Patient Comments: Pancreatitis - Symptoms

Question:

What were your symptoms of pancreatitis? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: maureen h., 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 12

I have severe atrophic chronic pancreatitis. I think if you had it you would know. It's so painful, you just can't stand the pain, so excruciating. I've had this for several years and it took 8 years just to diagnose. So when it got bad I never knew what hit me. I was under the assumption I had an ulcer. I became ill, barely able to concentrate, very nauseous, and had an aching pain passing through the left side of my back. By the time I got to the emergency room. I was dry heaving and throwing up I was making preparation for the surgery.

Comment from: Cassie93, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 08

I am a 22 year old female, diagnosed with severe acute necrotizing pancreatitis, and developed a pseudocyst in June. I had been feeling a weird stinging sensation near the left side of my ribcage for several months prior. It was until it got to a point where I felt constantly bloated and like a gas bubble was stuck under that side. Unfortunately x-rays of my intestines didn't show anything. So when it got bad I never knew what hit me. I was under the assumption I had an ulcer. I became ill, barely able to concentrate, very nauseous, and had an aching pain passing through the left side of my back. By the time I got to the emergency room. I was dry heaving and throwing up. My triglycerides were the cause as they were at 12,000. It was found with blood tests and a CT scan. Additionally, I suffered a pulmonary embolism, two blood clots in my arm, swelling all over, and pneumonia. The pulmonary was most likely due to smoking and taking contraceptives, plus the contraceptives were also found to be triglyceride raising. I was placed on a feeding tube, twice, and treated with insulin. I currently take about 12 pills a day including Creon. The fluid caused my heart some distress so I'm on atorvastatin. I now keep sugar to a minimum and eat low fat meals. I was never a heavy drinker or anything, but I had the right genes for both high triglycerides and cholesterol.

Comment from: lopsy49, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 16

I have severe atrophic chronic pancreatitis. I think if you had it you would know. It's so painful, you just can't stand the pain; excruciating. I've had this for several years and it took 8 years just to diagnose. Mine came on suddenly. I was a bit of a drinker, worse than that, I didn't eat, then drank, causing the problem. This is what the technician who was giving me the MRCP (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography) told me. I was on lots of painkillers but they took over 1/2 of those away when it became a political football. Not fair, I wish I was dead every night. I truly do. Days are better, but I'm skinny, my skin is thin and dry, and I've developed diabetes. It's horrible. For those out there who need a diagnosis, ask for an endoscopy. That will tell. Blood testing works too unless you've had the problem for a long time. Then your lipase levels go down instead of up. I am also experiencing a cramping sensation in my mid gut.

Comment from: RachaelS, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 06

I had pancreatitis all my life but only diagnosed about 2 months ago. Living in constant pain, I had a stomach tube for 5 years which stole my childhood from me. I can't drink alcohol, can't eat fatty or high carb foods. Pretty depressed from the constant pain. Turns out the cause of my pancreatitis is one in a billion and hasn't been seen in the last 50 years (according to my doctor). Yippee for me. Can't wait to find out more and what they are going to do to help me. Basically I had every symptom going; extreme pain, vomiting, lack of appetite, nausea, everything under the sun.

Comment from: Curly, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 02

I woke up and started vomiting immediately. My stomach just did not feel right. The vomiting would not stop and diarrhea began. The pain in my abdomen was getting worse and worse. I thought my appendix had exploded or I had an ovary stuck in my fallopian tube or something. I had trouble breathing, the vomiting continued, and the pain was getting worse and worse. I soaked through two thermal shirts. Finally I just lay down on the bathroom floor, feeling like I was going to pass out. My husband and son helped me get into our van. I couldn't stand up straight, the pain was so bad. I entered the emergency room, had x-rays, CT scans, ultrasound, and blood tests. Bottom line, acute pancreatitis with lipase level at 30,000! I just got home today alter 12 days in the hospital. What an experience!

Comment from: patsy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 29

I was just diagnosed with pancreatitis last week. Since then I'm kind of overwhelmed by it all. I used to drink when I was younger, a lot, but haven't in years. I drink at a birthday party or family get together, but that's about it. I think I have developed hyperglycemia from the pancreatitis and don't know how to deal with it. I don't know what kinds of sugar free foods are out there. Thanks for letting me talk.

