
You do not have anything wrong with your pancreas, it does show up on CT SCANS and on Ultrasounds, i never once heard it not showing up, and dont listen to all you hear on here, im sure these people mean well, but they are not professionals, and ARE NOT qualified to make a diagnosis of any such disease as acute or chronic pancreatitus, certain people here throw a lot of fear into people and are not educated in the medical field to make such calls...Just because they have the same symptoms, DOES NOT mean that you have the same disease as they do, even if your symptoms mirror theirs, your Dr would certainly agree with what i just told you...... Good Luck, and listen to your Dr, not just people who think they are Dr,s...
Avatar universal
Sounds like pancreatitis to me. Found out my daughter had pancreatitis when gall bladder was taken out and saw that the cystic duct was fibrous and due to her symptons and elevated enzymelevel.  She also had what is called Turner's sign and Cullen's signs (bruises) on her flank and around her navel.  Indicates bleeding.  Just do a lot of research on pancreatitis and check with your specialist.  Good luck
Avatar universal
Thanks for the comments and suggestions.  I've been back to the gastro and it seems that the stool tests [3 days in little containers] showed that I am passing a massive amount of fat through.  It was so high that he actually rang the lab to check in case it was an error.  He's now ordered the three day, eat lots of fat, and collect all the waste test, as he feels the problem is fat malabsorption due to my pancreas not secreting the necessary enzymes.  Going on my initial symptoms he feels that I contracted a virus [forgot the name] which affects the pancreas, unfortunatley there is no test to check if I had the virus.  He feels quite confident that once he gets the newest test results back, he will be able to treat me with enzymes and things will get back to normal.  Unfortunately I don't see him again till early April, but at least if I stick to my low fat diet it's fairly bareable.  Thanks again for your comments.

I forgot to mention in my earlier post that I had my gall bladder removed five years ago.

Barb
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