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Hi. I started having problems with my first pregnancy. My son is now 6. I vomited daily through the entire pregnancy. I had some new pain in my stomach area but assumed it was an ulcer from throwing up. When pregnant with my second son (who is now 3), I vomited daily as well. After his birth, I started noticing that it was getting harder to have a normal bowel movement and I developed hemorrhoids but nothing that prompted me to hit the internet. That is also when the stomach pain became noticable upper left quadrant pain. With my third pregnancy, I vomited daily as well (I'm a morning sickness momma apparently). While pregnant, I went to the doc about my pain. She ordered an ultrasound on the upper left quadrant and said that my organs all look good and that she believed gas was becoming trapped in my intestine. She also recommended having my gall bladder removed. She said there was a small cyst in there but below the size of importance. I did not agree to surgery and she said it was completely fine and I didn't need it. After the birth of my daughter (she is 8 months now), my symptoms increased greatly. I'm now affected daily and occasionally have days where I don't want to move because of the pain.

I have daily pain in the upper left quadrant. It's like a heavy ball shape that feels better, but not fixed, if I put my hand on it. I also sleep with a pillow pushed into it. My bowels feel slow and hurt. It's almost like the intestine feels infected or something. Metamucil helps but only if I remember to take it and there is still pain, just the bowel movement that comes out is a different consistency and feels like something to be proud of lol. Without it my stools are small (under 2 inches) and thinner. I also have diarrhea every week, usually for one day. When I have lower cramping that is followed by a bowel movement, the pain is intense like a menstrual period, and increases after a movement. It takes a couple hours and a hot bath during those hours to go away. Prior to 8 months ago, all of my pain was upper left quadrant. Now it is through the whole tract.

Different foods affect me and I don't understand the pattern. Milk, ice cream, cheese, creamer, and yogurt don't have any effect but whip cream or soft serve ice cream makes me feel nauseous quickly and every time. I eat broccoli a lot and have a reaction every 5 times or so, but not the other 4. Beans don't hurt, wheat bread doesn't either. Sugar doesn't hurt. The biggest triggers are: jalapenos (I can feel them in my lower tract and the bm hurts), meat fat (like the white part of bacon hurts but not the red), heavy oil (like with roasted veggies, but deep fried is ok for some reason), doughnuts but only from one local shop, and sometimes sour candy. Older but non-expired fast food meat makes me sick but fresh does not. I'm so sensitive to it that I can taste whether it will make me sick or not.

On top of my 3 pregnancies, I have also experienced these things in the last 7 years: a wedding, a divorce, three jobs, multiple moves, 101 pounds weight loss (due to diet and exercise, last weight LOSS was 5 years ago. I was 255 at highest and am 185 now), an abusive relationship (mental, emotional, sexual, but not physical abuse). I am in a fantastic relationship for a year and a half now with my daughter's wonderfully sweet and supportive good guy father, am a stay at home momma, lived in the same home for three years, same weight for 2 years, and am 2 years out from the abusive relationship. This is background to explain why I have no idea why my stomach is so bad now; my stress is crazy low and I am happy.

The constipation pain makes me cry sometimes and it feels like I cannot move and as though I passed a steel bar or a rock even though the movement may have only achieved a 1 inch rock poop.

I have no insurance and no money, as we are a one income family with 3 kids. I don't feel like a gluten free diet or lactose free would help, as most of those foods don't bother me. Any advice? I just can't do the doctor thing, we really can't afford it. Our extra money each month is around $15.
 

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Personally I feel like when there's vomiting or blood in stool, there's no point in trying to beat around the bush and guess what you might have - get an endoscopy and colonoscopy. You don't have insurance - well, cough up the money for the procedures. What if it turns out to be something very serious, but potentially fixable early on?
 

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Hi, I didn't think gluten or lactose would make much of a difference either, I used to resort to white bread, crackers and potatoes when my ibs was bad but my specialist Gastro Doc suggested the Fodmap diet and while it is not the complete answer it has helped so maybe try it for a while, Doc did say it needed about 6 weeks altho benefits may appear very quickly. I have also found that not everything on the fodmap food list suits me, I have major problems with tomatoes and cucumbers, everyone reacts differently so it takes a while to sort out what is best for you.

It's worth a try.
 

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I can tell you what's worked for me. I have alternating IBS but growing up the constipation was just horrible. It's gotten a lot better.