Comment from: Batface, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 04

I have lived through two bouts of cancer in the last 3 years, the death of my Dad and divorce/losing my home. My first cancer was a node on my neck which is so far clear three years on but I only have half the saliva glands I used to. Then I found I had a very rare type of appendix cancer which meant a huge operation, removing my gall bladder, peeling my liver, removing my spleen, scraping my intestines and a chemotherapy wash through my abdomen. I admit I celebrated being alive with trips to France to buy wine, evenings with friends and a frequent night cap of single malt whisky. Just before Christmas Eve I had a bottle of champagne and started an attack of pancreatitis which was confirmed with blood tests by my general physician. I hope this is my only attack and that I will heal. I am a bit worried as in September I went to Accident and Emergency with severe colic which only lasted overnight and was relieved by passing a large amount of wind. The surgeon said it was adhesions causing a kink. I was not nauseous or anything before or afterwards. Now I worry that it was an attack of pancreatitis, of course. I only hope they checked my blood during my stay, I guess that would be routine though in a specialist department. I am drinking no more. I wish more people would follow up on this site, especially those who had one attack or two to say how things went for them. I wish I had taken my fears elsewhere rather than muffle them with a glass of wine. Wish me luck!

woman with abdominal pain
Comment from: LaVerne, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: December 08

My experience started with achalasia, a condition which caused me to be unable to swallow properly. It took a while and many tests to diagnose but treatment was as follows; stretching the esophagus and injecting Botox into the muscle which should open when food enters the month but did not. This relaxed the muscle for about six months or a bit longer and then I would have another shot. As time passed I was terribly bothered by hiatal hernia which I had for many years. Eventually the pain was so severe and frequent that I had surgery to repair that and to permanently open the offending muscle. The food would go directly to my stomach. About 3 years after the surgery I began to have what I now call pancreatic attacks but did not know at the time. My internal medicine doctor referred me to a surgeon believing it to be gall stones. However, I went back to my gastroenterologist who discovered some type of blockage in the duct between the pancreas and gall bladder. Several tests did not indicate the nature of the blockage. A surgical procedure was performed to correct the blockage. It turned out that the duct had shriveled and closed. To correct this the doctor permanently opened the duct. That night I had a severe pancreatic attack and was admitted back to the hospital. Several other things ensued including a urinary tract infection, congestive heart failure, a potassium level of 1, high liver enzymes and a few other things. All of those things were normalized, but I continue to have occasional pancreas attacks with classic symptoms. They always follow the pattern of pain under the right breast bone and in the back. Occasionally I have to vomit. Then I feel better. I cannot lie down when these occur. It is interesting that the pain will continue for several hours and suddenly subside no matter what I have tried to stop it. Sometimes they are quite frequent and other times they are about a month apart. There doesn't seem to be any specific cause and treatment so far does not seem successful.

Comment from: barb101356, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 11

I was feeling sick to my stomach for at least a couple of months. I had pains in my middle abdomen, but ignored it thinking it was just something I ate. One morning I woke up and I thought I was having a heart attack. I ignored that as well. WI went to work that night. However by that time the pain was in my chest, my back and under my left armpit. The next morning the pain was so bad in my middle abdomen that I thought I was going to die. I went to the emergency room. I was admitted after a couple of hours. My amylase and lipase levels were sky high. I had a CT on my abdomen, sure enough it was acute pancreatitis. I ate nothing but Popsicle, Jell-O, and chicken broth. Plus I had IV drip. This is not something that should be ignored. I never want to go through that again, but I probably will. It can be a recurring problem.

Comment from: DivineDiva, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

My symptom of pancreatitis is pain, it's like a knife, just the sharp tip being pushed in and out left side of belly. The spot or area feels warm but I don't necessarily have a fever all the time. I feel full most of time but even when hungry my stomach feels like there is something in that is sour, most of the time I felt nauseous. I'd walk a bit different as well I call it the pain walk. I enjoy a cocktail occasionally, and never drink to get drunk. Also I do recall doctor stating my cholesterol was a little high once before.

Comment from: Fish, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: July 15

My symptoms of pancreatitis are being full after eating small portion of meal, abdominal distention, poor appetite, and stopping eating.

Comment from: CMFB, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 19

I went in to have my gall bladder removed, and then a month later I was still in pain. I then had an ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography) and they put stents in my ducts. I went in on Friday, then on Monday they took them out sent me home. I have the worst pain, almost like someone stabbing me with a knife. I am on hydrocodone and that only works for a short time. I can't eat without having pain so I eat very little or nothing at all. I drink lots of water and juice, and I quit drinking beer. I don't know what to do. I work 4 to 5 hours a day. I go to bed in pain, usually crying, and wake up in pain every day. This pain started over 8 years ago, I have been dealing with this for that long. I drank moderately and gave it up altogether.

Comment from: Dhays17, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: November 05

I was recently diagnosed with pancreatitis. I knew something was wrong with my body when I suddenly felt a very sharp pain running down from my lower chest to my left side (stomach area). The next day the left part of my back started to experience the sharp pain as well. This is where I absolutely knew my body was telling me something. Three and a half days later I went to the medical clinic, drew blood, and took a urine sample, an x-ray and an ultra sound. They diagnosed me with pancreatitis due to consumption of alcohol. This past year I have drank way too much alcohol and I'm a pretty small guy. If anyone out there feels any of these symptoms, don't wait. See a doctor right away!

