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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Message Board
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:25 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 88
coolbunny HB User
Question Pain in left side and breathing problems

Hi, I would be grateful for some advice. I was diagnosed with IBS, plus mild diverticulosis in the sigmoid colon a few years ago, after scans, barium swallow of small bowel, and a colonoscopy and virtual colonoscopy ruled out all else.

I do not have constipation or diarrhea. My diet is high in fruit and veggie fiber and my stools are always soft. However some days I have up to 8 BMs a day because it is impossible to pass much at a time, due to colon
spasms. Sometimes the stool is ribbon-like, but mostly normal
in appearance.

If this was all, I could live with it. A problem arises because I have constant nagging pain in my upper abdomen, left side, just below ribcage, and a feeling of pressure and internal pulling. Sometimes the pain spreads across the diaphragm to the right side too. The resultant pressure on my diaphragm muscles causes chronic severe breathlessness that always wakes me several times a night, and is often so bad in the day I cannot even climb the stairs.

My GI doc is definite the mild diverticulosis in the sigmoid colon is not the cause of this pain.

The GI doctor suggests the pain might be due to 'pouching' in the transverse colon (does this indicate development of further diverticulosis?) But says no pouching showed on the colonoscopy, therefore it can only be a "temporary state" and is a functional disorder.

It seems odd to call it a "temporary state" when the pain is always there in the same location, and I find it hard to believe there is not permanent narrowing, i.e. at the corner of the transverse colon and descending colon.

According to the GI doc, it should be possible for me to manage the condition and feel comfortable, though when I asked how, he said it was up to me to find ways that work. His opinion was the drugs available to treat IBS are ineffective and not worth bothering with. However I did try one of the OTC drugs for IBS (?merbentyl maybe? I forget) and found it gave me severe constipation, which was difficult to shift.

Just to add:- due to celiac disease my diet has been strictly glutenfree for
30 yrs, + lactose intolerant since childhood, so no dairy products.
Also, my allergist put me on an exclusion diet 2 yrs ago, and since then I eat no cereals except occasional rice, no nuts, soy, alcohol, chocolate, tea, coffee, cola, fruit juice, citrus fruits, apples, and nothing that has been processed in any way. Basically I eat meat, veggies, and fruit, and drink only water. I take various supplements incl calcium/magnesium/vitD.

This diet seems to have reduced the level of colon spasms, but
has done nothing to eliminate the pain and pressure in my left side.

I have had 2 courses of hypnotherapy (10 sessions), and used relaxation tapes. I find this takes my mind off the pain a bit at the time, but when I start walking about, the pain is just as bad as before. Body massage every
2 weeks reduces the referred pain I get all the way up my back and in my shoulders, but does not reduce the pain in my side..

My GP recommended acupuncture treatment, and I have been having this for
6 months. It has helped reduce gastric acid pain, but has done nothing to reduce the pain in my side.

I would be grateful if anyone can advise me how I might manage my condition so I can stop being in constant pain, and can breathe more easily.
Also, is it the case that narrowing or pouching would always show on a colonoscopy, or virtual colonoscopy, or would I need to have a barium enema for a clearer picture?

Thank you.

 
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:25 AM   #2
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ladyloo HB User
Re: Pain in left side and breathing problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolbunny View Post
Hi, I would be grateful for some advice. I was diagnosed with IBS, plus mild diverticulosis in the sigmoid colon a few years ago, after scans, barium swallow of small bowel, and a colonoscopy and virtual colonoscopy ruled out all else.

I do not have constipation or diarrhea. My diet is high in fruit and veggie fiber and my stools are always soft. However some days I have up to 8 BMs a day because it is impossible to pass much at a time, due to colon
spasms. Sometimes the stool is ribbon-like, but mostly normal
in appearance.

If this was all, I could live with it. A problem arises because I have constant nagging pain in my upper abdomen, left side, just below ribcage, and a feeling of pressure and internal pulling. Sometimes the pain spreads across the diaphragm to the right side too. The resultant pressure on my diaphragm muscles causes chronic severe breathlessness that always wakes me several times a night, and is often so bad in the day I cannot even climb the stairs.

My GI doc is definite the mild diverticulosis in the sigmoid colon is not the cause of this pain.

