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Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis

Question:

Please describe your experience with pancreatitis. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Sushil, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 07

I myself had acute pancreatic attack 10 to 15 times, this was due to heavy drinking. Every time when I had an attack it lasted for 3 to 4 days and after 15 to 20 day of the attack I again I started drinking. Due to that every month I had such attacks. My last attack of pancreatitis was on 1/01/2019 and it lasted for 4 days, but now this time I have decided not to drink, so today is 06/03/2019, I haven't had any attack. I feel healthy. My weight too started increasing. I only like to advise not to drink at least for 1 year.

Comment from: Learningtolive11847, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 16

I was a heavy drinker/alcoholic (average 1 liter vodka daily) from age 21 to 29. I got pancreatitis at 29 and took about 1 1/2 months off alcohol before quickly finding my way back to old habits. I drank for another year, mostly for alcohol withdrawal symptoms trying to taper off but never succeeding. I didn't get pancreatitis again but I did give in and go to the emergency room for benzodiazepine prescription to get off booze indefinitely. Now a year sober, I am terrified to drink again even in moderation.

Comment from: Kam, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 12

I had the gallbladder removed 5 or 6 months ago, with gallstones and sludge backed up into the liver, but were all removed. Everything has been fine until recently, when it was found that there was a gallstone stuck in the tube leading to the pancreas, causing severe pancreatitis. The doctor said this particular situation is serious. How can someone have a gallstone in the tube going to the pancreas, blocking everything from going in and out, when the gallbladder was already removed 5 or 6 months ago!

Comment from: SmileyThing, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 14

My mother had taken Januvia for her diabetes for a month and a half when she first got this red-dotted rash all over her legs. A couple of days after that, she started having some nausea and a painful stomachache at the middle top of her abdomen. She ended up being admitted to the hospital after suffering for maybe three days. They gave her fentanyl for the pancreatitis. She ended up not eating for about 24 hours before being able to get some sips of water and eating again days after that.

Comment from: taurman, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 28

I had burning, extreme pain and had to call 911 and went to the ICU. Four hours of pain later they told me I had pancreatitis and started me on morphine. It was so swollen, they had to wait 6 days before doing what they told me was a fix, removing my gall bladder. But then when Kaiser went in, they found pancreas was swollen like a burrito around the gall bladder and had formed some adhesion to the liver, which they loosened, aborted the surgery, and told me to wait 4 to 6 weeks for gall bladder surgery. I then spent another week in the hospital and white blood count went high and had to have antibiotics for 3 days. I lost weight, ate low fat 6 weeks and feel good. I'm still awaiting the gall bladder surgery, but after reading these posts, it doesn't seem it is a sure fix for pancreatitis and considering I don't have insurance and Kaiser has rejected me for MFA application (not poor enough for help and not rich enough to afford ACA or HMO). I wonder if I should take my chances on letting my body sort it out.

Comment from: David crosby, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 16

I have pancreatitis and drink regularly again, and that's what has caused it. Last night I had a pain which I recognized straight away. I wonder what I should do apart from stopping drinking.

Comment from: AshMan6987, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 26

In March 2013, I gave birth for the 3rd time. Six weeks later I could not figure out why no matter how I would sit, lie, or stand I was in agonizing pain. It started in the upper middle abdominal area and radiated between there and the upper left side. I was diagnosed with pancreatitis and told my gallbladder needed to be removed but they could not do anything until the pancreatitis subsided. I had to wait a week before they could do surgery. Meanwhile, I had an infant that was strictly breastfed so while I was getting IV fluids and no food or drink by mouth, I was also having to pump breast milk for my baby which was 2.6 oz. bottles 3 times every day. I was miserable to say the least. After the surgery, I was given Oxycontin for the pain but I couldn't take it because instead of helping with the pain it made the pancreatitis flare up. The past 5 years I have been avoiding dairy (reason 1 lactose intolerance and reason 2 to avoid flares), avoiding red meat as much as possible, avoiding fast food, using stevia instead of sugar or other sugar substitutes, eating less fried foods and more grilled or baked, eating more fruits and vegetables, and going for a 45 to 60 minute walk 4 or 5 times a week. I have seesawed with my weight but now my doctor says my latest blood work up shows elevated blood sugar levels so I will find out soon if my history of gestational diabetes coupled with pancreatitis has ended with me developing type 2 diabetes.

Comment from: julu, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 27

I had my first attack of pancreatitis when I had just turned 30. Horrendous. I went to the emergency room, was treated horrible and given 2 Valium tablets. That next morning I went back and ended up staying in the hospital for 7 days. To be honest, I did drink. Sometimes to excess due to divorce, etc. Anyway, the doctor said never ever have another drink. I did. My general physician said a few wouldn't hurt so, who did I want to believe? I had several attacks after this but they were mild compared to the first and were treated by fasting and pain medications. Now that I am 68, my pancreas has completely self-digested. I am diabetic and in constant pain. The fact that everyone is being put in the same box now as far as pain control isn't helping. I take 2 of the strongest painkillers. Otherwise everything goes right through me. I have EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency) and many other health issues all related to this. I don't expect to live more than another 8 years at most. If your doctor tells you not to drink, believe it. I wish I had.

