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Avatar universal

Severe stomach pain through to back

This year I have been having bouts of severe stomach pain  (center, bottom of ribcage) going straight through to my upper/middle back. I thought it may be food related, but it has happened after eating different types of foods (meat/not meat, various levels of greasiness as well). Also it tends to happen 5-12 hours after I eat, often waking me up at night. It usually lasts about an hour and consists of me curled up on the floor in a fetal position, but kneeling. This is the only position that helps. Also, drinking large amounts of water helps too -1liter at a time. A couple of times it went away after vomiting, while other times it went away after defecating, and sometimes after an hour it goes away by itself, leaving me to urinate often from all the water.  So far it's happened only a handful of times, but lately, it's been occuring  more frequently, and I can have a similar sensation, but a lot less severe. Again, alleviated by drinking much water. This discomfort is not lower-back. It is more between T4 & T6.
I went to the local clinic and basically was charged $150 for having my blood pressure checked and urine analyzed. I really want to know what this could be so I can go to the doctor and say test me for xy and z, since I have no insurance. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.  
33 Responses
Avatar universal
forgot to mention that it is not a burning nor a stabbing pain. Actually, it feels like I'm impaled by a spear. I also feel very cold when this happens, shaking uncontrollably, and uncomfortable breathing. I am usually exhausted after this happens and fall in and out of sleep.
535822 tn?1443976780
Gall Bladder attack or cholic, it is very painful, put it into your search engine then you can print out foods you can eat and what to avoid, dont eat in the evening, eat early no Dairy no wheat, go on a low fat diet try apple juice when it is hurting, Cucumbers are good to help also Beets, it is all to do with youer eating, small meals , you can fast to get rid of the pain for a day or two. There is a lot of information out there.
219373 tn?1274921434
probably your gallbladder.  go to the ER and demand that you get a gallbladder ultrasound and an hida scan.  i suffered with the exact pain you describe for months before finally going to the ER in a severe attack that lasted all night.  they sent me home in excruciating pain and when i saw my PCP she automatically treated me and sent me to a surgeon.  my gallbladder was infected which can be life threatening.  do not leave without getting your gallbladder checked to make sure...you have the right.  
Avatar universal
it appears to have shared symptoms, but:... -it's not "right side" specific. Actually, it feels more like the left shoulder blade area. Also why the need to keep drinking water to avoid a backache.  
Avatar universal
You could have a gallstone that is blocking a pancreatic duct. I had simaler pain and had to have my gallbladder removed. Still had the pain 3 months after the surgery, turns out I had a gallstone that was blocking my duct. Very painful! Demand an MRI or CT scan.
Avatar universal
Plus, what I've read on gallbladder, it that it happens right after you eat...This happens more often 5 hours after I've eaten.
Avatar universal
What is the difference between gallbladder pain and ulcer pain? Also, if it was gallbladder, why would it be so infrequent? -once on Valentine's day (night), once on Father's day (midday), a couple of times here and there since then, but no real consistent cause, just seems to happen 5+ hours after I've eaten. All of these were after eating different types of foods as well.
692643 tn?1372611227
I had my gallbladder removed.5 years ago .had stones..b4 the surgery.. I had the same pain through my  back,ribs.shoulders,spine...sweats..then cold...paleface.PAIN was  hell!!!!  .I would  double over on the floor..sitting down I would.. lean forward when the pain would attack my stomach.then bend backward..when it travel towards my back,just rubbin myself..wth my knuckles..sometimes I was lucky to have friends around to massage me..Hit me hard..once while I was @ a Casino.thanx God we had a room..bedrest..dizzziest.uggh..then after surgery...I  still get that pain..not as much and  intense..5 hours after I ate..a drink..no one understood..how if I ate or took a pain pill 5-6 hours ago..why would it attack..after so long..to my suprise..I just had one this friday..I was shocked!! I still gt the pains on my shoulders..back and ribs stomach...once in a while..right out of the blue...
.wish you the best...I feel ya..this is crazy...I have Hplori..now..go figure..lol.take care
469934 tn?1333135282
Hey Pearlie434:

It's heartwarming to see so many people respond to your post.  There's nothing worse than being scared and sick.  I hate to say the same thing as in previous posts but check out, "The First Principles of Gastroenterology": http://gastroresource.com/GITextbook/en/Default.htm.  

