Can anyone give recognise these symptoms

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hello I have posted here before and various other groups.  I am 70 years old and female.  I was diagnosed with IBS around 7 years ago with a tendency to IBS C.  I only had mild flare ups and was mostly ok although my long standing anxiety did not help.  The last 18 months or so have been very stressful and my anxiety has been bad (I am now having some counselling but early days).  In April of this year following a long bout of constipation and blood in stool I had a colonoscopy.  Thankfully nothing sinister found just one polyp which turned out to be benign and a diagnosis of small internal hemmeroids and multiple diverticular down left side of bowel from transverse colon to sigmoid colon.  The surgeon said the bleeding would have been from either but could not say which.  Fast forward to the last couple of months.  I also have arthritis in spine and knees so used to some pain but started getting awful upper/mid back pain and chest pain which after an examination by gp was told it was tight muscles etc probably from my anxiety.  Well although the back and chest is not so sore I have still have this awful back pain which seems to come on with walking bending etc.  Here is the things I do not understand.  The pain in the back seem to coincide with stomach bloating and burping and sometimes feels like roof of mouth and back of throat is lumpy.  The back pain does seem to be related to the digestion.  I have no heartburn.  Incidentally I thought a couple of years ago that I might have silent reflux.  Most of the symptoms had improved by the time I got seen at the hospital and after a throat scope was told everything ok but was given advice on voice care as I sing in a choir and given a diagnosis of perennial rhinitis.  Unfortunately I can't take the treatment for it as it causes my eye pressures to go up and I already have glaucoma.  Going back to the symptoms they don't really bother me at night although I do wake early.  They seem to come on mid/late morning and last until after my evening meal which is most odd.  My bowels r fine I go once a day easily in the morning as I take fibrogel/membervine drink before breakfast.  My gp gave me ranatidine as I can't take PPI's.  She has sent me for an upper endoscopy  although I have asked to have a consultation with the gastro doctor before I have it done.  I want to make sure it is really necessary.  I wondered could it be an ulcer or gallstones (gp thinks not).  Just had complete annual blood tests and all ok.  I did go to and A and E about 3 weeks ago as I had awful bowel spasm on the left hand side which usually go but this time it lasted hours.  I was worried it might be the start of a diverticular infection.  They too took blood tests all ok and gave me buscopan which worked and sent me home saying probably just IBS but return if the pain gets worse.  It eased off over a few days.  I also wonder could this be anything to do with anxiety it is hard to believe it could but I have read you can get quite severe physical symptoms with anxiety. It is so frustrating not knowing what pain is caused by what.  I am finding life difficult but am trying to still go out and about when really all I would like to do is curl up with a hot water bottle.  Sorry to have gone on and on.  Hope some one can identify with any of this.  I go to see the gastro doctor on Wednesday.

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Forgot to add my appetite in fine despite the bloating and my weight stable although I need to diet.
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  • Posted

    You have quite severe IBS.

    Keep taking the Mebeverine every day.

    Have some Buscopan at home for if you get a spasm that lasts greater than 10mins.

    Diverticulitis pain would come on more gradually than an IBS spasm and you would start feeling incredibly unwell. If you've ever had appendicitis its like that.

    Your back pain is likely due to spinal osteoarthritis.

    I don't know why you're being prescribed ranitidine, unless you're taking regular NSAIDs.

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    • Posted

      Hello and thank you for your reply.  My gp prescribed ranitidine because I had started to get burping and uncomfortable feeling like indigestion but no heartburn or burning.  No I don't take nsaids have not done for years and I did have a breath test for H pylori about 5 years ago which came back negative so that it theory should rule out ulcers unless they can be caused by stress/ anxiety.  I have stopped taking them as I think they make the bloating worse I certainly can't take PPI's as they really mess up my ibs.  That is one of the problems so many different medications can affect it.  I think you might be right about the spine pain although it has never been this bad. It does seem like it digestive in nature although of course the spine and stomach share the same nerves I think.  I expect I will end up having an upper endoscopy although I would rather not.  Thank you for your interest.

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  • Posted

    Are you getting gnawing upper abdominal pains?

