Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

SEVERE upper abdominal pain-had every test possible!

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 122 Replies
  • Posted By: tamik98
  • December 1, 2006
  • 08:57 PM

I am desperate. I have been suffering from severe upper abdominal pain for about 6 months now. At times it is so bad I think I would rather just die. To date I have had the following:
*2 Hydoscans (revealed diseased gall bladder)
*Had Gall Bladder removed
*6 chest/abdominal x-rays
*4 sonograms
*2 CT Scans
*numerous blood tests
*MRI
*MRCG
*Endoscopy
*Upper GI w/small bowel series
And to date, ALL of these tests (Except of course removal of the gall bladder) have shown NOTHING!

Current medications I am taking:
*Zelnorm
*Vicodan
*Levsin
*Glycolax
*Tylenol 3

Along with the pain I have constipation, bloating, and weight gain-despite RX laxatives and steady exercise. The pain hits me suddenly and fiercely at any time of day or night. There are no warnings, no predictors, no triggers.

Usually the pian lasts from anywhere to 1-4 hours, and that is AFTER taking the pain meds. Often, about halfway through the "attack", I will vomit. However, nothing comes out except bile. Even if I have eaten recently.

At times the pain is so bad it makes it difficult for me to breathe or move. I have almost had wrecks when attacks hit while I'm driving. It feels like someone is stabbing me repeatedly. The pain is centered almost directly under my ribcage, right in the center. It is always in the same place.

I don't know what else to do, I was sure the last tests (GI & small bowel) would show twisted intestines or something-but NOTHING.

I am very discouraged and cannot live like this. I meet with my doctor again next week to decide which tests to do next, but I think he is just as baffled as I am.

Can someone PLEASE help?

