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Your opinion on my symptoms: IBS or IBD?

IBS IBD abdominal pain bloating weight loss depression

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#1 Maegwin

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 07:07 PM

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I'll make this quick. I haven't been able to eat. I'm losing weight and getting into an unhealthy skinniness. I can't eat because it hurts a lot and my appetite is non-existent. When I eat I get these symptoms:

bloating

constant belching

abdominal pain

a burning swollen sensation in my lower gut

sharp pains, feels like I ate glass or rocks and pine cones

headaches

sometimes a light fever that passes in an hour or so

lethargy, extreme fatigue after eating

mouth sores, maybe once or twice a month

chronic constipation (food takes three days or longer to pass even with laxatives)

 

Other symptoms I've been getting because of the above ones are:

depression

weight loss

sleep loss

muscle tension

inability to concentrate

very pale, pallid complexion

my hair falls out a lot and is brittle

I have seen a GI twice, most recently in June this year. They think I'm doing fine. I have not been tested for any IBD illnesses, I have not had a colonoscopy.

I take three extra strength senna per day, along with a cascara herbal formula, probiotics, robaxacet, and tylenol. Fibre suppliments are kryptonite to me. They will stop my digestion for days if not weeks. When I do eat I avoid dairy, wheat, grains, starches, fats, anything that congeals, is heavy, or absorbs water.

I am seeing a counsellor but my health issues are not improving. I tried consulting a dietitian but could not stick to the diet because ALL food hurts me and makes me sick.

So, IBS or IBD?


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#2 Kathleen M.

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 08:02 PM

They did not do a routine complete blood count since you started having these symptoms?  Because that does test for IBD (or at least wil say if you have inflammation in your body for any reason).

 

IBS listed even for issues where you can see them in people with IBD when you cannot tell them apart

 

bloating - IBS

constant belching - Functional Dyspepsia

abdominal pain - IBS

a burning swollen sensation in my lower gut - IBS

sharp pains, feels like I ate glass or rocks and pine cones - IBS

headaches - May be more common when Gut acting up, but may need to be checked out separately

sometimes a light fever that passes in an hour or so - You feel warm or the thermometer reads different, not IBS, but could be IBD, but could be freom a lot of things

lethargy, extreme fatigue after eating - Not IBS or IBD, not really sure what this is, but some people do have this, is your blood sugar OK? 

mouth sores, maybe once or twice a month - Can be more common in IBD, but is common in anyone so alone isn't a big clue

chronic constipation (food takes three days or longer to pass even with laxatives) - IBS, IBD more commonly causes diarrhea, especially when active.

 

Other symptoms I've been getting because of the above ones are:

depression - may not be related to any GI illness

weight loss - even when you eat way more than you need to maintain weight, or do you avoid eating, or don't feel like eating and lose weight in proportion to your calorie restriction (normal weight loss)

sleep loss - could make IBS worse, but probably caused by something else - common with depression

muscle tension -  fibromyalgia is common with IBS and could be from the depresion

inability to concentrate -   could be fibromyalgia or depression

very pale, pallid complexion - have you been tested for anemia.

my hair falls out a lot and is brittle - are you getting adequate nutrition even if you don't eat enough to maintain weight?

 

I would be more likely to push for celiac testing than IBD testing with this set of symptoms.  but that is just me.


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#3 Maegwin

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 11:39 PM

Thank you for your feedback Kathleen.

The fever is like a hot flush that makes me feel weak and shaky. Haven't checked it with a thermometer.
Food has always made me tired even when I did eat better. It's why I never eat breakfast and try to leave my largest meal until later in the day, after I'm done everything.
My depression is linked to my GI illness in the sense that whatever it is that I have inhibits my social life and activities. I'm trapped in a body that doesn't work.
My weight loss is because I avoid eating these days. Food hurts too much. I'd rather be hungry than going through that pain.

Whenever I do eat it is incredibly painful and keeps me awake at night. When I don't eat I sleep better.
I have been tested for anemia, it always comes back okay.

I'm most definitely not getting the nutrition I need. I barely eat. When I do it's simple foods like a boiled egg, or a slice of meat, cucumber, etc.. The more fancy the cooking the less my body can handle it.

 

Thanks again, I'll look into getting screened for celiac. Would a colonoscopy help me at all?


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#4 Kathleen M.

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 06:26 AM

Illness can be a trigger for depression but nothing in the gut seems to directly in a biological way go into your brain and force everyone with IBS (or IBD) to become depress.

 

If the weight loss is and nutritional things and blood work is normal then the colonoscopy is unlikely to see something and you have to decide if the stress  of the test would be bad for you, and if a normal result would make you feel better.  Sometimes the normal result just makes people more depressed as there wasn't a something found, and the prep can be stressful.

 

The weight loss and nutritional things (like the hair) is less worrisome when people are barely eating anything.  It is much more of a concern if you are eating a lot and eating well.

 

Unfortunately sometimes the longer you starve yourself the more active the colon will be if and when you finally do eat so you will be in even more pain than if you ate even a little bit every 3-4 hours.  Have you ever tried taking an antispasmodic (most are prescription) or some peppermint tea 20-30 minutes before eating?  Sometimes that helps blunt the colon activity enough it reduces pain.  Also a lot of antidepressants will calm down the pain nerves of the gut as well as help with mood.  It just takes finding the right one, but some people do not want to take pills.  Some of the mind body therapies can help with that pain as well as sometimes help with mood and dealing with stress from being ill.

 

Can you tolerate Ensure (or similar things) even if it is a few sips every hour or two that can add some calories and nutrients you may be lacking.


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#5 StacyP

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:04 PM

I think a colonoscopy should help, they use it to detect bowel problems, or explanations for changes in bowel habits. My guess is that the inflammation may be visible. I need to grab my book and post things for you about it next time we talk. Kathleen always gives great answers so hopefully we will hear more from her.



#6 Kathleen M.

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:55 PM

A lot depends on the doctor but some tend to do less invasive testing if they are pretty sure up front it is IBS.  More likely to need it if you have bloody diarrhea, frequent watery diarrhea, especially at night, are losing weight when eating more than ever before, or the blood work is abnormal.


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