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IBS or Misdiagnosis?

misdiagnosis ibs wrong infection gastritis not working changing symptoms

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#1 Eph27


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Posted 05 April 2018 - 02:15 AM


I'll start at the beginning, because hopefully someone here can spot something every doctor I've talked to has dismissed. Sorry for the length, I'm just looking for some feedback or suggestions.


About 1 1/2 - 2 months ago, I remember eating some spoiled deli meat late at night. I didn't think anything of it, other than I probably shouldn't have done so. The next morning on the way to work after drinking only half of a coffee (which I rarely drink), I had to floor it to get to a gas station in order to save my car seats (if you know what I'm saying). The rest of the day was a blur of nausea and more diarrhea. After the initial first day, my symptoms weren't gone, but weren't as severe. I tried to take some Pepto and immediately threw it back up, despite only eating an hour or so beforehand, the Pepto was the only thing to come out, along with some water. My stool was a very dark, almost black color for almost a week actually, after only taken that Pepto once for the short period of time.


Fast forward a week or so and after spells of constipation and diarrhea in no particular order, my symptoms changed from abnormal bowel movements to more so of a burning sensation near my sternum, directly below the center of my ribcage.

A week after that, give or take, I was plagued with a terrible burning sensation in my stomach, which I self-diagnosed as some form of gastritis or acid-reflux and picked up a 14-day box of Prilosec (omeprazole) to see if that would help. I saw an improvement and honestly a disappearance of my stomach pains once I was taking the Prilosec. Only until about 7-9 days into my 14-day box, I noticed it wasn't having the same effect as it did before.


I visited my GP and she prescribed more Prilosec and Zantac, to be taken with breakfast and before bed, respectively. The following morning after taking the Zantac I woke up to find myself running to the bathroom to promptly completely empty myself. The rest of the day was just more of a burning pain in my stomach. I stopped taking the Zantac and stuck to the Prilosec but switched that to before bed, because my symptoms seemed to be worse during the morning hours when I woke up.


After a night of my normal diet, I had a small glass of Fireball Whiskey, and when I say small, it was small. I'm talking 1-2 shots on ice alone. The following morning I couldn't even get out of bed without writhing in pain because now, my lower stomach was throbbing in pain. It was like someone was twisting a butter knife into my pelvis. That night, my wife took me to Urgent Care where they did a blood test, urine test, IV-drip, and CT scan. All tests came back normal and the doctor has since diagnosed me with IBS. 


If I have IBS, thats great, at least I know what it is, and there are ways to lessen the symptoms and attacks of it. But, me personally, I'm 24 years, just got married, and am in school. I'm not stressed about school, the wedding was exciting but somewhat miserable during these episodes I'd been having, and I have no history of stomach or digestive issues. 


The only thing I'm struggling with is the fact that now, I'm not taking any medication. I stopped the Prilosec as soon as my lower stomach/intestines started to ache all day. My stomach is fine, it doesn't burn anymore. Again, I'm not trying to be in denial, but it seems very odd that this all started the day after I ate that deli meat. My symptoms have descended from my esophagus, to my stomach, and now to my lower stomach/intestines. There doesn't seem to be a moment that goes by without this constant dull pain down there. My stools are fairly normal, although they changed slightly after that night, because now they're somewhat flaky (if that's the right word). I haven't had diarrhea since the night I took the Zantac either, and the constipation is fairly rare for me, even after this all started. 


Sorry for the long post, and I sure not everyone will read all the way through, but someone out there has to have an answer or something similar or what they've heard. Does this sound like IBS, or possibly something else. Is there something I'm missing or should be trying to eradicate or lessen what's going on? I'm going to go a  gastroenterologist sometime next week to get their opinion. I'm actually going to print this post out and have them read it, as my thoughts on paper are more specific.




#2 IBSam


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Posted 05 April 2018 - 05:44 PM

Your case is a perfect example of how the diagnosis of "Irritable Bowel Syndrome" is not only worthless clinically, it is also a great disservice to all of us suffering from idiopathic digestive issues.   Depending on the source, you will read that between 20 and 40 million Americans have "IBS".  "Medicine" does not know the etiology of a SINGLE ONE of those individuals, yet we are supposed to accept that they all have the same disease process going on.  A logical absurdity, especially given that stomach upset is seen across such a wide array of unrelated disorders.  The only parties benefiting from this term are the physicians who, knowing full well they can do nothing for "yet another patient" with chronic digestive issues, simply want to have something to tell patients like us to get us out of their office.  Don't let them.  Continue to push for a REAL diagnosis.  You mention black stools.  These can be caused by the bismuth subsalicylate which is the active ingredient in Pepto Bismal.  The other most likely mechanism of this is digested blood, particularly if the stool is "tar like".  Blood in the stool, particularly black/digested blood, can be very significant.  Red blood is very frequently (though not always) caused by hemorrhoids, a "PITA" literally, but less clinically threatening.  If your GI doc has no clear idea what your issue might be on initial consult, I would suggest you request an upper endoscopy, to examine your digestive system from the esophagus through the  stomach down to the start the small intestine (duodenum).  In this process, they can also check for the villous blunting often seen in celiac disease.  If this is inconclusive, a relatively new procedure called a "capsule endoscopy", wherein you swallow a tiny camera which takes hundreds of images throughout your small intestine as it passes through might be called for.  Very effective at assessing the entire small bowel.  A colonoscopy may also be appropriate, and depending on how your initial exam goes might be done before the upper GI tract exams.  Good luck, and keep pushing your docs for an actual DIAGNOSIS.



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