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Avatar universal

Pain under ribs, occasional pale stools, weight loss, suspected pancreatic issue

Hi, I am a 33 y.o. female with a 3 years history of digestive issues. I have been previously diagnosed with IBS and gastritis. At that time I had frequent diarrhea and lower left quadrant pain.
About two years ago, I started having upper left quadrant pain and pale stools, and I did a lot of analysis including an MRI, which revealed nothing. I went gluten and lactose free and was pain-free until 2 months ago.
In july, I started having occasional dull pain on my mid right side (gallbladder location) and was feeling tiredish. The pain was worse when bending, or in positions in which my rib was hitting the spot. I went to my GP who did a serie of blood analysis and a ln abdominal ultrasound. All the findings were normal except somewhat lower ferritin (11ng/L). The US was clear. However, since the pain continued and moved also to my mid-left side under ribs, I ordered a MRI and additional test, suspecting that there might be somthing wrong with my pancreas. However, my pancreatic enzymes are still normal, CA 19.9 negative, blood sugar normal, ferritin back to normal and the MRI is also clear. It would all be very good if I didn't have this pain, that seems to be worse after I eat (especially if that something is fried). I also feel that the food I eat stays undigested for a very long time. Above all, I lost 4kg in 3 months and I am extremely worried that I might have pancreatic cancer. I read that this cancer is somtimes quite difficult to diagnose. Please help with suggestions. Would a serious issue show up on some results? Am I crazy for suspecting that? What could this be? Thank you in advance! God bless!
11 Responses
Avatar universal
I forgot to mention that I had pale stools on a couple of occasions during these 2 months. They seem to appear after I have stronger pain under ribs. Then, the day after they are back zo normal. I am really puzzled.
Avatar universal
I also have IBS from years of opiate analgesic abuse. You know. Sometimes, it's just the food moving through that cause the most uncomfortable, nauseous, painful, severe signs and symptoms. It's simply your bowels working. Unfortunately, those of us with IBS, know EXACTLY when our pyloric valve opens and when we dump something into out small intestine. It's sensation of peristalsis that causes our enteric nervous system to interpret that as pain. Have you been checked for any nerve disorders? How is your diet? Sleeping habits? Tabacco use?

One thing I know that works for me... This is going to be painful the first time... Peppers. Hot as hell peppers. Cayenne chili powder added to a salad with chopped apple, walnuts and seseme seeds. Use only olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing and EAT SLOW.

That'll get stuff moving.


Avatar universal
Given your normal imaging along with clean blood work, I wouldn't worry too much. The doctors have done a pretty through job and even included the CA19-9 tumor marker. Did they also test you for CEA and AFP?

When you were having your GI issues, were your doctor's able to do some blood work during this flare period? That might be a bit more informative of you're dealing with a transient issue like chronic biliary sludge or very small gallstones, etc. And have you ever seen an elevated Bilirubin level or Alp level in any of your blood work?
Avatar universal
Hi, thanks for answering! No, all my other parameters (except ferritin) were normal all the time. They checked liver and pancreatic enzymes and everything else. Everything seems normal, but I feel like crap, losing weight and having pains. On top of that, I am hypochondriac and when I google my symptoms, it seems to match pancreatic cancer. Also, I read that this type of cancer can be very difficult to diagnose, and there were people with normal CT scans who still had tumors. I know I shouldn't be thinking that way, but it's been lasting for months now, and I still have no answer and it is very frustrating. I tried taking Nexium for 2 weeks, based on a suggestion from my doctor that it might be gastritis, but it didn't help.
Avatar universal
I forgot to mention that those days when my pain is worse, I also feel very thirsty and have dry mouth...another indication of a pancreatic problem.
Avatar universal
I was a smoker until a year ago. I drink rarely and in small quantities (not since the pain started) and I try to eat healthy: home cooked with a lot of veggies, organic eggs, etc. It is worth maybe mentioning that before the pain started, I had a really stressful period: lost my job, found out I had infertility issues and starting the whole IVF process with my husband. I was also taking a LOT of supplements, including DHEA hormone to prepare myself for the IVF and have better chances. It might have triggered something.
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