I've found natural remedies to be best. Western medicine hasn't given me many answers.

Here's what's worked for me:

1) Cut out gluten, corn and dairy. There are TONS of alternatives out there so you can still have bread and pasta and spreads. This helped me a great deal.

2) Eat/drink only warm foods/liquids. No ice cold water or cold salads. Cold stuff paralyzes my digestive system so I can't digest properly.

3) Use a heating pad on the stomach after each meal or during flare ups.

4) Wear only elastic waistbands. With IBS I find my waist varies by as much as 4 inches from bloaty to non-bloaty!

5) I take a probiotic each day.

6) I use activated charcoal when I have a flare up and it clears much faster. Also, if I accidentally get an onion (god forbid!) I take a couple activated charcoal caplets to prevent a flare. Once a year or so I get horrible pain under my left rib cage - like someone repeatedly whacked me with a baseball bat. Using the activated charcoal (2 caps every 2 hours until the pain stops) has been a life saver. After the bubble passes, I'm horribly constipated so I take a bit of Colace for a few days to get things back to normal.

7) I take Vitamin D and it seems to help with depression. I use meditation for anxiety.

8) Lifestyle changes - I tell people I have a chronic condition and may need to reschedule so I can manage expectations in social situations. With my job, I've explained I may need to work from home sometimes and I've created a schedule that works for me.

Hope some of those ideas help.
 

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I had (and still have) the pain on the upper left quadrant myself. I'm new enough to the forum not to know if that's common or not, but it's definitely an issue I had. It started probably six plus months ago (came on so gradually I have difficulty identifying when it first began) and just built and built. Problems peaked (I pray) a couple of weeks ago when I found blood in my stool (or, rather, found I was passing blood and no stool - had never had that problem before) and finally went to the hospital. Incident, by the way, was preceded by the worst pain I'd ever had (I'd had close, but never quite this far) - the night before I was literally on the bathroom floor trying every possible position to get away from the pain, which had started in the left quadrant but got so bad it felt like it was everywhere. Only thing that helped was taking Imodium (I have diarrhea issues, constipation only very rarely, although at the time I was basically just having pain), but there was low-grade pain for hours even afterwards. Anyways, turned out that I had colitis in the area where I'd been hurting, which was revealed by a colonoscopy.

I don't mean to be unhelpful - I'm just trying to be honest; in my case, I really did need a colonoscopy. You may wish to look into Medicaid. Your problems sound so severe (they sound even worse than mine were) that even if you manage to hold them off, you may well end up having to have one in the end. It might be a good proactive measure to start prepping for that now, as opposed to after a potential emergency. Even if you didn't qualify before, you may with the 2014 changes, which they will start considering in applications starting in October.

Other than that suggestion, I'm afraid I can't be that helpful - since D is my issue, and Imodium my solution, I'm afraid I can't help that much. :( I'm sending hugs and warm thoughts your way, though...really hope all turns around for you. :)
 

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Another place you might check into are the free clinics in your area. They may not be able to do tons of tests but they may be able to give you some peace of mind and ideas. My doctor just prescribed Bentyl which I hear a lot about on here. It can help a great deal and is really inexpensive as far as medicines go. I think it was $16 and that will last me several months. Activated charcoal is also inexpensive and can help. But GGG has a good point - if you find a free or low cost clinic and can get in for a $35 exam and $16 of meds that's far cheaper than a $3,000 trip to the ER.
 

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Since the foods that bother you are so varied, it really sounds like an elimination or low-FODMAP diet might be helpful. it takes a lot of time and patience to eliminate and then slowly add different foods back in, but it can be a huge help when you finally identify your trigger foods. I am only early into my low-FODMAP diet (little over a week), but pain/bloating was gone within 3 days, and the diarrhea is slowly getting better.
 

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Agreed about the elimination. I did an elimination (on accident - just got to the point where I couldn't eat anything and basically ended up with a few foods I could eat safely and added things slowly back in post-hospital) and have had fewer problems since. But, despite the elimination, I still ended up with the hospital incident.

Some people seem to find that their symptoms are related to stress/anxiety. You may wish to try some relaxation exercises, meditation, etc, which are all free and you can look up how to do. I figure, with how bad your situation seems, it can't hurt.

Keep us updated on your situation! :)
 
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