IBS? Chronic abdominal pain but no constipation or diarrhoea

Posted , 15 users are following.

Hi all, hello to everyone, I've been reading the forum for a number of months now, but this is my first post.

I began to develop abdominal pain following a course of antibiotics presecribed for an overactive gland back in October last year. Since then my condition has worsened to the point where I exprience lower abdominal pain on a daily basis. Often the pain can be present all day and I can find no way to relieve it. The only other symptom I have is occasinal bloating, but no consitpation or diarrhoea (always been regular and that hasn't changed). My health in general is very good and I exercise regularly (swimming and running).

At first I was prescribed Mebeverine but I found it had very little effect. I have had numerous blood tests, a urine test, and also an ultrasound, all of which were clear.

Around 8 weeks ago I was referred to a specialist gastroenterologist and my appointment is in 3 weeks from now. 2 weeks ago I visited my GP again because I was experiencing an unusually degree of pain. She said she would expidite my appointment with the specialist, however this is something she has been unable to fulfil, in part due to bad communication between them and the gastroenterology department and also due to the fact the specialist only works two days a week.

At this point I haven't been diagnosed as having anything specific, and If I'm honest I kind of feel like I've been hung out to dry by my GP whose answer on most occasions has been to wait and see, which suggests they aren't taking it very seriously.

My question really is, is it possible to suffer from IBS but only experience abdominal pain and bloating?

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46 Replies

  • Posted

    Communication broke down as well between my GP surgery and hospital, it was appalling. I was diagnosed with gallstones at Christmas, not sure how long I had had them. They eventaully got round to takilng my gallbladder out last week.

    Not sure if I have IBS as well am going back to GP to have blood tests done for that.

    Hope you get some answers

    Take care


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  • Posted

    IBS symptoms vary greatly from person to person, bloating is normally caused by excess gas in the abdomen and intestines, which is why its a common symptom of IBS. Its also a symptom of other things, so dont be fobbed off, if you are unsure keep questioning until you get a clear answer. Unfortunatley it seems most doctors label people with IBS and are left pretty much to deal with it on thier own, it shouldnt be the way but we often like we are a nuisance to our GPs and they make us feel like its our heads. My advice would be to ask to be tested for food allergys, gallstones, thyroid and blood disorders, only once they have ruled everything else out can they then say with any degree or absolition that it is IBS. Good luck x
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  • Posted

    Hi Andrew

    I am  experiencing stomach bloat and tenderness in stomach. I went to the doctors and I am waiting for a scan appt, my blood tests have come back clear.  I have looked at my diet which is not at all bad. I excercise 2-3 times a week, swimming and gym- well I used too, I can about manage one session a week while I have been feeling like,this, in the last 5 weeks, as my energy levels have considerably dropped, not being able to excercise the same

    is not good for me as  just trying to do the right thing, so for now

    I have cut out altogether the odd treat I have and started to drink a lot more water, which I feel does help and looking

    at advice from others, I have just started to take magnesium tablets, so I am going to see over the next few days whether I feel any better and see how things go. At this point, it may not have anything to do with what I am eating or drinking, but everything helps I guess. 

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  • Posted

    Thanks all, I should also mention I am taking a number of medications on a daily basis to try and help; Buscopan, Slippery Elm, Liquorice DGL, Pepzin Gi and I drink peppermint tea and chamomile tea. Water consumption is, and always has been, around 2 - 2.5L a day.

    The stress aspect that worries me most when trying to determine cause. I work in a highly pressured environment where tight deadlines are a daily occurrence. I also work as part of a small team so the workload is often heavy. I also have two young children who come with their own challenges.

    I feel like I am in a vicious circle. The condition I am suffering from is causing me a lot of stress, particularly the fact that it has not been specifically diagnosed as yet. I worry about that and I face waking up each morning with stomach pain. The things I would typically do to de-stress, things like exercise (running and swimming), sitting down in the evening with a glass of wine or going out for a meal have halted as a direct result of the pain I have, so I feel like I don’t have any way of getting any relief from it.

    A familiar pattern has emerged when I feel very little pain and discomfort during Friday, and little-to-no pain over a Saturday and Sunday. I always feel buoyed by this but then get knocked back down to earth on a Monday morning when I get back to work and the pain slowly creeps back in.

    It is incredibly frustrating! 

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    • Posted

      This sounds as if your illness might be partly stress related. I am not saying you are making up your symptoms but the stress of work makes them worse.

      You are then expecting the symptoms to worsen when you are at work.

      Is it possible to take a short time off work as sick to see if it settles down or to work part time for a bit.? I do not know what your job is but any reasonable employer should accept that.

      I find Buscopan helpful, I have been on 8 a day for quite a while. Now I have had my gallbladder out I am trying to cut down on them.

      Take care and keep in touch

      Praying for you


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    • Posted

      A year and a half ago I was working to meet a horrible deadline on Xmas Eve, spending 17 hours a day, 7 days a week for 6 weeks solid. My IBS wasn't bad at all. A year ago I was on a relaxing holiday in Cyprus and I had dreadful attacks. But then I don't find work deadline stress a problem; things like money or health worries are far more stressful for me.

      But we're all different. If normal, work-related stress makes you ill then you need to find a less intense job.

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    • Posted

      I've always had a stressful job, like you working to tight deadlines on a daily basis. I've always thrived on it, but of late we've had staffing problems and being the conscientious chap that I am I've felt a large burden to fill a gap and ensure that the standard of work remains as high as it always has been. When I first realised that stress could be playing a part in this I actually felt a big improvement, like I all of a sudden had an understanding of what was going on in part. I made sure that I made time to exercise and relax, but the reality is that in the back of my mind I worry almost constantly about what is going on with my health. I've tried to stay positive and take comfort in the fact that every other aspect of my health and wellbeing appears to be perfectly fine, but I'm nagged everyday by this pain.
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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah, thank you, that means a lot.

      Regarding taking time out of work, we'll have to see. In two weeks time I'm going on holiday for a week, so it will be interesting to see how things go then when I have a chance to relax!

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    • Posted

      I understand your work ethic; I'm the same. There's not really much you can do about that - it's part of your make-up. But I've had much worse things happen in my life and survived them, so I refuse to get too wound up about day to day work. I guess it's the one benefit of age.

      Try to develop some coping stratgies. I have no idea what they might be for you. For me, I have a long commute into London each day, which involves car, train, tube and walk. If I have pain this can be a nightmare, so I changed timings to make the journey easier, even if it takes longer and I have to start earlier. If I need to go to the toilet at work I just go, even if it's in a meeting. Once you do these things you realise that's it not that big a deal; it's like public speaking - it's only a nightmare until you've done it a few times. We humans are very adaptable creatures.

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    • Posted

      Yep, this is something I'm going to concentrate on in the next few weeks. I've started running again and I'm attempting to be more organised in my personal life. Work is a different animal unfortunately, I have tried to adapt my attitude, to think that I can only do what I can do, but I still feel enormous pressure at work, and what's worse is I don't think it is recognised by those above me, so I almost have no hope that there is going to be positive change. I realise that this is an area that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

      Thankfully I have a week long holiday in the sun in twelve days - I've got a feeling I need it!

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