From the variety of your symptoms, you'll be the best one look over the possible causes and eliminate them one by one.  Once you have a few remaining, you'll be able to eliminate all but a few based on your symptoms.  

My personal opinion is that without more tests to isolate a cause, you're going to be grasping at straws.  There is SO much that could be going on.  

If this is a biliary problem and you are able to get health care, now is the time because these things can spiral out of control as far as testing, medications and procedures are concerned.  

It helps to keep a journal or a blog and your welcome to read mine if you want.  Our situations have some similarities.  It's a great way to review your situation objectively and identify patterns in your symptoms, medications and pain level.  Hindsight is 20/20 and keeping a log might help you look at things more objectively over the longer term.  Also, when you do go into Emergency, you can say, this has been the pattern...

You are not alone!  Try to stay positive and reach out for support when you need it.  Talk to your Doctor, family, friends, co-workers, church or social service volunteers or anyone you feel safe with.  

When you do find answers, it would be wonderful if you could let us know the root cause(s) and how you got rid of your pain.  It gives people on this site hope to hear success stories.

Take care of yourself.  Good luck and Godspeed.  All the best,

Sam
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for all your posts! It is great to feel like I'm not alone in this and this pain does have a root cause and some of you can sympathize with me. When I do go in, I will post my results, so that someone like me who was doing google searches has an easier time narrowing this down. Thanks again, everyone! -P
Avatar universal
Has anyone ever tried any of the "liver and gallbladder cleanses" the olive oil and apple juice home remedy, or "Gall cleanse", which is supposed to dissolve them. http://www.gallstonesite.com/    Do these work?
469934 tn?1333135282
Hi again:

I did some research and decided not to try them.  I'm afraid they might cause more harm, given that even the simplest of foods can cause such excruciating pain.

If you do try them, let me know how it works out for you?

All the best,

Sam (banned1)
1 Comments
I think my liver cleanse may have resulted in this most recent flare-up.  (The cleanse is just fresh lemon juice, water, agave and cayenne peper. It did empty my bowels, but that is probably what caused the flare-up.
469934 tn?1333135282
How are you doing?

All the best,

Sam
Avatar universal
I've been doing ok. I haven't had the severe pain since last month. I am bothered on a daily basis by this nagging upper backache. It's weird, I tried Chiropractic for it, but in order to get relief I'd have to go just about every day. It got to be too expensive going once a week, and it didn't seem to be helping, so I stopped. It seems I have to force myself to drink lots of water to alleviate this discomfort, but then I'm always having to go pee. I'm also starting to get these weird episodes where I all of a sudden start shivering uncontrollably and can't stop even by turning up the heat. When I get these (it's only happened twice so far) I come down with this unexplainable and irrational "fear of death", which makes it worse. I have an appointment with a doctor, but I have to wait until Jan 2nd. I hope they can help based on my symptoms.
469934 tn?1333135282
I'm really glad to hear that your severe pain is better.  From a layman's terms, many of your symptoms may be caused by panic attacks.  Check out this page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_attack for information.  It discusses chills and your extreme anxiety relating to fear of death.  

Good luck on the 2nd!  I sincerely hope you feel healthy and happy soon.

