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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello...I have recently been diagnosed with IBS. I am an active 41 year old and marathon runner. I am not quite convinced as I do not have the classic symptoms. No D or C. My stools have been perfectly regular. However, I have had abdominal pain every day for nearly 15 months. Every day is the same. I wake up feeling well, but by about 2:00PM I have severe pain and bloating/preasure throughout my lower abdomen. I can't wear a belt or jeans. I wear pants with nearly 4 inch larger waist (I love the slight elastic extra waist band). The only thing that helps is lying down and taking a nap...sometimes only 15 minutes will help. I also have a sharp pain just under my left lower ribs...hurts to yawn and to take deep breaths...I had a chest x-ray for that and turned up negative.Some days are worse than others, but pain is every day. I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy...found nothing. I feel that I should be asking for other tests because I have no symptoms of irregular bowel movements. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.
 

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Hi
Honestly, it kinda sounds like a food allergy or sensitivity to me. Not saying it can't be IBS - cause IBS is one of those "We can't prove he has it but it's not anything else we can think of so lets's call it IBS and hope he goes away" kinda things.There are sites all over the net that can tell you what the most common food allergens are - and people here who can tell you what uncommon foods they're allergic to or sensitive to. Or it could be the way things are processed, preserved or handled - I can drink milk in Australia but not in the US. My husband can't eat bananas in the US but can in Thailand. I can eat organic carrots but not regular ones. Have you tried doing any diet restrictions?Good Luck!'shana
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry Shoshana...I missed your post. I have tried changing diets and looking for trigger foods for months...Diary, caffine, chocolate, fruits, etc.. No changes, same pain every afternoon/evening no matter what I eat/drink.Pete
 
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I have to admit that I am not an objective viewer when it comes to gallbladder problems. I have had my share: surgery then post-surgical complications. Because of this I may not give you a very fair opinion but I will try my best. Hopefully someone will jump in when I am being too pessimistic or draw wrong inferences!Basically the tests that I had done were: first an ultrasound to look at the gallbladder itself. This looks for stones, wall thickening, scarring. Any of those present with symptoms, infers that this could be a problem. However, it is found that there are considerable numbers of people who have no symptoms but have scarred gallbladders or stones, etc. On the flip side, there may be a group of people with significant symptoms but no ultrasound evidence of gall bladder problems. Some specialist suggest that these people could be former microscopic forms of stones called sludge for instance. So as you can see, this is not as simple as it seems.Then I had another test to look at the function of my gallbladder - an HIDA scan. This involves injecting a radio-isotope into the system and watching it travel through your biliary tree and gallbladder. The radiologist can watch how quickly and how much the "dye" moves through the system. They also inject a hormone to make the gallbladder contract. Sometimes this will reproduce the symptoms, but not always. The downside of this is that because gall bladder problems can be intermittent, a "normal" scan may only prove that on the day that it was done, the gallbladder was functioning normally.Other ways that GB disease is diagnosed is by blood tests. These include your LFTs like ALT, AST, GGT, bilurib, Alk phosh and others. However, again, these are not always abnormal. Other signs include a yellowing of the skin and / or white's of the eyes (eyes usually occur before skin). Then there are physical exams involving tender spots on the abdomen, etcIt is a hard diagnosis to make when it is not "acute". I was told by my surgeon that for every 100 cases of GB diseases he has seen, there are virtually 100 different sets of signs and symptoms. However, the textbook set of symptoms are dscomfort near your stomach or off to the right alittle, after you eat, especially a very high fat meal - both content and quantity. Sometimes you can get referred pain to your back - the right shoulder blade area. Very typical is to wake up with discomfort in the middle of the night - 2 or 3ish in the morning. This eating associated discomfort can be around for many days in a row, be intermittent or happen once then not at all until many months or even years later. Again typically, most people will find that it gradually gets worse. Sometimes over many years, sometimes in a matter of months. Then too, sometimes it will hit all at once and be very very severe, causing an ER visit. I think this is when a stone may actually get stuck, or the gallbladder gets infected or some other acute incident happens. I don't think that is the most common way though, that people find out that they have problems with their gallbladder.In my case, I had problems with it over several years and it got abruptly worse after a surgery I had (unrelated to this). My pain typically radiated to my left side, under the rib cage on the diagonal to the shoulder tip. Laying down on my back, with my knees bent would help a little. Eventually I had it taken out, more for another reason than for it being extremely painful. In my case, I found that the general surgeon was my best advocate but most of the tests that I mentioned can be done by your PCP or GI doc. However, once you get to the point of thinking of removing it, the general surgeon will be your best friend....to do the final work-up, lay out your options and provide follow-up. The only thing that I found lacking in the surgeon is his reluctance to discuss long term effects of living without a gallbladder. But that is where a good PCP should be able to offer advice and suppport.Hope this helps a little......the thing to remember is that gall bladder problems may be hard to diagnose and the best guide may be based on how bad the symptoms are and unfortunatly, sometimes the only way a person can know for sure if it was the gallbladder is to take it out and see if you get better....a somewhat crude method than what we would like to experience, I know.algee
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Algee...Thanks for the great information. I know that symptoms can very, but I have had almost none of the classic symptoms. I do have pain and bloating...Pain on the left side under the lower ribs, but none of the other symptoms. I will investigate the Gall Bladder questions with my GI, though.
 
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