IBS or not? Constantly swelled belly

Hi there

A consultant recommended me to this site.

For 7 months I have had a swelled belly, looks like I am pregnant but being male lol. I have no pain or discomfort though.

Been to my GP and a Gastroenterologist. They did a physical examination on my abdomen and said it felt fine. My GP give me various IBS medication (Colofac, Buscopan, Colpermin) but I don't feel any effect from taking them. Was even given Omeprazole as one GP thought it would reduce the gas.

My GP recommended probiotic drinks to reduce passing wind also.

Also had stool tests, faecal tests, blood tests, celiac test and all came back normal. The consultant suspected inflammation but that was not the case either and he concludes IBS.

One GP wanted me to take a endoscopy but my other GP said no to this and so did the consultant.

The worst its been is going to the toilet to pass stool upto 5 times per day. Each time only only being able to pass a bit. This has gradually gotten better and now I'm only going 2 times a day now. Also been passing a lot of wind.

I'm just really fed up of looking like I have a huge belly when I only weigh 65kg. I go to the gym every day for a good workout.

Not sure how this all started. I just remember feeling bloated and gasy and the next thing I knew I had a big belly and its remained like that ever since.

Does anyone know what is inside my belly to cause this swelling? One GP said it was just air as my intestines are having a functional problem and being sluggish. So food isn't passing through normally and hence a lot of air is trapped.

Do I really have IBS and has anyone been in the same situation of looking like they have a big belly constantly with no side affects like discomfort or pain?

Any advice would be appreciated. I am thinking of joining the IBS network too.

Thank you

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12 Replies

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  • Sorry but as I am in the same situation as you there is not a lot of advice I can offer you. There is one useful bit of advice that I can pass on for the wind. Try charcoal tablets. Yes charcoal tablets. You can get them in health food shops, chemists and on the internet but try chemists or the health food shops first. They help dispearse the gass. My ellderly mother tried them recently and had relief after a few doses. I think you take two every four hours. They have instructions about this. Try them. You will be pleasantly suprised.

  • Thank you I got some today and started taking them. Hope it will help!

  • IBS as you can see can be a very complex diagnosis and very prevalent. Major contributary factors which certainly in my clinical practice are prevalent

    Lactose intolerance - not producing enzyme lactose to digest milk sugars lactose. Therefore the probiotic yogurt drinks as they are dairy based might not be a good idea.

    Low probiotics in gut of which w should have approx. 11,000 trillion. 21st century living has has a huge adverse effect on them..

    With low gut flora a yeast called candida can become out of control and cause many quality of life issues.

    All of the above can cause abdominal swelling, pain and bowel dysfunction. Good news there is something you can do to relieve this.

  • although you may not be diagnosed as coeliac you could still have an intolerance to wheat. Have you tried an intolerance test - only do one food group at a time ? Keep a diary of food intake and how you feel with exact timings - do this for at least three weeks - to see what changes there are

    I did my own lactose/dairy intolerance test this way as I understand that the lactose test is not always right

    Also brassicas, cabbage etc, are well known for causing bloating

  • This sounds like a good step to take. I'll be doing this next.

    Not sure about a food diary though because the swelling is constant so I don't feel its any particular food that causes it.

  • Have a look at Dr Jensens Guide to Better Bowel Care. After this a good probiotic is VSL3. I also find Oxypowder helpful see Finchley Clinic website for details and advice. Good luck

  • Thank you will look into that. Seems very interesting especially the cleansing process

  • Ooooh! Chi1912 I sympathise I am female weighing 51kilos and I really do not know where all the wind comes from. My suggestions cut out food stuffs that ferment in the gut for me one food stuff which is a no no is mushrooms. Take a pro-biotic. Walking can relieve wind. Do eat regularly and not go too long without food. And yes do join the IBS Network I have found them very helpful. Good Luck

  • Try charcoal tablets for the wind. I swear by them and they do work for the smelly gas.

  • Thanks for the replies everyone! I recently spoke with the occupational health therapist at work and she said she'll organise some intolerance tests for me. Maybe I really have become allergic to something in particular. Just glad someone is helping me through this.

    Like I said above I have also got some charcoal tablets so hopefully they'll help with the bloating.

  • hi there,i cant offer you advice as in the same position.had swollen belly for few years and increasing and assumption of IBS.i say this because i only found out my dr thought it to be IBS in a letter he wrote.never actually said IBS to me just saying "its your stomach".i have never complained of any symptoms and my bowels have always been normal up until recently when given fibrogel and then laxido .like you given meds which only made swelling worse and stomach increased by another 1".all my tests come back normal .I had an endoscopy which revealed other conditions,yet they still insist its IBS when I know its not- mostly cos poor appetite,sometime only have breakfast-weight gain(was 11.5 stone in 2012,now 14 stone +) being all abdominal and no one has accepted that.i know mine isn't food related.

    good luck hope you get a definite diagnosis.IBS is all too easily diagnosed when they don't have any other causes.

  • IgG tests for food intolerances are not an accurate way of seeing if you have a food intolerance theibsnetwork.org/the-self-... this hopefully will give you more information.

    The IBS Network Advisory Group

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