All the best and Godspeed,

Sam
701334 tn?1262853503
what about GERD?
i had same basic stuff,and i had ALL the test,and nothing wrong with my pancreas or gullbladder!!,,,no stones,calcifications,lesions,enlargments,,,nothing!,,amalyaes,liypas good,,,so only thing left realy is gerd or ulcer,and i had a barrium swallow,no ulcsers,suprisengly as much as i worry!
gerd/and esophigeal spasms can cause this weard pain dead center,that extends into your back,,,i have been getting it for over 7 years now,and it has never realy gotten any better/worse in all that time,,,but try not to eat too late,and try not to stress,it is the 2 things that seem to get mine going,,,alcohol is bad too.
Avatar universal
Hmmm. IDK. The stuff I read on GERD says it's more of the burping acid-in the-back -of -the throat feeling and Heartburn. I very rarely get that. But it is worth having the Doc check it out. Thanks.
Avatar universal
Yeah, I've read up on the panic attack the other day and the scary shaking thing seems like it.  But the site I looked at also looked at causes for panic attacks, the top two on the list being hypoglycemia and hyperthyroidism. It's been a while since I've been to the doc, and have never been diagnosed with either one. I hope I don't have either, I like to eat sweets! Also, radioactive iodine to kill the thyroid just so I can be on thyroid meds the rest of my life sounds like a bunch of BS!
Avatar universal
I've been doing a little expirament; It seems like my back pain goes away slightly if I don't take my daily multivitamin.... What would the connection be there? I'll have to stay off them for a few more days and then take them again and see if there's a definite correlation.
469934 tn?1333135282
Hey Pearlie434:

You've made some really interesting connections: thyroid, multivitamins, etc.  

Hang in there!

You're in my thoughts and prayers.

All the best,

Sam
Avatar universal
Well, I didn't get anywhere with my Doc visit. Basically just went in with my BF, and brought up my symptoms. She says she can't do anything without me having the $200+ general exam + te$ting. So... I have a real appointment on the 30th.

On a brighter note, I started taking 1.35g/day of Licorice root capsules, and I noticed on the days I take the Licorice, I have no back/stomach discomfort! This is referring to the daily discomfort I've been having, not the severe pains. yesterday, I didn't take the Licorice, and last night I was up for a while with a stomach ache. I tried taking Rolaids, but the relief lasted only 15-30minutes. This stomach ache/back pain lasted until this morning, when I had breakfast and a Licorice pill. Anyone have any ideas?
469934 tn?1333135282
Sorry to hear that your appointment was a bust.

The University of Maryland Medical Center has a good article on the benefits of licorice root and it's use in the treatment and prevention of stomach ulcers.  If it works for you, right on!
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/licorice-000262.htm

Good luck with your real appointment on the 30th.

All the best,

Sam
Avatar universal
two weeks ago, I had the severe pains that lasted almost all day. I went to the ER, and they did all the tests, my liver enzymes ast, and the other one were off the charts! like in the 1000's normal is anything under 34! They set me up for an emergency ultrasound the next morning, and I was told it was gallstones. I decided to keep the gallbladder, since they didn't give me any other details. The next week, I ate ribs and was predictably in pain that night, despite having supper and an empty stomach afterwards. So, We went to a different hospital, since these pains didn't go away all day either, and they gave me 2 choices: either have the gallbladder taken out laproscopically now, or wait and when it becomes infected, have the big incision and be out of work for 2 months. I was getting tired of the pain, so I agreed to have it taken out after trying to have them take out the stones only and them refusing. I am reading horror stories about all these people who had theirs out a few years ago and have the ***** all the time, weight gain, gerd, acid reflux, and a host of other problems, while the real life (not online) people I talked to have no problems at all. I'm worried. I had it out Sunday, came home Monday, and had 2 bm's. one was normal, the other was soft, but not loose. Normal after eating veggies for the first couple of days. The only side effect I'm experiencing, is that at night I will sometimes wake up and feel like an acidic feeling at the bottom of my stomach. Do these other effects come on after some time? or is it diet/health related? am I going to get diarrhea after the bile cleans out the **** in my intestines like some slow moving drain-o? I really hate diarrhea, and I don't want it. I like my nice little rabbit-pellet like clean butt poop that I've always had. I tend to get paper cuts on my butt if my poo is too messy. Should I not worry about it?
701334 tn?1262853503
well,glad to see you found out what was bugging you,,i get similar pains like you did,not so intence,but they have checked my stuff out via ct scans and say nothing is wrong,,,2 times!,,barrium,and iodine used on each,so who am i to argue?
i realy dont know what to think of my "phantom" pain,,,but id kill to know exactly what it is.
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