Sorry this is long, but I've been dealing with this for the last 12 years and I need answers. I don't know what else to do.
Since I was about 12 or so (I'm 25 now), I get these episodes of severe lower abdominal pain not specific to either side. When I went to college (18-21) I barely had a problem with the pain, but now that I'm living back at home, it's been a lot worse over the past few years. The pain is accompanied by diarrhea (in very few cases constipation) and vomitting. I also get extremely hot and clammy, sweating so much I become light headed and have blacked out for a few seconds on one or two occasions. The only thing I can do is wait it out and apply a heating pad to my lower abdomen and a cold compress to my forehead and run back and forth from my bed to the bathroom until it's over. Usually after I go to sleep, I wake up the next day feeling extremely drained and exhausted for the better half of the day and anything that I eat upsets my belly.
When these episodes occur, it is usually in the late evening, however it has woken me up in the middle of the night, or sometimes I will wake up with my alarm with the pain and feeling very bloated and gassy, and usually after I use the bathroom it subsides. On occasion, I will wake up a few hours after the episode in the middle of the night with severe heartburn.
I have had every test that exists: lactose intollerance testing, blood tests for hormone imblances and various diseases including celiac, a colonoscopy, an endoscopy, CT scans, CT scans with contrast, sonograms, ultrasounds, stool tests, urine tests, food and other allergy testing...you name it, they've checked. EVERYTHING has come back normal.
Basically what they tell me is that I have IBS. For some reason, it is really hard for me to believe. I am in the hospitality industry and have had my share of fancy dinners that consist of every food from lobster to pork to foie gras to chocolate accompanied with beer, wine and vodka - all in ONE sitting!!! And things like that do not get me sick. Yet I'll have some eggplant parm and broccoli, and 2 hours later, I'm doubled over in pain wishing death because it's so horrendous. I've read with IBS that although sporadic and random, it can be triggered by eating too many different types of food in one sitting, and also by caffeine, chocolate and alcohol. I am also a chocolatier and eat chocolate on a daily basis and am rarely sick after eating chocolate.
I'm not sure if my gallbladder has been checked, but the pain is not on the right under the rib cage, and I don't have back pains or heartburn or acid reflux on a daily basis. I pretty much don't know what else to do. I use the examples above because on Saturday night I ate eggplant parm and broccoli and had one of the worst episodes of my LIFE that evening, yet Sunday night I went to a dinner with beer pairings at a restaurant in NYC and was absolutely fine and have been fine since.
What the heck is wrong with me? I'm just confused and frustrated. I've been to 3 gastroenterologists, 1 endocrinologist, 2 gynocologists and 1 allergist to attempt to determine what's going on and still no concrete answers other than IBS and this is just something I can't picture for me because on what I've read and how I eat. Any advice or suggestions would be so appreciated and I thank you so so much for reading this whole thing and for any help you can give me!
To give you a quick history of last month so that you can determine what sporatic is to you: June 6, it came on suddenly in the middle of dinner (consisting of all foods that I have eaten before without getting sick from) and lasted for approximately 3 hours (it would be really intense for 10 minutes, and get duller for a few, and then come back again...I found if I walked or sat and rocked my body that it eased it slightly). June 25, late evening after a graduating party, again all foods I've eaten before. Lasted for about an hour and a half. Again on June 29. Happened again in the middle of dinner. Lasted for maybe an hour and a half after that. I haven't had one since. The dates when the episodes occur also seem to have absolutely no correlation with my menstrual cycle.
I eat the same foods. I try not to stray away from what I know for fear of getting ill. The foods I ate during the entire course of a day are all foods I've eaten before, and sometimes I'm violently ill with these excruciating pain and sometimes I'm fine. It's a hit or miss - a big fear that I have going into every day. Can I plan a dinner or an outting with friends, or will I be sick again? It's tough.
Thank you for asking - let me know if you have other questions or what your thoughts may be!
An idea I have is that this may be cyclic vomiting syndrome. Now, with your symptoms starting when you were 12, that is a little bit old for symptoms to start, but it is not unheard of. Why don't you research it a little bit and let me know if that sounds like you.
I know I haven't responded. I've been doing a lot of eliminating and tweaking of my diet, and I think I've finally got it. I think I am allergic (or have severe reactions to) red food dye. I can link it to dozens of my episodes (I track what I consume daily, and I track when I feel sick and the severity of my sickness). Anyone else have these issues?
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