So much discomfort since New Year

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Husband passed away in 2014 and my son disowned his family when he fell in love!  Started with spells of food upsetting me  then lots of wind . Then I started having what was simply diagnosed as abdominal cramping. A friend suggested I stop eating bread and potatoes which helped initially. Would have mornings when the pain just knocked me off my feet. I was constantly bloated and seemd to be putting more weight on. Had lots of bladder problems but if I contacted surgery was always told that samples were clear. Went back to the Gp who simply said I will refer you.  During the eleven months that I waited for an appointment I was gradually getting worse. The more fruit and fibre I ate the worse I was and I eventually gave up cerals etc. The 'attacks' were lasting longer and they always seemed to start with sinus symptoms sometimes sneezing sessions then I would just simply become so chilled (occassionally it would be burning up)  my body would ache or my joints would hurt and I just couldn't do anything.  I was in so much pain,  one of the last attacks lasted almost three days.  I eventually had a hospital appointment was asked a few questions.  It was suggested that It was down to stress due to the loss of my husband and the grief caused by my son. I was also told that I was eating too much fruit and most probably had fructose malabsorbtion.It would probably be a good idea if I saw the dietician.  I would be sent for a scan.  I initially gave up fruit introducing small amounts of limited varieties and found that I was so much better  I went for a colonoscopy, (which almost knocked me out the pain from the gas was as bad as that had  I suffered normally) I received a letter telling me telling me that the scan didn't show anything of concern apart from a small hernia in the abdominal wall..  Blood tests were normal so it is most probably due to IBS and the high fruit content in my diet. I did not need to be seen again!  I was feeling so much better, full of energy, my bowel habits had returned to normal, my bladder problems were very rare, got the occasional mild cramp in my lower abdoman.  One morning I decided to try porridge and I was so ill all day the stomach pains were unreal, the 'flu sumptoms etc. Yet I was fine the next day.  Another disaster was prunes and natural yogurt they caused a lot of discomfort for a few hours.Over Christmas I even managed to eat some Christmas pudding without any ill effects. Until the beginning of the year I felt so much better then I started with a really upset stomach, diarrhoea(which I had not experienced  previously,) feeling really nauseous., lower back pain( haven't suffered with any back pain for years.) These attacks seem to be recurring every few days, along with the sinus symptoms, burning, itchy skin, painful joints. I always seem to have a cough. I  had to be extremely careful as to what I ate  as I was getting a lot of heartburn. I started with these symptoms for a couple of days the the other day I ate some home made soup.  As soon as the soup hit my stomach I felt pain, burning up, nausea.  The pain was excruciating, the sweat was rolling off me I was so weak.  Eventually I managed to struggle to the bathroom but only had very soft formed motions but lots of it. Nothing I could do would ease the pain  if I'd have had the strength I think I would have dialled 999!  I was conscious of pain in the area of the hernia. I felt so weak.  I mostly drank boiled water the next 24 hours .  Then I felt so much better as my stomach felt as if it had had a massive clear out.  I am almost afraid to eat in case it starts all over again.  Is the IBS umbrella so big that it covers all these symptoms??  No one has ever bothered to discuss my symptoms or advise me apart from the consultant suggesting I reduced the amount of fruit in my diet.  I cook from scratch don't eat bread, cakes biscuits,sweets , cereal. fried or fatty foods.  PLEASE can anyone shed any light on this?  it would be so much appreciated.

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  • Posted

    First look up chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Ibs can be a symptom of other things.

    2nd complex fibres can aggravate but you can solve this by using a centrifugal juicer. Also a probiotic can help. I prefer the wheat based one but quite expensive but has worked the best for me.

    Re stress there are a number of things you can do. I crochet, you can knit, yoga, plates, ti chi, mindfulness.

    Potatoes aren't normally something that aggravates ibs but gluten, dairy or complex fibres can.

    Keep a food and symptom dairy, can help see patterns.

    Also a walk outside helps. The vitamin D and the exercise helps.

    A good night's sleep makes a huge difference. Kalms may help. No electronics an HD before bed. No caffeine an hour before bed. Don't eat too close to bed.

    Hope it helps

    Sue

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  • Posted

    Many people with IBS find the Low FODMAP diet is excetionally helpful in managing symptoms. The problems you have with certain foods suggest to me that cutting out foods high in FODMAPS might be of benefit. My GP recommended this diet and it has transformed my life. Like you, I experienced bloating, joint pain, gas, stomach pain, very frequent and loose bowel movements, fevers and chills. There is a stack of info on the internet about Low FODMAP diets. 

    And you're right, stress and anxiety makes IBS infinitely worse. 

    You've had a tough time. Hope you feel better soon. 

    Jan

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  • Posted

    My diet is really heavy in fruit and vegetables. I eat a moderate amout of potatoes and bread. Reading above I cannot understand what you are eating and if your diet is so lacking that would in many ways concern me as well.

    Fruit and vegetable are such an important part of our diet, we eats about seven portions of above Carbohydrates also are extremley importand to give your stools mass. Meat is also importand as if fish for its oils etc. The secret is you need to eat what the body needs and this is not happening you will have problems.

    Possibly a dietician may be able to help you, we eat porrige in the morning with some dried fruit or banana etc, we also need Cereals.

    I have heard at various times that Wheat can cause some people problems with digestion, you could look into that.