Comment from: Marie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

It all started with nausea, then vomiting twice before the excruciating pain started on my left side, went to my stomach and down my abdomen. I was sweating and felt like I was about to pass out, so I pulled over and call 911. I was in the hospital for 7 days and I am grateful they kept me that long. I had nothing to eat for 3 days and was on IVs, however I started drinking fluids, and then soft food. No diet, and on returning home I tried to eat anything, however I was feeling sick again therefore started researching diet for pancreatitis. No red meat or pork, no sugar added, no process food, no fry food, keep fat intake to less than 20%, plenty of fruits and vegetables. I could not digest them so I did fresh fruit and vegetables juices and purees. Eat plenty of chicken, turkey and fish, eggs, whole grains, and wheat bread. If you are not diabetic use real sugar cane found in Mexican stores, or use honey. I have try to get off my diet and it does not sit well, after 3 months I am keeping my pancreatic diet. There is a good guide at the dietetic association. The hardest part is finding what you can eat.

woman with abdominal pain
Comment from: liz, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 02

For 6 months I have been sick; heart palpitations and flu like symptoms but no flu or temperature. I also experienced fatigue, aches, headaches, nausea and pain on my lower abdomen along with lower back pain. I'd eat and feel even worse. My CAT scan came back normal but blood work says pancreatitis. I don't drink hardly at all but when I tried to have a beer I felt like I was on my death bed. I'm hoping these medications work.

Comment from: Kelsmitt, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 16

I was having severe stomach pain for about 3 weeks. I went to a primary doctor who indicated it was anything from cramps to GERD. One week later I had an episode where it hurt, but I still felt I could move. I thought it was the perfect time to go to the emergency room (ER). I had a CT done and my levels were over 2,000 when they should have been around 130. I was told I had multiple stones. I was admitted that night and had my gallbladder removed the following night. I still had a few episodes of pancreatitis 1 to 2 weeks later that needed hospitalization, but since then I have been pain free and very grateful.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

woman with abdominal pain
Comment from: Navyman, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 25

I got sick one evening at home, and dealt with the sweating, shakes, and pain for 3 days before my wife took me to the emergency room. I was immediately admitted and stayed there 5 days. My blood pressure upon arrival was 84/58 and I was having trouble standing. The pain in my abdomen was horrific! They hooked me up to a drip for pain management (morphine, I think) and started to hydrate me. I had been a heavy drinker for 10 years or so. I drank, generally, 10 to 15 beers a day, not proud of that. Anyway, I got feeling a bit better after the 5 days, and they let me go home. I worked for the next month to get my strength back. Now, I"m 2 years clean and sober, and I generally feel great, but I"m having some very familiar, very light pains in my abdomen right along my rib cage. I sure hope I don"t have another problem with pancreatitis, but I"m back to the doctor next week. Thanks for everyone for the stories. I actually convinced myself I"m not going to die tonight, anyway.

Comment from: Cosworth 3, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 22

Today's date is 19/04/2014. I am 54. I"ve had chronic pancreatitis for 4 to 5 years now and have been really ill with it. The back/front and both sides, pain is sometimes so severe that standing, sitting, or lying down are not options. I have had treatment called "celiac block" now 3 times and it really doesn"t help a lot. The medication I take are dihydrocodeine 30 mg as required, as a painkiller (I need 3 for it to work) and Creon 10,000 for digestion and both appear to have a little effect. I might add that the cause was long term alcohol use, which I still drink although not like I used to, and I still smoke which personally I don"t think has any effect on the pancreatitis! I have lost approximately 3 stone in weight and had a pseudocyst which burst and put me in hospital. My sympathy goes out to all sufferers of this wicked disease!

Comment from: adhregina, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 31

After 2 years, back in 1998, I finally was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis. My lower back pain often was unbearable and pain killers relieved it a little. I was discharging bile, fatty, gold in color and it stained the toilet. Relief only came when I had a large discharge. I was prescribed pancreatic enzymes for digestion, pain killers, and water pills for my distended stomach, and a few others. Tests had revealed that my portal veins were thrombosed, causing my pancreas to at first be acute. Shortly thereafter it went chronic. Also, scarring had occurred in my liver, thus cirrhosis. I having suffered with this for nearly 8 years now; only wish that I be pain free.

Comment from: RBlair, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 04

My pancreatitis was 2 years ago. I was having "stomach/bowel" issues (diarrhea and unbelievable gas) especially with fatty foods. I had an appointment with my doctor the next week. It started as a stomach ache and felt like I was going to vomit. I thought I had the start of a flu. The pain got worse fast and we rushed to the emergency room. They gave me morphine; it didn"t really touch the pain! I can"t imagine ever going through that type of pain again. I was in the ICU for 3 days and in the hospital a total of two weeks. I developed a pseudocyst and a blood clot in my stomach. My pancreatitis was caused by a gallstone. Eventually I went back for a week after another episode and had my gallbladder out. And I had another week with a fever, unknown cause. I lost 30 lbs in 2 months. I"m glad to say I have no issues now, except I am an insulin dependent diabetic. But life is good and I am doing fine with my new "normal'. Learnings - if you or a loved one has any stomach/bowel issues get checked out by a doctor.

