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Chronic Pancreatitis?

About 6 months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like I had the flu...chills and nausea, but no vomiting...kept me up only an hour or so.  I woke in the am without the initial symptoms, but instead had a full body rash that was developing and extreme soreness on both sides of my lower back.  (I had assumed kidney stones or issue, but the later blood work and urinalysis suggested not.)

Went to the doc 2 days later as the rash covered nearly my whole body.   The rash was so pronounced and severe looking (though minimal discomfort) that all of the physician attention was spent on it.    I was referred to a dermatologist who treated me (with an antibiotic and cortisone cream) for pityriasis rosea.   Basically I was told that I would have to ride it out and it would last about 12 weeks....and that it is generally due to an unknown infection.  The dermatologist was right....it took about 12 weeks to clear up.  

The lower back pain lessened but become concentrated on the left side...pushing the lowest rib on the left back will create a nice jolt of pain.   Displeased with the numbers on the scale at my doc visits, I started working out religiously and have stuck to a very healthy diet, losing a needed 30 lbs or more.   (Good news, my BP has been lowered 15 to 20 pts.)    Essentially the pain has not limited life in any way, but is annoying and constant.   What makes me now wonder about chronic pancreatitis is that in the weeks following the disappearance of the rash the back pain has been joined by a pain in the pit of my gut or just below the rib cage at the upper stomach after eating a bigger meal or at night.   Again, it is not debilitating but usually takes an hour or so to subside.    I'm not a big drinker, and in fact have had no alcohol (or any other vice) for probably 5 months in effort to lose weight.    The symptoms are making me think chronic pancreatitis based on what I have read though I have had no symptoms like this prior to the initial event.   Over the course of a few months, the symptoms do not seem to be worsening, which is good, but also not getting better.  If it is chronic pancreatitis, will it by definition worsen over the months or years or can it stay stable if I stay on a healthy diet, avoid alcohol, etc.??? Any advice appreciated.   I do realize that I likely need to get back to the GP, but I'm most curious as to whether chronic pancreatitis ALWAYS worsens no matter what.   I'm 46 and want to of course stay healthy in the second half of life.
2 Responses
701334 tn?1262857103
i would not worry about pancreatitis y friend,,,i too have the sae issues somewhat,,,and thought years of being a weekend warrior had "done me in"!!
but what i got going on is gerd,,,,its basicly acid reflux but with more symptoms.
i get the pain just under the lowest ribs,it extends into my back,,,,stuff like that too.
thought it was gallbladder maby too,but it all checked out alright.
one other thing you might look into is sphincter of oddi disfunction.
i will tell you this,,,i by chance also have a friend who DOES have chronic pancreatitis,we went through the apprenticeship together....well,he got REALLLLLLLL sick,,,,,and found out he had pancreatitis brought on by heavy alcohol use.
i will tell you,,,he was 200 lbs strong,and it ate him away to 130 lbs!!!
he cannot eat hardly without causing attacks!,,,,his docs have told him it looks pretty bad,and hes got about 3-5 years left9hes had it about 7 years already)
...if you had pancreatitis,,,you would be in LOT WORSE SHAPE THEN YOU ARE.
so get that out of your head or youll make yourself worse feeling thinking about it!!!

701334 tn?1262857103
also,,,chronic pancreatitis is just that,,,chronic,,and ongoing,it only gets worse,and will continue to over the course it takes,,so i doubt thats your issue,and thats A GOOD THING.
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