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  • i have had similar problems for years. and every test, when ever pain starts i head to bed take some tramadol and try too passout until pain decides to go away. I have found days leading up to it have had acidy stomach then if have something really fatty like fried battered fish and chips does the trick to bring on the pain. i presumed it was an upset gall bladder. i have had problems last year with pancreas and now diabetic 2 but believe that was caused by heavy drinking but totally different pain and problems. i do notice i cant pee while having pain and when i do pee it is a sign pain is about to go. If unable to sleep have multiple showers or try and wear my self out doing exercises also try to make myself throw up. Found valium if taken just as pain starts was good cant seem to find doctor who gives them out anymore. Ben
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 2, 2006
    • 03:33 AM
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  • Do you know what this is yet? It sounds like the same symtoms I have and my doctor has put me on antibiotics.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 11, 2006
    • 01:52 AM
    • 0
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  • I had severe pain that would practically double me over. One time I was on a walk during lunch and had to sit on the curb until the pain subsided. I worked for a medical testing facility and one of the doctors there told me that he thought I had pneumonia and suggested I have a chest x-ray. Off to the hospital I went and demanded a chest x-ray, which came back clear. But the emergency room doctor decided to run an ultasound on me because he thought I had gall stones. The lab handed me the results so I could walk them back to the emergency room. I can read medical terminology so I read the lab results. I had a hepatic hemangioma (a blood clot tumor in my liver). I was so scared. They scheduled the surgery right away and 15 years later, I am fine. I still get little stabbing pains in the region but all of my tests since the surgery have come back normal. The chances of having mulitple hepatic hemangiomas is very rare so I'm not worried about a reaccurance. They say the pains I get now are just phantom pains or from internal scar tissue.Have your doctor run a an ultasound on your liver and run a liver panel (blood test with bilirubin). It's at least worth a try.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 11, 2006
    • 08:45 AM
    • 0
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  • After my last round of blood tests showed nothing my doc prescribed antibiotics too-I am starting them today. I had to wait becasue I was already on other antibiotics to prevent infection after getting stitches in my hand. I am willing to try anything, but I have to say, it seems almost impossible that this severe pain could be caused by a virus. Are the antibiotics working for you?
    tamik98 3 Replies
    • December 19, 2006
    • 10:08 PM
    • 0
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  • Well, supposedly this last round of blood tests was for my liver. I have another endoscopy scheduled for 12/29 and I guess I'll go from there. I had severe pain that would practically double me over. One time I was on a walk during lunch and had to sit on the curb until the pain subsided. I worked for a medical testing facility and one of the doctors there told me that he thought I had pneumonia and suggested I have a chest x-ray. Off to the hospital I went and demanded a chest x-ray, which came back clear. But the emergency room doctor decided to run an ultasound on me because he thought I had gall stones. The lab handed me the results so I could walk them back to the emergency room. I can read medical terminology so I read the lab results. I had a hepatic hemangioma (a blood clot tumor in my liver). I was so scared. They scheduled the surgery right away and 15 years later, I am fine. I still get little stabbing pains in the region but all of my tests since the surgery have come back normal. The chances of having mulitple hepatic hemangiomas is very rare so I'm not worried about a reaccurance. They say the pains I get now are just phantom pains or from internal scar tissue.Have your doctor run a an ultasound on your liver and run a liver panel (blood test with bilirubin). It's at least worth a try.
    tamik98 3 Replies
    • December 19, 2006
    • 10:10 PM
    • 0
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  • I am desperate. I have been suffering from severe upper abdominal pain for about 6 months now. At times it is so bad I think I would rather just die. To date I have had the following: *2 Hydoscans (revealed diseased gall bladder)*Had Gall Bladder removed*6 chest/abdominal x-rays*4 sonograms*2 CT Scans*numerous blood tests*MRI*MRCG*Endoscopy*Upper GI w/small bowel seriesAnd to date, ALL of these tests (Except of course removal of the gall bladder) have shown NOTHING! Current medications I am taking: *Zelnorm*Vicodan*Levsin*Glycolax*Tylenol 3Along with the pain I have constipation, bloating, and weight gain-despite RX laxatives and steady exercise. The pain hits me suddenly and fiercely at any time of day or night. There are no warnings, no predictors, no triggers. Usually the pian lasts from anywhere to 1-4 hours, and that is AFTER taking the pain meds. Often, about halfway through the "attack", I will vomit. However, nothing comes out except bile. Even if I have eaten recently. At times the pain is so bad it makes it difficult for me to breathe or move. I have almost had wrecks when attacks hit while I'm driving. It feels like someone is stabbing me repeatedly. The pain is centered almost directly under my ribcage, right in the center. It is always in the same place. I don't know what else to do, I was sure the last tests (GI & small bowel) would show twisted intestines or something-but NOTHING. I am very discouraged and cannot live like this. I meet with my doctor again