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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Message Board

Pain that is difficult to define in IBS

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Old 01-08-2009, 07:04 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Australia
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Rosepurple HB User
Unhappy Pain that is difficult to define in IBS

I've been suffering from IBS on and off for about 20 years, and it's always been pretty much the same, alternating diarrhea and constipation, a few stitch-like pains here and there, and some crampy pain when going to the toilet.

However, for the last few months all this has changed. I am still getting all of the above, but there is a new kind of pain that is driving me crazy. This is a non-specific achy pain that I can only describe as more ovarian/uterine like (almost like the crampy pain that is felt before a period). This pain moves all over my belly, I might feel it on the left, then it switches to the right, then it's only above my pubic bone, then it's in the middle, and sometimes it's all over, and sometimes it's not there at all. But I feel this pain all day every day on and off, every few minutes.

I've had 2 ultrasounds in the past 12 months to rule out any gynocological problems; I tested for occult blood in my stool and that was negative; I've had two blood counts and tested for celiac disease, all was normal. Doctors told me it's IBS, but they can never give me a 100% guarantee that it's nothing else unless I have a colonoscopy - which is my biggest fear and therefore I won't have it unless I see blood in my stool.

I read somewhere that hormones can affect the bowel and I am now entering peri-menopause and my hormones do fluctuate a lot more. They also say that when a woman is in peri existing conditions can become even more aggravated and this might explain the appearance of this new pain pattern. Also stress is a big contributor and in the last two years I've had very stressful situations plus the loss of two loved members of my family.

So my question is: does anyone out there have this vague and strange kind of pain that is non-specific, moves around the belly, but it's pretty much there most of the time?

I think sometimes I am going crazy. Please help someone

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Old 01-08-2009, 11:40 PM   #2
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Princess05247 HB User
Re: Pain that is difficult to define in IBS

Hi, I have ibs and had pain in the middle of my belly and on the lower right side. It always felt like a period pain. I also had an ultrasound done, it came out normal. I had the typical tests and a hida scan to check my gallbladder, they were normal. I suffered with ibs off and on for years, but started having constant diarrhea for 3 years and finally got up the nerve to get an endoscopy and colonoscopy last summer. I was like you and so scared of it. But they were a piece of cake. The hardest part was drinking liquids all day and getting cleaned out. I'm glad i had it done, because i know there isn't anything serious going on. I think hormones make ibs worse for sure. Mine always get worse around my period. I'm on medication now to control the constant going. If i were you, i would get the scope done just to be safe, it really isn't that bad.

Last edited by Princess05247; 01-09-2009 at 12:06 AM.

Old 01-09-2009, 04:09 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sydney NSW Australia
Posts: 465
vh90453 HB User
Re: Pain that is difficult to define in IBS

I agree with Princess, why take the chance of it being something serious when a simple procedure can diagnose you. I've had IBS for many years and have a colonoscopy and endoscopy every 3 years just to be on the safe side as the symptoms are similar to more serious causes. I'm not taking the risk of blaming all my stomach/bowel issues on IBS as I get older. Having said that, I'm the biggest sook when it comes to medical procedures but these really are a piece of cake. All the best.

Old 01-09-2009, 05:19 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 2
Rosepurple HB User
Re: Pain that is difficult to define in IBS

Thank you both for your comments. This past year I've had my share of diagnostic tests for other health issues and I feel as though I'm tested out for a while, so I will think about what you've said. If I have to do it I will, but in the meantime I was more interested in hearing what kind of pain people feel with IBS just to compare. Cheers.

Old 01-09-2009, 10:27 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: New York, NY
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Bluebug938 HB User
Re: Pain that is difficult to define in IBS

The pain that you described is exactly what I feel when my IBS flares up, which is generally only around the time I get my period. I find that it is gas related. Once the gas passes, and there are ways I have found to help it along, I feel 90%-99% better. The pain can be excruciating, but once I figured out ways to work with my body I haven't been too bothered by my symptoms.

Old 01-10-2009, 11:51 PM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16
Rainy20 HB User
Re: Pain that is difficult to define in IBS

Hi Rose,

I have found the week of my cycle, my system changes completely. I need to watch what I eat so I do not have any IBS attacks. I have also read that this can be common with women with IBS. Maybe the hormones have something to do with it? Watching your diet around that time may help.

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