Comment from: Butterfly, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 28

I have pain starting at top of rib cage and throughout the whole belly. It"s a constant sharp pain. It does not seem to be better or worse at any time of day or under any specific circumstances. I have no fever. I have been sick with this pancreatitis for over 3 weeks. I get some relief with a heating pad.

Comment from: catlover2628, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 27

I had felt a sharp knife-like pain in my upper abdomen/stomach and was throwing up constantly for 12 hours. The pain was so severe that it traveled throughout my whole entire spine and shoulders. I couldn't stand up at all. I eventually called and went to the hospital and they gave me morphine, and told me no food or water for 4 days. But my lipase (lipase is a protein (enzyme) released by the pancreas into the small intestine. It helps the body absorb fat) was so high, at 9,000 that I stayed there for a week and a half. I still need to avoid alcohol and large amounts of fatty foods because I can still get small episodes.

Comment from: Adelade, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: January 10

It started at midnight, with severe pain in upper abdomen and traveled around to the back, it got worse and then subsided and then worse again, until I finally went to the emergency room. They immediately found that the cause was pancreatitis and gave me morphine and took me off all foods. I was better in three days, after ultra sound, S-ray, CAT scan, MRI and also endoscopy. Hoping not to ever have this again.

Comment from: GLynn, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

On 10 /14/13 I woke up with the worst pain one could ever even imagine. It was so severe in my stomach radiating up to back under my shoulder blades. I was sweating to the point my clothes were soaked. I had my daughter call the ambulance and was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. I was given an IV, antibiotics, and pain medication. Three days later I had a CT scan and was told it showed a 6 inch necrotic part on my pancreas. I was then transferred to a hospital that could treat me and had specialists that dealt with the pancreas. I was in the hospital for 12 days while the surgeons and gastroenterologist chose the option to watch and wait. I was sent home with pain medications but still not feeling better and had a poor appetite. Seven days later I was given an appointment to see the gastroenterologist in the office. I went, barely walking and so weak, I was checked and my stomach was distended and tender to the touch, I was sent for a stat CT scan and lab tests, It showed I had a pseudo cyst that was pressing against my stomach which caused me to not eat and continue to lose weight. I was admitted again and the surgeon was called in to perform surgery the next day to relieve the pressure around the pancreas on 11/8/13. I woke up I had 18 staples down my stomach, and a tube in my nose running from stomach suctioning out the inflammation, and bad juices in my stomach, that time I stayed in the hospital 8 days. I'm home resting, had the staples removed, but I'm still not myself and I'm weak and I developed pneumonia shortly after I was home. On 10/14, I weighed 224.5 when I saw my primary care doctor for the pneumonia on 11/19 I weighed in at 189.0. Depending on what I eat I'm good, but I still have stomach aches and nausea if I don't watch myself. Oh, I am not a drinker and I had my gallbladder removed in 2006. The answer I get is they don't know why this happened to me.

woman with abdominal pain
Comment from: glpm, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 09

I have had chronic stomach problems off and on for 30 years. I would have bouts of stomach pain every few years so severe I would have to go to the emergency room for pain relief but nothing conclusive was ever determined. I suffered from chronic diarrhea for many years, for which no cause was ever determined. In October 2010 I started having severe pain in my upper abdomen that radiated to my shoulder. A trip to the emergency room and numerous tests resulted in a diagnosis of gallstones. I had my gallbladder removed laparoscopically in November 2010. That helped with the pain but the diarrhea continued. Several months later I began to feel a constant tightness and "swollen" feeling in my upper right abdomen area and my whole abdomen felt bloated and tender. The pain felt like a hard pinch or mild stab, and it frequently radiated to my back and shoulder, almost like phantom gall bladder pain. There were many times that the pain would be so severe that I couldn't sleep and several times I would have pain and nausea and not go to work. I never ran fever or had vomiting and even though I exercised daily I began to gain weight. I never felt "good". I visited my gastroenterologist's office a couple of times, where I saw a nurse practitioner. I had an EGD (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy) and a CT scan done and even went back to the surgeon who did the gall bladder removal and nothing could be found. After two years and several more doctor visits later, I finally decided that something had to be done. I visited a nurse practitioner who scheduled an ultrasound and CT scan, where cysts were found on my liver. She sent me back to my gastroenterologist's office and I insisted on seeing a doctor and not a nurse practitioner. He was totally unconcerned about the liver cysts but after spending a surprising amount of time with me and doing an exam, schedule me for an ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography). During the ERCP he performed a sphincterotomy on a bile duct, kept me for two hours and sent me home. I was vomiting as I was leaving the hospital, but chalked it up to the Dilaudid they had given me for pain. I had severe abdominal pain and vomiting through that night and was unable to even keep down water to take my pain and nausea medications. The next day I felt a little better. I ate a few crackers and was able to keep down my medicine and late in the day was able to tolerate some tomato soup and a baked potato. The next day I had an egg and toast and some more soup. By late that afternoon I was in pain again and running fever. I went to the emergency room where they did a CT scan and blood work. At first I was told it was an abscess. All my blood and enzyme levels were OK with the exception of a slightly elevated white count. I was admitted to the hospital and started on fluids and antibiotics. The next day I was told it was not an abscess but pancreatitis. I stayed in the hospital for 3 1/2 days and had no food until the 3rd day. I have been home for 4 days and still have a full, tight, pinching feeling in my upper right abdomen and some mild right shoulder pain. I hope this will go away soon and is just an after effect of the whole ordeal.

