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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 3 years ago, after a bout with Giardia, I was diagnosed with IBS and reflux (through both sigmoidoscopy and endoscopy). After Giardia treatment, I was left with intermittent diarrhea (usually painless) or very frequent, loose bowel movements. Over the years, my IBS symptoms have lessened to where I sometimes do not consider myself to have IBS. I have been relatively symptom free for about a year. I do have other symptoms associated with the reflux which include nausea and upper GI complaints, but my intestines have been behaving.Then, abruptly last month, I experienced IBS symptoms which were a bit different from my past experience. To preface this attack though, I have to say that I have experienced some medical conditions which MAY be contributing. First off, I have been on oral contraceptives most of the year. I also take Synthroid for hypothyroidism. The oral contraceptives interacted with my Synthroid and for most of last year I was mildly hypothyroid. So, early in December I decided to stop the oral contraceptives so that I could get my thyroid levels where they need to be. A few days after stopping the pills mid-cycle (not good to do), I got a period (or should I say just bleeding) and along with that I got more severe menstrual cramping than usual. I figured this was due to stopping the pill mid-cycle and being all "messed up." The cramps lasted for 3 days and I finally realized that they weren't really menstrual cramps but more like "colon" irritation. It didn't really effect my bowels except that I was having more movements. And the pain wasn't so bad that I could not function. Then, about a week later, my son had a very bad episode with his asthma and he had to be hospitalized on an emergency basis. This really got to me I guess. I never really got cramps at this point, but I was having strange feelings in my colon as well as nausea. I was experiencing much anxiety (shortness of breath, facial flushing). I would also feel the urgent need to have a bowel movement and when I did I felt kind of bad afterwards. This went on for a week then seem to settle down. I also found out at this time that I was still hypothyroid.Now we come to Christmas day. I'm feeling better and having a great appetite. That day I ate a lot of bad things. Eggs, bacon, quesadilla, Godiva chocolate, prime rib, cheesecake, pie, etc. I went to bed and woke up around midnight with a lower ache in my intestines. Both left and right sided. At first I mistook it for possible menstrual cramps because it was not severe enough to induce a bowel movement. When Motrin wouldn't take care of it, I got up and had a bowel movement (which was normal). This continued all night. I got up the next day with the cramps and decided to stay home from work. I had about 3 bowel movements that morning, all progressively softer and God they smelled so bad. The bowel movements stopped but the ache was there on and off for 2 days. It just so happened that I had a follow up with my gastro. and I told him about it. He said I ate too much fat and I had IBS. Nothing more and I went on my merry way. A few days later I woke up with the mild cramping again (only on the left side this time) and it only lasted for about 5 hours. I had a mushy bowel movement with it that had some mucous in it. Then it was over. The last thing was just the other day. I was on my way home from work and the left sided pain started again. It also radiates around to my back. It is very low and it just feels like a mild squeezing. Again, I thought "Am I getting my period?" It doesn't induce a bowel movement but is very uncomfortable. This lasted for about 2 hours. The pain is so vague that I keep *thinking* it is more of a gynecological origin but in the end it always seems to point back to the colon. I guess my fear is, why is the nature of my IBS changing, why the sudden flare up after doing so well for a long time, and do you think this warrants further exam? Did I just get way too stressed out in December and will suffer a "backlash" for awhile? Are the sensations I am feeling "normal" for IBS. I guess because I'm not having pain with diarrhea together, I am stumped. And the fact that the pain is dull is kind of weird. Also, I never had right sided pain before, but I sure did after my Christmas dinner. What is that? I would love any opinions/thoughts because I am very nervous about this.Christine
 