QUESTION

Pancreatitis is inflammation of an organ in the abdomen called the pancreas. See Answer
Comment from: France AP, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 16

I drink very occasionally and eat a normal, healthy diet. I work out 4 to 5 times a week, swim, and am in good shape. I have high blood pressure and take lisinopril and metoprolol. I also take levothyroxine for thyroid issues. But that's it. I had something that felt like a stitch just under my left rib cage. It didn't go away, I thought it was gas. By midnight I was uncomfortable, but thought I would sleep it away. By 5 AM I was in such stomach pain that I decided I needed an ambulance to take me to the emergency room. By 6 AM I was on morphine for the pain and by around 8 AM they gave me a CAT scan, and it was acute pancreatitis (AP)! By 10 PM I was transferred to the ICU. I was on IV fluids and morphine. I don't recall too much other than that the morphine was wearing off too fast and I still couldn't sleep. I was able to get up and walk a little so I took hot showers to relax a little. There was no water for 4 days and no food for 6 days. My whole perspective on food has changed and while I am now on a very low fat diet, everything tastes great! The condition must have resolved within 24 hours of arriving in the emergency room, because the recovery began about then. Within 12 hours of drinking water, I vomited what must have been 1 full gallon of water and bile (blue-green stuff). I was off morphine about 12 hours after that. Chest x-rays, an ultrasound, and MRI all came back clear. My bloodwork was originally extremely high and they told me that I had a Balthazar E severity AP. By the time I was discharged, my bloodwork was well on the way back to normal and 2 weeks after arriving home, my bloodwork was only marginally elevated; typical of someone who had AP. I am recovering now, but have the occasional twinge or stitch but it resolves within an hour or so, but I am so paranoid, I don't know. I will have an endoscopy with ultrasound in a couple of weeks and if that is clear, then I am probably ok. I will still keep on a low fat diet and I am targeting 2 years from now having a taste of a beer, just a taste.

Comment from: Sweetgrace, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 18

After having knee replacement I was prescribed pain medication. After about a month or so into my rehabilitation I began to have severe nausea! I could not stand up or move, nausea was so bad. My daughter took me to the emergency room. After blood work, inflamed pancreas from the pain medicines was my diagnosis! I was put on liquid diet for 3 days and then I began to get better.

Comment from: flustered, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 05

After years and years of suffering with cramps, no appetite, nausea, diarrhea, etc., my doctor listened again to my symptoms and thought for a second only to return with a bottle of Creon and told me to take it every time I eat. I haven't had a cramp since so far, and I actually get hungry, not nauseated. I am not sure what this means for me as I recently also lost me thyroid, but Creon is helping and that points to the pancreas. It has been a mystery we've been trying to solve for a long time now. I am hoping it is only pancreatitis and not something more serious.

Comment from: DeDee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 28

Since 2016 I have been experiencing excruciating pain above my belly button resembling labor pains (childbirth); getting gut punched and released continually 6 to 12 hours for each episode. I would be in the fetal position and unable to lie on my back to get comfortable, can't eat or drink liquids, etc. I am continually in pain measuring 4 to 10 daily. Every six to eight months I go into 'labor' again. I would go to the hospital and they would give me pain killers until the pain stopped, then give me an MRI, tell me nothing was wrong with me, and send me home like I was making the whole experience up. In 2013 they decided to 'humor' me and said they would go in to have a look (wrong place, lower abdomen where I didn't have any pain), which ended up removing over 3 feet of my small bowel and lots of scar tissue. Eight months later, I went into 'labor' again. They took out another foot and a half of my small bowel, lots of scar tissue and my appendix. They never even got close to the area that hurt and the doctors keep telling me 'it's just 'scar tissue' and labeling it 'crampy abdominal pain' even after the 3rd surgery. I have all the symptoms of pancreatitis with all my tests, etc., coming up ok, never smoked or drank alcohol. I was at the hospital the other day and I asked my doctor whether it was possible to have normal enzyme counts for the pancreas and still have pancreatitis. He said yes, because it you have chronic pancreatitis is stops making enzymes. So I am going to another gastroenterologist but I have been trying to help myself, so thanks for your stories.

Comment from: spinny10, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 26

I have just gotten home from the hospital for the first time. I had my gallbladder out 2 years ago. I have suffered with diarrhea for months. My doctor said it was irritable bowel syndrome. Now I get the stomach pain and go to the emergency room. They tell me my levels are crazy high. I have pancreatitis and I can never drink, have fatty foods, or smoke again. I am depressed. I had an IV for 3 days, but had not eaten for 6 days. I eat tomorrow! Wish me luck!

