chronic diarrhea, severe abdominal & joint pain
Sorry this is going to be long, it's a complicated situation.
For the past 4-5 months now, I have been suffering with chronic abdominal pain (usually lower, sometimes mid but never upper), chronic diarrhea (anywhere to 10-15x a day, also keeping me up through the night), occasional eye pain/blurred vision, intermittent fevers (low grade) and horrible joint pain. I started at my family doctor, who ran a CBC and an arthritis panel which came back normal. So he prescribed Lomotil and that kept the diarrhea at bay, but I still had abdominal pain and joint pain, sometimes so bad it would wake me up at night, keep me awake and I wouldn't want to get out of bed because I was in so much pain. I have missed 11 days of school this semester because of it. I have a high pain tolerance and something like this would usually never keep me at home. So he referred me to a gastroenterologist. I met with the gastroenterologist and I felt like he didn't listen to what I had to say except for the fact I had diarrhea. So he ordered a celiac disease panel (came back negative), a barium swallow and a colonoscopy (both came back fine). Both doctors ignored my symptoms of severe joint pain and abdominal pain and told me to take OTC pain meds, which don't touch the pain I'm in. I informed both doctors of this and they basically ignored it and didn't give me any suggestions of anything else I could do.
After colonoscopy, my gastroenterologist took me off Lomotil and had me take Hycosyamine instead which is not working for me at all and I am back to being miserable again. He also ordered a CT scan that I'm having done in the near future as well.
I've had gastrointestinal problems for a few years now, and I had my gallbladder removed when I was 14 because after months of being sick, I finally had the gallbladder function test (I know there's a better name for it) and it turned out my gallbladder was only 2% functioning.
I am on a low dose of Pamelor for anxiety, but it is mild, not anywhere near severe and ever since being on the Pamelor I don't have problems with my anxiety whatsoever. Both doctors have addressed this and each time always ask me about stress in my life. I am 18 years old, a freshman in college, I love it and do very well in school, I'm in a steady healthy relationship, and have wonderful, supportive family and friends. My stress level is very low and I have to retell this to my doctors everytime. The only reason I am beginning to become stressed and very low in spirits is because of what is currently going on with my health.
After a couple months, my family doctor, gastroenterologists and multiple ER doctors began suggesting it was "all in my head" when I was sick from my gallbladder not functioning properly, but I know my body and I knew there was really something wrong. I'm getting the same feeling now. I've been to the ER 4 times in the last 4 months, seen my family doctor multiple times and when all these tests keep coming back negative they are beginning to suggest its "all in my head". But again, I know my body and I know there is something wrong.
I am just getting very frustrated because I feel like my doctors are not listening to me fully, but I know it is hard for them to give me answers or suggest treatments when all these tests and procedures keep coming back normal. I just really need some suggestions of what could be going on or what else I should talk to my doctor about, because this is affecting my everyday life tremendously and it seems like it gradually just keeps getting worse.
I too recently suffered this same situation. diarrhea 13-15 times a day, debilitating joint pain, and a list of doctors and normal results on all the same tests. In my case, the GI problems and a lot of the pain turned out to be a wheat intolerance. Not the same as celiacs. At the age 43, I never would of guessed I could react to something that strongly that I had been eating all my life. There is a lab called enterolab that runs one of the only test sites. You dont need a DR order, you can order the test on the internet, they send you a collection kit and mail them your sample. This revelation changed my life. No need to go into the social issues that were resolved, but the joint and muscle pain subsided. Its worth a shot!! Good Luck
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