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Hi Christine.
I just had oral surgery last night and I am so full of Vicodin my brain is a bit befuddled, so if this response, or my typing, seems a bit oversimplified or loaded with incomprehensible misspelled words I apologize.Whew.
This takes some effort, but your post requires response.You summed it up yourself right here, and this is exactly what you must do: _________________________________"why the sudden flare up after doing so well for a long time, and do you think this warrants further exam? " ___________________________________Now everyone can sit down and start typing all about the waxing and waning of IBS symptoms, the relationship between your stress, anxiety, and thus amplification of your symptoms, and the etiology of post infective and/or post inflammatory IBS onset, and all the various mechansisms, appurtenances, and mystical therapies thereunto, which at this time is not what you should be concerned about.This would be pointless until you are reexamined ASAP by your GI doc. Post-Giardiasis symptoms, especially when you have had relatively mild and prolonged cyclic events, which exacerbate must be immediately re-evaluated by a qualified GI doc before you take any steps at self-treatment of any kind.Once THAT is done, and the results of the doctors various evaluations are known, then and only then can someone render competent assistance and advice to you about these symptoms.Get thee to thy doctor posthaste, my friend! And let me know how you made out. I should be off the painkillers by then and a lot more cogent.
Eat well. Think Well. Be well. Avoid the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at all costs!MNL
 

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Hi Christine.
I just had oral surgery last night and I am so full of Vicodin my brain is a bit befuddled, so if this response, or my typing, seems a bit oversimplified or loaded with incomprehensible misspelled words I apologize.Whew.
This takes some effort, but your post requires response.You summed it up yourself right here, and this is exactly what you must do: _________________________________"why the sudden flare up after doing so well for a long time, and do you think this warrants further exam? " ___________________________________Now everyone can sit down and start typing all about the waxing and waning of IBS symptoms, the relationship between your stress, anxiety, and thus amplification of your symptoms, and the etiology of post infective and/or post inflammatory IBS onset, and all the various mechansisms, appurtenances, and mystical therapies thereunto, which at this time is not what you should be concerned about.This would be pointless until you are reexamined ASAP by your GI doc. Post-Giardiasis symptoms, especially when you have had relatively mild and prolonged cyclic events, which exacerbate must be immediately re-evaluated by a qualified GI doc before you take any steps at self-treatment of any kind.Once THAT is done, and the results of the doctors various evaluations are known, then and only then can someone render competent assistance and advice to you about these symptoms.Get thee to thy doctor posthaste, my friend! And let me know how you made out. I should be off the painkillers by then and a lot more cogent.
Eat well. Think Well. Be well. Avoid the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at all costs!MNL
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mike,Thanks so much for your response and you did VERY well even with the Vicodan. You must be something else when you are unmedicated!!Of course, my logical sense tells me that I should get back to my GI doctor (and I was in fact there on 12/27) and told him what was going on. I won't say he blew me off, but he was unconcerned. Still called it IBS despite the fact that I told him that my bowels were behaving for quite some time. So, I guess I am 'hestitant' to go rushing back. Plus, it takes me a good month to get an appointment with him. I thought that I would watch my symptoms for another two weeks and if I didn't see any improvement I would definitely be back to him quickly. I guess in the meantime I'm just looking for some similar experiences to ease my mind. I certainly won't use them as a diagnosis. Thanks again for taking the time to answer my post. Good luck with the mouth healing.Christine
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mike,Thanks so much for your response and you did VERY well even with the Vicodan. You must be something else when you are unmedicated!!Of course, my logical sense tells me that I should get back to my GI doctor (and I was in fact there on 12/27) and told him what was going on. I won't say he blew me off, but he was unconcerned. Still called it IBS despite the fact that I told him that my bowels were behaving for quite some time. So, I guess I am 'hestitant' to go rushing back. Plus, it takes me a good month to get an appointment with him. I thought that I would watch my symptoms for another two weeks and if I didn't see any improvement I would definitely be back to him quickly. I guess in the meantime I'm just looking for some similar experiences to ease my mind. I certainly won't use them as a diagnosis. Thanks again for taking the time to answer my post. Good luck with the mouth healing.Christine
 
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