Pancreatitis!

Discussion in 'Ask For Help or Advice' started by Spacehoppa, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Spacehoppa

    Spacehoppa Member

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    Ugh, I think I may have pancreatitis. I've got mid back pressure coupled with transient nausea and upper left referred shoulder pain. I've had this in the past, but it's resolved itself. This time, no dice. It's been going on for about 5/6 weeks so far. I've pointed it out and described the sensation to 3 doctors already, one of whom is my trusted osteopath and none of them had a clue. So, yet abloody gain i had to diagnose myself. Obviously I'll get myself off to the doctor pronto, but in the meantime wondered if anyone had any advice.

    This is yet more fallout from excess estrogen (and steroids and lifelong autoimmune disease) i think. Have any of you ever had it, and would you have any ideas about how Peat would go about treating it? I think the recommendation is to take the burden off the digestive tract for a few days to help it resolve, so I'm thinking of switching to a liquid diet for 4/5 days. I'm lactose intolerant, so that cuts out a lot of Peat options unfortunately. Thanks folks! You guys are such helpful, knowledgeable folks that I thought I'd ask you. It's late here in the UK so if I don't reply it's because I'm (attempting to) sleep.
     
  2. Dean

    Dean Member

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    I had an acute pancreatitis attack several years ago and landed in the hospital for a month and had to be fed intravenously for another month after that while my pancreas healed enough to eat or drink again. My only advice is that if you begin to experience intense heartburn high up in your throat and lots of belching get to the hospital ASAP. I didn't and was hit in the middle of the night with the most unimaginable pain ever.

    Don't mean to scare you, however, as from what you describe your complaint seems to be chronic and there is a difference between an acute pancreatitis event and chronic pancreatitis. Anyway...hope you feel better and I can certainly empathize because since then I have had recurring pain in my upper middle back to the left shoulder blade and always wonder if it is a chronic residual effect related to my acute pancreatitis attack

    I don't mean to hijack your plea for advice/help with a discussion, but how did you come to conclude the pancreas was involved in your discomfort and where did you learn that it was serotonin related? This could just be more evidence for me (as if I need anymore) of the number that estrogen and serotonin have done and are doing on me.

    At the time this happened, I was experiencing frequent gallladder attacks. I had just gone on disability for depression and was waiting to get eligible for medicaid before going to the doctor. A few days before the pancreatitis attack, I'd grown tired of the gallbladder attacks and tried the gallbladder cleanse with the olive oil, lemon juice, malic acid. I didn't pass anything and a few days later...boom.

    The GI doctors told me the pancreatitis attack was precipitated by one of the small stones getting caught in my common bile duct, causing a backup and a subsequent rupture of a few of the small tributaries or vessels (don't remember the term) that lead in/out of the pancreas. Of course, this was theoretical as the supposed stone had cleared itself by the time any CT scans were done.

    Interestingly enough, the surgeon who eventually removed my gallbladder kind of offhandedly said something about the anti-depressants I'd been taking (SSRI's, of course) had been the cause. I took him to mean the gallstones and gallbladder issues and I remember even going home and doing an internet search about anti-depressants causing gallstones. I didn't find anything, so kind of forgot about it. Never thought that perhaps he was talking about the pancreatitis.

    Now that I think about it, since my acute attack, whenever I've tried a low carb diet these upper middle back to left shoulder blade episodes are more frequent and intensify. Wow, another piece to the puzzle. I know I"ve read where Peat talks about cirrhosis of the liver and the estrogen/serotonin connection. Obviously, it is alcoholics who frequently have cirrhosis of the liver... and also most often have the condition of chronic pancreatitis.

    Well, anyway, like I said, acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis are different things; so I wouldn't panic about it. As for dealing with the chronic pain, I've never found anything to help much except lying down does seem to alleviate it some. Certainly, it now seems that keeping tryptophan intake to a minimum and stepping up estrogen/serotonin clearing actions would be well in order for both of us.

    Thanks for the eye opener and another light bulb moment. I wish us both good luck.
     
  3. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    Dean, welcome to the forum.
     
  4. Dean

    Dean Member

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    Hey Charlie, thank you. Kind of long winded for a first post, I know. I've been meaning to introduce myself in the meet and greet. Thanks for the forum.
     
  5. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    You are very welcome.

    I think it was a great first post. Helping others and at the same time connected some dots and helped yourself. :rockout
     
  6. OP
    Spacehoppa

    Spacehoppa Member

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    Thanks for the great info Dean! Yes, I am burping a lot more than usual, but I agree that I also think my problem is more of a chronic than an acute one... For now anyway. Thanks for the heads up!

    I read up a little on pancreatitis last night and noted that potential causes were estrogen, hrt, contraceptive pill (so estrogen basically), autoimmune disorders (tick) and steroids (tick, tick). I have rheumatoid arthritis, have been on steroids (prednisolone) for 8 years now and am dangerously estrogen dominant, so it all fits really. I also had some gallbladder pain for a few weeks before the pancreatitis struck, so I may have a stone or sludging move into the ducts like you. Whenever I have scans they never find stones though.

    Wow on being fed by drip for a month! That's my worst nightmare as I have two small kids to look after, so I'd better take this pretty seriously. I've been drinking soups today, but don't think I could manage to fast for 5 days, which is the recommended treatment, and I have caved in and had a few solids as well. Damn... I need to rethink my approach to this. I cannot be ill for a month or more. ANd of course, on googling pancreatitis you read all the stuff about pancreatic cancer that has all the same symptoms *rolls eyes*. I need to get on top of this. Thanks again!
     
