Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Undiagnosed Stomach pain and irregular bowel

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 9 Replies
  • Posted By: Idontfeelgood
  • September 17, 2008
  • 03:10 PM

Hello, This is a bit of an embarrasing issue for me but I have tried alot of things and decided this couldn't hurt.

I have an undiagnosed bowel/stomach issue. The symptoms are abdominal cramping (upper and lower), diahreah, irregular bowel movements, mucus in stool, panic, and sweating. These issues started in early March of 08 and still continue.

So far I have had a coloscopy, upper and lower GI series of x-rays, fecal test, 72 hour urine analysis, celiac testing, and several different blood tests/work-ups. The doctors have eliminated Chrones disease, cancer, colidis, wheat allergy, gall bladder disease, and a few other things that I can't remember. I have been on several medications to help regulate and control the symptoms. Immodium, lonox, symax, phenergen, align, several rounds of various anti-biotics, and am currently taking Nortriptonol (which helps but doesn't work all the time).

My insurance company is refusing to allow my Gastro doctor to do a CT scan which is one of the few remaining tests we have option for to get a diagnosis. This is very stressful and for a period of several weeks before I started taking the Nortriptonol I was unable to work or leave the house because I was in the bathroom most of the day.

If anyone has an idea that can help I am willing to listen. We just found out that my wife is pregnant and I am hoping to resolve my issue so we can enjoy life with a new addition to the family.

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9 Replies:

  • I take asacol. I also had many of the test you had, and they didnt find my Crohns until they gave me a colonoscopy. I would ask that you have one of those done, if you have not had one yet.
    karissagabel 1 Replies
    • September 17, 2008
    • 07:30 PM
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  • I Agree With The Person Above Me. I Have Those Symptoms Too Along With Some Others.. I Have No Clue What I Have.
    Nicole37 4 Replies
    • September 17, 2008
    • 08:13 PM
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  • Crohns and colitis can take years to diagnose. I doubt a ct will do much good if you already had a colonscopy and ultrasounds. Anyhow, If you do want one done they are not that expensive to pay for out of your own pocket. At least they aren't where I live. I have had and still have all your symptoms except the panic attacks as well. Been this way going on 3 years now. In my case they found ulcers in my colon, but then the next year my colon was clear even tho all the symptoms remained. Wish you the best of luck with your new family. Try and relax... even tho I know it isnt easy. Kiera
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 17, 2008
    • 09:37 PM
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  • Okay, based upon your symptoms I'm going to suggest here that this is Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that if the known pathological causes have been ruled out, then IBS is the most likely cause. This syndrome can make a person feel incredibly ill, with abdominal cramping, lack of energy, visceral pain, diaphoresis, palpitations, dyspespia, mucus in the stool among other symptoms. The pattern of bowel movements can represent predominant diarhhrea, predominant constipation or an alternating course between the two variations. It results primarily from an imbalance of water reuptake at the level of the colon and research has demonstrated that certain serotonin neurotransmitters play a significant role in the development and persistence of the syndrome. Direct colonoscopy and the other tests you've undergone would have demonstrated clinical evidence of an underlying pathology like Crohns. It is not surprising then, that the Nortriptonol may provide some limited relief. Although this drug does not act specifically upon Serotonin receptors, the increase in serotonin has been demonstrated to relieve clinical depression and many newer selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are used specifically for this purpose. I'm not suggesting that you're suffering from depression, only indicating that evidence of improvement of your symptoms while taking an anti-depressant lends some further evidence that you're likely suffering from IBS. While several drugs were marketed that targeted IBS symptoms, they've not met with much success due to some rather serious side-effects in some cases and I wouldn't advocate them here. My suggestion would be to further investigate treatment with a mild dose of an SSRI to determine whether greater relief of symptoms can be realized. I think that a CAT scan is unlikely to reveal anything more than you or your primary care doctor already know and again, the battery of tests you've undergone would be sufficient to expose a cause that would be commmensurate with your range of symptoms. Care must be taken with your dietary habits as well. While it's been demonstrated that eating a bland diet does not really affect the course of symptoms associated with IBS, the high intake of liquids during meals can produce complications because peristalsis is typically enhanced, making any pre-existing dysregulation worse. Try drinking less liquids during the meal and save them for afterward, consuming them slowly over a period of time rather than all at once. Avoid heavy meals and try to eat 6 smaller meals during the course of the day. Stress and/or anxiety has also been shown to be associated with an increase in IBS symptoms. Since I am unaware of your circumstances in this regard, I'll refrain from suggestions other than it's important to counteract stress with exercise and time to simply relax, with good sleep habits. As for the use of anti-diarhhreal medications, try altering your diet foremost and use these drugs as a last resort. While they can bring direct relief for diarhhrea in most cases, they will do little to affect the spasm quality and dysregulation associated with IBS. Many patients under these circumstances state that they feel the continuous urge to have a bowel movement but are unable, or in cases where a bowel movement was possible, it feels as though they still need to evacuate but can't. You'll be fine. This is far less likely in the category of something like cancer, the nature of which is very progressive with pain or discomfort typically being one of the latter most symptoms. Again, try working with your primary care physician or specialist to treat this on the basis of IBS and together with some lifestyle changes, you may find symptoms diminishing. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • September 17, 2008
    • 10:43 PM
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  • What about dairy? For months, I used to experience a lot of what you descibed and they disappeared after I cut out all dairy products.
    mineemee 13 Replies
    • September 17, 2008
    • 11:32 PM
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  • Hello,I went through the same symptoms for about a year before they finally decided it was Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Was started on Amitriptiline 20 mg at bedtime and Metamucil once a day and I feel so, so much better and began feeling so much better after being on the meds for 2 weeks. And they did run every test on me>.
    lynne01 1 Replies
    • September 18, 2008
    • 02:57 AM
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  • I had similar symptoms once accompanied by nausea, light sensitivity, and eye pain - it was Acute Narrow Angle Glaucoma attacks. I was labeled as a hypochondriac, an attention seeker, a psych job, etc. If I'd waited to seek treatment, I'd be blind today in one eye. So much for doctors who think they have it all figured out.I've had so many misdiagnoses of various illnesses, it's ridiculous.If you indeed have IBS, I'd get the doctors to look further as to why you have IBS.I had that too for years. It would come and go. Finally, being given various medications to stop it, I was diagnosed with thyroid disease. After getting on the right dose of medication, my IBS was gone.Have you been on any trips lately? Gone camping or hiking and had unpurified water? Lots of other things this could be as well.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 18, 2008
    • 01:14 PM
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  • Maybe celaic disease. Try here: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/
    aquila 1263 Replies
    • September 18, 2008
    • 01:50 PM
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  • Hello,I went through the same symptoms for about a year before they finally decided it was Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Was started on Amitriptiline 20 mg at bedtime and Metamucil once a day and I feel so, so much better and began feeling so much better after being on the meds for 2 weeks. And they did run every test on me>.I have to say that amitriptiline is a sedator and a dehydrater which the latter is why it is working for you but beware of its nasty side effects such as mood swings and water retention as a result of soaking up the water in your stool and retaining it in another area of your body.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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