Comment from: suz, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

I had Pancreatitis 16 years ago and now have it again. I have no gallbladder problems and I do not drink. My stomach feels like I was sucker punched, I am nauseous, I have back pain and I'm so tired. I am doing the clear liquid diet but it is not helping. I can see a gastroenterologist in a month. I hate this feeling and the pain is incredible. I would not wish this on anyone.

Comment from: WinnipegGirl, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

It Was March 2013, it was around dinner time and my dad in law had bought me a Subway sandwich, i don't remember what kind. After eating it, an hour later I was getting severe pain in the abdominal area. All night I felt nauseous and I tried taking pain medications and sleeping. Nothing worked, but once it was morning I was fine. But a few days later the pain was very severe and I couldn't move, it was very painful. I went to the hospital and they sent me to get a CT scan. They determined after a day and half I was suffering with chronic pancreatitis and was rushed to the hospital. I was in the hospital for a whole month. I couldn't eat, move, couldn't do anything but sleep. I don't know what caused it but they say it was because I had just given birth to my first daughter in Jan 2013 and during my pregnancy the pancreas was irritated and something in the Subway sandwich triggered it. Never had Subways since or anything that would cause me to have another pain, such as alcohol.

Comment from: Anka, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 19

Since two months I have been having a bitter taste in my mouth, some occasional belly ache in the left upper quadrant and back pain at the height of my bra. I have had my blood tested for liver enzymes and an ultrasound done, they were both fine, I wonder if it could be a problem with my pancreas.

Comment from: motherof4, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 16

I am having pain in my right side from front to back. I had my gallbladder removed on November 16th 2013, and the pain started all of a sudden this morning after I had a bowel movement.

Comment from: g, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

My pancreatitis started after a sore throat with acid reflux. That eventually subsided and a pain started just after being given 2 amoxicillin to be taken four times a day for a week. I have chronic pain from my pancreas and I know it was the antibiotics that caused it.

Comment from: SeanP, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 26

I have yet to see a doctor so this is more of an observation. My symptoms are as follows: Isolated pain on the right side of my chest near lower half of my ribcage. If you were to bore a hole right there through my back there is also some isolated pain in my back there as well. The pain is by no means unbearable at this point. It"s more like a light burning sensation almost sunburn like when I rub it slightly. When I push on the ribs, it feels like a big bad bruise and hurts. I don"t feel sick to my stomach at all. I still have an appetite. I did notice that when I do eat something, it seems to be a little worse for a while or more noticeable. This just started happening 2 days ago. I entertain clients and we had just finished a 4 day long trade show where we ate a lot of food in the evening but had a lot of drinks. Prior to that, the previous 2 weekends it was the same. I read that a lot of alcohol consumption can trigger this. By no means do I drink a lot normally. I don"t really want to go to the doctor yet but wonder if this is the start potentially of pancreatitis. I had the same thing happen to me about 6 months ago and it went away after about 2 to 3 days. Now, I do not have my gallbladder so I know it"s not that either. I had that removed about 3 years ago. I do not smoke cigarettes but I am a frequent cigar smoker, 5 to 10/week. I am 43 years old and my last physical was normal and healthy.

woman with abdominal pain
Comment from: UsedtoSmile, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 30

I was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis about 2 months ago. Tests have been run, no hospital stays but I did go to the emergency room the same night after my endoscopy. Since then I've been in excruciating constant pain. All my doctor has prescribed is an anti-depressant amitriptyline and only Tylenol. I'm telling you now neither work. I just want to lay in bed and cry all day every day. But I do my best to stick to this low fat diet and somehow go to work daily and make it through. There has got to be something else that can help.

Comment from: kimmi, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 14

I started having pain in my upper stomach area and in my back. Though an ulcer was going on I also had a lot of yellow oil in my bowel movements. Finally I told my doctor and they discovered I had chronic pancreatitis.