  7. Dean

    Dean Member

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    Hey Spacehoppa,

    No problem on the info. If you are having gall bladder attacks as well though, you are definitely right to be hyper vigilant. You do not want to go where I have been on this front. Like I said, if you get very, very intense heartburn high up in your esophagus, almost in your throat and you start having frequent belches that literally feel like fire, get yourself in and insist they check your pancreatic panels.

    I also want to reiterate, as much as I have an aversion to doctors, do not try the gallbladder flush that begins with ingesting malic acid to break down the stones--especially given your pancreas suspicions.

    Take care and be well.
     
  8. nwo2012

    nwo2012 Member

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    Alcohol is also a major cause of pancreatitis.

    Drop in to a Dr and have your amylase and lipase levels levels checked ASAP.
    Stick with the liquid diet for af ew days. The idea is to stimulate the pancreatic enzymes as little as possible.

    What were you doing for the few days leading up to the flare up?
     
  9. OP
    Spacehoppa

    Spacehoppa Member

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    hi nwo2012, thanks for the advice. The nearest appointment I could get with my doctor is next Friday, but yes I am planning on asking him for the amylase/lipase test.

    Do you know what in particular I should be staying away from foodwise nwo2012? Should I not be drinking OJ for instance? I am only sipping it, but still? Maybe high fructose foods stimulate the enzymes more? Thanks in advance.

    I have a pretty good idea why I got the pancreatitis. It was kind of a perfect storm. I had very high estrogen, which is the main cause, and I also halved my steroids, which of course led to a surge in my inflammation levels generally. I also attempted to eat cheese and drink milk, I don't think my gallbladder handles these fats very well...

    I don't know about the last bit for sure, but now I know what is wrong, I realise I've had pancreatitis many times in the past. The trouble is, when you have Lyme, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia like I do, you don't pay much attention to pain or discomfort. At least, not as much as you should, and you don't waste much effort figuring what the cause is, as you already have these very handy labels you can use... Back pain, oh that's just fibromyalgia, etc. Thanks again!
     
  10. nwo2012

    nwo2012 Member

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    Sorry for the late reply, forgot about this thread in my busy period. I do think very well strained (through a cloth) OJ is safe as it would barely (if at all)stimulate the pancreas.

    How did you go and any test results?
     
  11. montmorency

    montmorency Member

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    I hope no one minds if I post in this thread, rather than start a new one.

    My extended family has been hit by this in a big way (in the sense, more seriously than we realised). A relation by marriage(s) (wife of an in-law) was taken ill with pancreatitis last week, and apparently did not respond to treatment. She went into intensive care at the weekend, and very sadly, and to our great shock, died in the small hours of this morning.

    I do not know the medical details or her medical history, except that she seemed to be in robust good health for someone of her age, and very active.

    We are still reeling and trying to make sense of it. Perhaps I will learn more of the medical side in due course. From reading up on it, it seems that people either make a reasonably quick recovery from the acute attack, or they don't recover at all, so it was probably a very bad sign when she went into intensive care.


    According to the UK NHS, women are about 3 times more likely to get this than men, especially those with children, those over a certain age, and some other risk factors that she ticked the box for (not alcohol though). I'd guess her diet was considered fairly good by mainstream UK standards. I don't know how it would stack up in Peatarian terms.

    Apparently about 1000 people per year die of this in the UK.
     
  12. ilovethesea

    ilovethesea Member

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    Sorry to hear about your family member Montmorency. My mother was hospitalized for a week with pancreatitis a few years ago and it was very scary. She had gallstones for years and gall bladder attacks that were getting increasingly worse/more frequent. There may be some genetic tendency to have them as my grandmother did as well. Although, I've also heard that estrogen can cause them and my mom was on hormone replacement for a little while at the beginning of menopause. Anyway, I can't remember what the procedure is in the ER but she was getting jaundiced and the doctors were so rude, basically accusing me of covering up for an alcoholic! I guess that is the cause for most cases of pancreatitis. I know what set off my mom's attack was a glass of champagne but otherwise she never drinks. She ended up having a stent put in to open up the bile duct and thankfully has been ok since then. They told her to eat a no fat diet which she followed for a short time but now it's PUFA city again. It's hard getting family members to listen to my Peat recommendations because I've been gung-ho about so many health fads over the years, they don't listen to me now.
     
  13. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    I know that feeling. :(
     
  14. ilovethesea

    ilovethesea Member

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    So what do you do? Did you give up trying to give advice? I'm fine with not preaching to friends or acquaintances, but it's my parents that I worry about and think they should be taking better care of their health. It's hard to sit back and say nothing when they complain of things and I know how to fix them. But when I do say something they're all, "last year it was something else, you keep changing your mind, everything in moderation is the key..." which in their world moderation means PUFAs, no salt, chicken, vegetables, gluten, etc. My mom won't even take aspirin!
     
  15. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    I am in the same exact boat with my parents. It is so depressing and I am at a loss on what to do about it. I have pretty much given up. :cry:
     
  16. HDD

    HDD Member

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    I have the opposite problem. I want to help my grown children who all probably have thyroid issues.

    I feel like I have a life preserver and everyone says "no thanks, I'd rather drown". Very frustrating.
     
  17. Gabriel

    Gabriel Member

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    Same experiences here, the more you try to talk sense with people, the less they are willing to change. that also holds true for my relatives as well.
     
  18. Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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