I'm 38 years old, female, with IBS (constipation) and chronic pain due to Fibromyalgia. I also have Type 2 Diabetes which is very well under control (a1c has been 6.0 or below for the last couple of years). I have high cholesterol which is now under control with simvastatin and lopid. I take Lyrica for Fibro and Metformin for diabetes. I take acidophilus, fiber (Benefiber), and stool softeners with laxatives every single day for my constipation. (my other meds are: flexeril due to chronic very tense muscles in my upper back, shoulders, and neck; meclizine for vertigo; requip for restless leg syndrome; Imitrex for migraines; ativan for anxiety and luvox for OCD/skin picking. I was on amitriptiline for headaches but stopped that a few days ago to limit exacerbation of constipation. I also have asthma but don't have very much trouble with it... i have a Pro-Air inhaler if needed)
A few months ago (in April), I started having severe abdominal pain. Through April, May, and until early June, I went to the emergency room 4 or 5 times due to severe pain. Towards the end of things, the pain was a level 9+. Well, I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation. I also have chronic pain due to Fibromyalgia and several other conditions (including plantar fasciitis and bursitis and severe lower back pain). My Fibromyalgia doctor prescribed Vicodin for me to use for my pain. Well, unbeknownst to me, Vicodin compounds constipation. I started having severe abdominal pain and so I would take more vicodin. It would ease the pain until it wore off, then it would come right back and I'd take vicodin again. This would last about 10 to 14 days until even the vicodin couldn't ease my pain and I'd have to go to the E.R. I would get a diagnosis of constipation, be given an enema and magnesium citrate and sent home. I was stubborn and wouldn't believe that constipation could cause such extreme pain so I kept using the vicodin and consequently kept ending up back in the E.R. Finally, after my June 10th visit to the E.R., I grew a brain and stopped using the vicodin. I started taking Acidophilus, Benefiber, and Stool Softeners with Laxatives every day. Because I didn't have anything for the pain, I went through HORRIBLE pain for about 6 days before the pain finally eased. I continue to take the meds for constipation every day and my tummy doesn't feel nearly as bloated or full and I'm a little more regular than I was.
Here's the thing, when I was going to the E.R. all those times, I had some general all over pain, but the MAJORITY of my pain was in my upper abdomen... like between my ribs in that place where you'd get the wind knocked out of you or someone would do the heimlich... in that area or just below it. Pushing on that place hurts... and I've discovered that pushing on the upper right area hurts too. Where the constipation pain seems to be mostly gone, this upper abdominal pain continues, though it's more moderate than severe. Over the past several years, I've had slightly elevated liver enzymes on and off. Testing showed nothing wrong with my liver so because I'm obese (around 225 lbs... down from 260 lbs the end of last year), she said it was probably just "fatty liver". Well, one of the times I was in the E.R. (back in April), my blood test for my pancreas levels came back a little elevated. They admitted me to the hospital just in case it was pancreatitis and did an ultrasound which came back negative. I've had ultrasounds a couple of times on my gallbladder and no stones were found. I have looked all over the internet for the past couple of months trying to find something that was close enough to my symptoms but didn't find anything. Well today I found something called "Sphincter of Oddi"... which an online doctor mentioned a month ago but I didn't know what it was and thought it was just a typo or difficulty with English. Well, it turns out that I have several symptoms that track with SOD. Here's a list:
-- pain is (postprandial?) worse after eating (seems to ease during times of clear liquid diet)
-- consistent pain and tenderness in upper abdomen, middle and to the right.
-- have had occasional slightly elevated liver enzymes
-- have had one blood test return a mildly elevated pancreatic level
-- ultrasound for gallstones negative
-- return of acid reflux (approx 3 mos ago) after being "cured" approx 5 or 6 years ago after a period of taking Cimetidine
-- daily mild to moderate nausea that strongly interferes with my eating habits (I usually only eat once a day due to nausea)... have lost around 30 lbs or more since the end of last year (Nov/Dec 2008) with no change in activity level... just lack of eating regularly.
-- Only 1 episode of vomiting. Woke up one morning, sat up on the bed for a few minutes, then started vomiting. But I've had MANY episodes of very overwhelming nausea, however I have a very strong control of my gag reflex... can stick my fingers WAY down my throat and not even begin to gag. So I don't know if that's why I haven't been vomiting.
-- very tired, can't get enough sleep
So I'm wondering could it be SOD? Obviously it's not a severe case... my pain lately is mild to moderate, but pretty much constant every day. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions or questions? If you need more info, just ask. I don't get offended and am not easily embarrassed. I'm an open-book. I just want some ideas. I've had abdominal problems since I was a pre-teen... I used to have problems with gas getting locked up inside and couldn't release it and it caused excruciating pain. Those phases would last for HOURS, and usually happened at night. That lasted til I was in my mid 20's. My primary doctor is now finally trying to get me in to a GI doctor, but apparently there's only 1 in this area so he's booked I guess.
Thanks for reading my long, novel-sized post. =)