Comment from: jdmac62, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 23

I just got home from a five-day stay at the hospital for pancreatitis. Nobody is sure why I had this. I don't drink and I don't have a gallbladder. I have been "sick" all year. You know – just haven't felt well, chills, off and on fever, all-over body aches. A lot like the flu. Instead of losing weight, I had weight gain. My stomach was swollen, hard as a rock and I was constipated. My back also hurt badly. We even bought a new mattress and box springs, thinking this was the reason for my back pain. I stayed very irritable; mad-at-the-world sort of thing. I had been to the doctor several times; and was diagnosed with walking pneumonia, bronchitis, and both upper and lower respiratory infections. I have been put on antibiotics, steroids, and prescribed an inhaler more than once. I couldn't walk up or down a flight of stairs without losing my breath. Also, I had heartburn to the point that I should have invested in Alka-Seltzer. One week ago (on a Thursday night), I started having severe stomach pains. I could barely stand up. I was sure that all I needed was a "good cleaning out." By Friday night, my husband and son were trying to get me to the emergency room; Saturday morning we went. I was in the worst pain I had ever been in during my life without a physical injury. The ER doctor thought I had either kidney stones or diverticulitis. A CT scan showed I had pancreatitis. As I said earlier; I don't drink, nor do I have a gallbladder. The ER doctor told me that by looking at my history I shouldn't have pancreatitis. He did tell me that there were a few rare occasions such as this and nobody knew why. There was a name for this, but I was in so much pain I don't remember what it was. I spent five days and four nights in the hospital hooked to an IV receiving antibiotics, potassium and Dilaudid. On top of this, I was given Percocet every four hours. I was so dehydrated that my urine was actually orange. This is an experience that I would not wish on my worst enemy. Please do not take extreme stomach pain for granted. Regardless of what you think it is; have it checked. I was to the point that I could have died.

Published: July 24

The cause of my pancreatitis is still under investigation. I almost never drink, and both a CT scan and MRI showed no gallstones in the duct (my gall bladder was laparoscopically removed in January). I had previously had several esophageal spasms severe enough to take me to the emergency room. These spasms had been relieved and prevented by dicyclomine, an anticholinergic. This time I had a very tight feeling in my abdomen that wouldn't go away, and that awakened me. My internist had prescribed Donnatal as an alternative to dicyclomine, and I thought the Donnatal was what made me begin to vomit violently and keep retching even when my stomach was emptied. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital and admitted same day. I spent 4 days there and am still on antibiotics (Flagyl & Cipro) to prevent the inflammation from developing into an infection. I am scheduled to see a gastroenterologist for follow-up.

Published: June 23

I had increasing back pain for a few days and general malaise. I thought it was a kidney infection. I called my primary doctor and asked if he could see me or call me in antibiotics, but he told me to go to the ER. My co-workers thought it was silly to go for a kidney infection, but I had vomited once and the pain was getting a little more intense. I told the nurse I felt silly for being there, that I thought it was a UTI and that I had pain in my back on the left side and vomiting. They did a urine test and gave me some fluids and mild pain meds. Two hours later I was in extreme pain, could not stop vomiting and they came back and told me I had pancreatitis, and they were admitting me. As it turns out, I had sphincter of Oddi dysfunction causing the pancreatitis.

Comment from: Rob, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 05

I just had a bad episode with pancreatitis, the pain was terrific and if I had a choice over pancreatitis or heart surgery again I would pick heat surgery.

Comment from: steve1952, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 16

My possible symptoms of pancreatitis are depression, slight tummy ache, and difficulty with bowel and urine passing. I will contact my doctor.

Comment from: Male (Caregiver) Published: June 02

My symptom for pancreatitis was dull heavy pain on the left side mid back.

woman with abdominal pain
Comment from: jolind, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 16

I've had pancreatitis twice in the last 4 weeks. It's horrific, I would rather give birth. This resulted in a hospital stay once for 6 days and the other for 3 days. I am now due to have my gallstones and gallbladder removed in a few weeks; as this is what is causing my problem. So I'm excited to have an operation as bad as it sounds, so I can get my life back on track. Good luck to other sufferers.

Comment from: cwhall, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

I have extreme pain and nausea because of pancreatitis. I gave up all fats, I don"t drink and I don"t have a gall bladder. I was told at one time that I had issues with my fallopian tubes, but now that I have gone through menopause, my doctor tells me it is related to my intestines.

Comment from: mongeau, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 13

I have back and stomach pain because of pancreatitis.

Comment from: Ed, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 11

I have been on Januvia for Type 2 Diabetes for several years. I have recently had 2 attacks of chronic pancreatitis that sent me to the emergency room and several days of hospitalization. The diagnoses is that the Januvia is the cause.

Comment from: manohar, 25-34 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 24

My wife had upper abdomen pain in October 2012 for few days and the pain got severe after some days. We took her to the hospital and she was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis.

Comment from: LISA, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I have been suffering with chronic pancreatitis for one year and gone to six different doctors with no relief from the pain. My pain is like a knife going into my lower breast bone that at times goes to my back and my upper stomach, nausea at times, pain increases after eating. Never had issues with constipation but now I do. I was told I have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) but do not take the medications for that because it causes great pain in the pancreas. This new doctor took me off Percocet and I live in constant pain and I have not found one doctor who has helped me, I just keep going from doctor to doctor. I've lost a lot of weight and eat mainly chicken noodle soup.

