IBS and Health Anxiety

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Hi all

I've been reading the forums on and off for a while since my symptoms started up and I've seen how supportive a place they can be. I must admit I'm struggling at the moment.

Back in May, I was getting some pelvic pain and went off to the GP with it. She didn't think much of it and said it was probably normal female pains. Then in June I had a bit of an episode one night where I felt suddenly very nauseous and dizzy and ended up having explosive D. I spent the next week feeling awful. I went back to the doc and she did a pelvic exam and said all she could feel was a normal follicular cyst on my right ovary. But from that moment she pressed on that right side I've had discomfort there. I'm convinced that side of my abdomen is harder but the GP (and I've seen several since can feel nothing untoward). Sometimes the area hurts when I pass a harder BM of if I bend or lift my leg. It's by no means excruciating but I am aware of it.

Since June my bowel movements have been consistently looser and I've had a couple of instances where I've had urgent and watery diarrhea for up to a week. Combined with feeling horrendously nauseous and unable to eat and having aches and pains all over and awful fatigue. I've obviously lost weight at those times. I'm only 7st 7 as it is and lost over half a stone. I have been eating to gain and have almost gained it all back.

I've had a battery of blood tests, an ultrasound, stool tests and a flex sig (normal biopsies), and nothing has shown anything unusual except for visible inflammation during the flex sig. I've seen a GI specialist who explained that this was likely due to the bowel prep. I'm due another ultrasound this week to specifically look at this right side area but the Dr's all seem convinced it's IBS brought on by stress and a potential GI infection in June.

I however cannot seem to convince myself that it's nothing more serious. The diagnostic process has been so slow and I've felt so unheard at times that I've gotten myself so worked up about it. I've gotten myself onto a CBT course for the anxiety, but was wondering does this sound like IBS to you all?

I switched up my diet hugely (not that it was at all bad before but i did eat quite a lot of grains etc as a veggie) and i hope this has helped. I now wake quite gassy, I pass one loose-ish stool a day sometimes with a little mucus. I occasionally get tummy pains and bloating and gas if I eat something that doesn't agree but that is rare. The most persistent issues seems to be the loose-ish stool, right sided discomfort and occasional and horrendous nausea.

Sorry for the long post. Just new to this all and needing any support, reassurance or advice you can give me. Thanks in advance. Xx

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    I am looking for the same answers myself.I just posted here as well.I unerstand the worry of wondering if it is something else or something more serious.I too get the loose stool and on and off stomach pain.My pain has moved into my pelvic area for twodays along with low back pain and that concerns me because then womenly organs are involved possibly,but I have heard that you can get pelvic pain and loose stool with IBS.I was told 8 years ago I had IBS but it has been much worse lately and I rarely go solid.I am over due with the gyno so I just made an appointment.I worry about fibroids,cysts bowel obstruction or worse.

    Coming here has made me feel lie I am not crazy and get alot of great advice.I wish I could help you but I am in the same boat.I so understand how you feel!!I hope you/we get answers.

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    • Posted

      Hi Kelly

      It's awful isn't it?! I'm sorry you're going through worry too. You're doing the right thing booking the appointment just to check it out. Honestly, I was totally convinced at first that my issue was gynae related. It felt just like period pain only a bit milder. I also have tons of gynae issues in my immediate family, but my ultrasound can back totally unremarkable. So please don't worry over much. The stress will certainly not help anything. I hope we get answers too. If you need to talk feel free to send me a message. Sometimes it just helps to have someone to talk too. I too have felt crazy at times. It's tough not to feel that way sometimes. You're certainly not alone though hun. Hopefully some of the more established members can help us out too. Xxx

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    • Posted

      Awww,your a sweetheart.The same goes for you,PM me ANYTIME as well.It's funny you mention period cramp like ains.That is EXACTLY what I am feeling at the moment and my lower belly is hard and tight.Feel just like I'm going to get my period but I just got over it 2 weeks ago.I have noticed my menstrual cycle is a little longer then usual but I am also 46 years old.crazy is right I make myself nuts with it and don't talk about it because I feel like people are like "here she goes again",but I know my body and know something isn't right as I'm sure you do..Hang in there!
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  • Posted

    Your symptoms sound very much like SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth). You mentioned they started after a GI infection - do you mean the stomach flu? That can be a trigger. SIBO is like IBS magnified times 50. A couple of good tests for it are whether you have fatty stools, meaning the fat's not being absorbed in your body (I lost 20 pounds without trying with this) and the hydrogen breath test. They didn't find fat in my stool even though it was sticky and bright yellow. My breath tests, however, came back screamingly positive. There is much more to SIBO than just bowel issues: severe fatigue, aches and pains, depression for example. Cramping and bloating are common. SIBO is treated with antibiotics. Some work, some do not, some stop working (that's where I'm at now sad). Do some research and definitely ask for the breath test - and be careful to follow the instructions of what pills and food to eat/not eat leading up to it.
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  • Posted

    I'm no doctor but the apendex sounds suspcious to me. When you push on your lower right groin area:

    1. Does it hurt when you push down

    or

    2. When you let up?

    If it's appendix, it typically will hurt when you let up. Also, the pain can occasionally travel to the left side.

