Patient Comments: Pancreatitis - Symptoms

What were your symptoms of pancreatitis?

Comment from: Mike, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 15

About 6 months ago I started having a few short bouts of severe abdominal pain, mostly center chest just where the rib cages meet, with it radiating to the back. I did nothing about it, they wouldn't last that long. Unfortunately, these led to a bout that wouldn't go away and was so painful I was throwing up just from the pain. It was pure torture. I called the ambulance when I started vomiting blood. It turns out I had acute pancreatitis. I stayed in the hospital for 7 days. Even though I had my gallbladder removed 20 years earlier, their best guess was a stone in one of my ducts (because it was dilated), although they didn't find one. Since then, I've had a few smaller bouts and I've slowly been losing weight and something tells me I'm going to have this the rest of my life.

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Comment from: Skimmer, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 04

Two hours after I had an ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography), I started having pain in my upper abdomen. It quickly grew until I was doubled over. Plus vomiting. I ended up having three major acute episodes, a total of 6 weeks in the hospital, plus numerous emergency room (ER) visits in between. Big symptoms were upper abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, and referred back pain, usually in the lower right back but also showing up in the shoulder blades and along the top of the shoulders. Also look for abdominal tenderness, weakness, exhaustion, lack of appetite, rapid weight loss because of poor appetite, and bad response to fatty and spicy foods. Controlling symptoms: When you have a flare up, stick with bland, low fiber foods. Try a clear liquid diet for 2 to 3 days. I use Bentyl whenever I have symptoms. Take it quickly to keep the pain from escalating. I also take oxycodone for the pain, but Bentyl calms your gut down. Get lots of rest, drink lots of fluids, and stay calm. Stress can cause an attack.

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Comment from: Linda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 16

I was 25 when I first had a pancreatitis attack; worst pain I have ever experienced! Seems this problem runs in my family as my son also has acute pancreatic pain, only his is a daily occurrence and he is being treated by a pain specialist with pain medication. There is limited knowledge in the medical field about this disease that it is difficult to find a pain management specialist to help you treat the daily pain. You also have to deal with the stigma of alcoholism as everyone assumes your attacks are happening because you are drinking even when you are not.

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Comment from: ouuuch, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 30

I am 21 years old and was hospitalized for two weeks last year due to pancreatitis. I got pregnant in 2012 and that's when it all started. When I was about 6 to 7 months pregnant, I started experiencing very tight, sharp pains in my upper abdomen and the doctors told me it was Braxton Hicks contractions and not to worry about it. About a month after having my son, I started experiencing pains in my chest like I couldn't breathe, and tightness in my back and chest and stomach. This went on for a couple months and that's when I decided to visit my doctor. She told me that it was probably anxiety and I need to calm down. After that doctor visit, the pain seemed to be getting worse. The pain would last for hours and hours and I would vomit and vomit because the pain was too much. I was at work one day when the pain came out of nowhere. It was so horrible that I was passing out at the register. The customers had to get my boss because I couldn't stand up anymore so my boas had to drive me home. The next day I called my boss to tell her I was feeling better and I would go in. About an hour later the pain came back, even more excruciating then the day before. I fell to my knees and it felt like my insides were on fire. I began to vomit blood and I was seeing blurry. My boyfriend carried me to the car and called the ambulance on our way to his house. When I got off the car to retrieve my wallet with my insurance info, I fell to the ground and began vomiting more blood and I passed out. I woke up in the ambulance and I couldn't even speak because the pain was too much. After running tests on me at the hospital, they found out that gallstones infected my pancreas and it was hemorrhaging. That experience was a whole lot worse than labor in my opinion.

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Comment from: Addie, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

I am 20 years old and I got pancreatitis in October of last year. We still don"t know what caused my acute case (I thankfully don"t have chronic, at least, we don"t think so) but I"ve tried being healthier with eating and not eating gluten as I"m intolerant to it which is part of why I think this happened. I had been at work one night and I randomly started getting an ache in my side. I was concerned, but thought nothing of it. It got worse and worse before I went to the doctor that week as they fit me into their schedule. They found nothing and told me "I was thinking possibly pancreatitis but your lab tests don"t show it". I was scheduled for a CT scan that next week and sent home. That Friday I had eaten dinner from a bar one night with my dad and about an hour later, I got really bad pain in my stomach. It got so bad that I started to cry and felt sweaty and hot all over. I was in pain for 8 hours, unmoving and just rocking while holding my stomach, before my parents decided it was time to go to the emergency room (ER). Before we could leave, I started puking so we had to wait again before we could get going. I should have been admitted, but they sent me home with pain killers after giving me fluids, and told me it was pancreatitis. The next day, I ended up back in urgent care instead with a fever of 102 - 103, and the doctor there knew I should have been admitted but due to understanding how expensive bills are he did his best to keep me out. We gave me more fluids and pain killers which helped me feel better enough to stay home. I was out for a week or so, before I could start eating food again (as I"d been on a liquid diet) and before I could go to work. I"m really careful now, to make sure that I don"t have this happen again as it was a really, really bad experience.

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Pancreatitis - Treatments Question: How was your pancreatitis (acute or chronic) treated?
Pancreatitis - Causes Question: If known, please describe the cause of your case of pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis - Experience Question: Please share your experience with acute or chronic pancreatitis.

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