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I am very glad to find this forum. I am not able to afford medical care and I have been suffering with some troublesome symptoms for about a year now. They seem to have to do with my intestines on the lower left side feeling full or bloated or pressure or sometimes slightly numb.My stools are generally normal, though sometimes shaped long and flat and curved like a thick piece of salt water taffy (sorry, all I could think of to give you a mental picture). I do not get constipated and do not have any pain or fever or nausea ever (I will mention I used to have very long, difficult periods of constipation as a child). I don't have any heartburn or problems higher up. I am in generally good health otherwise.The worst problem I have with this condition is sometimes it is difficult to breathe, especially when I am driving. Sometimes this is very scary, and it can almost feel like a heart attack. As a result, I try to avoid driving as much as possible. From what I have been able to figure out on my own, this seems to be from this bloating in my intestines pushing up on my diaphram and then my lungs. That's just a guess, but I can't think of what else it might be, and it is *always* related to something going on in my intestines.For exercise I walk my dogs for 1 hour every day. Usually this is fine, but sometimes when I have my bloated or pressure feeling, if I exert myself walking up several stairs or a steep hill, I get winded very easily, my lungs sometimes burn as if I had just run a long distance and it takes some time to calm down to normal. Other times when I do not have the bloating feeling, I can scale these hills and stairs with ease. The correlation of these incidents to distress in my intestines is what makes me think it is not a heart problem.I have been to a few doctors, but they always talk in generalities and want me to get tests I cannot afford, so the care stops there. One time I had an x-ray and it showed a huge gas bubble in my left large intestine. It's not urgent enough for an emergency room to do the tests. Right now I'm just looking for someone to point me in a direction of some self-help things I might try to either treat or rule-out IBS or some other possible condition.I have tried to notice eating patterns and diet, but nothing is reliable. Sometimes I'll eat vegetarian things like stuffed grape leaves and hummus, which seem to make me feel great for days, then another time I'll eat the exact same thing with no relief at all. Sometimes I can eat the worst food in the world and feel just fine. Sometimes I'll take 1/2 Xanax and that actually calms everything down, sometimes I'll take it and I still feel bad. I drink plenty of water. My vice is those Starbucks coffee drinks in the bottles, but my condition does not change when I am not drinking them. So no patterns that I have been able to identify. I'm thinking either this sounds completely crazy or else many of you out there have gone through the same thing! I have tried researching my symptoms on the Internet but haven't come up with anything that even comes close to matching what I am going through. I found one story about a woman who kept passing out in her house and being rushed to the hospital, and they told her it was this bloating thing pushing on her lungs, but I wasn't able to find any further information beyond that. I have read about things like mega-colon and Chron's disease, but my symptoms don't seem to fit.Any information anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated. Are these symptoms that could be caused by IBS or something similar? Colitis, etc.?Thank you so much, you may post here or IM me or e-mail me.Stephen40 years old6'4" 224lb.Non-smokerNon-drinkerNo surgeries, no family history of serious diseaseMedicine: baby aspirin every day, 1/2 Xanax 1 or 2 times a week as needed, sometimes helps, sometimes doesn't. I have tried Bentyl and Donnatol briefly and neither seems to do anything, unless perhaps I haven't taken them for a long enough period of time. I have also tried Prilosec for about 2 weeks with no change. I have tried Gas-X and Beano and other gas remedies with no change. I have tried natural products like live-strain acidophilus and bifidus, and I have tried Colon Cleanse, which sometimes works and sometimes causes distress, even in small amounts.
 

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I am not sure about the shortness of breath, I don't believe this is a common symptom of IBS. Have you ever tried using an asthmatic inhaler ? This can help with breathing problems not related to asthma.The only thing I could suggest is cutting out asprin for a while. Asprin can worsen IBS symptoms, and some members believe their IBS developed as a result of overuse of NSAIDS (Non Steroidal . They commonly cause gastro-intestinal symptoms if overused."Common medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and others are known to have serious, and even fatal, adverse effects." http://www.iffgd.org/calltoaction.html "Another class of drugs suspected of causing gut inflammation is the ironically titled "anti-inflammatories", NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Used in cases of chronic back pain, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, for migraine, gout, dysmenorrhoea and in premenstrual syndrome, these drugs are fast becoming ubiquitous pain-relievers. Unfortunately, many NSAIDs are non-prescription drugs freely available over the counter, and as well as aspirin, they have recently been joined by the more powerful and heavily advertised ibuprofen-based products. Irritation of the stomach and/or the intestine is a standard effect of NSAIDs � while relieving the symptoms of inflammation elsewhere in the body, they directly contribute to leaky gut syndrome as they interfere with prostaglandin production, so affecting the gastrointestinal mucus and leading to acid and enzymatic attacks on the gut wall. " http://www.rainbowminerals.net/Leaky_gut.htm Leaky Gut Syndrome Leaky Gut Syndrome is not a disease but an intestinal dysfunction that can underlie many different illnesses and symptoms. It can be caused by poor food choices, insufficient pancreatic digestive enzymes, chronic stress, environmental contaminants, gastrointestinal disease, immune overload, too much alcohol, dysbiosis, and longtime use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs). NSAID's, steroids, antacids, and antibiotics are probably the greatest contributors to leaky gut syndrome. http://www.crohns.net/Miva/education/education.shtml A second important cause of dyspepsia is drugs. It turns out that many drugs are frequently associated with dyspepsia (e.g., non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen), antibiotics, and estrogens). In fact, most drugs are reported to cause dyspepsia in at least some patients. http://www.medicinenet.com/dyspepsia/page2.htm These drugs, used for a long time, are known to cause irritation to thestomach lining and may lead to bleeding from the stomach. Women who use NSAIDs chronically are at higherrisk for developing stomach ulcers as well as gastritis. NSAIDs can decrease the level of mucus that thestomach normally makes to protect itself, and this may also increase the possibility that a patient will be likelyto develop damage from the medication. In recent years new types of prescription NSAIDs have becomeavailable, such as COX-II inhibitors, which reportedly have a less adverse impact on the GI tract.
 

