My father-in-law (71 years old, heavy smoker, very light drinker [less than 5 units per week], reasonably fit & active [still working]) has been suffering from the following signs & symptoms for 5 months. He has had sonograms, barium meals, colonoscopy & CT scans with no definite results or diagnoses being offered.
Hospital consultants are convinced that he has strictures or lesions caused by pancreatic adhesions as a result of pancreatitis caused by excessive alcohol consumption. He has never been a heavy drinker, so the diagnosis of alcohol-induced pancreatitis appears illogical.
His signs & symptoms include:
Severe, acute & chronic abdominal pain;
Reflux & chronic vomiting (with unsubstantiated episode of fecal vomitus);
Bloating & tense abdominal distension;
Loss of appetite (resulting in weight loss of approximately 30lbs/15kgs);
Loud stomach "gurgling";
Appearance of light jaundice.
The symptoms are episodic, with no discernible triggers.
The signs, particularly bloating & "gurgling", are present at all times. There are instances of localised bloating, taking the form of 'bubbles' (similar in appearance to third-trimester fetus pushing fists or feet through abdominal wall) which appear to move when palpated.
His eldest daughter has recently been diagnosed with Lupus.
My question is: although several symptoms appear to match those of Crohn's Disease, could bile sludge be responsible for all of them, or should the consultants be looking for an autoimmune factor such as Crohns (bearing in mind the daughter's Lupus)?
Any info welcomed, as I will pass any suggestions to the consultants for consideration (rather than the unjustified diagnosis of alcohol induced pancreatitis).