    Gastritis and gastric ulcers can be caused by alcohol, NSAIDs, Steroids, H Pylori, Dehydration and many are simply idiopathic. Make sure your keeping well hydrated - to dilute your stomach acid.

    IBS is often triggered by stress or dietary triggers.

    You definitely should explore ways to cope with stress and maybe consider experimenting with your diet. Maybe keep a food, stress and symptom diary - see if you notice any patterns. Tomatoes and Diary are some of the classic IBS triggers

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    • Posted

      Hello again

      Not sure about gnawing pains possibly but bloating is relieved by passing wind.  Certainly at times the discomfort seems better after eating although it does not affect me at night or fist thing so not sure on that one.  

      As I mentioned I have not taken any nsaids for some years, I just take paracetamol.  The only steroid I take is an asthma inhaler.  I hardly ever drink alcohol and then only 1 small glass of wine as I am supposed to keep alcohol to a minimum because of other tablets I take  Maybe I need another H Pylori test as the last negative one was 5 years ago, although I have read that this bacteria is normally contracted when you are a child.  Like wise with water I have to make sure I drink enough water because of the tablets I take as well as IBS and Diverticula disease.  

      I am sure my IBS is affected by stress but I realise food might be a trigger but apart from not over eating spicy/fried food and leaving 3 hours or so before going to bed I have not really found that anything else affects it may be though too much bread at times so I have cut down.  This might seem strange but  wonder if water can affect it.  I spent all my life down south (Greater London) but moved but to Greater Manchester about 18 months ago.  Maybe you have to get used to the water but I do drink bottled water as well.  Will post again after I go to the clinic on Wednesday.  Thanks for all your helpful suggestions.

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    • Posted

      The bloating is coming from your colon not your stomach and is part of the IBS.

      As far as I can tell you dont have any stomach issues at all. So you dont need ranitidine and you dont need another H Pylori test. Stomahc problems give either burning or gnawing upper abdominal pain.

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  • Posted

    Hi Libralady, it sounds like it could be bad IBS as others have said here but, it could still be related to the diverticulosis. Even if the diverticula are not infected (diverticulitis) they could still be getting inflamed and causing pain. In my case my back pain is localized to my lower right back which is directly caused by my lower right side abdominal pain. It also could be your gallbladder based on where you are having pain in ur back and abdomin, also the chest pain, and burping are symptoms of gallbladder issues. I have gallstones as well. The diverticula and gallbladder forums here are very active and full of great information. Wishing you the best of luck Wednesday!
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply.  I did wonder about Gallbladder problems but when I asked my gp she said no because my liver blood tests were normal and no infection/inflammation showed up. Are you waiting for surgery for your gallstones or just trying a low fat diet?  I have been on the diverticular site a few times but will look at the gallbladder forum.  The trouble is over the years you have to find out yourself about both IBS and Diverticular as gps don't really give you much advice.  

      Thanks for your good wishes for Wednesday will post again to let you know how it goes.

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  • Posted

    Chest and upper back pain are very common with reflux. Unfortunately ranitidine is not a great drug, PPIs are much better but you said you cannot take them. Have you tried a liquid antacids? I find these are more effective than the chewable tablets.
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    • Posted

      Hello Thanks for your reply.  It is hard to know whether the back pain is caused by reflux or my spinal degeneration, but that has been quite mild and intermittent up till now.  At times it just seems to me digestion related, it starts and gets worse when bending twisting and walking.  Housework is hard because I have to keep resting and am not doing all that I want to do.  Of course the anxiety does not help and is a big factor in daily life.  I do not get back pain at night perhaps slightly on waking.  

      Mp GP gave me ranatidine to try and catch any acid problem quickly.  I don't have any heartburn though. I know it is not as good as PPIs, and she wanted me to try one again but having taken in the past and 

      my IBS completely messed up by them and the withdrawal although I did it slowly was not nice.  I also know these tablets are good but they can cause long term problems and you are supposed to take only short courses.   I do however realise to some they are a life saver so they have to stay on them on long term,  my son is law is one of these and although he would like to get off them he can't. I am now taking gaviscon advance after meals and before beds.  You are right chewable tablets just get stuck in your teeth.  I don't like them.  Will see what they say on Wednesday but if I have to have an endoscopy which finds either ulcer or gastritis I will no doubt have to go down the PPI route.  I just don't like the idea of gps handing them out without knowing what they are treating, although I realise they can't send everyone for tests and if the PPI's work then job done.   Will post again once I have been to the clinic.

