Severe epigastric pain, feels sharp and crushing, going through to my back

by Melissa B
(Sydney, Australia)

Age:38

Severe epigastric pain, feels sharp/crushing, going through to my back. Feel breathless. Has been on and off for some weeks, but the pain lasts most of the day, and nearly every day. I woke up 4 times during Wednesday night (4 nights ago) with acidic vomiting, but this hasn't happened before, or since, although I have had moderate nausea all the time since then, irrespective of whether I'm in pain or not. Sometimes I feel hungry, but can't eat much at a time - due to nausea and a feeling of fullness. Eating doesn't affect the pain much, maybe a little better. I'm not big on painkillers. Paracetamol helps a little. I'm allergic to Aspirin. I have pain in both sides too, but I have recently been diagnosed with kidney stones, so that's probably what that is. I don't drink or use drugs, but I do smoke about 15 cigs a day. Don't usually eat spicy food. Bowels ok. Seem to be putting ON weight? Had a gastroscopy/colonoscopy May 2012 - Colitis. Spent 4wks in a clinic for Bipolar disorder a few weeks ago.
Meds: Nexium 40mg morning, Mesalazine 1500mg bd, Thyroxine, Lithium, Seroquel and Lamotrigine.


Dear Melissa B,

I am indeed sorry to hear of your sharp crushing epigastric pain going through to your back. You described associated breathlessness and acidic vomiting.

How is the pain currently - gone away?

If not, I would strongly suggest you go to your local hospital's Emergency Department to have a full physical examination and some blood tests to exclude acute pancreatitis. Once that is excluded, you may need treatment for gastritis or peptic ulcer.

We shouldn't spend time on this. I think you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Dr O Edema MD MRCGP CCFP MSc DRCOG
Family Physician, Emergency Medicine Practitioner and WebMD
Abdopain.com.

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