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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am new to the group. I would like to describe my symptoms and know if you think that it is IBS. Let me first say that I have been previously diagnosed with IBS several years ago, and took medication for it. It did get better, and it also did briefly return a few times since then, nothing within the last couple of years though. My symptoms then were very uncomfortable cramping pains, like really bad gas trapped up high in my stomach area.Okay, well tonight I had this "attack" type symptom. It came on suddenly, high up, just below my sternum, extreme pain. I was in my car, had to pull over and wait. Actually this same thing happened to me about a month ago, and I am planning to see a doctor about it... but I just want to know if my experience sounds familiar to any of you. The pain was so intense, it felt just like my insides were being squeezed so hard. It made me think I was having a heart attack (I'm almost 41 btw). The pain was just unbelievable, like nothing I've ever experienced (except with the same thing happened a month ago). I could do nothing for about 20mins, leaning back as far as I could in my car seat, because this seemed to feel better than sitting up. I could hardly even talk on the cell phone. I did manage to drive home, I was close by, thank God. It felt like I could barely make it into the house and then I collapsed onto the bed. As soon as I could get up, I took a pain killer leftover from my cesarean section last year. That and the heating pad on my upper stomach area helped to relax things and get me feeling better. The whole episode lasted about an hour, same as the last time it happened about a month ago.Well...has anyone had anything like this? I think it is IBS related, and it felt at times like something was moving through my intestines.Nothing too unusual in my diet today, but my hands felt very bloated, I had to remove my wedding band, it felt sooo tight! And I was very thirsty and shortly before the "attack" I drank a lot of water.I know this is a lengthy post...but what happened was pretty darn scary, and I'd really love to know more about what the heck happened to me. And how to prevent it from happening again.Thanks so much,
 

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High up under the sternum that feels like it could be a heart attack is more typical of upper GI problems rather than IBS (colon) problems.I would think you need to be checked for ulcers in the stomach. The other thing could be gall bladder, although that is usually off to the right and radiates to the upper back (but not everyone will have the same pattern).I'd go get this checked out and not assume it is just the IBS flaring up in a new way.K.
 

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High up under the sternum that feels like it could be a heart attack is more typical of upper GI problems rather than IBS (colon) problems.I would think you need to be checked for ulcers in the stomach. The other thing could be gall bladder, although that is usually off to the right and radiates to the upper back (but not everyone will have the same pattern).I'd go get this checked out and not assume it is just the IBS flaring up in a new way.K.
 

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Definitely go and get checked out. My friend had emergency surgery to remove her gallbaldder after having an attack just as you described. She had a huge stone trapped in her bile duct. Her husband thought she was having a heart attack. Autumn
 

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Definitely go and get checked out. My friend had emergency surgery to remove her gallbaldder after having an attack just as you described. She had a huge stone trapped in her bile duct. Her husband thought she was having a heart attack. Autumn
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, gallbladder huh. That sounds so scary to me. Me mom had hers removed and so did my cousin, I know these problems run in families.
I went to the doctor today, he thought maybe gallbladder too. In fact had his removed last year, and said he had the same symptoms. Well, I had an xray of my stomach that didn't show anything wrong. The doc wants me to have an upper gi test done, so that will be next. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for your replies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, gallbladder huh. That sounds so scary to me. Me mom had hers removed and so did my cousin, I know these problems run in families.
I went to the doctor today, he thought maybe gallbladder too. In fact had his removed last year, and said he had the same symptoms. Well, I had an xray of my stomach that didn't show anything wrong. The doc wants me to have an upper gi test done, so that will be next. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for your replies.
 

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Hi LisaAnn,Now that you have inflated our egos to the nth degree, I want to caution you to not get tunnel visioned either. But, gallbladder disease is a relatively common problem - especially in the 4-F category. Which is not a politically correct mnemonic so please forgive me as I do not intend to offend in any way but here it is: Fat, Female, Forty and Fertile. Basically it means that women with several children that are overweight and over forty are prone to having gallbladder disease. Supposedly, the more "F"s that you fit, the higher chance for having gallbladder disease.What you can do in the meantime, while you are waiting for tests (usually an Ultrasound is the best way to diagnose gallbladder problems) is to eat low fat meals and to eat smaller meals spread out during the day. Some people refer to this as "grazing". Also, be aware that if you have an attack that doesn't subside in intensity in an hour or so....and if it is accompanied by vomiting or fever, you need to get emergency help. That could indicate that your gallbladder has become too sick to wait any longer. But this is not that common......most people can live with a symptomatic gallbladder for months if not years without it going acute.So, get your tests, consider your options and hope for the best. It sounds like you are on the right track!Laurie
 

