I did drink far too much in my 20s to mid 30s or so, and I lowered my intake a great deal sometime in my mid to late 30s when a friend told me her stepdad got stomach cancer, likely from alcohol.
I am now 44. About two years back I would have occasional attacks in the upper belly at night, once in a blue that were excruciating. They woudl die down and nothing more happened. I also had been chronically worrying for literally YEARS, and having "butterflies" in the tummy all the time.
I had a cardiac ablation last year. Since then, the big attacks didn't come. However I have still had cramping upper belly at times. Antacides like Zantac or Prilosec seemed to help.
ONe year ago, I had, in addition, a tiny jab in my left side, middle of the left side. It was tiny but noticeable. I mentioned it to my doctor ( whom I have since dumped) and his PA said "Oh, that's where your stomach is so you'd be having pain there too." It seemed odd but I had been sick of worrying about myself, so I let it go.
Last summer I fainted after drinking a sugary margarita. After all the usual testsing for diabetes, it was concluded that i did NOT have diabetes, but rather, reactive hypoglycemia. It was considered mild, and I was told to spread out my carbs and that if anything changed I could get back in.
Now, over the last few weeks, there is a sore pain in my left side, generally the middle of the side, but does not go away easily. Sometimes it leaves, then it returns. One time I had a beer and BBQ and it seemed to go away, but other times, it seems to have picked up AFTER eating and having one beer ( which I hardly drink anymore).
THe pain HAs on occasion, felt as if it were getting under my ribs, and yes once, it did seem to radiate around to the back.
So the pain patterns, from everything I read online ( and I developed rep of being a "cyberchondriac" from years of worrying), match up quite a bit with chronic pancreatitis. I am not experiencing weight loss or diarrhea, although last summer when I ate a lot of rich foods like New England Clam chowder and scallops, I had a diarrhea attack, but I did not have abdominal pain. I figure a lot of people can have the runs from a meal like that.
I'm going to call my Gastroenterologist to see if I can get squeezed in. I'm going to be urgent on the phone. I really don't want to go to the ER to deal with this if I can see a doctor calmly.
But, naturally, I'm terrified.
Can any other illnesses also come across with these symptoms? Also, medscape has those depressing mortality figures. It sounds like I'm dead meat if I have this. One article said there is no treatment yet I hear of people who end up having surgeries.
I know the pancreas is critical, but are there NO treatments? Does everybody just die in ten years? Have any of you been living with this for much longer?
I'm almost terrified to post this because when you post to a community, you get a lot of experiences but I'm hoping a doctor would chime in.