Hello! I am feeling very frusterated after having been to my gazillionth specialist and would love opinions from those "in the know". I'll try to explain my situation thoroughly and briefly.
-Pain started 2 years ago in upper abdomen leading into my back
-Had gallbladder removed and the pain didn't decrease
-Pain is managable with narcotics (prescribed) but sometimes will QUICKLY escalate to point where I have to rush to hospital for serious painkilling and I think I'm going to die
-Sometimes have loose stools, but most often have "normal" bathroom experiences, and eating seems to play no relation to the pain
-Have had "exploratory tests" and nothing abnormal shows
I have Lupus, but every Doctor I see is diagnosing this pain as IBS. Does it sound like it is? Every Doc (I'm in Canada) is also telling me I shouldn't be on narcotics long term but that there is no other medication available to relieve pain for IBS...just controlling stress and diet. Is this true?
I'm so tired from being in pain all the time and just want to know what it is and what I can do! Thanking you for your advice, in advance!
Hi, it does sound like IBS. Stress is a very big factor in it. I have IBS and if I get stressed I have a bout like you decribed. Foods play a role also, when I get an attack I eat chicken broth and crackers, it seams to settle my tummy some. With me any food that has a lot of fat in it bothers my digestive system.
It took my doctor 10 yrs and many many test to tell me that I have IBS, now I control what, when and how much I eat. I found that eating smaller meals helps, I also try to eat a fruit between meals, just so there is something in my tummy every few hours.
Hope this helps, take care
Thank you both for responding to me. They have mentioned ulcers but don't seem to think that is what it is. Should I be more adament about suggesting it?
One of the main reasons I was unsure about the diagnosis of IBS is because it seems to be entirely unrelated to food. What I have eaten or IF I have eaten doesn't seem to make a difference to the onset of pain.
hmm..well shinegirl, If it were me I might be more insistive on getting the testing for ulcers done, if I could afford it--especially in that case! But I haven't had any exploratory tests done and worried I could have something more serious than IBS...being that a few times in my life I've experience bleeding associated with the bad BM's. Although, in your case, if you ever had had the bleeding, it could be due to an ulcer as well, no? Ack--It does get frustrating when trying to self-diagnose or just think of what it COULD be.....
In a town of chimpanzees I was a Monkey....
IBS can give you loads of pain without any of the other usual symptoms. So, it is entirely possible that you suffer from IBS. If you had ulcers, my understanding is that you would also show signs of infections - in your nose and ears - this is how they determine if there is a bacterial infection. So, if you don't have those tell tale signs apart from doing an endoscopy and a colonoscopy, I'm not sure if there are any other tests to look for ulcers.
As for controlling IBS - my personal opinion is that it is entirely stress induced. Unfortunately, none of the conventional means of dealing with stress will work to irradicate IBS - you may get a limited amount of relief with stress reduction. So, most people resort to diet changes. Unfortunately, diet changes are not a guaranteed method of controlling IBS. Diet changes work a lot better for those who suffer from constipation or diarrhea, as it helps reduce those symptoms, but it may or may not help a sufferer alleviate pain.
I hope this was somewhat informative for you... I personally control IBS through undocumented stress reduction techniques - and I've gone from being a level 10 (on a 1-10 scale) to a level 2 sufferer. You can look at a couple of my techniques on my website if you choose. (they are dumbed down for people who haven't been trained in my techniques)
If you find something that helps you, let us know... and if you need to know more specific things... there are different people with different experiences here, who are willing to share them.
This is a long shot, but it might apply to you so I'll throw it out for thought. I used to get pain similar to what you described -- some pain in the upper abdomen but most of it in my back between my shoulder blades. Incredibly excrutiating pain and it wasn't connected to eating food either - it just happened. It turned out to be esophageal spasms. It was diagnosed by doing a 24 hr ph probe which showed severe GERD, even though I never had any symptoms that I would have described as 'heartburn' ... they also did a test that measured the strength of the contractions on my esophagus when I swallowed. The spasms showed up even with swallowing water, although I didn't feel a thing at that time. The problem was 'cured' with reflux surgery two years ago. Haven't had the pain since and take no GERD meds so it seems the drs were right. Don't know if this has been checked out for you, but it might be worth asking.
Last edited by charleyhorse; 09-02-2004 at 08:27 PM.
When I first was diagnosed with IBS, my Dr. told me that it can effect you clear up to your ears!, and it about did and does. I had a upper stomach ache for 6 weeks, every day, chest pains, shoulder pains, you name it. I've had it for 20 years. If I handle my stress and don't get too involved with the WHAT IFS and the WORRYS, my IBS is calm. If I get worked up, I'm looking at a couple months of hell. I also can not eat anything rough, or with seeds in it, I can get away with a fruit or veggy raw, if I do not have it on a empty stomach or have it 2 days in a row. I had to cut out all caffiene. Last year I ate 2 Gyros and was in pain for 3 weeks. I really have to be carefull. I had my Gallbladder out 4 years ago. High fat meals will get me goin with the IBS D. But yes,,,IT CAN BE IBS