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Hi LisaAnn,Now that you have inflated our egos to the nth degree, I want to caution you to not get tunnel visioned either. But, gallbladder disease is a relatively common problem - especially in the 4-F category. Which is not a politically correct mnemonic so please forgive me as I do not intend to offend in any way but here it is: Fat, Female, Forty and Fertile. Basically it means that women with several children that are overweight and over forty are prone to having gallbladder disease. Supposedly, the more "F"s that you fit, the higher chance for having gallbladder disease.What you can do in the meantime, while you are waiting for tests (usually an Ultrasound is the best way to diagnose gallbladder problems) is to eat low fat meals and to eat smaller meals spread out during the day. Some people refer to this as "grazing". Also, be aware that if you have an attack that doesn't subside in intensity in an hour or so....and if it is accompanied by vomiting or fever, you need to get emergency help. That could indicate that your gallbladder has become too sick to wait any longer. But this is not that common......most people can live with a symptomatic gallbladder for months if not years without it going acute.So, get your tests, consider your options and hope for the best. It sounds like you are on the right track!Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the info Laurie. I was a little freaked out last nite going to bed thinking about the possibility of having a diseased gallbladder. When my mom had hers out, she says that the doctors told her that it was so diseased that it might have burst if they'd waited any longer. I'll have to get more scoop on that.The 4 F's...well, I had my first baby at 40! He's ten months old now
I did gain 90lbs during the pregnancy!!! lost 55 in the first two weeks, A lot of it was fluids. I'm still 20lbs over what I started out as, which was an avg weight for me. Monday is the upper GI appt, and I'm also having blood work done to rule out a bacterial infection.Thanks for your info and suggestions,LisaAnn~~
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the info Laurie. I was a little freaked out last nite going to bed thinking about the possibility of having a diseased gallbladder. When my mom had hers out, she says that the doctors told her that it was so diseased that it might have burst if they'd waited any longer. I'll have to get more scoop on that.The 4 F's...well, I had my first baby at 40! He's ten months old now
I did gain 90lbs during the pregnancy!!! lost 55 in the first two weeks, A lot of it was fluids. I'm still 20lbs over what I started out as, which was an avg weight for me. Monday is the upper GI appt, and I'm also having blood work done to rule out a bacterial infection.Thanks for your info and suggestions,LisaAnn~~
 

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LisaAnn,Sounds like you really don't fit the 4Fs but there is another association that you may fit....that is rapid weight loss. But that is usually seen in people after gastric bypass...that really rapid weight loss. But I also think pregnancy itself is a risk factor - the whole hormone thing. But, it really doesn't matter, because statistics are just averages and other number manipulation and it is the individual that matters. I am a walking testament that statistics don't matter a darn when it comes to diagnoses (Supposedly less than 1% of women who had ovarian cysts like I had, end up with the complications that I had, and then the same type of things with my pancreas disorder....... which because too many physicians were strict adherents to statistics, the diagnoses were missed, which caused further harm, etc.)The scenario that you mentioned with your mother was what I was thinking about when I cautioned you to recognize when things may be going bad. While most people do not have acute crises with gallbladder disease, some do, or are close to doing so. So I am glad that you are aware of the risks. Family history of gallbladder disease I think, is also a risk factor. Oh well, the important thing is that you are getting things checked out. If you do go this route, the surgery is generally quite easy (relatively speaking). And congratulations on the baby! and the successful weight loss afterwards. I guess you don't have to worry about not getting your exercise with a toddler"ish" (well, almost) in the household!Laurie
 

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LisaAnn,Sounds like you really don't fit the 4Fs but there is another association that you may fit....that is rapid weight loss. But that is usually seen in people after gastric bypass...that really rapid weight loss. But I also think pregnancy itself is a risk factor - the whole hormone thing. But, it really doesn't matter, because statistics are just averages and other number manipulation and it is the individual that matters. I am a walking testament that statistics don't matter a darn when it comes to diagnoses (Supposedly less than 1% of women who had ovarian cysts like I had, end up with the complications that I had, and then the same type of things with my pancreas disorder....... which because too many physicians were strict adherents to statistics, the diagnoses were missed, which caused further harm, etc.)The scenario that you mentioned with your mother was what I was thinking about when I cautioned you to recognize when things may be going bad. While most people do not have acute crises with gallbladder disease, some do, or are close to doing so. So I am glad that you are aware of the risks. Family history of gallbladder disease I think, is also a risk factor. Oh well, the important thing is that you are getting things checked out. If you do go this route, the surgery is generally quite easy (relatively speaking). And congratulations on the baby! and the successful weight loss afterwards. I guess you don't have to worry about not getting your exercise with a toddler"ish" (well, almost) in the household!Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update:Hi! Well, I had the upper GI done on Monday morning but I still haven't gotten the results back.
Called the office twice today and not even a call back. Anyway, I saw on one of the pictures taken from the test, part of my intestines and it was pinched together real small, it looked puckered up. Well, I'm thinking that must be my problems, and can't wait to hear more from my doctor. Also the nurse (tech?)was training a student, and she had mentioned that my stomach was high up. So, I am thinking that the pinched part is near the stomach and the stomach is what spasmed and caused me so much pain. The two times I had the attack, once was after a meal that I ate at the computer with my legs on the desk!! and the second after I drank a full glass of water...Another symptom I have is that I can't get a full expansion of my lungs with air standing or sitting, but, if I lean forward, I can... So, I am thinking that something is really wrong. And I'm afraid to eat, I've nibbled today, but I'm afraid of overloading the intestines if there's a twist, or whatever it is. I'll keep you posted on the official reports. Lisa
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update:Hi! Well, I had the upper GI done on Monday morning but I still haven't gotten the results back.
Called the office twice today and not even a call back. Anyway, I saw on one of the pictures taken from the test, part of my intestines and it was pinched together real small, it looked puckered up. Well, I'm thinking that must be my problems, and can't wait to hear more from my doctor. Also the nurse (tech?)was training a student, and she had mentioned that my stomach was high up. So, I am thinking that the pinched part is near the stomach and the stomach is what spasmed and caused me so much pain. The two times I had the attack, once was after a meal that I ate at the computer with my legs on the desk!! and the second after I drank a full glass of water...Another symptom I have is that I can't get a full expansion of my lungs with air standing or sitting, but, if I lean forward, I can... So, I am thinking that something is really wrong. And I'm afraid to eat, I've nibbled today, but I'm afraid of overloading the intestines if there's a twist, or whatever it is. I'll keep you posted on the official reports. Lisa
 
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