       

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  • Posted

    Hello to everyone who was kind enough to reply to my original post.  Update I have been to the clinic this afternoon and I am scheduled for an upper endoscopy on 4th December.  The consultant  I saw thinks it could be lazy stomach is that Gastroparesis.  From what I have read the symptoms include vomiting and weight loss which I don't have.  Anyone out there have this problem diagnosed and could offer any advice.  I have read that it is most common in Diabetes but could affect those with Thyroid disease.  Well we do have auto immune diseases in the family.  My son is diabetic I have an underactive thyroid and my aunt had R A.  It also mentioned about not being active enough and too much sitting in front of a computer.  I am trying to address this and went out 5 days out of 7 last week.  It is hard though when my back is so painful.  The consultant did say the back pain could be part of it but of course I do have arthritis in the spine.  

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  • Posted

    A lot of your symptoms could be an IBS flare up if you are anxious and have been getting stress,  Back pain is an IBS symptom.  The fact that you found Buscopan helped, could suggest IBS because Buscopan is an IBS medication.

     

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    • Posted

      Hello,  An update on my last post  As I mentioned the Gastro doctor said I could have a lazy stomach but when I saw my own gp this week she said she had had a letter from him saying that he thought it might be a problem with coordination in the oesophagus.  How she explained it was that when the food goes down there are coordinated contractions to propel the food to the stomach and that in my case it might be that the contractions are all over the place so it takes time for everything  to reach the stomach.  Obviously will find out when I have the camera down on the 4th December.   I had to stop taking ranitidine 2 weeks before the procedure as I had run out a week ago I thought might as well stop now.  The first few days my stomach played up but now the bloating is so much better almost gone on some days so I think it was this drug that caused and in the past PPI's did the same obviously upset the sensitive system with IBS,   Although some of the back pain may be both anxiety and arthritis related I still feel that at times it seems to be digestive in nature.  Not looking forward to the procedure but not long to wait now.  You mention buscopan which the hospital gave me well I used to take mebeverine on a regular basis and now take fybogel with mebeverine to keep constipation at bay,  Before I went to A and E I suppose I could have tried the mebeverine as I still have some in the cupboard just never thought as I was worried it was a diverticvular infection.

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    i have exactly the same same symptoms and the extruxiating upper back ache which I now have a funny sand noise when I move my neck.  I had thought my posture was to blame regarding this but who knows.  I will be watching the thread to see what your endoscopy shows up.  Good luck with it you will feel nervous but at least you will then know.  I had a colonoscopy last year and got through it, I’m a big baby so you will be fine.  Make sure they give you adequate sedative.  I thought my gp would blame IBS like last year but luckily it was a locum and he said we need to test for H Pylori before we blame anything on stress and IBS which I thought was good.  I hope it’s negative as I would hate an endoscopy, I know it’s essential I know that but the worry causes me stress which doesn’t help matters.  

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    • Posted

      Hi I will certainly let you know how I get on with the endoscopy.  Not looking forward to it but at least only 10 days to wait and the appointment in 8.20 in the morning.  I did have a negative H Pylori test around 5 years ago.  I assume they will test this again.  When my husband had an upper endoscopy they took a sample for testing H Pylori and were able to tell him it was negative before he came home.  As you say it is easy to blame everything on stress but on the other hand they both cause a wide range of symptoms.  I have heard that you usually contract HP when you are a child and it remains with until treated but of course lots of people don't get any problems so would never know they have it.  I am in the middle of some CBT counselling and I think it maybe beginning to work but like you I worry and medical tests really affect my anxiety level.  Will report once I have had the procedure done.  I hope your HP test comes back negative.  I don't know how old you are but I have arthritis in neck spine and knees so this might be part of the problem with my back but as I said to the doctor it just feels digestive in nature.  Please let me know how things go for.  Good luck.

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