Stomach Pain Update: I think we have solved the mystery!
 
 

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Stomach Pain Update: I think we have solved the mystery!

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  • Celiac artery compression hurts to push on my stomach

 
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    02-08-2014, 11:13 AM
  #1
Yearling
Stomach Pain Update: I think we have solved the mystery!

Alrighty, a little while back I posted about having stomach aches, and got some really helpful responses from everyone!

Skipping all the backstory, I had a vascular ultrasound for a bruit that my GI doctor heard (bruit is the whooshing sound of blood running past an obstruction in an artery) and… things aren't normal. Elevated velocities in one part of my aorta. Most likely cause of my stomach pain is actually… celiac artery compression syndrome.

Basically, the celiac branch off the aorta is very close to some medial ligament and sometimes (This is very rare.. only 10% of people have this…) that ligament actually pinches the artery, decreasing the blood that can flow through it. Decreased blood to the liver, spleen and stomach equals stomach pain.

Now for the long shot.. as I mentioned, this is a really rare thing, but does anyone on here know more about it/ have it or knows someone who has gone through this? I've researched some on the internet, but there aren't many accounts, just the basic information. I have no idea what to expect. I am going into the vascular surgery department on Tuesday to talk with them.

Thanks again for reading this long thing.. I guess I'm just a bit nervous.
     
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    02-09-2014, 10:23 AM
  #2
Yearling
Sorry for your troubles! All I know is that it's very rare and it was only a brief blurb in my nursing textbooks. There is quite a bit published on the subject but from what I saw doing an online search there isn't much out there that is "patient friendly"and not written for medical professionals. The vascular surgeon's office will probably have literature and can suggest resources such as support groups and can help point you in the right direction.

Some unsolicited advice and tidbits: write a list of questions to take to the appointment to be sure you cover all your concerns. This will help you to keep your mind focused as lots of times people can get overwhelmed by all the doctor speak.

I tell all my patients that they need to be their own "expert and advocate" which boils down to basically keep asking questions until you fully understand what they are saying and taking an active part in their own healthcare. Do not be afraid to get a second opinion and get as educated about your condition as you can. If you can, take someone else with you to the appointment and have them take notes.

Best of luck to you and keep us updated.
     
    02-10-2014, 12:19 PM
  #3
Yearling
Thanks DimSum! My mother will accompany me as I will probably forget something otherwise.

I may have to ask the department for a list of other names for a second opinion, I really like that idea. Living near Seattle really is a plus in this kind of circumstance because I know we have some of the best hospitals right at our fingertips.

Can't wait until tomorrow's appointment. I'll update as soon as I can!
     
    02-10-2014, 12:25 PM
  #4
Started
My dad died from an aortic dissection in his stomach. Basically the pressure in the aorta got too high and it burst. He also had stomach pains but they came on suddenly and he died shortly there after.

It's pretty scary to think that a common stomach ache can be something that serious.

Good for you that they figured this out and will hopefully be able to help you.
     
    02-11-2014, 03:37 PM
  #5
Yearling
My goodness.. I'm so sorry to hear that. I'm mainly surprised that with all the times I've been to the doc over the years and all those listening to your heart/breathing that none of them ever caught the sound of this bruit. I listened to it myself with my horsey stethoscope and my untrained ear could even hear it- it's not very quiet! But, then again, I was also listening for it.

I really haven't been all that phased by learning this as I've had these aches for years as early as I can remember..so I figure it can't be that life threatening (my case, at least) Not sure if it has always been caused by this certain kink in my aorta but hopefully will find out all of it today. My appointment is set for two. I have my trainer riding Max (it's not his day off yet ) and I'm watching the clock every minute.. It has been the slowest few hours ever.

Will update after on how serious the doctors gauge the situation.
     
    02-12-2014, 10:06 AM
  #6
Yearling
Only solved part of the mystery. The doc (who was fantastic, btw) said that it's likely that I am experiencing some median arcuate ligament pressure on that artery, but even if we went ahead with a surgery to help, there's only a small chance that the stomach aches would go away.