Comment from: Ken, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 09

I have been dealing with pancreatitis since 2010. I have had many surgeries due to adhesions, gall bladder removed and also appendix. The pain along with my adhesions are incredible and I do receive treatment for pain which has been going on the 10 plus years now. Not once have my blood tests came back stating anything is wrong. The only test that is out of whack is my triglycerides and they stay right at the 480 to 490 range. The doctor does not want to treat that because the medicine makes your cholesterol go up and I cannot tolerate those medicines at all. I have tried everything possible even half of the lowest dose possible but cannot take these. Some doctors I have seen do not believe I have pancreatitis, others say I might, and yet a couple of others say I do but there is nothing that can be done. I am not diabetic and one doctor has told me I may never become diabetic and before that happens I might have system failure of some sort. On the rare occasion I do go to the emergency room I get treated like a drug addict so those trips are few and far between. I am on two pain medications, Creon, and a couple arthritis medicines and they make it so at least I can get out of bed and stay mobile somewhat. I have no identifiable symptoms and when I had my ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography) the doctor came in and told me it was the easiest one he has ever done, 'but one thing puzzled me,' he said, 'your pancreas is not making any enzymes,' and he put me on Creon and out the door he went. I live a life of pain and it is a miserable life and doctors do not want to take the extra step and others state continue what you are doing taking your pain pills and get you blood test every three months. It is not anything I would wish on anyone (well there might be a couple doctors) and wish something there could be done for people like me. Now this thing with opioids I am afraid is going to make it even worse for us! I could go on and on like most of us could but that is that short side of my painful miserable life I have had for 10 plus years now. I wish the best for everyone! And by the way I do not drink, have never done drugs and that is yet another thing doctors find puzzling. So my case is very puzzling and doctors refuse to believe I have pancreatitis because I do not have any blood work troubles and that it is just impossible for this to happen without your lipase and others to be out of whack! I wish the pain would stop!

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Comment from: Dolly, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 20

I was at work and had what felt like a knife shoved into me at the very top of my stomach. The pain would not subside and was radiating up, down, and through. It just intensified. The only way I can explain it is a really bad sharp labor pain that did not stop. I had a coworker take me to the emergency room. I was in the hospital for 4 days until they could get my pancreatitis under control. Then they took my gall bladder out because it had sludge and crystals. I have been out of hospital for a week and feel much better. I am still eating bland and small meals. It was by far the most painful thing I have ever experienced. They had me on a morphine drip and it was not touching the pain. I am willing to make any life changes to never ever have to go through that again!

Comment from: PAB, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: April 01

I suddenly lost 20 pounds in 30 days during a continuous episode of diarrhea. Doctors focused on colon issues for 9 months even though CAT scans showed a damaged pancreas. No diagnosis issued and I became sicker. Doctors became disgusted with me. I don't drink alcohol. Finally, I received help via other doctors with the expensive drug Creon! Allows reasonably normal diet. This drug should be mentioned in the discussions on the website.

Comment from: J Rivera, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: January 12

I have being suffering from pancreatitis since 2010, I remember the pain was constant and increasing. With time the pain was on my back and everywhere. I stayed in the hospital for a week but in a short time I returned to the hospital because pain was uncontrollable, so I got a surgery in my gall bladder because of the stones. Therefore, I have been more than 9 times in the hospital. The only problem when I appear in the hospitals I need more dosage for the pain. Also I experienced several pancreatitis attacks but hospitals are very expensive so the only thing I do is stay at my house drinking lots of water without food until the pancreas rest. And sometimes pain killers are not good enough for the pancreas. The doctors are very surprised how I am still alive without any surgery in the pancreas. The hardest thing is to stop drinking wine or any liquor, sometimes I drink and nothing happens so I feel confident but later I know that I would wake up the tiger that is sleeping (pancreas). Then I am worried about how everything will result after many times.

Comment from: livenlearn80, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: August 11

On 1/15 drove to the emergency room with a 'punched in the gut' feeling. I thought it was an ulcer, bad gas, or gastritis. I had a stomach ache for about two weeks. Just an ache, no other symptoms, except that it was getting more intense after eating or drinking. I was admitted for about a day with mild acute pancreatitis. I had no alcohol and light meals for a week. Gradually I started drinking again more like before. Six months went by with minor flare-ups. Almost six months to the day, I was crippled on the floor with severe pain, nausea, I was very pale and weak with a weak pulse and low blood pressure, and sweating like crazy. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital, and diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. I stayed in the hospital for 3 days. I never had alcohol since. As selfish as this sounds, I am annoyed that I can't and shouldn't drink anymore, but at the same time, I fully understand why. I'd much rather stay alive and be happy then roll the dice by drinking and suffering from another attack, which would probably be way worse than the last time. When I was in the hospital the last time, my lipase level was up to 13,500 when I was admitted. When I was released, the nurse said to me, 'If you ever feel like drinking again, picture yourself feeling like you just got punched hard in the gut'. To date, I am healthy, eating normally, and not drinking alcohol. It's a change for me, but a good change.

Comment from: 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 17

I always have had pain in the left side of my stomach I have been to doctors about, and they said it was nothing. Then after 2 years of having it on and off, I got it in the stomach and back I went to the hospital; it was pancreatitis. I was released from hospital, then checked up the gallbladder and had it removed, but I still got pain and another 4 bouts of pancreatitis. I have been off alcohol for almost a year, but I am still getting pain and trying to find out what it is. There is a procedure they can do but they don't want to do it as of yet. This pain has caused me a lot of trouble, meaning, being sad and down a lot plus stress and worry.

