Is it really IBS?
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Posted 27 July 2015 - 09:08 AM
Long story, but here it is... (skip to the last paragraph for current symptoms)
I woke up in the middle of the night in December 2013 to stomach pain and nausea. I thought I was having a stomach bug or food poisoning, but no vomiting occurred. I took some tums and it helped a little and I went back to sleep. I was nauseated the following day. The same thing happened the next night, and nausea continued. I thought maybe I had an ulcer (I'd had one a couple of years before that felt similar and was cured with antibiotics).
I saw my GP and he tested for H. Pylori, but it came back negative. He prescribed some medication for gastritis, which he suspected it could be and scheduled a follow-up two weeks later. The meds did not help. He changed the prescriptions. They didn't help either.
He performed an endoscopy in March 2014 and it revealed gastritis, esophagitis, a hiatal hernia, and a stomach polyp (which he removed). The biopsy was negative. He prescribed some strong meds, including dexilant, a high dosage of cimetidine, and Reglan. I only took the Reglan for 3 days because it gave me severe anxiety that caused me to have to go to the emergency room.
A couple of weeks later, the pain changed somewhat. Instead of the dull pain in the epigastric region, I began having sharp pains in my right upper quadrant. My doctor referred me to a gastroenterologist.
The GI did a series of tests, including another endoscopy, a colonoscopy, CT scan, ultrasound, and a HIDA scan. The endoscopy showed that the gastritis had cleared, as did the other problems there. The colonoscopy and the ultrasound were normal. The CT scan showed a thickening in the wall of the gallbladder. The HIDA scan revealed that my gallbladder had an ejection fraction of 9%. Because of this, I saw a surgeon and had a laparoscopic cholecystectomy in April 2014.
After the surgery, I kept waiting for my stomach problems to go away completely, but they never did. I continually have gurgling in my stomach, abdominal pains in the epigastric region, and nausea. I also occasionally have constipation.
Additionally, following the first anxiety attack from the Reglan, the anxiety continued, coupled with depression. I had to be put on anti-depressants for the first time in 9 years.
In September 2014, I saw my GI again, and he performed another endoscopy, which was normal. He suggested that I might just have IBS. I've had IBS since I was about 19, and it was a completely different feeling, which I have been able to control with diet. He said that IBS symptoms could change as a person gets older. I found it to be a little too coincidental that these changes corresponded with the gallbladder problems. Nonetheless, he put me on an anti-spasmodic, which did not work. He changed to another medication for IBS, and no change. I requested an abdominal MRI in December 2014. It was normal. He suggested that I try a low FODMAP diet. I've tried, but it doesn't seem to do anything other than cause constipation because it's so low in fiber.
I haven't seen a doctor in about 6 months. My symptoms continued, and I figured I'd wait until the pain was really bad before I'd see a doctor again.
About 3 weeks ago, it started to get bad. I currently have nausea almost every morning. My pain is high in my abdomen, centralized just below the sternum. It radiates into my back in the corresponding area. It can be very strong pain, but hasn't resulted in my missing work. My appetite is normal. My weight is healthy (I've gained back some of the weight I lost in 2014). A few nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with chest pains. I figured it was because I didn't eat dinner, and my juices ran up into my esophagus. Yesterday, I worked a 12 hour day, much of it on my feet. The pain was very strong in my abdomen and back (no nausea). I noticed that when I was on my feet, the pain was very strong. In the time I had to sit down, the pain would subside, but because strong again when I moved around.