And there are still some weird tidbits to my case that are not explained by the above, such as my extremely elevated inflamatory markers. So they want more tests done to check out my gallbladder and mid-intestine area. Next week I have a HIDA scan and a capsule endoscopy one after the other. And more blood tests, always.

At this point I kinda just want to give up and call it good with the little stomach pain pills they gave me that actually work. So tired of tests. And I don't even want to think about what this is doing to the insurance...
     
    02-12-2014, 10:48 AM
  #7
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninamebo    
Only solved part of the mystery. The doc (who was fantastic, btw) said that it's likely that I am experiencing some median arcuate ligament pressure on that artery, but even if we went ahead with a surgery to help, there's only a small chance that the stomach aches would go away.

And there are still some weird tidbits to my case that are not explained by the above, such as my extremely elevated inflamatory markers. So they want more tests done to check out my gallbladder and mid-intestine area. Next week I have a HIDA scan and a capsule endoscopy one after the other. And more blood tests, always.

At this point I kinda just want to give up and call it good with the little stomach pain pills they gave me that actually work. So tired of tests. And I don't even want to think about what this is doing to the insurance...
I know it can be so frustrating trying to figure this out. I would urge you to not give up; maybe you're just one test away from a solution. Years ago I had terrible stomach pains. I went from doctor to doctor until finally someone thought to check me for lactose intollerance - BAM that was it! I had been drinking milk every morning to soothe my stomach - turned out that was the culprit of my daily stomach aches.
     
    02-12-2014, 11:01 AM
  #8
Yearling
Lol it's always the simple things. I'm also lactose intolerant. I just have a special tummy in many ways

I'm hoping these will be the last of the tests, as it sounds like the docs don't know what other test options to exhaust anyways. He said if all this other stuff comes back normal then we can go back to the option of surgery (which I would really rather not at all)

So.. we shall see! Thanks for the support though. I really do appreciate it
     
    02-12-2014, 11:03 AM
  #9
Yearling
Frlsgrl, being lactose intolerant can be painful, worse than child birth I think. I had stomach pains for years, so bad I would lay out in the floor at work and couldn't move. I always thought it was indigestion. Last year it got so bad it was every day. I googled and self diagnosed myself as lactose intolerant, and completly cut lactose out of my diet and my pains went away. I fell off the diet a few weeks ago, and the pains came back daily.Five days ago I went back on a lactose free diet and havnt hurt since.

To the op, I hope they get it figured out completely and are able to help you. Stomach pains are definitely no fun!
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    02-12-2014, 01:27 PM
  #10
Teen Forum Moderator
That doesn't sound fun at all Ninamebo! Don't worry about your HYDA scan though, it is easy (though they DID put me in a straight jacket type thing for mine...lol) and it often gives a lot of useful information to the doctors. Please don't give up and just deal with the pain though. I 110% understand the pains (financially too) of not knowing what is going on and having to do all kinds of crazy tests. I've had some sort of illness that causes face/mouth ulcers, reflux, hair loss, vomiting, severe stomach pain, constant burning in my stomach, extreme food sensitivities, sore joints, painful skin, and migraines since I was 13 years old, with new symptoms appearing sporatically. I've been undiagnosed this whole time, because each time they do diagnose me and try to fix my problem with medications, I react badly or a new symptom not fitting the diagnosis pops up. They've narrowed it down to a "possible autoimmune disorder" for me, but that is the closest we have gotten. I've even been told, to my face, that it is all in my head by one doctor. However, I know my body and you know yours. If you are having pain, there is a reason- and you should not just deal with it! It may take a long time...heck, I've been sick for five years, and often want to just give up on the tests and medicines, but what if a cure is out there?

Good luck with your Hyda scan and I hope they find something that works for you. What is your stomach pain like? Cramping? Burning? Feeling constantly empty? Tightness? Have they tried doing a barium test on you?
     

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