Hello everyone! I’m new here and I wanted to get an inkling on what you think about my condition. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I think it started about 5 years ago now. I was drinking with some friends from university. I only drink very occasionally and I very rarely drink more than just enough to get me tipsy. This instance however, I suddenly feel a sort of sharp and gnawing pain in my upper middle abdomen, just below my sternum. Although the pain was severe, it went away within 24 hours so I wrote it off as something minor that may be due to the alcohol.
Few months down the line I again experience the same pain after a minute (few sips) of beer while out with friends. Again, went away after a few hours.
However, the symptom came back seemingly untriggered a couple of instances within the next few months. Finally, I decided to have it looked at and my doctor said it was probably costochondritis (inflammation of the cartilage in the ribs and sternum). That was 4 years ago now and every time I had any sort of pain in that area I wrote it off as costochondritis.
Fast forward to about a year and a half ago and I get the same symptoms but this time I also get a mix of sharp and dull pains on my upper left abdomen that would come and go throughout the day. Each episode came and went every few weeks or so.
However, about 2 and a half months ago, I started experiencing worse pain across my upper abdomen, both sharp and dull, as well as a soreness in my sternum and lower ribs. I made the mistake of thinking it was something of the same and waited two weeks before I sought medical help.
I’m from the UK and I’m currently studying in Canada so it is a difficult to get treatment since I have my own doctor here. So I went to get looked at and I explained what I was feeling. Doctor basically just pressed around my stomach and prescribed me with Pantoprazole for 6 weeks and was told that it should get better soon. 2 weeks later and I only got worse. The pain became a constant dull and gnawing pain across my upper abdomen and lower right abdomen with a sharp pain that comes and goes throughout the day.
I went to another hospital, told them what I was feeling. They did blood and urine test which was ‘unremarkable’ and did an ultrasound looking at mainly my liver (they sounded really convinced I had a drinking problem even though at that point I hadn’t drank in months), kidneys, and appendix (because when they pressed on my abdomen in that area and I flinched because of the severe pain), which came out fine as well. I was just told that the PPIs could take up to 6 weeks to work so I should just finish the medication. And since I haven’t had any blood in my stool it shouldn’t be serious.
Fast forward to 6 weeks and I still have the same symptoms with some days being worse than others. My symptoms laid out are basically: dull and gnawing abdominal pain mainly across the upper abdomen and the lower right abdomen that may be worse after eating, sharp abdominal pain that comes and goes throughout the day, and nausea. As mentioned earlier, I haven’t seen any blood in my stool, no weight loss, vomiting or severe diarrhea either. After reading about CD, apparently the pain in my knees and fingers may also be related to this?
I’m planning to go back to the doctor’s again to tell them that the PPIs did nothing. But I was just wondering what I might be able to tell or suggest they do as a good test for a possible CD without directly telling them I think it may be CD (since I don’t want to seem like I know better than their medical experience and education). Sometimes it just feels like they just want me out the door as soon as possible and aren’t willing to do all the necessary test to get to the bottom of my ailment. It just makes me feel helpless.
I’m also a PhD student so there is pretty much a constant pressure leading a baseline level of stress and bad eating habits thrown in. If anyone could suggest some stress management ideas as well as healthy eating ideas/recipes that they think is worth trying for me, I would greatly appreciate it.
Apologies for the long post and thank you for taking the time to read this and help me. If I do have CD/IBD, I am already relieved that this place exist as a means for getting some help and support. This is one of the few good things about the internet nowadays.