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Acute back pain and severe nausea in scleroderma

acute back pain severe nausea scleroderma intestinal pseudo obstruction constipation

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#1 Momx3

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 12:50 PM

Husband has scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis that has been well managed with usual meds. No history of heart, lung or kidney involvement. Mostly skin, joint and esophageal problems. 10 days ago developed sudden excruciating low back pain and severe nausea. In hospital on pain and anti-nausea meds, but nobody can figure out the cause. He is in a teaching hospital where his Rheumatologist practices but she hasn't seen him yet. He had endoscopy today which showed no changes that would cause this problem. MRI of back showed nothing. I'm thinking perhaps a bowel obstruction or pseudo obstruction but doctors say no because his stomach isn't distended. He hasn't had a bowel movement in 4-5 days but they blame that on opiods. Doctors are totally stumped but he has yet to see a doctor who knows much about scleroderma. I'm not sure if there is such a doctor at this hospital. In the past he has been seen at Boston scleroderma clinic but in no shape to travel there now. Does this sound like a scleroderma related illness? Any thoughts? Anybody out there experience similar symptoms? He was very active and doing great until this. Thanks for any suggestions you might have.

#2 Sheryl

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 01:00 PM

Momx3, welcome to the ISN forums. I hope your husband finds out what is bothering his return to health. Back pain can be caused by so many things from obstructions to gall bladder problems. Kidney problems to spinal stenosis one day the pain can be severe the next day or two it can totally go away. Let us know what you find out.
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

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#3 Snowbird

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 02:24 PM

Hi Momx3

Sorry, I can't help with answering that one either but I hope you keep us updated and he feels better soon!
Sending good wishes your way!

#4 Joelf

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 03:17 PM

Hi Momx3

Welcome to these forums!

I'm sorry to hear that your husband has been experiencing so many unpleasant and painful symptoms. Although I do suffer with painful joints, thankfully I haven't had the Scleroderma bowel involvement, so can't advise your husband from my own experience.

As Sheryl has said your husband's symptoms and back pain could be caused by many different things which may or may not be related to Scleroderma. It's a pity that his doctor is not very knowledgeable about it; we do recommend consulting a Scleroderma specialist if possible as it is such a complex disease.

I do hope that your husband soon feels a little better and more comfortable; do please post again and let us know how he gets on.

:emoticons-group-hug:

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#5 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 04:58 PM

Hello Momx3

Welcome to the forums. I am sorry your husband is in pain and in hospital and that no one had any idea what the cause is of it. I hope they find out soon and that it turns out to be something easily and speedily treated.

Take care and keep posting.
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#6 Momx3

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 06:34 PM

Thank you all for your kind thoughts. As of tonight they are treating him for a pseudo bowel obstruction, basically severe constipation.

The gastroenterologist had discounted this idea when I brought it up. After watching a presentation about this, it made sense to me. But due to the fact that his stomach is not distended the gastroenterologist felt it couldn't be an obstruction, even though patient couldn't pass gas or have a bowel movement. But given that they had nothing else to go on after 10 days, .they decided to clean him out and see if it works. I'll keep you posted as to his progress.

It will be sad if all of this could have been corrected with a .99 enema rather than a $100,000 hospital stay. It's a difficult part of living in a rural area without access to specialists. But the story isn't over yet so perhaps I'm jumping ahead of myself.

Thanks to all for being there. I'll know a lot more tomorrow and will fill you in. Perhaps someone else will benefit from our experience.

#7 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 09:27 PM

Hi Momx3,

I'm very sorry your husband is in the hospital. I hope they have finally gotten to the bottom of it and that he starts feeling better soon.

Intestinal pseudo-obstruction can occur due to scleroderma. See our section on Bowel Involvement. Everyone with systemic sclerosis should be aware of the symptoms and the possibility it can occur, either due to the illness itself and/or medications (pain medications can particularly be at fault). Knowledge of it (and other gastrointestinal complications) can assist with getting it properly diagnosed and treated faster.

Here are some get better flowers for your husband.
:flowers:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#8 Sweet

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 05:44 PM

Hi Mom! Let me add my warm welcome. I do hope your husband can get a bit of relief soon.
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
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#9 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:57 AM

Hi Momx3,

How is your husband doing now? I'm hoping they've solved the problem and that he is doing better now. Here are some more flowers for his recovery.

:flowers:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#10 debonair susie

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 10:54 AM

Hi MomX3,

I'm only hoping the best for your husband (AND you), where this is concerned; Exasperating, to say the least :crying:

Awaiting update news from you and that your husband has gotten relief, at any rate.

Hugs to you both
Special Hugs,

Susie Kraft
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#11 Momx3

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 05:05 PM

My husband is out of the hospital and doing better. He needs to try to put on some weight. He's taking a variety of drugs to increase gut motility. The diagnosis is scleroderma colonic pseudo bowel obstruction, or something like that. I might have words in wrong order. He's tired but happy to be home. Now we have to work on finding a doctor in our area who knows more about scleroderma and is willing to consult with specialists when they don't know what to do. Thanks for your kind thoughts.

#12 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 08:35 PM

Hi Momx3,

I'm relieved to hear that your husband is out of the hospital now. He would do very well to get a listed scleroderma expert on his case.

Here are some more flowers and warm hugs for both of you.
:flowers:
:emoticons-group-hug:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#13 debonair susie

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 09:46 AM

MomX3,

As I know you both are, I am SO relieved to read that your husbnd is home and I am wishing you all the best in your search for the best Sclero doctor you are able to find. May this doctor fill the bill for your husband's needs.

Sending over positive thoughts to you both!
Special Hugs,

Susie Kraft
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#14 JohnJ

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 01:41 PM

I can tell you that like your husband, I too have stomach issues with severe cramping, and take stool softeners because of the the pain meds I take. Back pain is an everyday occurrence for me as well. I have 2 bad disks from a car accident and work injuries I sustained years ago,
I also think any gastrointestinal complications and pressure involved with my stomach/digestive tract symptoms would also put pressure on my herniated disks and cause the pain in my lower back, but I'm not sure, it feels like it at times, as the back pain subsides when my gastro issues do too..
I wish your husband well, please tell him he's not alone and that there are other men suffering (mostly in silence I imagine) like us with this disease.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: acute back pain, severe nausea, scleroderma, intestinal, pseudo obstruction, constipation