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Duodenal Ulcer

Has anyone here ever had a duodenal ulcer? If so, can you describer the pain and location of the pain? I'm starting to wonder if my right sided, undiagnosed, pain is potentially from a duodenal ulcer. I've read the symptoms, and they seem to fit my pain, but at the same time they don't. I know, that's a bit confusing.

I have an endoscopy scheduled for tomorrow, so this will tell me either way, but I just wanted some personal input.
3 Responses
469934 tn?1333135282
Your symptoms could be SO many things including IBS, h. Pylori, sludge/stones in the common bile duct, gallbladder/gallstone problems, Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction, Small Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth, acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, autoimmune pancreatitis, minimal change chronic pancreatitis, etc., etc., etc.  Unfortunately, everyone and their sister wants to tell you what's "probably" wrong with you.  Like you, I tried to check my symptoms against every commonplace disorder I was aware of.  Three years and dozens of tests later, I am still undiagnosed.  As horrible as it is, the only thing you can really do is learn as much as you can about disgestive disorders and listen to your Family Doctor, Gastroenterologist or whatever specialist they recommend.

A great place to start is with the "First Principles of Gastroenterology", http://gastroresource.com/GITextbook/en/Default.htm.  

I wish you all the best and hope it's something simple.

Sam
Avatar universal
Hello Sam and thank you for your input.

Right now I've gone through multiple tests and nothing has come about or been diagnosed. My Gall Bladder, Bacterial Overgrowth, H. Pylori, Celiac, Thyroid, parasites and kidney stones have all been ruled out with these tests and scans. I'm becoming more and more discouraged at the days, weeks and months go on. It's been over 2 months and I still haven't any type of diagnosis. As it stands, the nurses and doctors all just think I'm crazy and my family is starting to become aggravated with me as well.

I'm sure that you can understand, not being diagnosed for 3 years now, that it becomes a bit overwhelming and many things start running through your mind. I've gone through each and every cancer possiblity and have myself scared to death that I'm seriously ill. It's not normal to be in pain and have "nothing" wrong with you.

Anyhow, thank you for your input. Guess I just have to wait and see what the test says. I just thought that someone could offer some information about what their duodenal ulcer felt/feels like.
469934 tn?1333135282
Hi again:

I do understand and your response clears things up for me considerably.  I'll send you a BRIEF email message shortly.  Forgive the length of the post and feel free to skip it, if you want.  If I knew half of this stuff three years ago, it would have made a world of difference.  The least I can do is share it with you.  The links are easier to manage and save if you cut and paste them into a word processing program.  That way you can read when you're feeling up to it and you don't have to wonder where the links are all the time.  Sometimes MedHelp adds spaces into the links, so take them out.  The Merck references are essentially beginner's text books for medical professionals and it should tell you everything you need to know about duodenal ulcers and more.  It also clarifies the biliary and ductal systems and is definitely worth a read, even if it just helps you to better understand how things work.

I'm sorry you are getting grief from your family and friends.  Unfortunatley, doubt from doctors and loved ones is something that many of us experience.  If you are normally a level-headed person who is honest, trustworthy and avoids exaggeration, why would this situation be any different?  You are NOT crazy.  Your symptoms are VERY real.  I believe you and I sympathize.  I think I can help with this.  There is a webpage called, "But You Don't Look Sick", www.bydls.com.  On the left hand side, you will see a link to something called "The Spoon Theory".  The woman who wrote it has Lupus but it is something that ANYONE who has been sick for several weeks should read.  If you read it, could you please let me know what you think?   In spite of your every day symptoms, do you have better days and worse days or are your symptoms the same all day, every day?

Your situation sounds disturbingly similar to Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction [SOD], which is a little known but increasingly more common problem that goes hand-in-hand with Pancreatitis.  I'll add some links at the end.

Many people have ZERO pain just by using digestive enzymes and/or pancreatic enzymes.  They don't cost much, they're natural and this is is something you can talk to your Doc about.  I'm told that they won't do any harm so really - unless you are contraindicated or have side effects - there's not a downside to trying them.  Your Doc might even have samples.  This is something you can do now and it reduces the amount of work the pancreas has to do which will also reduce any damage to the pancreas.  You can get them at the health food store, too, but make sure they only have protease, amlyase and lipase.  I'm a firm believer in having my Doc involved with any medication that I'm taking, even when I'm just changing dosages.  Enzymes take a few weeks to work sometimes. Enzymes and stool go hand-in-hand.  Links follow at the end.  

