The effects of extreme bloating

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Hi All

Hoping some of you out there might be able to put my mind at ease concerning the effects extreme bloating can have on our bodies.

A couple of weeks ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and alongside my FM I have been diagnosed with IBS. With my IBS I believe I have a really severe bloating problem, but I get these other symptoms that do not strike me as being connected with the bloating. I am currently just under 11 1/2 stone (72kgs) in weight, yet my upper and lower abdomen is almost always making me look pregnant, and it is really quite hard when pressed, this makes me believe I have a really bad bloating problem. I do experience lots of burping and flatulence as well, but the bloating never goes.

Thing is, I hardly seem to get any of the typical abdominal pain associated with bloating, and if it wasn't for my abdomen looking so swollen, I wouldn't know I was bloated as I don't get the feelings of being bloated. Instead I get other symptoms, that I am putting down to the bloating, but can't be sure. These symptoms are pressure feelings in chest and neck, chest pains, feeling like I'm struggling to breath, dizziness, feeling faint or like I'm going to pass out, heart palpitations, slight nausea, lump in my throat, upper back pain, feeling 'out of it' or 'not with it' (if that makes sense) and generally feeling very odd, ill and like something really bad will happen. To me these symptoms seem quite extreme just for bloating, so I'm hoping some of you out there can confirm that these symptoms could be very much normal with extreme bloating.

I will add that due to being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, my health has been extensively tested which include: numerous blood tests, urine tests, faecal elastase stool test, 24 hour 5-HIAA urine test, upper abdominal ultrasound, back and chest x-rays, head MRI, 20 minute ECG, colonoscopy and endoscopy (probably missed something out). I've also seen a Gastroenterologist, Neurologist and Rheumatologist and there seems to be nothing out of the ordinary that is causing all my symptoms.

If anyone has and information or experiences they have had concerning extreme bloating, or whether they have any views on whether these symptoms I get are more than likely down to bloating or some other cause, then I would be very grateful to hear them.

Many thanks in advance.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

     paul65665

    Hi Paul you do not give your age...however, all the symptoms you describe are compliant with very low B12 levels.  Low B12 levels can make you feel very ill with most of the symptoms you describe..You say you have had numerous blood tests did that include a B12 test?  If you have not had a B12 test ask your doc to get one done for you....low B12 can cause gastro problems....if your not sure if B12 test was included..under the 'Freedom of Information Act' in UK (assuming you are a UK resident that is)you  can ask for a print out of all your blood tests..or just enquire....best wishes..

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    • Posted

      Hi Lilian

      Thank you for your reply and info, I do appreciate it.

      In answer to your query I am 43 years old, and up until a few years ago, was a normal, active person that could do anything, eat anything and go anywhere. My life has been turned upside down because of this, and I'm finding it really hard to get used to and accept.

      I will go through my blood test results with my doctor, and see if my B12 levels have been tested, but from what I can recollect I don't think they have. I've also had someone suggest that I be tested for SIBO, as they experienced very similar symptoms to me, and ended up having that. Luckily my doctor is very receptive to ideas, and is happy to follow other lines of investigation if he feels it could be a possibility, so I have no doubt that he will look into B12 levels and SIBO if I mention them to him. My next routine appointment with him is in a couple of weeks, so I'll mention this to him and let you know the outcome.

      Thank you again for your help and advice.

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    • Posted

      Hi paul75665

      As we get older our B12 levels decline....due to the fact that a protein called Intrinsic Factor which helps absorb B12 through the digestive system into the ileum and into our bloodstream, declines also with age.....even though we may eat dairy, eggs, yogurt meat and some legumes (not all fruit contains B12)....which contain B12 it will not absorb due to declining Intrinsic Factor....older peoples B12 levels should be 300-500...i know this because my B12 levels were 168 with similar symptoms as you describe....initially i had 6 loading injections of B12 ...one every 2 weeks and now i have maintenance injection one every 3 months...i feel soooo much better....some medications prevent absorption of B12 such as metformin that regulate glucose in Type 2 diabetes and there are others......hope you get an answer Paul...my best wishes to you...keep us posted......

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much for your replies.

    I have asked my doctor about all these symptoms, and he seemed to think that if I was experiencing a bad Fibro day, and having an IBS flare up at the same time, that this would cause anyone to feel awful. On top of that add anxiety and worry, and the production of adrenaline associated with these, and I am bound to feel really bad at points.

    My concern is that all the symptoms I mentioned, which I believe could be associated with the bloating, can happen at any time, and totally random. I don't need to be having a bad fibro and IBS day to get them. I can be just sat there, feeling fine, and then suddenly and without warning 'bang', the symptoms start kicking in again. My doctors response to this was that even though I might feel ok at times, I still have fibro and IBS in the background, and it doesn't take much to trigger either into a flare up. I do understand what he is saying, and it does make sense, but other fibro sufferers who I have spoken to say to me that these symptoms I described don't correspond to the symptoms they experience, or at least I haven't met or spoken to a fibro sufferer that has these symptoms too.

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    • Posted

      Sometimes people with fibromyalgia can feel fine at one point but then suddenly get a flare up out of no where.  The same goes for IBS.  If you have been diagnosed with these conditions, accept your diagnosis and your anxiety will get better. Trust your doctor.
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