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What tests should I ask for?

Left side pain Pain Gas Loose stool Ibs Splenic flexure Sibo H pylori Ulcer

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#1 GilmoreGirl

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 05:02 PM

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Hi all,

I've posted before, but I have some more specific questions.

I was recently "dumped" by my not-so-nice gastroenterologist and told that my pain is all due to anxiety. However, I know for a fact this is not the case and I'm tired of being treated like a crazy person and not taken seriously. I see a psychologist weekly (who does not think I at all have high anxiety), meditate daily, and exercise. I currently am on leave from my graduate degree partly due to this horrible pain, so I have no work or school stressors at the moment.

My problem is as follows:

- daily pain, occurs between 2-5 pm daily
- sharp pain like a horrible stitch in the side at the smallest part of the waist (below the ribs but not quite lower abdomen)
- sharp pain for an hour, then a dull ache until the next morning
- independent of what is eaten, seems to occur on empty or full stomach
- pain is a level 8-9/10 when bad (I've been in emergency twice for this), then subsides to 5-6/10

I had a colonoscopy, small bowel MRI and endoscopy in November/December. All were clear BUT I was taking strong prescription antiinflammatories, morphine, and antibiotics at the time due to a very bad anal fissure - so I'm not sure if the results can be trusted??

I seem to have a lot more upper gastrointestinal gas than I remember but don't get acid reflux ever. Passing gas (out of either end) sometimes but not always seems to ease some of the pain. I should note that this pain is different from my typical ibs symptoms and is much more specific, and I also much looser stool despite going less often now.

I'm currently waiting to see if another gastroenterologist will take me. In the meantime, my excellent new gp is working hard to help me with this. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas based on the symptoms for what tests I should ask for?

I've considered that it could be the following:

- splenic flexure syndrome
- h pylori or ulcer
- SIBO

For your info, here's what I'm currently doing/taking:

- almost 0 carb diet + low FODMAP
- amytriptyline 10 mg in the am, 10 in the pm
- gas x daily
- ibgard peppermint capsules 60 min before meals
- reglan 30 min before meals
- birth control
- mezavant intestinal anti inflammatory nightly
- tu zen probiotic for ibs and gas
- beano with meals
- daily meditation and exercise
- buscopan when needed (does nothing)

I was also on a two week course of baclofan muscle relaxant with no relief.

Thanks as always for your help and advice. I'm really desperate as doctors are telling me this has no fix. I'm only 25 and my life is on hold - I've lost my job, school, apartment, boyfriend, and happiness because of this horrible pain. Please help if you can, i don't want to be sentenced to a life like this.
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#2 highlandhilman

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 11:34 AM

A Comprehensive Stool Analysis might be a good idea. A test of this nature will look at:

 

1. Secretory lgA (slgA) levels (abnormal levels can indicate an immune response)

2. Elastase levels (pancreas function)

3. Fat stain (fat absorption in the gut)

4. Muscle Fibers (indicators of incomplete digestion)

5. Vegetable Fibers (indicative of inadequate chewing)

6. Carbs (indicate carb malaborpsion)

7. Lactoferrin & Calprotectin (inflammation and IBS & IBD markers)

8. Lysozyme (enzyme secreted at the site of inflammation in the gut, indicator of gut inflammation)

9. White Blood cells & Mucus (indicate bacterial or parasitic infections)

10. Beneficial/Pathenogenic flora (can help you determine what types of probiotics you should be taking to get your gut back in balance)

11. Yeast (levels can indicate if you have a yeast infection in your gut)

12. % of short chain fatty acids and the types

13. Red blood cells

14. pH level (related to fiber levels)

15. Occult Blood (relates to red blood cell count)

16. Colour

17. Consistency

 

I had mine done through a naturopathic (private) clinic, since the public tests are too specific (they only test one thing then throw the sample away, which isn't very helpful) to be informative. The entire test I did was done at home and shipped to a lab. It was about CAD$300-400.



#3 highlandhilman

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 11:40 AM

Oh, I just noticed you live in Canada! Where are you from/where do you live?

 

BTW, an H pylori test can be done through your GP, and a SIBO test through your GP may or may not be available in your area, but if it is, INSIST on a hydrogen AND methane SIBO test. The test can give you back a false negative if only one molecule is tested for.

 

Unfortunately, I have no experience with splenic flexure syndrome, so I can't speak to that :(

 

On a side note, have you ever tried digestive enzymes?



#4 GilmoreGirl

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 05:15 PM

Thanks so much for your reply, it was so so helpful! I'be written down the components of the stool test and will ask my doctor specifically about the SIBO and h pylori tests.

Since posting, I had three or four good days. Then I took a half a sleeping pill one night, and my symptoms were back. I was taking them regularly for a few months since I was in a lot of pain and could not sleep...but maybe they are contributing to the upper gastro symptoms I've never had before? Who knows with this stuff!

And I'm in the Ottawa region!
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#5 highlandhilman

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 04:38 PM

Well hello from sunny Calgary :)

 

I'm sorry to hear your symptoms are back - I've never taken sleeping pills, and have no idea how badly you need them or anything, but if you find yourself reacting them, you can try as a low-key alternative:

 

1. Calcium+Magnesium+D3 vitamin: As ladies we always need more calcium since we shed it every month, and magnesium is a muscle relaxant (the D3 helps you absorb the other two vitamins - I take the Jamieson brand and have found the best price for it is on Amazon.ca at around CAD$7-8/bottle). I find this helps my period cramps and I pop a few before bed and I'm out like a light!

2. Melatonin - this is more powerful than the vitamins - it's naturally derived (plant-based) but shouldn't be taken for more than 2 weeks at once or else your body can become dependent on it

3. Hot bath with Magnesium salts in the water before bed (hot water can help you relax and help with GI pain, and again magnesium is a muscle relaxant)

4. Any kind of twisting yoga sequence before bed to move things around in your gut and release pressure/gas in your GI tract (Youtube has lots of twisty yoga sequences)

5. Chamomile tea (enough said)

 

You could also combine any of these with some low-key painkillers like Advil if it's the pain that's keeping you awake (and you don't react to Advil, of course!)...but that's all I got. It sucks if you're reacting to the sleeping pills that are supposed to help you sleep!

 

Good luck and all the best from out West - I hope you find the source of your pain and a way to treat it very soon.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Left side pain, Pain, Gas, Loose stool, Ibs, Splenic flexure, Sibo, H pylori, Ulcer


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