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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Can this be IBS??? I still don't believe so...


 endoftherope - Tue May 17, 2005 2:14 pm

Hello,

I am, as my handle states, at the end of my rope.
Until my condition started I was an active man who enjoyed many varied exciting activities. I had a beautiful fiancee, many friends, a burgeoning successful career, and a nice home to work upon, around, and within. Several years later I am a home bound forty year old wreck living with my retired father. I have no job nor can I keep one; thus I have no healthcare. My life is a ruined shell that causes as much mental anguish as this condition creates physical anguish.

I fear death... yet living like this is exhausting, extremely unsatisfying, and sometimes borders upon the unendurable.

Here is a man who would skydive or climb mountains who has slowly become afraid to get out of bed.

First I will describe location:
Primary location... To the left of my sternum slightly below the rib cage I continuously feel a sensation of sharp uncomfortable pressure.

Secondary... Lower left abdomen, tenderness

Tertiary... Upper right abdomen, when pressed causes sharp reactive pain in primary location

Tertiary... Left shoulder and neck, dull to acutely sharp ache

Second I will describe progression:
I have broken this down in my diary into three stages.

Stage One: The ache becomes more pronounced causing me to be unable to rise or fully stand straight without severe discomfort. This can resolve itself and decline to a "normal" background noise level of pain or continue to

Stage Two: The discomfort grows over the course of several days until the secondary location becomes as painful as the primary. At this point I use the drugs as prescribed because any normal functioning becomes impossible without it. This sometimes resolves itself and I return to either stage one or to my "normal" state of being or it progresses to

Stage Three: This is the most fearsome level for me and is what has destroyed my life. Breathing itself is a struggle... I've learned not to inhale nor to exhale fully to do so is to seemingly cause knives to cut into my flesh. My shoulder and neck become extremely tender in response to the continuous tightening of the muscles there. Its as if you have locked muscles from running too hard for too long only it does not feel better nor do the muscles relax from massage, heat, cold, or other such remedies. Corticol steroids can sometimes relieve this but at this point I can no longer afford such a strategy. This stage can last from several days to several weeks before resolving to a lesser stage or, sometimes, all the way down to my so called normal state of being.

Accompanying Symptoms:

Inconstancy... I may not have bms at all for days or many times a day dependent upon the nature of the episode

Heightened discomfort occurs during and along with constipation, or diarhea...

Gas production is abnormaly high to begin with but during most, though not all, episodes I hear and feel a constant burbling of gasses moving through the upper GI and I release gas over a hundred times a day.

I've noted corn eaten as much as 6 days before finally appear, this is not dependent upon a condition of constipation as this has occurred even when in a diarheatic state.

I have, very very rarely, passed dark blood and somewhat more commonly lighter blood

Points of Possible Note:

Last year during the height of a stage three period that lasted two weeks I began to feel what was like a tearing in the primary location. This was accompanied by what seemed to be bubbles transfering between my abdominal cavity and my chest cavity... I support this supposition not only by my subjective feelings but noted that when I breathed in the bubbles seemed to flow through the tear into my abdomen and reversed flow as I breathed out. When lungs fill with air the space in my chest cavity must be reduced, thus increasing pressure within the space. The reverse is true, I believe, when one exhales. I simply lay upon my couch unable to move for several days waiting for what I supposed was "the end"
This astounding occurrence simply resolved itself upon the third day when a terrible feeling of splitting flesh knocked me out. I awoke the next morning feeling much much better with the thought that I wasn't going to die. I was able to move and eat within the next two days.

At this point I'd lost my job, fiancee, and had run through my life savings paying for rent at the low cost apartment I'd rented. The few real friends I had left kept an eye on me, visiting and feeding me when I was able to eat. I'd lost almost 20 lbs during those weeks and have since gained them back.

This strange sensation of gas transferring between chambers can still occur upon the worst of my stage three jouneys but is nowhere near as painful and is, thankfully, quite rare. The tearing sensation and bubble movement remain the same when this does happen they just don't hurt nearly as much as the first time.

On the number scale used by doctors to guage patient discomfort I'd say that the first time was the only time I would've described the level at 10. I'd never in my life felt or imagined anything more painful.

My day to day level is perhaps 4

Stage one I'd describe as 4-5

Stage two as 6 most often

Stage three varies with its duration from 7-8

As a frame of reference to judge my personal pain threshold I'd describe the biting off of the pad of the palm of my hand by a shark and the subsequent invasion of cold salty water as a 7. Im not a shrinking violet and have had quite a hardy definition of pain all my life.

I have very little hope that someone here can help but I've seen a slough of doctors of different specialities over the years and still cannot accept that something cannot be done. It is within reason for me to hope that in a wider forum someone else may have a familiarity with some of even most of my symptoms.

Please assist me in some little way if you can for I cannot go on much longer like this and I fear that much more than I do the pain.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sat Jun 24, 2006 4:33 pm

User avatar Dea rendoftherope,
first of all I would like to emphasizes that even if the diagnosis of your condition is due to Irritable bowel syndrome, It is for sure related to your psychological condition and the stress you are going through, which means that the only way or at least of utmost importance to improve and to get relieved from all of that is by adjusting your life conditions and avoiding as much as possible stress. you better also consult a psychiatrists for help.

I will try only to give you enough in formations about IBS to help you understand what could it be and when to worry about it.

IBS is believed to be due to autonomic dysfunction or hormonal imbalance, that can be easily controlled by simple changes in the lifestyle, diet.

Commonly people who have IBS complaints off
Abdominal pain or colic
A bloated abdomen
Gaseous distension
Either Diarrhea or constipation or an alternating between both of them
Mucus containing stool
Certain types of foods contain, chocolate, milk and alcohol might cause constipation or diarrhea
Stress increases the frequency and the severity of symptoms in almost all cases.

When you should seek medical advise ? if the symptoms are frequent or sever enough to make you feel sick your have to seek medical advise from your physician to receive medication that will alleviate the symptoms and the possible complications.

Although the diagnosis of IBIS is primarily made on complete history and physical exmination, some tests may be recommended by some doctors to confirm the diagnosis. These tests include
Colonoscopy and Flexible sigmoidoscopy can be requested for visualization of the entire large intestine (colon) or the lower part of it (sigmoid colon) respectively.
Computerized tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen help to rule out other causes.
Best of luck,

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