Can pbc affect your bowels

I started having pains on right hand side of body lower down about 3 years ago. Dr pushed on it andi nearly went through roof. She told me it was my bowel and just to take probiotics and watch my diet. I saw another Dr who told me that other things are in that area and she sent me for ultrasound (apparently she was checking my ovaries but I didn't know at the time)I have mentioned this problem to 3 different drs and even the gastro consultant last week who to!d me about my ama's but nobody seems interested.all i know is that it feels slightly tender and I do not go the toilet properly anymore. (When I do manage to go it ist right). I have really bad smelling wind and I know this is not normal for me. It all started around 3 years ago. Anyone else got similar problems? Feel embarrassed talking about this but getting nowhere fast at drs. Thanks

9 Replies

  • Hi there yes bowel problems seem to be common in PBC as have read on here lot of people complain about. I mainly would have bouts of constipation I try to drink at least one to two litres of water a day get my 5 a day fruit and veg, eat high fibre breakfast cereals mainly porridge and try to keep very active. If find havent gone for few days doing all of that will resort to taking laxative medicine to aid the process. Good luck hope you get prob sorted soon. x

  • Thanks littlemo, I think maybe trying a laxative would be a good idea.x

  • I take lactulose for the constipation and it seems to help

  • Hello flowerpower66.

    I think yes due to PBC as one of the symptons of PBC that you can experience is pale stools which is apparently due to lack of excreted bile as that is what gives them the colour they normally are. I think personally that perhaps this can upset things a little.

    I know back in 2010 when I started itching I seemed quite fine, no stomach problems, constipation (never really suffered with diarrhoea) or digestive upsets but after starting urso Dec 2010 I did experience heartburn for a few months and a bit of bloating and I did start to feel constipated despite no change in the diet I did have pre-urso.

    I remember back in the late 1970s my sister was admitted to hospital with what appeared to be appendicitis but it turned out she was badly constipated and it was giving the symptons you'd experience with appendicitis.

    I've not experienced any problems with the odd bouts of constipation since taking urso as I then tend to step up slightly more with fibre then (try adding some milled linseed for eg to a breakfast cereal or in baking - I use some in gluten-free pancakes I make as buy gluten-free white flour mix). A diet that has a good supply of fibrous fruit and vegetables and also cereals requires a good intake of fluid too.I tend to switch to drinking red tea later in the day as it hydrates as opposed to dehydrating apparently and it is caffeine-free. I don't go overboard with tea/coffee and will often drink a glass of hot water (I don't do cold liquids very well unless it is really hot weather).

  • I have had these problems for years but my gastro doc says its irritable bowel syndrome probably caused by the stress of having PBC. Not sure if that's true but my bowels are always bad now.

  • My Doctor advised a Senokot every night and said this would be fine to take regularly. I sometimes forget but it does help to keep things moving. I do try the to have a good diet but am not fanatical about it.

  • Hello flowerpower

    I think the answer is definitely yes. ") years on I have found a complete reversal of the constiation that was common prior to taking Urso. I do have fruit anf fibre every morning but find urgency more of a problem than anything else! Need to get thyere fast. So it seems that bowels in PBC vary amongst us as much as anything else. Have you tried a high fibre diet?

  • Thanks guys, as ever good advice. When I'm feeling better I will endeavour to look at this as I can't really go on like this.x

  • Hi flowerpower66, I also suffer from stomach pain, mine was on my left side and was horrendous, pain killers didn't really help, and I would walk around holding my side and took a hot water bottle to work to try and ease the pain! I had an ultrasound which found nothing and after a year of severe pain my consultant finally suggested a gastroscopy, this found that I have gastritus and a hiatus hernia. I've been prescribed omoprrzole and the pain has gone. I do have to be careful with what I eat as I've found that bread brings the pain back, but I still suffer from constipation, trapped wind and diarrhoea on occasions, but it is miles better than it was. I find that yoga helps with the wind problem (strange but true!) it also helps with my joint and muscle pains. I tried probiotics for a few months, but didn't make much difference so stopped and just eat a healthy diet with loads of fruit and veg and drink loads of water and no alcohol or caffeine. My advice would be to keep investigating and hopefully they'll find out what the problem is, you shouldn't just have to put up with that kind of pain! Good luck xx

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