Comment from: Songofsiduri, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I have true recurrent idiopathic pancreatitis. After tests and more tests, the only possible trigger found was an abdominal wall muscle injury that caused bleeding and irritated my pancreas. Symptoms include nausea, weight loss, hypovolemia, malabsorption and fatigue. I have to retrain my digestive system to tolerate dairy, fats (even good ones) and high fiber veggies.

Comment from: auzzie, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 31

I felt pain in upper stomach. I went to the local hospital and was put on a drip and given morphine within 1/2 an hour. Four days later i was transferred to a city hospital for much the same treatment. I had severe acute pancreatitis 10 days in hospital in all. My first attack. What annoys me the most is after seven months i still have no energy at all and some days i can barely get out of bed.

Comment from: Dpd, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 28

I just arrived home after my third bout of pancreatitis. The first time, I was drinking pretty heavily – 15- 20 beers a day along with half a bottle of wine. I quit drinking for one year, and drank non-alcoholic beer, but decided to go back to beer. Three years later, I had my second bout of pancreatitis. I decided that the beer had to go and switched again to non-alcoholic beer. Six months later, I had another attack, and was hospitalized again for another four days. I'm home again, only this time I won't even try non-alcoholic beer.

Comment from: Paddy Yaxley, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 06

I went through the mandatory five days of pain many times in my life, but now my pancreas is quite dead. It produces nothing. I have to take the enzymes of a pig to give me any ability to absorb nutrients or I would simply die of malnutrition. As my pancreas is dead, it can't produce any insulin, and of course I am classed as "diabetic." If anyone develops rapid weight loss, please see your doctor immediately.

Published: July 17

Severe abdominal discomfort, as if I had eaten five full Thanksgiving dinners. I had vomiting, difficulty breathing, unable to get comfortable and pain through to the back. I had acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis diagnosed, with almost a month in the hospital.

woman with abdominal pain
Published: July 15

I had nausea, diarrhea, sharp pain in my chest that went through to the back. I went to the ER where they diagnosed pancreatitis through the blood tests. Then I was admitted for 8 days and for the first five days could not have anything to eat or drink, not even water. After the fifth day I was on clear liquids. A month or so later I had an ERCP, and it's been 4-5 months and I still have chronic pain with the same symptoms.

Published: July 09

I had sharp pains in my abdomen for years that would come and go. One day it was so bad that I stayed in bed crying and was brought to the hospital where I was diagnosed with pancreatitis and an infected gallbladder, which they claimed was from my high triglycerides. After removing my gallbladder and taking triglyceride medications, I was fine for three years until one day, after a weekend of eating pizza, I started having pains again. I went to the ER where my triglycerides were in the 1,000s and I was put in ICU. I spent 10 days in hospital on a feeding tube and could not eat or drink until my triglycerides went down and the pancreatitis went away. Three years later I am still in pain daily and they claim I don't have pancreatitis ... but yet no doctor knows why I'm in pain.

Published: July 08

I had an acute onset of severe pain in my left upper abdomen and chest that started at 8 p.m. one Sunday night. I could not get comfortable in any position. I went to the ER the following day as the pain continued to get worse. They diagnosed me with acute pancreatitis, and I spent four days in the hospital. That was one month ago, and I continue to have pain off and on.

Published: June 30

The onset of my pancreatitis was sudden and very severe. At first I thought I fractured a rib on the right side, as is was hard to breath and sore to the touch. I could not get comfortable. I was hospitalized for 18 days and am now insulin dependant. This has happened to a family member of mine as well.

Published: June 30

I felt very nauseated while drinking a carbonated drink. Nauseated state got progressively worse and then very acute pain in center of upper abdomen, right below bottom rib. I could not stand up straight due to the pain. Doctor sent me to ER where went through testing - blood for enzymes, MRI, sonogram, and x-rays. Spent seven days in hospital with only IV and a few popsicles which took off about 20 lbs., and developed pneumonia that was also painful. I had been taking Hoodia for a few days, and I wonder if the dehydration caused by Hoodia may have brought on the acute pancreatitis. I also have high triglycerides, high BP, and high cholesterol. I lost about 50 lbs. after hospital stay with strict diet that made me feel great - low cholesterol, carbohydrate, and fat. I ate a ton of vegetables and lean protein and was never hungry.

Published: June 25

Had severe pain in upper stomach for about 2 years on & off, no orally taken pain killer could ease. Always at Doctors & referred to different consultants each one prescribed different medication for ulcers. Had an attack of pain so bad I was delirious with pain & admitted by ambulance to the hospital. Then when a fresh out of collage junior doctor asked if he could examine my pancreas (never heard of it at that time).Diagnosed chronic pancreatitis, prescribed Creon & antiinflammatory drug, careful diet no alcohol. After 14 years I can now eat almost anything & pain attacks are almost non existent & very mild. So heed you're doctor's advice things can get better.

Published: June 25

I began to feel nauseous and thought I was suffering from indigestion. I took a couple of Tums for the indigestion and immediately vomited. I then began to have incredibly severe pain in my left side, abdomen and left shoulder.