Comment from: Valerie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 09

I had gallstones and one moved into the bile duct. I went into hospital for a day procedure to have an ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography) but they failed to remove the stone so the doctor put in a stent. However at about 4 pm in the afternoon I had really severe pain, so severe they thought my bowel had been ruptured. I was x-rayed and after that I don't remember anything for 2 days. I was obviously admitted to hospital. I was diagnosed with acute and severe pancreatitis. My lungs filled with fluid and I was very ill and would have been in intensive care but there was no bed. I was given oxygen, antibiotic and fluids. Nausea, pain, sweating, high temperatures and swelling continued and with continual hospital treatment I had one step forward and 2 steps back. I was then transferred to a specialist hospital in Belfast where I was tube-fed down the nose for 7 weeks. I was very ill at times and didn't really want to continue living many times. I would be on antibiotics, fluid drip, morphine pain relief - a high dose of this in the end; sweating and nausea all continued. I had scans every week as there was a collection around my pancreas. I was in hospital a total of 11 weeks and then I started to recover enough to get home. I returned to hospital 6 weeks later and had my gall bladder removed and stones from my bile duct and the stent removed. It is now 2 months since the surgery and I still have very little energy and the consultant says it will be at least 6 months from surgery until I start to feel my normal self. It's very frustrating.

Comment from: Tony, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 23

Had classic symptoms of Pancreatitis Oct/06. My GI specialist admitted me for acute. Severe pain continued with gold colored diarrhea (stains the toilet). Told I had chronic pancreatitis (CP) and prescribed Creon 25 and narcotic for pain. Later prescribed Cholestyramine... secondary benefit is bile reduction. My doctor states that not much can be done. I eat smaller meals and map out washrooms if I need to go out. I used to be a heavy drinker 27 years ago but abstained since. Thought it might of been caused by massive amounts of anti biotics (H-Pylori kits) during a 2 year period but GI specialist did not agree. My motto is, "we can accept the good times... why not then the difficult ones."

Comment from: survivor, 45-54 Female Published: October 09

I had my gall bladder removed in Sept. 2006. Within 2 weeks after that, I began to have the same symptoms as before the gall bladder was removed. I spoke to my surgeon who ordered an ultrasound which was normal showing no stones. The symptoms disappeared for about 2 years. Then I began to have the symptoms again. I spoke again to my surgeon who ordered another ultrasound which was normal and also had a gastroscopy done which was also normal. He then suggested I see my family physician to have my heart checked out since my pain was high in the abdomen just below my breasts in the middle area. My symptoms again disappeared for about six months. On April 28, 2009 I arrived at work and began again having symptoms of the pressure and pain. I spoke to the surgeon again who works in the same facility as I do and he sent me for some blood work. Immediately after having the blood work completed I became quite weak and felt nauseous and had some jaundice. When the surgeon saw me, he immediately admitted me to the hospital assuming I had passed a gall stone. The following day, I had a CT scan done which showed severe pancreatitis. I was kept in hospital for one week. I continued to be very sick with diarrhea, vomiting and unable to look at food much less eat it. I had another CT scan which showed a 15cm pseudocyst. I then had stents put in via scope to drain the cyst. After two weeks, I still could not eat and still had vomiting. Another scan was done which now showed an abscess. I had another scope in order to insert larger stents to drain the abscess. I remained in hospital for about two weeks this time and could do nothing but sleep. I was still not eating much other than liquids. I was finally discharged and I tried to return to work which was the wrong thing to do. I was so tired and had no energy at all. I then decided to take extended time from work to try and recover. I had some blood work completed which showed my sugar was 23.1. I was immediately admitted back to hospital and have been on insulin ever since. I had no idea that inflammation of the pancreas could be so debilitating. I returned to work full time on August 31, 2009 and now feel fantastic. I have lost a total of 70 pounds (which really needed to go) and am maintaining the weight loss. I feel better now that before the pancreatitis. I truly felt that I was going to die. My only fear is that it may recur. Not sure I could ever go through that again.

Comment from: Lucky in Kentucky, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 06

I had gall stones that moved from my gall bladder to my common bile duct. I collapsed at home in May of 2008 and only remember being admitted to our local hospital. I woke up eight days later at Jewish Medical Center in Louisville. It was diagnosed that I had pancreatitis as a result of the gall stone blockage of the bile duct. The stones were removed, and I was home in 12 days. Within 30 days, I had developed pseudocysts on my pancreas. One of them broke and for the next five months, I was in and out of the hospital. I had drainage tubes placed in my side and back to evacuate the fluid from the remaining cysts. I lost more than 110 pounds. I could not even look at food without feeling like I would throw up. I became dehydrated and malnourished and could not walk without assistance. In September of 2008, the doctors inserted a feeding tube and after a month, I began to gain some weight. At the end of October of 2008, I had the feeding tube removed. I began eating a controlled diet, and by mid-November, I was able to return to work on a part-time basis for the first time in six months. By the end of the year, I had regained about 15 pounds of the weight I had lost and was able to work my normal schedule. In March of 2009, I was healthy enough to have my gall bladder removed, which was the root cause of the pancreatits. In the 11 months since my recovery and return to work and normal life, I have gained another 30 pounds. I take a digestive enzyme daily, but aside from that, I have no lingering effects other than the scars from the tube insertion and gall bladder operation. There were days and weeks during my illness I felt certain I would die or at best never be the same. I am careful of my fat intake and by choice, not necessity or doctors' orders, I no longer drink alcohol. I had great doctors and nurses as well as family and friends that helped me through my illness. Without their skill, friendship and encouragement, I'm not certain I could be relating this story today.

