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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HelloI have recently been suffering with really bad gas, particularly after eating. I also have pain and sometimes just mild discomfort...I've had quite a stressful year, so maybe that has something to do with what's been going on physically... I had some really sharp stabbing pains in my stomach over the summer, which I ignored and they didn't persist - but I had bad flatulence, worse after eating, and mild nausea. This developed into tummy aches every day around my belly button, with really bad gas, and still mild nausea, coming and going. For about a month recently I had persistent dull aching pain under my lower right rib, exactly where my liver is, combined with constipation (always wanting to go, never being able to) on and off for a few weeks. I had a liver function test which was normal, and a stool test for h. pylori - also normal. I am waiting for an abdominal ultrasound (due about 10 days), which I hope will set my mind at rest about the organs in that area...The pain has been moving around over the last few days - I get it in that same place, but also on the left side under my lower rib, and sometimes in the middle or all the way across. Also very commonly just to the right of my belly button or down my right side (but not right down to the groin). I now alternate between constipation and frequent, long, thin, soft stools that come out very fast - but in either case after opening my bowels I always still feel like I need to go. This has been a long-term problem but the pain and gas are new.I can live with the pain, although it is distressing, and even the apparently random and disruptive bowel habits - but the gas is probably the hardest thing to cope with as it's so antisocial. My husband never comments but it must get to him! The other biggest problem is that I am terrified that there's something seriously wrong with me and I don't know what I should be doing - eating, not eating - to protect my body. Since I was worried about my liver I started avoiding alcohol and coffee, and eating loads of fresh fruit and salad - also taking milk thistle and artichoke extract, etc. I have since realised that a glass of wine with dinner actually improves my symptoms. I am also taking probiotics but I'm not sure that they're doing anything.I did have dysentery after travelling to Asian as a teenager (I'm now 35), and my mother tells me I was diagnosed with IBS as a teenager as well, although I have no memory of this. At the moment I'm actually praying that what I have is IBS and not something more sinister.My doctor is good but extremely busy, and I can't really discuss this with her as much as I would like - she is the best doctor at my local practice and all her appointments are booked up 3 weeks in advance! I just want to stop worrying and feel normal again. I know that nobody can tell me that I'm OK without doing all the tests, but this period of waiting and worrying is turning me into a wreck! I would be very grateful for any reassurance or advice, or for similar experiences from other people. Thank you...
 

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So far everything you said sounds like IBS.The colon has a bend on the left and right just under the ribs, which are often trouble spots, but the pain can be all along the colon.The stress of the not knowing and the testing can often make things worse, and how many tests you need depends on how typical your symptoms are of IBS and your age. IBS symptoms are often a lot more obnoxious than the symptoms of other things.Often with IBS small, frequent, lower fat meals tend to be good. The colon gets more active after every meal and a smaller lighter meal eaten before you are really hungry tends to cause less activity than if you starved yourself all day then had a huge meal at the end of the day, especially one that is high in fat or rich foods.You might try sticking to cooked veggies and even cooking fruits. That often makes them easier on IBSers systems and for the fruits gets rid of the sorbitol that some of them have (canned is considered cooked). Sorbitol is one thing that can increase gas volume.You might also try reducing starches as they can contribute to gas. Of the starches rice tends to make the least amount of gas so rice rather than bread sometimes helps.You may need to try a couple of different brands of probiotics to find one that helps. Some of that is some brands may not have live bacteria or the right bacteria and some of it is how any given probiotic works with the rest of your colon flora and how it interacts with your colon. Even when someone takes brands they know are good sometimes one will work much better than others.Some IBSers find the relaxation from small amounts of alcohol useful and if you tend to constipation it does tend to have a stool loosening effect. It all depends on where the line is between it relaxes you and it loosens the stool too much and that dose can vary a lot. Some people can't tolerate even a few sips, where others can have a couple of glasses without problems. Generally for long term health women should stick to one glass of wine a day, or one other alcoholic beverage, anyway. And they don't accumulate. so 1 every day is not the same as 7 on Saturday night but abstaining the rest of the week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much for your response.I think part of the problem is that I have been confused about whether this might be a problem with my liver, because that is where I had the most persistent pain - and advice for the liver is to eat lots of raw fruit and vegetables. Assuming my problem is actually IBS, this might have been making things worse - but actually so far what I eat doesn't seem to make all that much difference anyway. Immediately after eating I burp a lot, and soon after that the flatulence starts. Large meals are definitely worse though.One other thing I've noticed that seems quite strange: if I have pain in a particular place - say under my right rib - I find massaging somewhere else on my abdomen - for example, on my left side - seems to help. Perhaps food is getting trapped somehow during digestion?But last night I just felt that my whole gut was sore - from my breast bone right down to my hips, everything felt inflamed and painful. Other times I get a pain that is more like a stitch on one side. Does all of this sound like part of the same thing? There seem to be so many symptoms!
 