Published: June 19

I started to have pain in my abdomen and chest pains that would not ease. After 3 hours I decided to go to ER because the chest pain would not leave. In ER they did EKG and X rays and then a cat-scan and that is how they found the problem with my pancreas. My gall bladder was removed in 1985 and I do not drink so they didn't indicate what caused the problem. I stayed in the hospital for 7 days.

Published: June 19

I had pain in the stomach area whenever I would eat salad 2 days in a row or drank anything carbonated. I ended up in a diabetic coma from taking prednisone. The prednisone shut down my immune system and caused the pancreatitis. Be very careful if you take prednisone.

Published: June 18

Severe pain, seemingly in ribs on left side, radiating around to back. Felt as something had ripped loose. Accompanied by feeling of nausea, but did not vomit. Breathing was labored. Pain continued varying several times throughout day, but never leaving.

woman with abdominal pain
Published: June 13

I had pain in my lower left back for several days. I went to the doctor and he seemed to think it was just muscle strain due to the fact that where my pain was there were no vital organs. I saw another doctor the next day and he suggested that if the pain does not go away by the evening I should check into ER. I ended up there and on intro feeding for 4 day's. That was over a year ago. I have had surgery since then to remove a pseudocyst, and I have not felt good ever since. Still have stomach pains after I eat, and my overall energy level is lacking.

Published: June 10

Nausea, gas, bloated, black stool, less appetite, weight loss.

Published: June 09

On a Tuesday afternoon I started having upper abdominal pain by Thursday it was unbearable. I felt like something was pushing on my upper ribs on my left side. Whole belly area felt distended. Went to ER fever, high blood pressure, high pulse rate, after EKG, lung x-ray, urine culture, ultra sound on gallbladder, and blood tests showed high level of pancreatic enzymes. "pancreatitis" I have been on Byetta for 2 yrs. No other trouble with the drug. Stopped per the Dr's advice. Feeling better, but still sensitive after I have eaten. I can only eat a very small amount of food per meal. (Which is not the worst thing for me!)Lost 10 lbs so far in 5 days.

Published: June 05

I had no symptoms of any kind and just felt generally unwell one day. I began vomiting violently. I have no memory of the following-: I was taken to ED and diagnosed with acute pancreatitis, transferred by Ambulance to a larger hospital and diagnosed with acute necrotizing pancreatitis. My kidneys failed, I had respiratory failure and was intubated, had a gastric drain placed in my nose and was placed in a drug induced coma for 12 days. During this time my heart failed, but my kidneys started functioning, I developed pneumonia and my lungs collapsed. A nasal feed tube was introduced to give me nutrition. I took a few days to wake from the heavy sedation and spent another week in hospital. I lost 15 kg and am incredibly weak. I was already an insulin dependent diabetic and all this wreaked havoc with my blood sugars. I am now eating small amounts of low fat, low sodium, and no sugar in a good balanced diet. It is very early days but I am slowly recovering. Gallstones were found in the gallbladder but were not thought to have caused my pancreatitis. My gallbladder may be removed when I am stronger

Published: May 30

I felt constant nausea, and I lost 14 pounds in two weeks. An endoscopic exam reveal led severe inflammation of the stomach.

Published: May 27

Some years ago I began having severe abdominal bloating and pain extending through to my back. The first times it happened about 3 times in a 5 week period and then no attacks for maybe 2 years. Then, the attacks became more frequent and severe sometimes lasting 3-6 days. They got so intolerable that ER visits became necessary. Of course, during a 4 day hospitalization, chronic pancreatitis was diagnosed, along with Diabetes Type II, Hep C and high blood pressure. Four or five years ago I discovered I have an aortic aneurism. I am only 52 years old. Most things we have under control with medications but the pancreatitis is still almost a constant presence and I am taking 15mg Roxicet for the pain. By the way, a CT scan revealed some stones (of what type I do not know, and an enlarged opening. Needless to say, this is a tiresome and very painful to exist. I have not been able to determine what is the cause of these episodes. My diet is consistent with the problems I have.

Published: May 27

I had upper abdominal pain just under my ribcage; it almost felt like chest pain. I also had diarrhea for several days. I presented to the ER to find that I had ketones in my urine (meaning I was dehydrated) and amylase and lipase levels three times the normal level. I was hydrated with an IV, had an ultrasound and CT scan. I was actually sent home after 6 hours in the ER, but it is a week later and I still have all the symptoms, so I have to follow up and may end up being admitted to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

Published: July 10

I experienced a bit of nausea at first, then pain on my left side immediately under the rib cage. My ribs' soreness was persistent; mostly on the left, but sometimes I had pain on the right side and through to my back.

Published: June 23

This was my second acute attack. It begins with intense stomach pain in the upper part--I have chronic abdominal pain anyway--but begins to increase so that I am in a lot more pain. I also experience nausea and sometimes vomiting. Not fun at all.

woman with abdominal pain
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.