Comment from: JCS, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 02

With pancreatitis I have extreme pain in upper part of stomach that radiates to my back, neck, shoulder blades. Then burning sensation in the chest to then heart attack type pain. If I move quickly I get a sharp pain in right lung area, like a spasm.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 19

I have had chronic pancreatitis for 21 years now. It has wreaked havoc on my mental and physical wellbeing. I am not the person I was before I got this illness, it has changed me both mentally and physically into a different person. I believe what we need is more understanding and help from the medical profession.

Comment from: sstorck, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 16

First if all, your information clearly slants readers to believe that one must be an alcoholic in order to suffer from pancreatitis. However, there are those of us who do not drink and are lumped into the drug seeking, alcohol abusing group because of this mindset that all pancreatitis is caused from drinking or gallstones. There are other causes of pancreatitis that should have been addressed, not just the 'popular' diagnosis. Doctors like this are the reason I can't get proper care. My pancreatitis is caused by a divisum and sphincter of Oddi dysfunction. I did not cause my illness but to read this article one would believe that I am guilty of being an addict.

Comment from: Alayna, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 26

I thought I was one of the few who didn't have pancreatitis. I have anemia and however ridiculous it sounds, I use the diet patch to help with my weight. I'm scheduled for both an upper and lower endoscopy, this 5/4/16. Today I had bright green stool when I take loads of vitamins one of which is an 11 veggie vitamins that I take every other day.

Comment from: martha, Female (Patient) Published: March 22

They removed my pancreas and left only the head and I have a tumor. Right now I am in a lot of pain. I have asthma due to second hand smoke and they gave me prednisone. They told me my pancreas failed and removed my spleen, part of my stomach, intestines and I am getting worse.

Comment from: Katbird30, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 10

I am a 41 year old female. In March of this year I found out I was a match for a friend that needed a kidney. After a bunch of tests, I was told that I could not give my kidney because I had a lesion in the head of my pancreas. I then had to have more tests to find out what this lesion was. It turns out that was a cyst. It was small so they suggested that I have at CT scan every six months to keep an eye on it. After the first 6 months, it had doubled in size. They want to biopsy it but due to its location it is hard to reach so they want me to wait another 6 months and at that time, if it has grown more, they want to biopsy it at that time. I have recently started to have pain in my left side and it bothers me most after I eat. I wonder if this is something I should bring to the doctor's attention. It's not horrible pain, just annoying. I have been told that at some point (when the cyst gets to a certain size) that it will have to be removed.

Comment from: Little stuff, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 18

Four years ago I was admitted to the hospital after violent vomiting. I spent 2 months in the hospital and a month in rehabilitation and I had my gall bladder removed. I do not drink alcohol. I am finally back to myself and 3 weeks ago I had a bout with what I thought was food poisoning; another bout a week later after lousy Chinese food and then just felt queasy eating very little. Hospital showed pancreatitis in the CT scan and I am trying to get back to myself with low fat diet, no return to the hospital (yet).

Comment from: tony diaz, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 25

MY pancreatitis started in 2007 they told me I was a drinker. I had quit drinking 20 years before that. Then it became chronic pancreatitis. In 2012 I started vomiting a lot and I lost 56 pounds. I could take nothing through my mouth and my wife took me to the hospital they did a laparoscopy and the pancreas was so big down my stomach, and the duodenum. The doctor cut part of my stomach intestine to make room for my pancreas because it got too big. Now I can barely eat and I have lost a lot of weight and I have a lot of problems with my digestive system.

Comment from: 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 22

My stepfather has been in the hospital for 10 weeks suffering from a chronic pancreatitis attack. It started out like indigestion and then acute stomach pain. They have done bloodwork, CTs, MRIs more tests than I can remember. He has more IV bags hooked up to him and now is in ICU as his body continues to retain fluid. He's on oxygen, sleeps most of the time and has aged plenty not to mention the weight loss. For every thing they try he goes one step forward and two back. The cysts attached to his pancreas are draining and getting smaller but where it is draining to is unknown. Today his kidneys have started to shut down. I could hear it in my mom's voice how scared she really is. I truly hope there's a miracle out there that can help him. I feel helpless as all I can do is watch. He has been smoke and alcohol-free for more than 15 years, and this is his first attack. He just spent his 60th birthday in the hospital.