Before letting anyone remove your gallbladder, there are some less invasive tests such as the Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) and MRCP-S (Secretin) which can image the pancreas and ductal system.  The EUS does require sedation and is similar to an upper endoscopy.  Less helpful but also worthwhile is an MRI-S, which is essentially an MRI with the drug Secretin administered.   I had my gallbladder removed and it wasn't a very good decision.  If you have yours out, you'll probably be fine, happy and healthy again but please know what you're getting into.

Metamucil or a similar daily fibre product is a great help for MANY people with abdominal pain.   It does not make you go, it makes you regular by adding fibre to the watery stools, making them firm.   Senokot also acts like glue and binds things together while softening and making life less crampy.

A low-fat, fibre-rich diet can make a BIG difference.  If you eliminate fried foods from your diet and start with bland foods only, you may get to a point where you have NO PAIN.  Then you can add new items to see how you feel.  Less than 30 grams of fat per day is a great starting point.  

Keep a log of everything that enters and leaves your body.  It can help identify patterns in your foods, symptoms, medications, bowel habits and pain level.  

I wish you all the best and I sincerely hope you get the answers you need SOON!

All the best,

Sam

ENZYMES
www.pancan.org/Patient/Pancreatic/Diet/PancreaticEnzymes.htm
www.enzymestuff.com/basicsdosing.htm
www.pancreatitis.org.uk/enzymes.htm
www.hopkinscf.org/docs_shared/nutrition/pancreatic_enzymes.pdf
www.talkmedical.com/medications/1512/Creon-5

STOOL
http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec09/ch125/ch125a.html
http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/undigested-food-in-stool.html
http://www.enzymestuff.com/rtstools.htm
http://www.prohealth.com/library/bulletinarticle.cfm?ID=6592

SPHINCTER OF ODDI DYSFUNCTION
http://gastroresource.com/GITextbook/en/Default.htm
http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/topic.do?topicKey=pancdis/8160
http://hopkins-gi.nts.jhu.edu/pages/latin/templates/index.cfm?pg=disease1&disease=12&organ=3&lang_id=1
http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/AboutNIDDK/CommitteesAndWorkingGroups/NCDD/NCDDDiseasesofthePancreasNovember192007.htm
http://www.emedmag.com/html/pre/gic/consults/031505.asp
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00688662
http://intmed.muhealth.org/gast/patient_resource/commondisorders/sphincteroddi.html
http://www.joplink.net/prev/200111/04.html
http://www.joplink.net/prev/200111/06.html
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/487185_2
http://www.mdchoice.com/emed/main.asp?template=0&page=detail&type=3&id=1126
http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/abstract.do;jsessionid=7690FF8E3E31A4C664267BD8276C2B86.0503?topicKey=~Sm4Jhk.9M03Fy&refNum=30
http://www.uic.edu/depts/mcpt/curriculum/liver51_gg_lecture.html
http://www.top5plus5.com/Sphincter%20of%20Oddi.html
http://www.iffgd.org/site/gi-disorders/other/sod
http://www.ddc.musc.edu/public/problems/diseases/pancreas/sphincterOddi.cfm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=9219783&dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16842450
http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/topic.do?topicKey=~UrVVscJQz1HYr

PANCREATITIS {Some Duplicates ~ Sorry}
http://gastroresource.com/GITextbook/en/Default.htm
http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/topic.do?topicKey=pancdis/8160
http://hopkins-gi.nts.jhu.edu/pages/latin/templates/index.cfm?pg=disease1&disease=12&organ=3&lang_id=1
http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/AboutNIDDK/CommitteesAndWorkingGroups/NCDD/NCDDDiseasesofthePancreasNovember192007.htm
http://www.emedmag.com/html/pre/gic/consults/031505.asp
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00688662
http://intmed.muhealth.org/gast/patient_resource/commondisorders/sphincteroddi.html
http://www.joplink.net/prev/200111/04.html
http://www.joplink.net/prev/200111/06.html
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/487185_2
http://www.mdchoice.com/emed/main.asp?template=0&page=detail&type=3&id=1126
http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/abstract.do;jsessionid=7690FF8E3E31A4C664267BD8276C2B86.0503?topicKey=~Sm4Jhk.9M03Fy&refNum=30
http://www.uic.edu/depts/mcpt/curriculum/liver51_gg_lecture.html
http://www.top5plus5.com/Sphincter%20of%20Oddi.html [Fantastic Group]
http://www.iffgd.org/site/gi-disorders/other/sod
http://www.ddc.musc.edu/public/problems/diseases/pancreas/sphincterOddi.cfm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=9219783&dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16842450
http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/topic.do?topicKey=~UrVVscJQz1HYr
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