next week to decide which tests to do next, but I think he is just as baffled as I am. Can someone PLEASE help?Please let me know if you find out anything. I have a close friend who has been recently hospitalized with the same symptoms. She has pain in the center of her chest , just under her rib cage. The pain is excruciating at times. She has been vomiting and sweats on her forehead and hands when the pain is severe. She has also experienced dizzy spells with the severe pain. They have ran an EKG and did blood test on her. Since she doesn't have insurance, they released her from the hospital after two days and made an appointment for her to have a stress test and echocardiogram on the 29th. I do not believe the problem is her heart, however. This is something they need to rule out. She has had these problems for the last 3-4 months and has been to the hospital several times. They usually release her after several hours with no diagnosis(the problem with no health insurance and state hospitals). She is at her wits end and really can't participate in many things because of the pain. They have given her Protonix and a fast acting antianxiety medication to no avail.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 21, 2006
    • 01:12 PM
    • 0
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  • I keep praying they will admit to the hospital and not let me out until they have a diagnosis!! I have very good health insurance and pay ALOT of money for it, but believe me, I don't get treated any differently. I finally quit going to the ER at all. They would run a test, shoot me up with Morphine and send me home. Just not worth it to spend hours there plus my $50 co-pay. Please keep in touch and let me know if a diagnosis is found for your friend. My next appt. (after the endoscopy) is with a cardiologist. I was told that cardiac problems in women often present as gastric problems. That is why so many women die from heart disease each year-it is misdiagnosed until it is too late. Please let me know if you find out anything. I have a close friend who has been recently hospitalized with the same symptoms. She has pain in the center of her chest , just under her rib cage. The pain is excruciating at times. She has been vomiting and sweats on her forehead and hands when the pain is severe. She has also experienced dizzy spells with the severe pain. They have ran an EKG and did blood test on her. Since she doesn't have insurance, they released her from the hospital after two days and made an appointment for her to have a stress test and echocardiogram on the 29th. I do not believe the problem is her heart, however. This is something they need to rule out. She has had these problems for the last 3-4 months and has been to the hospital several times. They usually release her after several hours with no diagnosis(the problem with no health insurance and state hospitals). She is at her wits end and really can't participate in many things because of the pain. They have given her Protonix and a fast acting antianxiety medication to no avail.
    tamik98 3 Replies
    • December 21, 2006
    • 02:12 PM
    • 0
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  • I have suffered simillar symptoms for years. Other possibilites to consider are pluerisy (sp ?)- you could have an inflamed lung lining that sticks to your inner chest wall. Another cause could be an inflmmed nerve. The kind of pain you describe is typically caused by nerve inflammation and won't be revealed by standard GI test. good luck.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 21, 2006
    • 07:38 PM
    • 0
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  • I response to the Unregistered question of 12/21 at 1;12 pm; has she had gall bladder tests, ie. ultrasound? These symptoms sound like those of both myself and my husband when we had gall bladder problems.Please let me know if you find out anything. I have a close friend who has been recently hospitalized with the same symptoms. She has pain in the center of her chest , just under her rib cage. The pain is excruciating at times. She has been vomiting and sweats on her forehead and hands when the pain is severe. She has also experienced dizzy spells with the severe pain. They have ran an EKG and did blood test on her. Since she doesn't have insurance, they released her from the hospital after two days and made an appointment for her to have a stress test and echocardiogram on the 29th. I do not believe the problem is her heart, however. This is something they need to rule out. She has had these problems for the last 3-4 months and has been to the hospital several times. They usually release her after several hours with no diagnosis(the problem with no health insurance and state hospitals). She is at her wits end and really can't participate in many things because of the pain. They have given her Protonix and a fast acting antianxiety medication to no avail.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 27, 2006
    • 02:50 AM
    • 0
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  • Tamik, not a doctor here but know a few things about pain killers from my line of work. The first thing that jumps out at me is that you're taking Vicodin and Tylenol 3 as well. Not sure how much you're taking but just for reference, 3 grams of APAP (acetominophen) a day is considered a toxic dose for most averaged size humans. The reality is that APAP is very caustic to your stomach and stomach lining, it has a devasting effect on your gastric system over only a very short period of time. The dilemma is that you take the Vicodin or Tylenol 3 for the hydrocodone or codeine and while that temporarily numbs the pain, the APAP goes to work kicking the religion out of your digestive system. It's a vicious cycle that a lot of folks get caught up in and you throw just a tad bit of stress and the stomach acids only make matters that much worse. I'd be willing to bet that there's a fair amount of stress on you right now if not only from your difficulty getting a diagnosis. Like I said, not a doctor but give up those two painkillers and see a doctor about an ulcer. If you've been taking them for some time and taking several a day I'll bet you lunch that's playing a large part in your symptoms. (if it is, you can owe me) You're fine, continue to get checked out but talk to a physician about what I said....not lying to you I promise.-todd