    How's the temperature and while blood cell count. Is it enlarged.

    Other than that I would look into crohn's or some other disease.

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  • Posted

    Hi Michelle, I have had left sided pain for months now always in the same place, left of tummy button. I get bloating with it and often more bowel movements in the day. I just wanted to put your mind at rest. I went back to my Gp yesterday as I wanted a definite answer! As I was getting fed up with the pain etc. she assured me that as I had an ultrasound and colonoscopy and both came back ok, she was sure it may even be muscular too. She said they checked for ovarian cancer and checked the rest of my abdomen with the ultrasound and that would have picked up anything nasty! I had inflammation in my bowel picked up with the colonoscopy but all were fine. I hope that puts your mind at rest as you mentioned you had an ultrasound. The Dr said you don't need an Mri scan, ultrasound would have picked anything up . Hope that helps.
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  • Posted

    Hi Michellelvj;  I have read your queiries re R) sided pelvic pain.......am wondering does this pain start Mildly and increase over a few days, reach to a "peak",  and then start to subside???    I do not know anything really re IBS, but am wondering/feeling if this may be cysts that are "torting/twisting/ruptures".....if you don't have the Vaginal Ultra-sound at time of pain, this will  not show up.......you need to have the ultrasound (vaginally), at time of pain....................I have had many of these over a 10 year period, and yes, they do cause a lot of pain...........I had a Good Gynae who performed a Lapyroscopy and he lasered the cysts.....this certainly saved me from a lot of ongoing pain with each cycle.....I did have to have a few lapyroscopies over the period, but it certainnly was worth it.............when you next get this pain, try going to your local/big Emergency Department, and insist on having an ultrasound there and then......it will certainly ease you worries: however, as you have said earlier ultrasounds have come back normal, so there is no reason to think of Cancer/s etc......................good luck.............Bron
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  • Posted

    Thanks to all of you who have replied. Ironically after weeks of feeling fine, I've had another episode of the intense nausea last night. Started shaking and dry heaving. Felt cold but no fever. Had a loose-ish stools and gas last night and this morning. No real pain or cramping, lots of tummy gurgles though and visible peristalsis. Yet the Dr's (including GI specialist) all claim IBS and anxiety. I wasn't feeling particularly anxious yesterday and I've not eaten anything unusual. I'm due my period tomorrow and notice this does tend to be likely when that is due. It just happens out of the blue.

    LaurieEyeBee - thank you. I'll ask about the SIBO test. I'm seeing my GP today.

    james13344 - not sure it is appendix. I don't get much pain just a bit of discomfort. No fevers either. WBC normal.

    k89994 - thank you, your comment was very reassuring. With the weight loss, I do worry about cancers (bowel, ovarian etc) thanks to this health anxiety. The GI and every Dr has assured me it's not that. Since I'm qble to gain when feeling well the GI says she'said not concerned. Also in addition to the US is had a CA-125 blood test to rule out any chance of ovarian cancer. Smears all up to date and normal. I can deal with everything but just break down when the nausea hits. It's so bad that I'm convinced there's something awful wrong.

    bronwyn97278 - the discomfort is always really quite mild. Only feels sharper if passing a slightly dehydrated stool or when bending. By no means is it agonising. Annoyingly my next US is Friday but I'm due my period tomorrow. I was going to ask for a TV US too but nature might get in the way.

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  • Posted

    Full abdominal and pelvic US came back totally normal. Still got the horrendous nausea though. For this attack it's day 4 of that. No anti nauseas helping and missed work for the first time last week. So frustrating. I think I'm going to insist on a full endo and colonoscopy. So fed up of feeling ill. I go weeks of feeling fine. Gaining the weight back and then bam the nausea hits and I can't eat properly for a week. Always had a fast metabolism so when I lose I lose it fast and then struggle to gain. I have a new GP and she's lovely but has basically said they have done all they can there it has to come from GI docs.

    Any good advice for nausea?

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  • Posted

    Gall Bladder? Is there back pain on the upper right area? Did you have an ultra sound of the gall bladder and ducts?
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    • Posted

      Thanks for replying James. No pain at all there. In fact barely any pain full stop. And I had a pretty thorough ultrasound of the pelvis and abdomen yesterday carried out by a specialist doctor and it came back normal. Just this horrendous nausea. Totally stumped.
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    • Posted

      Did you find out about the breath test? Nausea was a terrible symptom for me and there were days when all I could eat was baby food in a jar. In fact I am still taking medication for nausea - Zofran - on a semi-regular basis (it helps a lot). I had dry heaves once or twice too, they are the worst. The SIBO breath test is painless and non-invasive.
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    • Posted

      I meant to ask my GP about it. I'm seeing her again on Monday so I'll write it down so I don't forget. I'm going to ask for an endoscopy also. I'm aware they can also test for SIBO that way too through biopsy. Thank you so much for reminding me Laurie. I'm so sorry you're still experiencing nausea too. It's just awful isn't it. And I totally know what you mean about the baby food. Been there done that too. You have to do what you have to so you can get at least something in. How are you at the moment? Xxx
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