IBS? or is it just a generic term b/c dr's can't figure it out
I apologize for the long post, but it's hard to do a brief summary when describing symptoms.
First of all, I am a woman and in my mid-30's. I was diagnosed with IBS at age 15.
I've read a lot of posts/questions that I have had similar problems but it seems like it's a combination of several 'diseases' (for example, IBS, Crohns, Gastroitis, Celiac (sp?) - that sort of thing). So once diagnosed it seems like the doctors don't take time to really 'hear' or 'understand' symptoms, they just write it off as IBS or whatever it was you were diagnosed with originally. (Keep in mind I was diagnosed over 20 years ago, we've come a long way since then, medically; or so I thought)
Anyway, back to my point (I do have one believe it or not). Sometimes the pain is unbearable and I have scary things (symptoms) happen. Not always the same things, but the past couple of years I have had weeks at a time strange symptoms. I have as what 'they' call 'IBS flare ups' but some of it I've never read as a symptom in IBS. Usually at night, (it'll wake me up): I've had this horrible uncomfortable pain/feeling starting under my ribcage moving down, if I push down on my abdomen it makes a loud gurgling/swishy sound - not quite the same sound as diarriah. When it happens I feel like I'm burning up inside/ very flush and I get weak. It will last anywhere from 20 minutes to sometimes two hours. Typically when this happens, by morning my bm consists of Nothing but mucus. I would describe it as a fishy smelling Yellowish-sometimes pale, sometimes with an orange or red tint Mucus (sometimes mixed with a little bit of blood, sometimes mixed with a lot of blood); but it's always A LOT of MUCUS. During the day I'll have waves of nauseousness and then I'll pass the mucus and the nauseousness goes away for a little while, then it could happen again in 5 minutes or an hour later - this lasts ALL DAY LONG. Sometimes there is mild to severe cramping, sometimes no cramping.
Most of the time I try to avoid eating b/c it usually hurts soon after eating. No matter what it is or how much I eat (except for liquids). Lately it feels like there is somethig 'blocking' the way. Problems with bms and acid reflux when this is going on.
Another thing that worries me is that (1) I have a history of colon cancer in my family (2) I've had several precancerous polyps removed. The last two I had removed developed within two years of the last colonoscopy. This past precancerous polyp that was removed was found in a sigmoidoscopy, so I worry about the upper part of my colon.
Does this sound familiar to anyone? If so, can yo tell me what the diagnosis was? and if there's anything to help? I'm scheduled for my next colonoscopy in Jan or Feb 2010. I just worry that if it is something like cancer will it be caught in time? (or is this what they keep telling me and I just have to learn to deal with it for the rest of my life)
Because of a couple of things you've said concerning the presence of 'fatty/oily' substances and the flushing, I'm wondering if you've been evaluated for pancreatic and celiac issues. Both can produce what could be construed as diarrhea with fat/oil. And if you were tested for celiac via the blood test, you may want to consider following up with a fecal antibody test - check out enterolab.com for that.
If you're routinely flushing - and by that I mean true red flushing of the face and chest, please ask your doc to run a test for carcinoid syndrome.
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