Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Intense Abdominal Pain

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 36 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • July 12, 2007
  • 05:55 AM

Ahoy, for that past four years I've been having increasingly bad abdominal pain that resides about three finger-widths above my belly button and seems to be four inches in depth. It is accompanied by intense nausea which requires me to take Zofran once or twice a day to even be able to eat (I went about three or four days without eating before getting this stuff). I've become more and more reliant on high strength painkillers (Demerol takes a good chunk of the edge off) to get to sleep, or to maintain some semblance of sanity. The severity is rising quite a bit as time goes on. I haven't been able to go to school, work, exercise, ect. It feels as if I was punched in the abdominal area hard enough to take my breath away, except the fist bypassed about an inch of flesh and is still inside my abdomen. The nausea is well... extreme nausea, it has never caused me to vomit but I have been very close on several occasions.

I have been to several doctors: Family Doctor, a Psychiatrist, two Gastroentrinologists, and a Pediatrician. All have said that I appear fine and that this is all in my head. All tests (Several blood tests including Anti-Thrombin III, abdominal CT scan, two abdominal ultrasounds, Upper G.I. series, an endoscope down the throat and biopsies from the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine) have returned clear. I've currently awaiting the results of a stomach emptying study.

To take care of the common questions: I don't have bloody stool, the pain is constant but will flare up, it never fully goes away, I am a wee bit constipated but have been so all my life and the entire side of the Mother's family is the same way except without the pain, Milk of Magnesia has been tried and improved the amount of bowel movements but had no affect on the pain, I had had a few extremely severe attacks where I have been lying on the bathroom floor nearly passing out from pain and a combined feeling of intensely extreme nausea and a feeling of diarrhea like cramps but with no stool. I have tried a diet for IBD for three months with no affect on the pain.
When all this started I was mildly anemic and spent 14 to 18 hours a day sleeping, a month or two of iron pills solved the extensive fatigue but not the abdominal pain.

The only "diagnosis" I have received is "Well, it's probably not cancer and if it was terminal you would likely be dead by now." I'm hoping you folks can help.

If any additional information is required, just ask. I think I've covered pretty much everything I can think of, however.

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36 Replies:

  • How about a Hida scan to check the function of the gallbladder?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Ah, one thing has come to me that I had forgotten to mention. For the longest time there was a persistant, foul tasting, white film on my tongue. Recently I was on 30mg of Nortriptyline to help with the pain, while it had absolutely no effect on the pain it seems to have eliminated the white film. I'm now off the medication and the film slowly seems to be coming back.
    Kinote 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wouldn't a gall bladder problem result in pain in the upper right area of the abdomin insted of dead center?
    Kinote 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • Maybe gall bladder functionality issue (get hida scan), chronic pancreatitis (see pancreas specialist), parasite (get stool testing). Tongue coating could indicate infection of some sort, may or may not be related to your gastric issues.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Over the past few weeks, my doctor sent me for some allergy tests and has put me on a special diet to cut out all allergens in my diet. I was told I was going to see results in a week, and I did. However, I've never been in more pain than these past few weeks. I can't even sleep without taking narcotic pain killers.I've been thinking to myself that if one cut out all the allergens, the immune system would have nothing to do and could flare up an existing autoimmune problem. Is this possible? Could all my problems simply be an autoimmune response somewhere in my abdominal area?
    Kinote 22 Replies
    • September 2, 2007
    • 05:05 AM
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  • Your pain may be related to your abdominal aorta. I would ask the doc for a ultrasound and MRI of the area.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 3, 2007
    • 06:43 AM
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  • I've had a few ultrasounds that have come back negative and the doctors flat out refuse to give me a MRI.
    Kinote 22 Replies
    • September 4, 2007
    • 02:44 AM
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  • As mentioned, chronic pancreatitis could be a possible. Have you had an amylase blood test?
    rad-skw 1605 Replies
    • September 4, 2007
    • 07:16 AM
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  • Not that I know of, I'll jot it down on my list of things to ask the Doc. Thanks.
    Kinote 22 Replies
    • September 4, 2007
    • 07:19 AM
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  • It's been a while since my last post in this thread and with my symptoms continuing, I figured I would give it another shot. Not much has changed since my original post. New medications have come and gone, I'm currently on Hydromorph Contin (6mg, 3x Daily), Nexium (40mg 1x Daily), Zofran (4mg, as needed which is once or twice daily), some stool softeners, and a few tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia every few days. The pain continues to be a constant ache a few finger widths above my bellybutton, feeling like a fist is lodged deep in my abdomin, along with constant nausea of varying degree. No weight loss, a little rectal bleeding when I'm highly constipated, or anything else specific, just the pain and nausea.While not much has changed, I've started getting curious about things that existed before the pain. A year or two or so before I this, I noticed that when I went down stairs my calf muscles would... I want to say quake, along with a bout of anemia. I wasn't in the greatest shape at the time but I was walking a collective several miles by the end of the day so a simple flight of stairs shouldn't have been much of an issue. Now it seems than whenever any of my muscles are under stress, the same quaking type action occurs. Pre-dating that, I was sick nearly constantly as a kid with sore throats and cold like symptoms. I was born with a hernia and had it repaired at age four, but that's the only major thing I've ever had aside from this pain.It seems everybody is running out of ideas, and I'm getting pretty sick of hearing about I'm making all this up, that it's all in my head. Can anybody think of something?
    Kinote 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • You mentioned a hernia. Was that in the same area of your pain? Sometimes hernia repairs need to be redone.
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
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  • I'm not sure about the hernia itself, but the scar from the surgery resides in the pubic region while the pain for the most part is above my bellybutton.
    Kinote 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • Then the two are not related. I don't know what to think. Have the doctors checked out all of your internal organs, spleen, appendix, gallbladder, etc.?
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
  • Also, has GERD been discussed with you?
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
  • To my knowledge, yes. I've had two Upper G.I's, a small bowel follow through, a stomach emptying study, a gastroscopy with several biopsies, and a lower G.I. on the G.I. side. Two abdominal ultrasounds and an abdominal CT on that side of things.GERD has been mentioned and is the reason for trying Nexium
    Kinote 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • I'm also thinking muscle and nerve could be a cause, and hernia (a new one).But look at this link:http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010801/431.htmlI'm just throwing anything I can at you. Maybe something will click.
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've always been curious if it was a constant muscle spasm or some sort of damage to a nerve, so good thinking on those. What type of doctor should I try and get myself shuffled off to so I can be checked out for that type of thing?Anything any everything is much appreciated, thanks for the help.
    Kinote 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've always been curious if it was a constant muscle spasm or some sort of damage to a nerve, so good thinking on those. What type of doctor should I try and get myself shuffled off to so I can be checked out for that type of thing?Anything any everything is much appreciated, thanks for the help.For nerve problems, see a neurologist. I would start there first. This pain could be what is called "referred pain". Referred pain actually comes from somewhere else but causes pain in a different location. For instance, this could be a spinal problem and it is showing itself as a stomach pain. I get this all the time. I have a back problem, but get pain in my thigh.I most certainly do not think this is in your mind. And any doctor that tells you that I would not see again. You need to see doctors who will listen to you. Please post back and let me know what you find out. If this isn't it, maybe the neurologist can help, or post back here and we will try again. Good luck.
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
  • Here is a link about referred pain. It might describe things a little better.http://anatomynotes.blogspot.com/2006/10/referred-pain.htmlWhat you are looking for is what kind of problem elsewhere in my body would cause referred pain in my stomach. Try Googling around and see what you come up with. You might find something.
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
  • Always nice to hear that somebody thinks I'm still sane. I see my family doctor this Thursday, hopefully I can get him to refer me to a neurologist. Unfortunately he's one of the strongest supporters of the "it's all in your head" theory and there is a shortage of family doctors in my area so I don't have much of a choice. I'll post an update when I can, thanks for all the help.
    Kinote 22 Replies Flag this Response
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