Gastro Issues...cramping, upper back discomfort, Pancreatitis, CKD 2?

Posted by tmalley2177 @tmalley2177, May 6 10:04am

Hello all,

About a year ago I noticed pressure in my lower back. No pain, just kidney pressure. Went to my doctor, they did blood work, came to find out my pancreatic levels were very elevated (pancreatitis)…my lipase was about 1,500. I’m not a heavy drinker, but I assumed that after coming home from vacation, maybe I just overdid it. They did an ultrasound, an MRI, and a colonscopy/endscopy. Everything came back normal. And my pancreatic levels did lower.

Fast forward to now. While it has came and gone, I’m still having that pressure sensation. Still feel some cramping on either side of my abdomen, as in where my liver/pancreas is. Some upper back pain/disconfort, but I have some back issues, so I’m not sure if that’s gastro or not. The MRI did show some fat on my liver, but nothing serious, according to the gastro specialist. Sometimes my stool has been pale, but not consistently. No jaundice, dark stool, etc. I was giving a prescription for IBS, and that was about it.

I decided to get a second opinion with another gastro doctor, who had my lipase tested again, even though mostly my symptoms are mild. Lipase was over 1,500 again. I’m getting an endoscopic ultrasound (when I’m allowed to…it’s considered an elective procedure, and hospitals in my state aren’t allowed to do those yet).

I’m a bit scared about what will be found. Any advice, tips, and insight would be appreciated.

Hi @tmalley2177 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am sorry to hear that you are still having the kidney pressure and elevated lipase levels. It can be scary to not know what is going on in your body. I have included a few members here that might be able to speak about their situation and share insight with you. @contentandwell, @taya, @ltecato, @jeanne5009, @harper7745, @redhead1116, @sockwelljames and @cindychesler I also found an interesting article about common GI conditions that can be misdiagnosed. https://www.healthline.com/health/epi/commonly-misdiagnosed#other-conditions
Tmalley, do you find that your pressure and symptoms are affected by any type of food? Is there a time of day when the pressure is greater than it normally is?

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I have noticed the cramping is particularly bad in the morning, usually relating to me needing to take a bowel movement.

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@amandaburnett

Hi @tmalley2177 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am sorry to hear that you are still having the kidney pressure and elevated lipase levels. It can be scary to not know what is going on in your body. I have included a few members here that might be able to speak about their situation and share insight with you. @contentandwell, @taya, @ltecato, @jeanne5009, @harper7745, @redhead1116, @sockwelljames and @cindychesler I also found an interesting article about common GI conditions that can be misdiagnosed. https://www.healthline.com/health/epi/commonly-misdiagnosed#other-conditions
Tmalley, do you find that your pressure and symptoms are affected by any type of food? Is there a time of day when the pressure is greater than it normally is?

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@tmalley2177 @amandaburnett I wish I could be more helpful, but this is not a problem that I have had. My husband had a problem with pain and pressure in that area quite a few years ago. When he went to his doctor the doctor asked him if he had put on weight, which he had, he said the pain was from that! As crazy as that sounds, when he dropped a few pounds it did get better.
If having a bowel movement decreases the pain then it may well be pressure from crowding, particularly if you have gained a bit of weight.
JK

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I also when reading the labs noticed that my creatinine was 1.38 which is high, and my kidney function (GFR) score was 57…which is low and suggests stage 2 CKD…

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Hello all,

About a year ago I noticed pressure in my lower back. No pain, just kidney pressure. Went to my doctor, they did blood work, came to find out my pancreatic levels were very elevated (pancreatitis)…my lipase was about 1,500. I'm not a heavy drinker, but I assumed that after coming home from vacation, maybe I just overdid it. They did an ultrasound, an MRI, and a colonscopy/endscopy. Everything came back normal. And my pancreatic levels did lower.

