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Bowel Problems and Acid Reflux - very concerned!

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Old 09-16-2009, 04:09 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2009
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aquachic HB User
Bowel Problems and Acid Reflux - very concerned!

I've been having a lot of gastrointestinal issues over the last year, and I haven't really been able to get a descent diagnosis. I'm 25 and female. It started last year when I woke up with chest pain that just wouldn't go away. After having an abdominal ultrasound, chest x-ray, endoscopy, and ekg, it was determined that I had gallstones and mild acid reflux. I had my gallbladder removed, which helped a lot with the chest pain, but not completely. Now instead of having constant chest pain everyday, it's more mild and about 3 times a week, but sometimes it hurts so bad that it causes my left shoulder to hurt as well! I'm told this is being caused by acid reflux and a sensitive esophagus. But, I a taking Nexium 2 times a day and my endoscopy only revealed mild irritation, so I am having trouble believing that acide reflux is causing all of this for so long.

In addition, to the chest pain, I am also having bowel problems. I was diagnosed with IBS at the age of 5, which up until last year was constipation predominant with the same pattern of symptoms. Then, about the time that the chest pain started, my symptoms switched to intermittment diarrhea with floating stools. Also, I have had a lot of gas and belching, and in the last two months I've started having mild pain on my upper left side just under my ribs....actually it isn't so much pain as soreness and a feeling that something is not right.

I'm very concerned that I've been misdiagnosed and that the doctors are missing a serious condition like pancreatic cancer. I've also considered the possibility that it could be something like celiac disease, but the doctor's keep insisting that it's just IBS and acid reflux and don't want to look further. I know that the chance of pancreatic cancer at such a young age is very slim, but the floating stools and other symptoms worry me...what could cause these symptoms?

I should mentioned that I've not had any weight loss...actually some weight gain.. or any other symptoms.

I would really appreciate any suggestions or insights you might have, because even I'm very worried that I have a serious condition that's being overlooked!

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Old 09-16-2009, 04:31 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sterling, VA USA
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TriciaR HB User
Re: Bowel Problems and Acid Reflux - very concerned!


I've found that in the effort to fit everyone into a simple diagnostic category, many doctors try to label someone with the most likely diagnosis-IBS. Have you considered a food related problem such as lactose intolerance or dairy or mild gluten intolerance?
Celiac is extreme gluten intolerance and only requires a blood test and it can also be observed when they perform the upper endoscopy. The blood test will be negative though if you have a non-severe form of gluten intolerance.

If you have a lot of gas/belching that may be the reason for the left sided pain (where the stomach resides). If belching and bloating, it may very well be some type of food intolerance.

Pancreatic cancer is rare and has been in the news lately which makes us all more paranoid. With pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer, I can tell you usually it is severe pain and radiates to the back. It is also often associated with a history of heavy drinking.

Also, with your change in IBS symptoms, nexium can cause diarrhea.

Just some thoughts, I hope it helps give you some ideas.

Old 09-16-2009, 06:37 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 4
aquachic HB User
Re: Bowel Problems and Acid Reflux - very concerned!

Thank you for the suggestions. I know that I am in all likelihood being paranoid since I am young and do not smoke and only rarely drink, but it's just concerning that all of these symptoms started in the last year. I have a doctor's appointment this week with a new family doctor to try to get a second opinion, so I will definitely bring up the possibility of gluten or other food intolerance, etc. I'm hoping to get some better answers since I just find it difficult to believe that everything is caused by acid reflux, especially since I'm on such a high dose of nexium and the endoscopy showed only very mild irritation.

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acid reflux, chest pain, diarrhea, floating stools, pancreatic cancer

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