This might be a fairly long post but please bear with me.
For about 4 years I have had problems with my abdomen. It started out getting a little larger which I just thought was weight gain. Until I was 18 (I am 23 now) I was 50 kilos and never had any weight issues. However, my stomach started getting larger and I was worried I was pregnant because no other part of me was getting bigger! I had no other symptoms at this point. I also might mention that I have always had very irregular periods - sometimes coming 4-6 months apart. Im not sure if this has any correlation to the stomach distention.
At about 20 years old I slowly started putting on weight, which I just assumed was a natural part of growing up and my doctor suggested that the Pill may have changed my hormones and caused this. I went up to about 66kgs and with diet and exercise was able to get down to and maintain 64kgs but couldnt go any lower than this. My stomach by now was looking huge, like I was 8 months pregnant, and I had to suck it in every day. Nobody has seen what it looks like, not even my family because Im too embarassed.
Then about 2 years ago I started to get bowel symptoms - constipation, diarrhea, pain, bloating etc. My doctor suggested IBS, and I went to a naturopath who took blood tests and determined I was sensitive (but only mildly) to things such as gluten, lactose, onion, capsicum, soy and a range of other things. So I went on a 12 week diet (including herbs from the naturopath) which included NONE of the sensitive foods (which was incredibly hard) but nothing changed. In fact, things got worse.
I then went to a gastroenterologist and had a colonoscopy and endoscopy which came back with no results. I have tried medication aimed at helping me digest fats easier and help empty my stomach, to no avail. No IBS treatments work either such as peppermint or the chemist pills.
Last year for about 6 months I also got a severe case of flatulence which made me avoid even sleeping at my boyfriends house because it was so bad. Fortunately for some reason this has eased up.
Now Im stuck because every time I go to a new doctor, as soon as they hear me mention IBS they dismiss everything else I say as being just apart of IBS. I try to steer clear of the word 'bloating' because thats NOT what my stomach is like - it is CONSTANTLY distended, like Im pregnant (but fortunately Im able to suck it in) and also does get bloated, hard and sore sometimes. Its worse at night than in the morning, which leads me to think its something to do with food, but then its always pretty much the same size.
I am going for a pelvic ultrasound next week which Im actually hoping will show something such as cysts so at least I know the issue. My problem is that all of the symptoms above might not even be related - I feel like I could have a case of IBS but also combined with something else which makes my stomach stick out so far. It doesnt help that right now Im 68kgs (which is my heaviest Ive been because I have been overseas for 13 months) so everyone dismisses it as stomach fat. But even people I know who are 20-30kgs heavier dont have a stomach sticking out as far as mine....
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I feel like its up to me to figure out the problem because I have absolutely no luck with doctors, and I would like to hear from regular people how they handle these issues.
Recognize the risks associated with Crohn’s disease.
Did you know that one in six US adults has high cholesterol?