Gastroenterology Community
31.5k Members
Avatar universal

Not sold on Pancreatitis diagnoses

3 weeks ago while in camp I started to feel bloated and uncomfortable and a little backed up. After a few days I started getting pain in the upper middle of my abdomen, nothing I couldnt deal with. The pain would only really come on at night when I was going to bed and the second I started eating (seemed like lunch time didn't bother me much just dinner time meals aggravated it). I took some Pepto throughout the week which made me feel better most of the time and I downed some X Lax just to see what happened. I was having relatively regular bowel movements so the exlax didn't do much and I kept on my merry way. I started getting better during the start of the second week and went to the gym a few times no problem. A few days later I got really bad stomach pains that radiated to my back really bad to the point the I had to leave camp and go to the hospital.

Told the doc what was up and he said I probably had an ulcer and gave me some antacid stuff and sent me off (no tests or anything). The next day I had pains during the day so I got into a bottle of Gaviscon on top of the antacid pills and felt better no big thing. That night I drank a good amount of liquor and the next day I was fine all day but got pains at night pretty bad so I had more Gaviscon and some Pepto Pills. The next day the pain got really bad so I took another antacid and I went to the chiropractor (cause my back was out anyway), told them what was up, and they suggested I get an H. Pylori test done in case it was a bacterial ulcer.

I went to the clinic and told that doctor what was up and he gave me a requistition for blood work (to check my pancreas) and an H. Pylori test. I planned on going to my family doctor the next day anyway which is what I did. He gave me a report with a lipase level over 900 u/l and told me I needed to go to the hospital immediately and that they would probably put me on IV for a couple of days and do more tests. I also got a call from the clinic saying the H pylori test got screwed up and I would have to do another (which I still havn't done due to the pancreatitis diagnoses)

In emergency I got my vitals checked they were all normal. I got a blood test done again and everything was normal other than my lipase which had gone down to 200 u/l overnight. They let me go in a reasonable amount of time, no IV, and sent me home with some pain killers and told me to liquid diet for a few days. A couple days later I went back for an ultrasound which came back totally fine (no inflammation, gallstones, etc...). During the days off my pain was reasonably manageable and was no different on fluids really than while eating regular food (pain starting immediately upon eating).

Couple days later I went to the doctor where he told me I have pancreatitis due to alcohol, based on the fact that I told him the week prior to symptom start I had been drinking more than I usually do (I would be exaggerating by saying I had at least 2 or 3 beers a day for about 10 days, because I was on days off after camp work, with maybe one or two days where I actually got over a buzz point). I projected my dismay and surprise due to how little I normally drink and he responded by saying it can compound and can just happen basically and that some people are just unlucky. I took another blood test and that came back with my lipase still at about 200 u/l. This is 4 days after the initial 900 u/l red alert.

Onto where I require advice.

I am not sold on the idea of pancreatits being my diagnoses. I have been reading about it for the last few days (due to boredom) and there are things that dont make sense.

1. How does my lipase drop that much overnight if my situation was so severe?

2. Despite being told otherwise. Could the prescription antacid, and three over the counter medications I took hours prior     to my blood test (two of which are known to cause apparently negligible Lipase increases) cause a large Lipase spike?

3. I have only two symptoms of pancreatitis and do not have nausea, headaches, jaundice, fatty stool, vomiting, constipation, low B/P, rapid heart rate, fever, sweats or an inflamed pancreas

4. The pain location minus the banding effect to my back is located directly on top of the location I had a pyloric stenosis surgery (and two consecutive repairs)

5. The pain can start immediately when I eat and at night. It doesn't take minutes to kick in like I have seen symptoms described and I am usually fine throughout the day even.

6. Why did antacids and Pepto/Gaviscon help with the pain I was experiencing?

7. Why did drinking not make my pain worse?

8. I wasn't put on an IV or detained in the hospital nor was I provided with detailed instructions on the lifestyle changes I apparently need to make. All I was told was try not to eat fatty foods and dont drink for at least 6 months.

9. How does something like this just 'happen'. You would think there would be some form of warning signs or whatever but apparently it is a scenario like superman having a heart attack...it can just happen.

There were a few other things but these are the main points. I think at this point I am going to get sent to a specialist who can actually tell me more detailed answers to my questions. From what I have read there are several others tests that are supposed to be done as well that havn't been done yet, and I am thinking I should get the H. Pylori test done again just to say I did (considering all you do is breath into a cup and they put a lid on it).

I am just looking for some input I am tired of scanning forums and things and looking at situations that all seem substantially different than mine, like people whom have lost organs and had serious problems and much much more serious initial diagnoses stories.

Thanks for any input.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Welcome to the gastroenterology community!  I couldn't read through your entire post so I just skimmed it.  I would recommend seeing a specialist (a gastroenterologist) like you had planned.  You probably did have some degree of pancreatitis and it was probably at least partially caused by your drinking.  If you have any short specific questions, I would be happy to try and answer those.
Avatar universal
You probably have acute pancreatitis which can come out of nowhere. It might be mild right now but I wouldn't wait for the serious pain. Drinking & fatty foods, such as cheese brings it on. This is serious. I suggest you sto drinking & see a specialist.
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn which OTC medications can help relieve your digestive troubles.
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
Discover common causes of and remedies for heartburn.
This common yet mysterious bowel condition plagues millions of Americans
Don't get burned again. Banish nighttime heartburn with these quick tips
Get answers to your top questions about this pervasive digestive problem