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 27, 2006
    • 03:57 AM
    • 0
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  • I too have not been given diagnosis and have been out of work for 2 months with similiar systoms. I was hospitalized for 9 days last month and thought I had every test under the moon too with an endoscopy as well. Today I had a ERCP which is similiar to Endoscopy but way more detailed. I was pretty out of it but there was something about a spasm in a duct and had a persciption for Symax, I have to call the doctor back tomorrow for details. I know personally that the pain meds make me vomit. It is a vicious cycle. I kept swearing it was my gallbladder, but all the doctors say no. I have been vomitting every day for the last 4 years, now for 2 months, the pain in under my right shoulder blade and upper ab is so severe I can not function. You are not alone and good luck to you.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 28, 2006
    • 08:28 AM
    • 0
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  • Sorry to hear about your pain. I also had severe abdominal pain for about 2 years. I went to several doctors but got no answers. I even had a endoscopic surgery done, and nothing was found. I just wanted to give up, but for some reason I decided to take fiber, within 2 days my pain was going away slowly. I then realized that I had a packed colon. It's odd that the doctors could not figure such a simple thing out. You should really try some fiber pills, it won't hurt to try. Hope you get better soon.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 28, 2006
    • 08:56 PM
    • 0
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  • Well,I see I'm not the only one living in agony.I have always had stomach problems in the past.My dad was diagnosed with a"nerv.stomach"long long time ago and he lived on malox.He has passed now.I could take a bottle of Malox and in a couple of days,be good to go.Well here recently(3 weeks ago) I had a round of severe stomach pain that hasnt gone away.Malox has done absolutly nothing this time.Bloating and unable to go to the bathroom on a regular basis.My sister's stomach is doing the exact same thing.I have not went to the doctors office yet,she did.They asked her if she was a drinker.No,she does not drink at all and neither do I.They did some tests and it come back as something wrong with her gallbladder AND her pancreas(sp?)That is the latest on her.ME,I have been up since 4 am and didnt get to sleep till 12:30.I think today will be the day I go to the hospital,pain and cramping is severe....
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 6, 2007
    • 10:55 AM
    • 0
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  • Forot to add to the post above,the pain is a million times worse right befor dark and especially when I lay down to go to bed.I know that may seam strange but its the truth for both of us,sister and I.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 6, 2007
    • 11:09 AM
    • 0
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  • When I had pain for months and months like you describe, it was a Pleural Effusion. Mine was in the flank area under my right rib on the side. I did not however have the vomiting you describe, but that can happen from just being in severe pain and hyperventilating, etc. It could also be an inflamed Meckels Diverticulitis.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 6, 2007
    • 11:29 PM
    • 0
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  • I have been feeling intense hot sensations on my back, shoulders, neck and the back of my head for 9 months now. I also have pain in the upper-left abdomen with bitter taste accompanying it. Occasionally I have excrutiating headaches. Almost every test has been performed and the results have been negativeCT scan, Endoscopy, countless bloood tests Now the doctor says she suspects carcinoids or pheochromocytoma. Both do not sound good. Can someone help?:confused:
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 6, 2007
    • 11:59 PM
    • 0
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  • Have you been tested for porphyria so far?Attacks of porphyria may be a cause of sever upper abdominal pain and the disease attacks may be fatal if diagnosis is overlooked.richard96@hushmail.com
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 19, 2007
    • 10:15 AM
    • 0
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  • I have not been tested for porphyria. I look up the symptoms and it they do not include hot sensations on the back, shoulders, neck and back of the head. These sensations are triggered by all kinds of food. My taste also changes frequently- normal one moment,and bitter the next. Carcinoid test - negative!CT Scan Upper endoscopyEcocardiogram.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 19, 2007
    • 03:17 PM
    • 0
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  • Have you been tested for porphyria-it can also cause upper abdominal pain.richard96@hushmail.com
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 20, 2007
    • 00:20 PM
    • 0
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  • response to Tamik98. These same symptoms happened to a friend of mine. She visited the ED with no diagnosis. A few months later, she saw an OB GYN and was diagnosed with an STD that likely caused PID. Was treated with antibiotics and has had no problems since.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 22, 2007
    • 07:42 PM
    • 0
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