My doctor thought it was "just" IBS

I've had twinges, cramps and pains in my abdomen for a couple of years now (along with the runs and constipation). I've tried various diets and had no relief. My GP put it down to "just IBS". (Hence I joined this network).

Two weeks ago the pain became unbearable, I collapsed on the floor, doubled up in agony and an ambulance was called. Almost immediately the doctors in A&E came to the conclusion that this was acute cholecystitis (inflamed gallbladder) and scans confirmed it, and showed a mass of large and (much more dangerous) very small gallstones.

I've since seen three GE specialists and they've all said how lucky I was not to have suffered serious complications, walking around with an infected gallbladder for all this time.

I'm surprised how similar some of the symptoms of chronic IBS and acute cholecystitis can be. I wonder if this thought had crossed anyone else's mind and if ultrasound scans of the gallbladder are routinely carried out on patients (to eliminate cholecystitis) before coming to the conclusion that the "problem" is IBS?

Of course, once I have the gallbladder ripped out by the surgeons, there is no guarantee that the pains, spasms, cramps and wind will disappear altogether, so I'm not cancelling my membership of the network yet!

5 Replies

  • When I was having severe abdominal pain in 2013-14, a doctor finally ordered an abdominal-pelvic sono, which can pick up all kinds of things, and does seem like the least expensive way to diagnose some abdominal problems. I'm glad this was done for you and you had surgery. I hope that solves your problem. If your gallbladder had ruptured, that would have been big trouble.

    Unfortunately for myself, mine showed a large cancerous tumor on my right ovary, which led to extensive surgery and chemo.

    Anyway, if you continue to have abdominal pain, check in with this site. Someone may have ideas. I know there is something called a low-fodmap diet that limits certain carbohydrates. I hope you do well, Nesie237

  • I had never heard of this. Good luck with the operation. I hope it solves the problem for you.

  • Glad you have an answer now, hopefully you will shortly be pain free. wish you well.

  • I was actually told the same by a private doctor 2 weeks ago gall stones and a ulcer this was found in one day while my NHS doctor has been treating me for months without even a scan or a examination just seems to think I'm making it up I lost a serious amount of weight which is why I went private hopefully getting better now glad you have found the problem good luck

  • I am so glad that it was caught in time for you but am absolutely appalled that your GP put it down to IBS without any kind of examination - that is completely out of order! I do count myself as very lucky that my doctor didn't diagnose IBS until I had a Colonoscopy and Endoscopy. I've had IBS for around 20 years now and have been experiencing different problems lately so he has referred me to a Gastroenterologist for further tests. My doctor has listened to everything I have said and not only has he referred me to the hospital (as above) he has also carried out a barrage of blood tests to which he is repeating in a few weeks' time.

    Best of luck with you and I hope that you will now recover fully.


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