Comment from: pgwodeshed, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 06

At first it felt like a horrible case of indigestion with a gas bubble that would not go away. There was no outright pain, but lots of abdominal tenderness that eventually turned into nausea and vomiting. At one point, my blood sugar shot up to 270, and I was so restless that I was thrashing about on my hospital bed, contrary to instructions to keep my leg still because of the thrombolysis I had had the night before. The dye used in the thrombolysis also led to acute renal failure (contrast nephropathy). A combination of insulin, IV antibiotics, and IV fluids brought the acute pancreatitis under control, but I could not tolerate any food except clear liquids for about three days. I haven't had a recurrence since then (three months later).

Comment from: caring person, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 24

I have had chronic pancreatitis since 1986 and have found that stress is one of the causes, for me. I avoid fatty foods and alcohol. During my six years of being sober, I only had two attacks, one of which hospitalized me for 30 days! No fun! I'm still sober now and choose to live the rest of this beautiful life that way. I would also add to be careful with the medications you take.

Published: September 11

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: September 11

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: Gonz, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 29

Pancreatitis was the worst and most excruciating pain I have ever gone through.

Comment from: Kate, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 16

I had severe abdominal pain. It was agony, really. I was literally begging for help in A&E. I had to wait a few hours then blood tests showed pancreatitis. As soon as they knew what it was, I was given pain relief straight away but I thought I was dying while I was waiting.

Comment from: Auntie D, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 20

I have had chronic pancreatitis for seven years. The first year I had to have a very large cyst removed and since then I have gone downhill. About every four to six months I have to have ERCP's (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographies) to put in stents in the ducts every six weeks. I have been in chronic pain the whole seven years. I'm having my pancreas removed next year and I can't wait.

Comment from: Joan, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

I was admitted to the hospital with pancreatitis. They did a procedure down my throat and removed a stone. They put in a stent and when they removed the stent a few weeks later, they also removed another stone.

Comment from: Amreesh, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 24

I had this problem. My doctor told me not to drink alcohol. By avoiding alcohol I recovered from pancreatitis, but when I drank again, it came back.

Comment from: Ann, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

I have had pancreatitis now for almost two years. I have no gall bladder problems. If I eat anything, in 10 minutes, the gas begins I can't figure out how it can start so fast. I have very frequent bouts of abdominal pain and I have seen multiple doctors in multiple states and I still have no relief. I now know what it is but no help with the pain. I spend a lot of time in bed in a fetal position to help with pain and drink nothing but water and I don't eat when I have pain. I am diabetic now with stage III kidney disease. When it first started, I lost 55 lbs in one month.

Comment from: Schu, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 24

I've had gallbladder removal surgery after experiencing terrible pain. I now have symptoms of pancreatitis that disable me for days at a time.

Comment from: molly, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 08

I had my gallbladder removed in 2000 and my digestive system has never been the same. I am lactose intolerant and have IBS. Around 2010, I started drinking really heavily due to the loss of my brother-in-law and then my ex-husband. I drank every day from the moment I woke up until I went to sleep. My liver was the first to go and next was my pancreas. I was hospitalized 10 times in 12 months. I almost died the last three times. I have pain every day of my life. I am worried now because I am more prone to pancreatic cancer.

Comment from: lLillie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 19

I woke up with back pain which went around the front, in the area between my rib cage and top of hip bone and it severely progressed by noon. I went to hospital and blood tests and X-rays were done. According to my family doctor, they showed elevated levels indicating pancreatitis. However the E.R. doctor said I had a pulled muscle from coughing so much with a cold I had for almost seven weeks at the time. It was my third visit to hospital in five weeks. I am a caregiver of a spouse with dementia as well as a patient with pancreatitis.

Comment from: bert, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 15

When I had pancreatitis, I had severe pain in my abdomen. I was also belching excessively and I also had a swollen stomach and intense itching in my back.

Comment from: Chris, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: January 15

January 2010, my father of 83, had acute pancreatitis. He got up in the morning and felt some chest pain. Thinking it was his heart, as he has a dissected aorta, he took a nitro spray. It didn't help. He went to the hospital where they took some blood tests which reviewed that he had pancreatitis. He was admitted that night and they gave him oxygen as he was having difficulty breathing and his abdomen was swollen. His breathing got more difficult during the night and they put him on a respirator and heavily sedated him. In the morning he was not responsive due to sedation. His blood was not taking on the IV and his kidneys were starting to fail. They did a CT scan around 4 in the afternoon which revealed that he had an abscess in his pancreas. At this point, there was very little they could do as his major organs were shutting down. His blood pressure continued to drop. He died around 9:45. The onset and deterioration was very quick (36 hours). Due to his age and health condition, there was very little that could be done. We received realistic prognosis and my father was made comfortable and did not suffer. I found this website helpful for knowledge and to understand and pancreatitis.

Comment from: melanie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 11

I felt as if a hot arrow had been shot through me and then an unbearable burning sensation started. I vomited, swelled up, and felt weak and lightheaded, and my breath got very shallow and rapid. My heart was racing. I collapsed and was sent to ER and admitted, they gave me an IV, morphine, and insulin for 4 days.

Comment from: Female (Patient) Published: January 04

I was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis in September of 2009 and was hospitalized for two weeks for treatment. My symptoms started out as abdominal and "gas" pains in the early morning and by the time I got home from work I was vomiting and knew something was wrong. I went to our local Acute Care clinic and they performed blood tests and did an x-ray of my stomach and intestines where they found that I was constipated and had an infection. The doctor recommended I go to the hospital to undergo a CT scan, with results indicating I had acute pancreatitis.

