Patient Comments: Pancreas Divisum - Symptoms

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What were your symptoms associated with pancreas divisum? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Holly, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 04

I have pancreatic divisum. Sitting is a big factor in pain. I find if I keep my back straight and get up and walk around, especially after eating, I feel much better. My work involves sitting for long periods, and it was after a long stint of sitting (I'm a painter) I ended up in the hospital. I had been having symptoms, but I put it down to indigestion. When I lie down at night I have to prop myself up a bit so I'm reclining with my back being straight. I'm guessing a straight back stops pressure on the duct so the enzymes can move through. My diet is very low fat and I take Natural Factors Pancreas Plus enzymes. I eat small amounts of food throughout the day. After two years my lipase and amylase are still high but stay just above normal if I am true to my low fat vegetarian diet. When I cheat my levels go up, I get tired, and it hurts. But most of all, sitting straight and standing after meals helps a great deal.

Comment from: emmajean5712, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 13

At age 41 I was hospitalized twice at 2 separate hospitals in the same year for acute pancreatitis, having elevated enzymes above 700. The first thought was that it was an alcohol related disease; it was not, as I do not drink. The 2nd detected pancreas divisum that had diseased my gall bladder, which they removed. Further, their failed attempt to remove the smaller duct resulted in cardiac arrest, and 11 years later scar tissue had formed, placing me back in the hospital again with appointment at death's door. Presently I am undergoing a battery of tests to determine cause for elevated enzymes in my liver and alkaline phosphatase in my bones. I have developed chronic pain and nausea. I have been told on each occasion that I am a medical mystery, because not only am I still alive but I have a higher tolerance for pain than I do for pain medications. I am presently receiving no treatment pending final tests results.

Comment from: jeff z, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 08

I have been dealing with chronic abdominal pain for five years now. I had ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) performed and said to have pancreas divisum (PD). I went for a second opinion and was told everything was fine. They only did MRI. I keep getting hospitalized with elevated enzymes. It is driving me crazy! New doctors don't even want to call it pancreatitis but what else causes elevated enzymes! They took me off of pain medication six weeks ago and my pain has increased to unbearable level. I don't want to keep going to the emergency room but my primary care physician is doing nothing for me but making it worse. I'll get out of hospital and two to three weeks later back in for another week and half. I am at wits' end and am looking for suggestions.

Comment from: JMSchil, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 11

I recently just had my gallbladder removed in November 2015 and I'm still having pain. A CT scan showed I have pancreas divisum and two small nodules on my liver. I just had a MRI and waiting for results. I can't get through the day without 600 mg of Ibuprofen and 1 extra strength Tylenol about every four hours. It really starts to hurt when I'm sitting and feels inflamed. Some days are worse than others. I'm sick of feeling this way. It's been a year now dealing with this.

Comment from: Lee, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

It was great to find this page, I suffer from pancreas divisum. I had my gall bladder removed in 2004 as they thought this was the cause of the intense pain I was in. Three weeks later I had another attack, and this continued for years on and off, until in 2013/14 I had 36 admissions to hospital and finally referred to a surgeon in Brisbane. He is amazing. I have had an MRCP (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography) and ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography). They enlarged one of the ducts, and I felt great for 4 days. Another attack and I was hospitalized, now I am on enzymes, and pain management. I have worked out that eating white bread doesn't help, but other times I can be sound asleep and wake in excruciating pain. I had no pain until I was 35 and constant for the past 10 years; no idea what caused it to flare up but am seriously getting sick of it.

Comment from: Janb, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 11

I began having severe attacks of abdominal pain in my mid-fifties which were random but debilitating. Everything pointed to pancreatitis but since I had none of the risk factors, that diagnosis was disregarded. I had my gallbladder removed which actually exacerbated the problem. After ten years I presented with fatty stool which convinced my physician enough for him to order an ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography). This verified the diagnosis and the cause was attributed to pancreas divisum. I underwent a procedure to place stents in my pancreatic ducts and found immediate relief. After a year of lessening attacks I have been attack free for five years and no longer require the enzymes.

Comment from: Bud, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 14

I had many serious attacks of pain as I got older. I was hospitalized six times with the pain. The treatments I received in the hospital were basically pain killers. I was told that my gall bladder had to be removed as it was the cause of my pain. Out it went, and after about six months the pain returned. I was referred to a specialist who went in and confirmed the pancreas divisum. He placed me on an enzyme pill which I take with each meal. He also said that only as a last resort was I to allow any surgeon to mess with the divisum. I have not had any pain for five years while taking the enzyme pills. Note: only take enzyme pills made here in the US. Enzyme pills are not reviewed or regulated by the FDA!

woman with abdominal pain
Comment from: Kathy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 25

I have suffered 4 bouts of pancreatitis and have been found to have a pancreatic divisum. No one told me that this could result in abdominal pain apart from an episode of pancreatitis. On a recent trip to the emergency room (ER), thinking I was heading off an acute pancreatitis episode, I was told my lab tests were fine and it was just a stomach bug. I was mortified that I'd gone to the ER for a stomach ache! Yet part of me knew that couldn't be. I know a bug and I know epigastric pain. I wish I had known and the ER doctors had known that divisum can cause abdominal pain apart form a full blown episode of pancreatitis! I'm glad I read this article.

Comment from: Linda, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 10

I am having pain. One CAT scan with contrast said I had pancreas divisum (PD), as well as an ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography) procedure. The doctor tried to stent but couldn't. Followed up with a university hospital and they did an ultrasound and said there is no PD. I am at a loss as to what to do next.

woman with abdominal pain
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