Help / Advice Needed With Varied Digestive Problems

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Hello All

I'm really in need of some info, help, advice, absolutely anything that any of you kind peeps can give me regarding my current health problems. This could be quite a long explanation so please bear with me, but I think it wise to explain exactly what happens on a daily basis so you can get an understanding of my problems.

Firstly, I'll briefly explain what I've been diagnosed with and medications I take. My confirmed diagnosis' are Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, Gastritis and Anxiety. I was diagnosed with IBS but a recent faecal calprotectin test has revealed high inflammatory marker results, so I am currently being investigated for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). I have just had a colonoscopy with biopsies taken, for which results should be ready late next week. During the colonoscopy the doctor said that my colon, rectum and terminal ileum looked healthy, there were no signs of inflammation, no polyps, the only thing of note were hemorrhoids. I'm due to have a small bowel MRI in the near future, although no date has been set for this yet. As for medications I take Omeprazole and Mebeverine. I've also been on a low FODMAP diet due to food intolerances, but this seems to have no positive affect.

Now I come to my symptoms, which show a very similar, daily pattern. I constantly feel unwell all day, every day, however when I wake in the morning I generally feel at my best. I am then ok until about 1 to 2 hours after eating breakfast, when I get a worrying reaction that involves me experiencing lightheadedness and feeling faint, nausea also builds, as well as an increase in heart rate and a shortness of breath. I also start to develop random sharp pains in my stomach, chest and upper back, and even though I don't feel bloated, I tend to burp a lot. About 2 hours after getting these symptoms, they tend to ease, but still get a lot of burping, sharp stomach, chest and back pains and generally feel unwell. After I eat lunch I feel ok for an hour or two and the symptoms described before come back, but not near as bad as the symptoms I get in the morning. The same happens again at dinner time, but again not as bad as the morning. My bowel movements are regular and I only go once a day, however they are loose more often than not, I wouldn't say they are diarrhoea, but close to it. My general health has gotten worse in recent months, prior to them worsening, I used to have bouts of the symptoms mentioned above, but would feel fine for weeks inbetween, now it a constant feeling of being ill with the worsen bouts as described above.

I'm sorry to have gone on about my problems, I just wanted to be as accurate as I can be in the hope that some of you guys can relate to what I go through, and give me an insight into what might be causing my problems, and what I should be doing to try and alleviate them. I'm inclined to think that this is all a part of IBD, but until I get results of investigations I'm still in the dark.

If anybody can give me some thoughts, views and advice on what might be causing this and if there is anything I can do to alleviate the symptoms, I would be more than grateful to hear them. As I said my health has gotten worse in recent months and I'm getting quite worried now. My doctor says I need to try and be patient until all test results come back, but as I'm now going to be waiting for my small bowel MRI, I could be waiting a fair few more weeks yet before I know.

Many thanks in advance.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Paul

    I will be very interested in the outcome here.

    Personally my judgement is that you probably dont have IBD, despite the positive feocal calprotectin. But we will see.

    Instead I think the reason you are feeling ill is probably CFS. The best treatment for which is exercise. If this doesn’t work TCAs such as Amitriptyline can be effective.

    Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Ok you have told us yourself that you feel OK when you get up, but then after eating your problems start.

    What do you eat for breakfast.  I do not understand a fodmap diet.

    I know for me, I have wiped out (fingers crossed) my rheumotoid arthritis, or thats what the Dr's tells me I have, inflammatory markers high, swollen joints, IBS, by cutting out wheat totally.

    I have a tendency to check all labels now, but watch for the less than 2% rule as they don;t have to report on the label less than that, but I know within a few hours if something has a small % of wheat in it, what amazes me is the pain and discomfort returns within a few hours if i consume some wheat.

    Yours may not be wheat but something else, milk, coffee, I sense you are allergic or sensitive to something, as I am, may i suggest you try say only, pears (tinned) if neccessary, for breakfast, and then see how you feel.

    Try only one food at a time, snack on same, lunch on same, if your feel good, pears are OK. 

    Then introduce say rice, cooked plain in water, with pears, see how you go, by slowly introducing new foods to the mix, checking for a reaction you may find what it is that is causing your problems.

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    • Posted

      Hi Lyn

      Thought you might be interested in my findings so far.

      I went on a very bland diet yesterday, I had gluten free rice krispies for breakfast, plain boiled rice and roasted chicken for lunch, plain boiled rice and dry fried lean mince beef for dinner, and a couple of gluten free biscuits and a few chocolates, and today I feel so much better, it's actually an amazing difference to how I have been feeling lately. I don't feel as bloated or as nauseous as I have done, plus I haven't been to the loo to pass stools yet, which compared to the last week is a total change in my habits. I didn't have huge meals yesterday so I doubt there is anything for me to pass yet.

      Do you think this could be an indication that certain foods could be causing the problems I've been having prior to today? Could it be a serious allergy or intolerance? I'd be interested to know what you think.

      I'm keeping my diet today, pretty much as I did yesterday, the only difference is that I've had a few roast potatoes instead of rice for lunch. So it'll be interesting to know how they go down.

      I'll keep you posted of how I get on, but I would be interested to know your thoughts.

      Many thanks

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    • Posted

      Wow Paul - you could be describing exactly what happened to me, within hours of giving up wheat products I noticed the pain in my joints had eased. 

      I thought this cannot be that simple but it was.

      Have been able to give up some of my regiem of tablets, fingers crossed I can stay away from those tablets, as even the local chemist who fills my prescription questioned the mix of tablets, and the strength.

