Passing wind (both ends) and occasional stomach cramps

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Three weeks ago I started with explosive flatulence, bloating and lower left stomach pain. This subsided to general gassiness and burping with the pain now around the ribs. It took a week to settle and for the first 3 days bowel movements were burning - as if I had eaten a hot curry!

A week went by and l was fine. So lulled into a false sense of security, I tucked into a large amount of lemon curd ice cream with marscapone. I know I know.....  Within the hour I was immobile with terrible lower stomach pain. However it subsided after an hour or two and I then had a couple of days of general gassiness but no pain.

It could be gall bladder but the pain when I had it was not in the typical place. Lactose or another intolerance is my next bet but can you develop intolerances in your 60s??

I've booked a GP appointment but can't see anyone till next week as presumably it doesn't count as an emergency.  In fact part of me worries about wasting the GP's time. In the meantime any guesses? I've started a food and symptom diary. I understand you are not supposed to start any exclusion diets till you have seen the GP but I certainly won't be tucking into any ice cream any time soon....

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  • Posted

    An exclusion diet and a food/symptom diary would help to establish whether you have a food intolerance; there is no harm in trying it out first especially since your symptoms  were triggered after eating dairy products.  Food intolerances can develop at any age. Your gallbladder is on your right side and your intestines are on your left.  Have you had change of bowel habit?  Does your pain move about?  IBS could be a possibility. I got IBS at the age of 42.   Often IBS pain can be felt on your lower left side because that is where the bowel is located.  However. this can vary.  My IBS pain tends to be generalised and moves about.   I don't think you are wasting your doctor's time because you are experiencing genuine symptoms.

     

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    • Posted

      Thanks

      According to the NHS website there is a blood test for something like coeliac (which can also cause secondary lactose intolerance) but you are required to consume a certain amount of gluten in the preceding days. If the test is positive you then have to have it confirmed by an outpatient procedure. That was why I thought I would continue with the gluten till I see the GP. That's interesting about the IBS though I haven't had any major bowel changes. I read that IBS can be transitory or permanent and that it can also result from other gut issues. Or I could have an H Pylori infection (don't you just love google). For all these things it seems like something called a low FODMAP diet might help.  Do you have to be careful with what you eat?

      I've always had a cast iron digestion and been able to eat anything. Sigh.....  

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    • Posted

      You can have a blood test for celiac. Celiac can cause diarrhoea, bloating and stomach pain because of intolerance to gluten.   However, the celiac test can be inaccurate   If it shows up negaive and your doctor still thinks you have it, you would be given an endoscopy to confirm it.  To see if gluten is a problem you could avoid gluten to see if your symptoms get better.  If they do improve, it may suggest a gluten intolerance which either is celiac where you can't have any gluten, or non celiac gluten intolerance where you can eat some gluten.  If you suddenly bloat up with things like wheat, this could be a sign. Try a food/symptom diary.  

      On the other hand, you could continue eating gluten in preparation for a celiac test.  However, it does look like you have a dairy intolerance so you could continue avoiding dairy products.  All these possibilities will have to be ruled out before IBS can be diagnosed.

      Some people with IBS cannot take gluten or dairy but bowel habit change is a major symptom.  I have no food intolerances related to my IBS but I have had bowel habit change, constant symptoms and now come and go symptoms.

      To rule out h pylori, you could have a stool test.  I had an ultrasound. urine test, h pylori and fecal calprotectin screening and a celiac test which were all negative.

       

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    • Posted

      Wow thanks

      Normally I don't have much dairy anyway and now it is going to be even less if at all. Definitely no more ice cream splurges. I never want to go there again.... Will look at that lactofree milk.

      It sounds like you had a thorough doctor. I have a horrible feeling that the person I am booked in to see is the one no one wants to see.....

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    • Posted

      I had to see quite a few doctors at my walk in clinic and only one of them recognised IBS; the others were useless.  I actually had to ask for a celiac test because no one even thought of it.  It took three and a half months to diagnose me.  At one point, it was suggested I should have all my tests repeated to see if something had been missed but the doctor who diagnosed me said this was unnecessary. 

      If you don't get anywhere with your doctor, you can always see someone else or ask to see a gastoenterologisr.

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    • Posted

      Thanks

      I think the problem with this sort of thing is that some GPs might write it off as all in the mind or stress related and I lead the least stressful life of anyone I know. I hope it's not the same one I saw about a chest infection. She asked me to take some deep breaths while she listened to my chest and then told me off for breathing in her direction! I'm told she has a reputation for being, errm 'robust'. 

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    • Posted

      My IBS was in fact caused by stress but I was so worried that I had something serious that was too late to fix, I didn't even consider it. None of my previous doctors asked about it either  It was the final doctor I saw who uncovered it by asking me about recent stress.  It was then I remembered I had had six months of non stop stress and anxiety before the symptoms appeared.   Sometimes it can be the smallest and seemingly insignificant thing that can result in a breakthrough diagnosis.  I had given up on ever getting diagnosed and was astonished when I found out what was wrong.

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    • Posted

      And then it's never ending I guess. When symptoms start the stress keeps coming. I am less chilled the more I google......Head buzzing with all the things it might be... :-(

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    • Posted

      The best thing to do is not google any of your symptoms because that wlll lead to more stress and will make your stomach worse. Keep telling your doctor your symptoms and the more tests you ask for, the more things can be ruled out. Once you get a diagnosis, ask your doctor lots of questions about the condition you are diagnosed with.  The more you know, the less likely you will worry about your symptoms.  Getting a diagnosis cured my health anxiety and my symptoms got better  
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  • Posted

    I would say that it probably was an infection that worked its way through your system. Make sure when you cook food that it is cooked at high temperatures to eliminate any chance of bugs entering your stomach.
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    • Posted

      I wondered that too Richard. At the very start of these symptoms I'd had an omelette with a cheese and spinach filling. There wasn't much cheese but the spinach was lightly cooked and maybe, even though I washed it first, there were some bugs on it.

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  • Posted

    Hello folks. I thought an update might be helpful. The GP said I could be suffering from temporary lactose intolerance brought on by a stomach bug and that 'a bug was doing the rounds'. I'm to go lactose free for a while then re- introduce it slowly but to report back for tests if it doesn't resolve itself.

    Wasn't quite sure if she was fobbing me off but later I got chatting with someone from the same village and said I had been having some digestive issues. 'Me too' she said and she described the same symptoms. But neither of us has been nauseous or had diarrhoea.  Anyhow I do feel somewhat relieved for now.   

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    • Posted

      I don’t think your doctor is fobbing you off. Try out going lactose free for a while; there are lactose free products in the shops. If you feel better lactose free but your symptoms come back when you reintroduce it, it would suggest an intolerance. That’s the best way of finding out.  
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