Comment from: Wog, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 29

Our son had a severe attack last Friday - went in to the hospital and I believe was mistreated in all phases of doctoring. First let me explain he is a recovering alcoholic, belongs to AA and religiously attends meetings. He has not had a drink or any substance abuse for over two years. The doctor who first saw him asked him how his pain was on a scale from 1 to 10 and he said nine and a half and he wasn't kidding. He was in severe pain. I believe the doctor looked at his chart, saw that he was an alcoholic and proceeded on that assumption and thus our son received very poor treatment. They tested his blood and urine sample and the doctor's conclusion was to give him an antacid. THIS WAS UNBELIEVABLE!!! He was in severe pain. They wanted him to stay overnight but because he wasn't getting any help for the pain he went home and ended up going back the next day and was confined for two or three days and I have no idea what was done then. I don't think this was proper treatment.

Comment from: Carrie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

My symptoms worsened over a period of 14 hours, and the pain in my upper abdomen and back were so severe that I had to call the ambulance to take me to the ER. I could barely stand up and walk and could not breathe very well and had pressure in my chest and severe sweating. I was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis and was in the hospital for 3 weeks on antibiotics and IV fluids, no food for the first 6 days. I have had a feeding tube for 8 weeks now but just got the OK to eat simple foods like rice and bananas. The doctors could not find any gallstones in my gall bladder but they said my case was so severe that I have to have my gall bladder out when my pancreas has healed completely to prevent a future attack. I am also a diabetic and have switched to insulin injections to control my blood sugar. I have more energy each day and I hope to have the feeding tube out soon. I have lost 20lbs and hope that with the gall bladder surgery, a low fat diet with no alcohol, exercise, and continued weight loss, I never have another attack again.

Comment from: 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 29

I have had chronic pancreatitis. I had one attack four years ago and since then, I have had pretty constant pain. I have also had fevers. I have also taken plenty of medications for the pain. It is hard to stay optimistic, especially if the pain lasts for more than two days.

Comment from: bond, 19-24 Male Published: December 07

I had a pancreatic attack two months ago. I was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). I had severe pain in my abdomen and in my back. I was in the hospital for 20 days and I was treated with antibiotics.

Comment from: olivia, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

I have had upper abdominal tenderness since May 2009. I also have very bad heartburn and when I went to my family doctor, who found that my amylase and lipase levels were sky high and sent me immediately to get a CT scan. They didn't find any major swelling but they did see some fluid around my gall bladder which suggested that there had been some inflammation. My doctor's thought that I just passed a gall stone and that I would be fine. Later on in the summer I went to the ER because the discomfort was still there and my blood levels were still high. I was admitted diagnosed with pancreatitis even though my pancreas looked normal--with my elevated amylase, lipase and pain they kept me in the hospital. I had my gallbladder removed even though the HIDA scan came back normal. It wasn't my gallbladder-I am still having the discomfort, bloating, tenderness & bad heartburn. It's been weighing on me mentally as well, I can't concentrate in school (I'm 21) and I just feel stressed out a lot. I have an appointment with a pancreatic specialist in a couple weeks and I'm hoping he'll find a diagnosis. I don't want to live with this anymore and I don't want to be that 15% of pancreatitis patients who go undiagnosed. The whole thing is extremely frustrating.

Comment from: mom, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 19

My daughter complained of abdominal pain for a couple of weeks. The doctor requested blood work and an ultrasound but before it was done, she was in so much pain that we got her to urgent care on a Sunday. They did blood work but could not do a ultrasound as they did not have one. So, they sent her home with an appt to have one done the next day. Well the next day, she could not get out of bed, so I called an ambulance. She spent 5 days in hospital on antibiotics, morphine and Percocet. The blood work suggested pancreatitis. She is a teenager and does tend to drink at parties. She is slim to begin with. She was doing better after hospital but got worse. We finally got her back to the doctor who advised her of the low-fat diet, but I can see she needs to go on a liquid diet again. It's been hard on her. She has quit drinking and smoking and she's losing her job because she hasn't the energy to work, but she has a sweet boyfriend. Thank you for your time and attention to this. Love, Mom

Comment from: 55-64 Male Published: November 18

My husband collapsed with severe pain whilst on holiday. 12 weeks later, he developed acute pancreatitis caused by a gallstone. He had surgery to remove two-thirds of his pancreas and lost his battle in the end. He died shortly thereafter. With the 12 weeks he aged 20 years. He lost five stone in weight and had become a very confused and frightened man.

Comment from: Non-Fat Diet, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I had pain and a feeling of tightness stretching across my lower abdomen which got worse over a period of three weeks until it was hard to sit up and get out of bed in the morning. The area around my kidneys was also sore. Poops were always light-colored and sometimes somewhat yellow. I changed my diet, giving up most fatty items and eating way more salads and veggies, and stopped using the estrogen replacement patch, because there seems to be a connection with that and pancreatitis with some people. The non-fat diet, giving up the patch, and giving up all alcohol seem to have done the trick.