      I notice over the weekend I ate some bread, oooouch paying the price for that little laspe, joints tight and sore again, do I need to keep telling myself to stay away from bread, YES YES YES, but it is not easy.

      So glad you may have found what works for you, just a hint, stick with the plain food and rice that you have already for a couple of more days, say 3 - 4 days, and only then introduce one new item, how boring I can hear you say, but the reward all makes it worthwhile.

      I suspect you are like me, for whatever reason we have become allergic to something in our diet, and or developed a sensitivity, and its up to us to figure it out, as the Dr's seem to have no clues at all, or mine don't.

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    • Posted

      Paul - just to give you some ides of what i eat.  Cornflakes, don;t seem to have any problems with cornies.

      Rolled Oats - cooked up in a porridge for breakfast with brown sugar, YUMMMM.  (warning rolled oats were an experiment, apparently from what I can read about celiec patients, am clear there, oats are a go careful item, some can tolerate other cannot)

      Pears - I mentioned them previous, very good for moving things along in your bowel as is any dried fruit.   remember to drink lots of water, especially since you have changed your diet so drastically.

      Beef - not for dinner for me, but I can eat for lunch, as I get really nasty gastritis, burning central chest pain, and acid in back of throat.

      Fish - eat in peference to most other foods, tinned, fresh, small amounts, remember the palm of your hand serving size, unless you are a in really physical job, and then maybe a little more.

      oranges, apples - again good for bowel and moving things along.

      Orange juice - a cup - when I am constipated, half an hour later, whoooosh, love orange juice but have to be careful when out having a drink at the pub.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the reply and the food ideas Lyn, I do appreciate them.

      I must be nice for you to have dropped some of your meds, that is definitely what I'd like to achieve as I was told by a locum doctor the dose of Omeprazole I'm taking seems to be quite high.

      Woke again this morning feeling better than I have done in the past, not as good as yesterday, but still loads better than prior to yesterday. I've got a feeling that the potatoes I ate yesterday might be the cause of me not feeling as good as I did yesterday. I am starting to wonder if fruit and vegetable are the cause of a lot of my problems. My sister in law has digestive problems, she can eat anything processed, but if she eats fresh fruit and/or vegetables she gets bad reactions. I can remember a while back that I had to give up eating fruit and a lot of vegetables as they seemed to react badly with me. I also had to give up bread, every time I ate it I would get sharp, tearing pains across the top of my stomach. To be honest, the only foods I know I can eat that don't cause reactions are rice, beef and chicken, oh and these gluten free biscuits I eat and a few chocolates, other than that I can't eat anything else. Could this mean gluten and/or high fibre foods might be a cause of my problems?

      My only concern now is being able to keep things moving along in my bowels. I didn't go yesterday, and not felt the need to go today yet either, although it is early. The foods I'm eating now are reminiscent of being on the low fibre diet for the bowel prep of a colonoscopy, so I'm presuming that not much waste is created with eating low fibre foods, hence the lack of need to have a bowel movement, would you think that is a correct assumption Lyn?

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  • Posted

    Thank you for the replies Ben and Lyn, I really do appreciate your help.

    Well, you can disregard what I said about feeling ok in the mornings, I've woken up today feeling extremely ill. I had bad diarrhoea but have only gone once, and will more than likely not go again. I've been getting a weird rising pressure feeling going up to my chest, hot feeling in the back of my throat, lump in throat, random sharp upper abdominal and chest pains, shortness of breath, nausea, digestive system churning and gurgling, lightheadedness and feeling like I'm going to pass out. Lying down on my sides help ease these symptoms a little, but lying on my back makes them worse, getting down on my hands and knees gives me most comfort.

    I have to say, I'm convinced that I have been feeling generally a lot worse since having my colonoscopy a week ago, than I did before I had it.

    I have tried a number of TCAs, but none of them agreed with me, I'd have very bad reactions to them all, Amitriptyline being one of them.

    I would exercise to help my CFS, but I am also dictated by my Fibromyalgia. Yes I can exercise, but after only 10 - 15 minutes I start to get pain in the tops of my legs, arms, shoulders and back, the more I do the worse it becomes. If I do too much then I can be in a severe pain in my joints and muscles for anything up to 3 days after doing the exercise, depending on how much I put my body through.

    I am definitely going on an elimination diet today, it will be minimal foodstuffs for now in an attempt to get these symptoms under control, as I am inclined to believe that food could be playing a factor in this. I know I can't eat bread, last time I ate it I had terrible, sharp tearing pains across the top of my stomach. I have been tested for Celiac Disease twice and both times I was clear, so I don't think allergies are an issue, but I could be intolerant or just sensitive to some foods as you said Lyn.

    It's nice to think that you believe I probably don't have IBD Ben, I certainly hope I don't and my biopsy results will reveal all soon enough, which I will let you know. The only thing is during a sigmoidoscopy I had done almost 3 years ago, signs of inflammation and bleeding were found, however the gastroenterologist didn't seemed too bothered by it, and nothing was done. I certainly won't be happy if I am positive for IBD, when the warning signs were there so long ago.

    If you have any other thoughts, views and advice I would be very grateful to hear them. Thank you again for your help.

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    • Posted

      remember what i told you on my first posting, rice and tinned pears, and then add one item at a time to those. 

      Yes I know it is boring as hell, but from reading you post two hours ago, potatoes, too much too early in elimination diet.

      Let your poor sore tum settle on the very plain diet say for 3 days, then add potatoes again and see if the pain and discomfort comes back, if it does Pototoes are out. that would also include tomato, as they are a close cousin to potato. 

      Check out deadly nightshade intolerance, there are some web sites about people being sensitive.

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