    BOB

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your help  To answer your concerns on diet  Potatoes  and bread initially gave me the most dreadful wind and bloating. Believe it or not the more cereal  type fibre I ate the more constipated I became. which is why I gave up on cereal.  Porridge made me really ill. Cakes biscuits, pastry and the like upset my digestion and gave me heartburn so I was better off without them.  I try to avoid processed food. I try mostly to cook from scratch. I cut back on fruit and the varities but I eat a lot of vegetables.  Breakfast is things like natural yogurt with fruit, scranbled egg and advocado or sometimes smoked salmon, poached eggs. mushrooms, tomatoes or ocassionally ryvita or rice cakes with something on.  I make soup for lunch time or have pate on ryvita and salad or cheese. I eat a lot of different kinds of fish with lots of veg, chicken with veg, rice and lots of veg sometimes with chicken. I make a cottage pie with either root veg topping or a cauliflower topping.  On the rare ocassion I can get away with a slice of sour dough bread ( i had always made my own bread up to my husband being ill.)

      Up to New Years Eve I felt better than I had done for a long time.  The odd insginificant rumble or wind, regular normal bms.  Then everything changed, at first I thought it may have been a little overindulgence over Christmas.   Since then food and me do not agree and the attack that I had last week was like nothing experienced before.

      it would be good to speak with a dietician. I have always tried to eat a healthy diet.   It may have been beneficial initially  if the Gp had discussed things with me instead of simply saying abdominal cramp

      Thank You

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    • Posted

      There is a course with the NHS that may help it is basically for loosing weight although most of the actual course is using the right foods and controlling dietry needs

      You may get some feedback there although reading the above you seem to be not to bad when it comes to the right foods.

      I have problems with food because of all my drugs and no matter what I do.

      BOB

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    • Posted

      Hi Patricia. If foods high in FODMAPs are aggravating your condition, a number of the foods you have mentioned are very high in FODMAPs - cauliflour, broccoli, avocado, and mushrooms can be major triggers. Root vegetables such as potato, swede, turnip and carrots tend to fairly safe but things like asapargus, onions, garlic, anything other than the green part of leeks or spring onions can cause problems. 

      I also make most of my food from scratch, but I learned the hard way to be vigilant when checking ingredients in products. Some stock cubes, or stock pots, for example contain onions and garlic as well as gluten. Many fruits are also high in FODMAPs

      Before I was diagnosed with IBS a couple of years ago I ate a "healthy" diet. I wasn't overweight and worked out at the gym 3 or 4 times a week. I now understand that what many people claim to be a healthy diet is not necessarily healthy for IBS sufferers - a diet high in fibre, with lots of fruit and veg might not be good for you at all. Of course everyone is different, but that is one of the benefits of the Low FODMAP eating plan. It really does help you to identify what, if any, food triggers you have. 

      I'm fortunate that I have an excellent GP. Within 2 weeks of going to see him I had blood work and a colonoscopy done, and he was able to diagnose IBS and also give really helpful advice and information on how to control and manage the symptoms. 

      Good luck. 

      Jan

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    • Posted

      You are very lucky indeed to have been diagnosed so fast.  It took me three and a half months to get a diagnosis and so I had to go through all the panic and uncertainty first.  When I was diagnosed, I was only given a leaflet about IBS and most of the things suggested didn't really apply to me.  It mentioned getting more sleep and exercise which I am guilty of not getting enough of.  However, even so, a bad sleep pattern and not enough exercise don't trigger pain for me.  Stress is my trigger.  I was told to increase fibre because of constipation, but I was doing this anyway.

      The GP was very good in that I got an unexpected IBS diagnosis when others had failed and he identified anxiety as my trigger when I couldn't identify one. However, I didn't get much advice on controlling my symptoms. I found an antispasmodic that worked for me on my own

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    • Posted

      You're right. I thank my lucky stars that I have such a good GP. Having experienced an uncaring, cavalier attitude from a former GP , the contrast is nothing short of amazing. I suspect my former GP might well have just told me to pull myself together. To be honest, I think if it wasn't for my GP I would be housebound, afraid to go out in case I needed the loo urgently and getting totally stressed about it, and my quality of lfe would be zero. I do still have the ocassional flare up , but that is nothing compared to the way I was a couple of years ago. 

      Jan

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    • Posted

      My flare ups have reduced too and I have found a great way of dealing with stressful and annoying situations.  I write limericks about any problems I face and the humour I put into my poems makes me feel a whole lot better.
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  • Posted

    This sounds similar to me. Had loads of tests and nothing has ever been found. I initially thought it could be my pancreas but I've had a ct and Mrcp and both were fine, also my amalyase and faecal elastine were fine. Had a barrage of blood tests that also appear fine. Also had an EUS to look at bile ducts. All have been entirely normal.

    I am constantly tired and weak and have itchy skin that flares up but is always there. I also have a constant discomfort in the left mid to upper abdomen that goes from hardly noticeable to really annoying and painful but again, nothing found. Docs say it's a functional bowel problem but I have a hard time believing them. Due for an gastroscope next week to look at stomach and I will ask for a colonoscopy to be done soon just to rule out any problems with my bowel. This has been going on for 8 months now. Let us know how you get on.

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  • Posted

    IBS can be triggered by stress and food intolerance is common.  Hou can also get joint and back pain with It.  Was fructose malabsorption and celiac tested for?
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    • Posted

      Thank you for taking the time and trouble to try and help. The only tests that I have had are the blood tests and the colonoscopy.  I did not even go back to gastroenterologist she just sent me a letter saying that it was all related to IBS.  As she had said in clinic the fructose malabsorbtion due to the high fruit content in my diet.  She hardly asked me any questions. It was me that  told her that I was eating a lot of fruit in an effort to lose weight.  I was back to normal after reducing my fruit intake, regular BMs full of energy 'till new years eve. The first time I visited my GP in 2015 she did examine me but showed little interest apart from offering her sympathies as to the passing of my husband.  In the September I went back to the GP as I was really struggling. I told her I was having problems she just said I will refer you and that was that. I was seen in August 2016.  It just seems that IBS is one size that fits all.

      Thanks again

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