Comment from: Savitri, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 02

The first time I had severe pain in abdomen and back pain. The treatment also took two days to subside the pain. After 6 days of drip and injectable treatment I was done. Post treatment was a 1 year treatment with pancreoflat medicine and other required medication. CT scan showed no gall stones or related blockages. Now the second time after 3.5 years, I developed pain in my abdomen and reported it in hospital. I was again diagnosed of bulky pancreas and pancreatitis was ruled out. The treatment of clinical symptoms was pancreatitis and after 3 days, I was discharged from hospital with medications.

Comment from: Angelo, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 19

Since I was 8 years old I had severe stomach cramps. In my teens I developed daily nausea in the morning. For 20 years I had nausea and vomiting especialy in the morning. I have now been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis. The doctors have ruled out alchohol. I have 8 relatives who also have severe forms of pancreatitis. The pain I experience is mainly in the abdominal area, from my ribs down to the intestines in the form of a football, severe cramping on my back. Since 2005 I have been hospitalized 7 times. Each time is a 3 day stay, no food or liquids including water. Only ice chips to moisten my mouth. This in order to let the pancreas rest and recover itself. I also get pain mangagment and anti-bacterial medication when I have a pancreatic episode and go to the ER.

Comment from: Chipsi, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 19

I was diagnosed with pancreatitis in July 2009. I didn't realize what the symptoms were. I had a bad headache for 2 straight weeks and then I started to feel better. But then all of a sudden I started to get pains in the stomach like bad indigestion that wouldn't go away. I was popping Tums like Tic Tacs. Nothing seemed to help and eating made things worse. Finally my husband talked me into going to our doctor. He ran alot of tests. That night I felt so really weak and sick. He had prescribed medication to help but it wasn't helping. I started passing out from the pain. I was so sick the next day, and my husband called the doctor's office that morning. The doctor called back and told me to go straight to the ER. By the time my husband got me there, I passed out getting out of the car. I don't remember much after that but my blood pressure was so low. It was like 65/30. The ER unit told my husband if I had come any later, I would have been dead. I was in the hospital for 5 days and badly dehydrated. The first 3 days I couldn't have anything to eat or drink besides ice chips. The doctor said I had to give the pancreas a rest. I was too sick to eat anyways. I just wanted a drink cause I was so thirsty but I had to make do with just ice chips. The bad thing is that pancreatitis can come back and I am afraid right now because my stomach has started to ache a lot recently.

Comment from: Lisa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I believe that my initial symptom was a low grade fever which only lasted 1-2 hrs each time. I also began having acute attacks of pain near the base of my sternum. Later, I developed pain that was so severe that I went to the ER. A few months later, I was diagnosed with gall stones and pancreatitis. I had my gall bladder removed 3 months ago and last Saturday night, the pain started again and was more severe than the previous attacks.

Comment from: John, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 12

If I drink alcohol, I have severe pain and have to go to the emergency room to get relief. I also get pain when I eat greasy fried chicken from restaurants. I am really confused as to what is going on with my body. One doctor said I have pancreatitis, and others said they see no pancreatitis and don't know what's wrong with me. This has been going for seven years and seems to be getting worse.

Comment from: vic90620, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 07

My father has been in the hospital for 5 months with pancreatitis and he still has pain and throws up all the time. He has CAT scans and tests every week and everything comes back normal. He has been on a feeding tube for 5 months and suction for 5 months. None of the doctors can figure out why it is still going they say its a rare case of pancreatitis but they still have no answers or any thing new to try. They also say that he is the first person who has had it this long with little to no improvements.

Comment from: Vanessa, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I had Acute pancreatitis, but doctors still don't know really why I got it. I started feeling a horrible back and abdominal pain about 2 months I was admitted in a hopsital. I thought it was gastro or something and I continued drinking aclohol sometimes and eating bad food. One day I was in Brazil working and had horrible pain for like 3 days on a row. My urine was red and my skin was yellow. I had a huge belly, I was very sensitive to everything and kept vomiting. I was admitted in the hospital for "hepatitis" and after they did all the exams to me, they realized it was my pancreas. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital, not eating anything, got loads of morphine for the pain and had surgery. Two years later, I'm fine now, but I have not paid attention to my diet and started to feel some pain again. I'm going to start a diet now, and avoid alcohol 100%.

Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 06

I have had pancreatitis about five times over the past six years. I find when I drink and smoke (four or five drinks over one day's time and about five to 10 cigarettes), which is not my normal intake, I may develop pancreatic pain in the upper abdomen. I take Cipro, which stops the pain almost immediately. I do not have gallstones, and have had my gall bladder and bile ducts tested, which were normal. I still don't know why this happens since I am not an alcohol abuser. I may average a glass of wine daily with more on special occasions, such as a party or wedding. I think the answer is to limit alcohol intake when I am gambling or on vacation. It usually occurs when I am just returning from Vegas.

Comment from: duck, 45-54 Female Published: November 13

Very bad first few times - lifestyle has not changed but no longer in pain - has my pancreas died?

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