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I am not sure about the shortness of breath, I don't believe this is a common symptom of IBS. Have you ever tried using an asthmatic inhaler ? This can help with breathing problems not related to asthma.The only thing I could suggest is cutting out asprin for a while. Asprin can worsen IBS symptoms, and some members believe their IBS developed as a result of overuse of NSAIDS (Non Steroidal . They commonly cause gastro-intestinal symptoms if overused."Common medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and others are known to have serious, and even fatal, adverse effects." http://www.iffgd.org/calltoaction.html "Another class of drugs suspected of causing gut inflammation is the ironically titled "anti-inflammatories", NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Used in cases of chronic back pain, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, for migraine, gout, dysmenorrhoea and in premenstrual syndrome, these drugs are fast becoming ubiquitous pain-relievers. Unfortunately, many NSAIDs are non-prescription drugs freely available over the counter, and as well as aspirin, they have recently been joined by the more powerful and heavily advertised ibuprofen-based products. Irritation of the stomach and/or the intestine is a standard effect of NSAIDs � while relieving the symptoms of inflammation elsewhere in the body, they directly contribute to leaky gut syndrome as they interfere with prostaglandin production, so affecting the gastrointestinal mucus and leading to acid and enzymatic attacks on the gut wall. " http://www.rainbowminerals.net/Leaky_gut.htm Leaky Gut Syndrome Leaky Gut Syndrome is not a disease but an intestinal dysfunction that can underlie many different illnesses and symptoms. It can be caused by poor food choices, insufficient pancreatic digestive enzymes, chronic stress, environmental contaminants, gastrointestinal disease, immune overload, too much alcohol, dysbiosis, and longtime use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs). NSAID's, steroids, antacids, and antibiotics are probably the greatest contributors to leaky gut syndrome. http://www.crohns.net/Miva/education/education.shtml A second important cause of dyspepsia is drugs. It turns out that many drugs are frequently associated with dyspepsia (e.g., non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen), antibiotics, and estrogens). In fact, most drugs are reported to cause dyspepsia in at least some patients. http://www.medicinenet.com/dyspepsia/page2.htm These drugs, used for a long time, are known to cause irritation to thestomach lining and may lead to bleeding from the stomach. Women who use NSAIDs chronically are at higherrisk for developing stomach ulcers as well as gastritis. NSAIDs can decrease the level of mucus that thestomach normally makes to protect itself, and this may also increase the possibility that a patient will be likelyto develop damage from the medication. In recent years new types of prescription NSAIDs have becomeavailable, such as COX-II inhibitors, which reportedly have a less adverse impact on the GI tract.
 

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Aspirin is just one of many painkillers known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which can cause serious damage to your digestive system. Other members of the NSAID class include the over-the-counter pain relievers ibuprofen and naproxen and at least 15 prescription drugs. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, up to 60 percent of the approximately 14 million patients with arthritis who consume NSAIDs regularly will develop side effects related to the drugs. Although most are minor, side effects may include stomach ulcers, bleeding, holes in tissue, and even death. ../messageboards/ub...5&o=&fpart=&vc=
 

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Aspirin is just one of many painkillers known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which can cause serious damage to your digestive system. Other members of the NSAID class include the over-the-counter pain relievers ibuprofen and naproxen and at least 15 prescription drugs. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, up to 60 percent of the approximately 14 million patients with arthritis who consume NSAIDs regularly will develop side effects related to the drugs. Although most are minor, side effects may include stomach ulcers, bleeding, holes in tissue, and even death. ../messageboards/ub...5&o=&fpart=&vc=
 

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The starbuck drinks in the bottles KILL my stomach. I don't know what's in it, but I haven't had luck with it. Bentyl and Donnatal have not helped me at all. The shortness of breath can also be from the pain- maybe it's how your body reacts to the anxiety?Sometimes I can eat greasy foods and bad foods as well and I'm fine, but when I'm on the edge of an attack I'm very carefull of everything I eat.
 

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The starbuck drinks in the bottles KILL my stomach. I don't know what's in it, but I haven't had luck with it. Bentyl and Donnatal have not helped me at all. The shortness of breath can also be from the pain- maybe it's how your body reacts to the anxiety?Sometimes I can eat greasy foods and bad foods as well and I'm fine, but when I'm on the edge of an attack I'm very carefull of everything I eat.
 
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