Fast forward to now. While it has came and gone, I'm still having that pressure sensation. Still feel some cramping on either side of my abdomen, as in where my liver/pancreas is. Some upper back pain/disconfort, but I have some back issues, so I'm not sure if that's gastro or not. The MRI did show some fat on my liver, but nothing serious, according to the gastro specialist. Sometimes my stool has been pale, but not consistently. No jaundice, dark stool, etc. I was giving a prescription for IBS, and that was about it.

I decided to get a second opinion with another gastro doctor, who had my lipase tested again, even though mostly my symptoms are mild. Lipase was over 1,500 again. I'm getting an endoscopic ultrasound (when I'm allowed to…it's considered an elective procedure, and hospitals in my state aren't allowed to do those yet).

In looking at the labs I noticed a creatinine level of 1.38, and a GFR of 57…that suggests kidney disease. I'm 42.

I'm a bit scared about what will be found. Any advice, tips, and insight would be appreciated.

REPLY
@tmalley2177

Hello all,

About a year ago I noticed pressure in my lower back. No pain, just kidney pressure. Went to my doctor, they did blood work, came to find out my pancreatic levels were very elevated (pancreatitis)…my lipase was about 1,500. I'm not a heavy drinker, but I assumed that after coming home from vacation, maybe I just overdid it. They did an ultrasound, an MRI, and a colonscopy/endscopy. Everything came back normal. And my pancreatic levels did lower.

Fast forward to now. While it has came and gone, I'm still having that pressure sensation. Still feel some cramping on either side of my abdomen, as in where my liver/pancreas is. Some upper back pain/disconfort, but I have some back issues, so I'm not sure if that's gastro or not. The MRI did show some fat on my liver, but nothing serious, according to the gastro specialist. Sometimes my stool has been pale, but not consistently. No jaundice, dark stool, etc. I was giving a prescription for IBS, and that was about it.

I decided to get a second opinion with another gastro doctor, who had my lipase tested again, even though mostly my symptoms are mild. Lipase was over 1,500 again. I'm getting an endoscopic ultrasound (when I'm allowed to…it's considered an elective procedure, and hospitals in my state aren't allowed to do those yet).

In looking at the labs I noticed a creatinine level of 1.38, and a GFR of 57…that suggests kidney disease. I'm 42.

I'm a bit scared about what will be found. Any advice, tips, and insight would be appreciated.

Jump to this post

@tmalley2177, I see that you also posted about your issues in the Digestive Health group too. Thus I merged both your discussions together and the discussion now appears in both the Digestive group and the Kidney group. That way you don't have to keep track of the same issue in 2 places and it brings everyone together in one place.

Since you are asking further questions about possible chronic kidney disease, I'd like to bring fellow members @carnes @cehunt57 @kamama94 @2011panc and @trishanna into this discussion.

Have you spoken to a specialist about your lab results and discussed the possibility of poor kidney function?

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@colleenyoung Thank you for inviting me to this discussion.
@tmalley2177 I also had low back pain, but it was not associated to my kidneys. My low back pain was at the level of the top of my hips and turned out to be caused by the arthritis inside my spinal vertebrae pressing on my spinal cord. It was resolved with surgery on the vertebrae.
My doctors told me that kidney pain would be higher on my back, at the level of the bottom of my ribs. I do have kidney pain at times, but compared to the nerve pains this is nothing.
I don't follow my lipase closely so I cannot speak to that. My creatinine runs over 1.7 and my eGFR is 27. Comparatively, your numbers need to be watched but are not a huge concern at this time. My doctors are more worried about trending (if the number remain stable over time). I suggest you maintain contact with your doctor and check to see if there are steps you can take to maintain your levels where they are. Two issues that come to mind for me are blood sugars (my A1C runs around 4.75) and oxalate levels (if your kidney damage is caused by oxalates in your foods). Your doctor can advise you best and refer you as necessary.
Kidney function issues are with you for the long haul. They are not like an infection that you treat and it is over. Additionally, the more calm and focused you can remain the easier your life will be. Blessings.

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