Abdominal mystery

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Just a little information about me first to place it all in context: I am a seventeen year old female, very tall and skinny, have been all my life. I'm a student, and previously to this I have had no serious health complications. About three years ago I caught shingles, and within the last few months I suffered a very severe case of cystitis.

For the past two years I have been suffering from all sorts of abdominal pain and discomfort. I have seen three different doctors who seem to be in agreement that I am suffering from IBS. However, my mum, uncle and some friends also have IBS and our symptoms do not match up. Mine include:

Dual bowel movement- I will go to the toilet, feel constipated, and then a few minutes later have very loose stools

Near-constant burping; very abnormal- after I eat, when I haven't eaten in hours eg as soon as I wake up, in my throat and my chest, hundreds and hundreds a day, when I eat, often it is so bad I feel like I am going to be sick

Constant abdominal discomfort and pain, it never goes away.

Fatigue, no energy at all

Paleness, sickly-looking all the time

This morning I woke up and my mum remarked on how yellow I look.

Constant feeling of malaise

Swellings in my sides and abdomen which are often extremely tender/sharp to the touch

I have excruciating periods, when I am having a painful day I honestly cannot do anything else but try not to faint. It is awful

Every single day I feel sick and in pain all around my abdomen, I get heart palpitations and tinnitus often as well. There is no let-up to the pain. It is constant.

The whole thing just keeps getting worse and worse. I've been prescribed some Colofac tablets and peppermint tablets along with a diet called FODMAP to try, but honestly, my stomach problems are not worsened or alleviated by food, the trigger is entirely random. I have tried to go gluten-lacto-free but it didn't change my symptoms. I am convinced that something is wrong, more than IBS. I just feel like my doctors are palming me off and not taking me seriously. I am kept up at night with these awful sensations and pains. Does anyone have any advice at all?):

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    you may have liver problems if your skin is a yellowish colouring. So you could look into that.  I hope the cystitis clears up soon you must be very uncomfortable at the moment.
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  • Posted

    So sorry your in so much discomfort. Have you had any ultrasounds or CT scans?
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    • Posted

      Doctor has said she will send me for a CT scan soon, could take weeks. Might go to A&E tonight because I came back from a night out last night and noticed I looked very yellow and I feel incredibly ill, am tired of the doctors not bothering to investigate it further
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  • Posted

    I think you have problems with liver. You ask doc for a blood test for liver. You may catch hep A or B or C So ask them for the doubt.
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  • Posted

    Hi Meggy,

    So sorry to read this.

    We are in a similar boat and having done routine bloods (always the same boring liver, pancreas, electrolytes, white/red blood count, once serum electrophoresis, genetic celiac test, B12, as if there was nothing else), stool (for parasites/pathogens), urine, colonoscopy, poorly prepared MRI enterography (hence easy to overlook IBD, MRI not for endometriosis) and ovary/uterus ultrasound

    (have you had all these routine first thing exams?),

    with no obvious findings, one gets very easily brushed off and into the IBS draw.

    Careful though, there are still many real conditions that could be easily overlooked, not seen in those tests, and cause this disabling condition and I would highly recommend you to see a gynecologist, too.

    As long as no MRI for endometriosis is done (yes, there are places a laparoscopy cannot assess even, e.g. behind the uterus!) or capsule endoscopy, do not get brushed off. (small intestine cannot be seen with any endoscopy)

    I hope for you your pain eases on itself and was something minor,

    but please hang in there and see another GP, who tests you for different things and a gynecologist. Celiac, fructose/lactose malabsorbtion can be easily tested (for celiac antibodies and biopsies please be on gluten diet, otherwise false neg!). We did diets to no avail and to no surprise: we don't have problems there.

    Those problems might be common in our community, hence we all get put in this draw first thing, but there are 10% of people, whose reason is simply different and it needs a strong will, to go back again and say: hey, I don't think it is all in my head, could we do xyz. There are porphyrias, MFM, autoimmune diseases, .... you name it.

    BTW: you cannot catch shingles, you have been infected with herpes zoster (chickenpox itself or chickenpox vaccination), and they stay with you life long, once feeling run down, they love to re-break out in numbers along nerves: shingles.

    ALL, ALL THE BEST!!!

    Pls see another doc! My friend needed 12 docs before a heavy metal poisoning was actually found and treated (chelates) and good she was.

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Meggyp00

    It is obviously something is going in in your body that is abnormal. Where there is no smoke without fire..there is no pain without something causing it!

    The yellowish skin colour is a liver problem you have to go back to your doc and get a liver function test and various scanning procedures i.e. ultrasound scan, ct scan also endoscopy and colonoscopy.

    Docs will fob you off with ibs and not get down to the real cause of your problem. Go back to your doc.....take mum with you so she can verify what your telling him/her as they try to say 'its all in your head'....I have said this to other that under the 'Patients Charter' for England and Wales you are entitled to a second opinion assuming you live in UK.

    Don't put up with it ....doctors are in their place to help make you well....i do feel for you going through this as you are so young..you should be enjoying life.....hope you get some answers..best wishes..x

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  • Posted

    Everyone has different symptoms with IBS and  do not respond to medication in the same way, My brother had it, but his symptoms were different from mine so when IBS was first suggested, I disbelieved it.  I went to eight different doctors but no one knew what was wrong.  My eighth doctor diagnosed IBS.  If other members of your family have IBS, you are likely to get it too.  Your symptoms do sound like IBS.

    Yellow skin could be a liver problem.  However, when I have had really bad periods with extreme pain and nausea, I have looked yellow.  Once a work colleague commented that I had a yellow colour during my period.  IBS can also make period pain worse; it did with me.  Stress is my trigger but not food.

     

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  • Posted

    Have you seen a GI Doctor? You said yellow skin? That's a sign of jaundice. That could be liver, gallbladder, pancreas or kidney, and possibly other things, that's just what comes to mind! Please go ask for tests. All blood including liver panel, xray,mri, and endoscopy if nothing comes up on other tests mentioned! Good luck and please keep me updated!
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  • Posted

    If it was jaundice or not, is a very quick and easy blood test.

    It should have been done by now actually.

    Simply the 'total and direct/conjugated bilirubin' must be measured and elevated. 

    This tells, if it was jaundice (or just a yellowish looking skin due to other benign reasons from skinundertone and feeling sick or carotenes)

    and if the cause was a pre-intra or post hepatic (due to distinction between conjugated and non-conugated fraction).

    Having jaundice alone does not say, that your liver has a problem.

    You need a blood test asap for the two types of bilirubin, and other blood parameters (liver panel, electrolytes, pancreas enzymes, red and white blood count).

    That will clear all guessing about 'jaundice' within a day (these are routine lab parameters) for sure and from there further studies can be ordered.

    Good luck!

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