The GI doctor suggests the pain might be due to 'pouching' in the transverse colon (does this indicate development of further diverticulosis?) But says no pouching showed on the colonoscopy, therefore it can only be a "temporary state" and is a functional disorder.

It seems odd to call it a "temporary state" when the pain is always there in the same location, and I find it hard to believe there is not permanent narrowing, i.e. at the corner of the transverse colon and descending colon.

According to the GI doc, it should be possible for me to manage the condition and feel comfortable, though when I asked how, he said it was up to me to find ways that work. His opinion was the drugs available to treat IBS are ineffective and not worth bothering with. However I did try one of the OTC drugs for IBS (?merbentyl maybe? I forget) and found it gave me severe constipation, which was difficult to shift.

Just to add:- due to celiac disease my diet has been strictly glutenfree for
30 yrs, + lactose intolerant since childhood, so no dairy products.
Also, my allergist put me on an exclusion diet 2 yrs ago, and since then I eat no cereals except occasional rice, no nuts, soy, alcohol, chocolate, tea, coffee, cola, fruit juice, citrus fruits, apples, and nothing that has been processed in any way. Basically I eat meat, veggies, and fruit, and drink only water. I take various supplements incl calcium/magnesium/vitD.

This diet seems to have reduced the level of colon spasms, but
has done nothing to eliminate the pain and pressure in my left side.

I have had 2 courses of hypnotherapy (10 sessions), and used relaxation tapes. I find this takes my mind off the pain a bit at the time, but when I start walking about, the pain is just as bad as before. Body massage every
2 weeks reduces the referred pain I get all the way up my back and in my shoulders, but does not reduce the pain in my side..

My GP recommended acupuncture treatment, and I have been having this for
6 months. It has helped reduce gastric acid pain, but has done nothing to reduce the pain in my side.

I would be grateful if anyone can advise me how I might manage my condition so I can stop being in constant pain, and can breathe more easily.
Also, is it the case that narrowing or pouching would always show on a colonoscopy, or virtual colonoscopy, or would I need to have a barium enema for a clearer picture?

Thank you.
Hi cool bunny

i in the same boat as you.i been like this for 2 years now. ive had all the scans barium and so forth but they find nothing. ive put on 2 stone only on my stomache(i look 6 mths pregnant). the pain in my left side is so intense some times and im exhausted when i do anything. if you find out what it is let me know please. i havant got a life any more because of this.

 
Old 09-15-2009, 08:36 AM   #3
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(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 88
coolbunny HB User
Re: Pain in left side and breathing problems

Hi ladyloo, sorry to hear you have similar pain. Do you also have breathing problems? I know how you feel about having no life -- me too.

Do you take any medications that help at all ?

My new GP just convinced me the right treatment for my pain was Hyoscine Butylbromide, a smooth muscle relaxant. I took it for 4 days and it made me very ill.
Gave me severe churning abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, trapped gas, eye pain, dizziness, fatigue and difficulty passing urine. I am amazed anyone finds benefit from such a drug, but just goes to show how individual we all are ! It has made me very wary of trying any other drugs for IBS.

One doctor I saw a year ago suggested my pain might be due to a trapped nerve, caused by part of the transverse colon resting on the nerve. There is no means of proving or disproving this with tests. Another doctor suggested I might have an adhesion, which would account for the pulling/stretching feeling I get with the pain. However, the usual cause of adhesions is surgery, and I have not had any abdominal surgery. Though infections can account for some adhesions, and i have had bowel infections in the past.

If the pain is caused by muscle spasm, I wonder why it is the only muscle affected, as my bowel works fine nearly all the time.

Do you have food allergies/intolerances ? If you eat one of your culprit foods, does the pain get a lot worse?

Last edited by coolbunny; 09-15-2009 at 08:38 AM.

 
Old 12-02-2009, 04:44 PM   #4
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 7
ancojo HB User
Re: Pain in left side and breathing problems

Hi hope you dont mind me butting in but my partner has been suffering from lower left pains for about 9 weeks now? He's had a sigmoidoscopy that was clear and just yesterday Barium Enema so awaiting results.

Can i just ask if your pains are there every day as his have been there as mentioned for about 9 weeks? Its more worrying the longer he has them as you dont expect to have pains for such a long time as normaly you get ill and its gets better after a while!

Thanks

 
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