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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Is This Really IBS?

 auburntigergirl - Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:44 am

Hello, I'm a 39 year old female. Diagnosed in the past with a hiatal hernia and herniated disc L5/S1 and arthritis in spine.

I have been in pain for six months that is progressively getting worse. Diagnosed the first time I went to doctor with costochondritis, second time I was told it was GERD and now I am being told it is IBS.

Pain originally started only in my right side rib area. It was from the front to the back. Now I have sharp stabbing pains that are on the right side of my body that are at waist level. They occur in the front, side and back area. It is consistent all day long. Sometimes I will have pains in my lower abdomen that radiates to the hip, also on the right side. I have had diarrhea everyday for two months. During the day I will have sharp pains in my right shoulder area that travels up my neck and down my right arm. Sometimes my elbow and arm hurts. There are times when my right side rib area feels like it is being squeezed and stabbed and gets tingly feeling down into my arm and neck. I have had an ultrasound of gallbladder, pancreas and liver which is normal. Hida scan was normal with an ejection rate of 93%. Blood work was normal.

My lower back has been hurting and I can feel a small bump to the right of the spine. My right knee has also been hurting for about two weeks now and the pain radiates to my thigh and calf. I also get headaches everyday and my head feels foggy.

I am having an endoscopy and colonoscopy in a month. My insurance won't pay for a cat scan until the other tests are done.

That is so long to wait in this pain wondering what is happening to my once healthy body. I have convinced myself I have cancer with mets to my back, brain and knee. I am scared to death. Could it be my ovaries? Doctor said no but I still wonder. Could it be cancer? I can't believe that IBS could cause so much constant pain.

I forgot to add that my upper abdomen is very tender.

Is my Doctors diagnosis correct? Can you give me your opinion of other things that should be looked at? Thank you so much for your time.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Jun 08, 2007 7:30 pm

User avatar Abdominal pain can be very difficult to diagnose. It's good that you are planning to have an endoscopy. Sometimes taking a direct look at the intestinal walls will provide a significant amount of information.

IBS is a possibility. Other possibilities would be an inflammatory bowel disease (although they generally don't present quite this way), kidney stones or high calcium levels in the urine (even without stones), or endometriosis. Gastritis or ulcers are a definite possibility also.

I wouldn't jump to cancer yet. While it is possible that cancer could cause this it is far less likely than some of the other diagnoses.

Follow up with your doctor will be important.

Best wishes.

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