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There is a bend in the colon right by the liver so it can be hard to guess what is wrong just by feeling. It isn't like fingers where you can tell your pinky from your ring finger. The nerves sensing the abdomen are not that dense so bascially they just look generally where it is (upper right vs lower left, etc) then look at anything in that quadrant.IBS pain can vary in quality, intensity and pretty much can occur all over the abdomen (as the colon goes up the right side, across the top then down the left and then back to center before heading out). With IBS all abdominal pain counts as one symptom and all stool consistency or frequency issues count as one symptoms and both together is IBS. Some IBSers do seem to not move stool or gas along as smoothly as other people so that "trapped" thing may have some truth to it. Not trapped as in "can't move" which is an obstruction but just not moving well. So massage sometimes helps things along better than they go by themselves.
 

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I am recently almost diagnosed with IBS and my pain originally started as a stabbing pain in my stomach which didn't last long, but next came my upper right (liver) area. I didn't know if I'd bruised my ribs or what, but it was achy and painful and distracting so I went to the doc. During a few weeks of testing (CT, ultrasound, colonoscopy, endoscopy, blood, urine) the pain dissipated in the upper right and moved over to the upper left. I have what feels like a bubble the size of an egg sitting right under the center of my rib. It is so so so annoying. I was convinced my pancreas was going sour. And because I don't really have any lower abdominal pains (I have some but not a lot) compared to pain in the upper quarters, I was sure this was not IBS. I have a popular gastro doc that people come in from miles around and from different states to see and after everything he's certain I have IBS. But when I get on the mayo clinic site and it doesn't say a word about upper pain with this condition. I go to web md and the same thing. No info on upper pain. I come here to this site and bingo! I find people with IBS that have the same symptoms - and they were as scared out of their minds as I was! I'm in pain 90% of the time, day and night. My doc has me on a smooth muscle relaxer for the next 6 weeks before I go back. He says it'll help him confirm the IBS and then I can stop taking it. Anyway, he told me IBS pain moves around. He is also having me keep a symptom diary. After learning more about IBS I realize that I've had symptoms for the past year or two! I thought being constipated and then having some diarrhea was normal! I thought having occasional painful guts was normal! Even my poo - which was ribbon like or included mucous... I though was normal! I mean, how many of us compare our poo with one another?! Sometimes when I'm laying in bed on my back I promise I get gas popping up in bubbles that reminds me of a popcorn popper and it is so so so weird. I get the buzzing too. I think sometimes until we sit and really listen to our bodies and take note, we don't even know what we're feeling. Now that I'm aware of the various IBS symptoms, well, I have many of them. I am still scared that something is actually wrong with my pancreas and my gallbladder has a polyp too... so I don't know if I've got more going on than just IBS. And another note - I didn't think IBS was anything significant. I had NO IDEA that this is a problem that causes suffering in so many people! Like you, I hope I have IBS rather than something more dreadful! Hope this helps.
 
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