I'm new here and need some help

I wish I found this website a long time ago.

While I haven't been officially diagnosed with IBS it's the closest I can get to understand what I'm going through. I haven't been able to go to the toilet naturally since I was 9, I'm now 27. In the past I've had colonoscopies and colon studies for the doctors to tell me that my digestive system was fine, clearly it is not.

I've managed to manage the condition pretty well for the past 18 years, but I haven't been able to go to the toilet at all for the past 22 days and I'm i ridiculous amounts of pain in anything but the fetal position. My wife who is a midwife says my stomach seems to have gained the equivalent of 6 months into a pregnancy, and is pretty solid. I've tried Lactulose, Movicol, Dulcolax and Suppositories with little success this time around.

I'm a fairly active person, playing sports and gym regularly and have a number of other conditions which keeps my diet fairly restrictive and allergic to a lot of medication, so I strongly doubt my diet is the cause and I haven't taken any medication in months.

I'm going to see my GP this week, but those appointment generally turn out to be fruitless. Does anyone have any advice on how to get the GP to be more thorough in their investigation and any alternative remedies.

Sorry for the long first post

10 Replies

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  • The best approach I found with the GP was direct, frank discussions of my symptoms. No tip-toeing, no euphemisms. And keeping numbers and symptom diaries. It shows you're serious.

    As for suggestions to ease your suffering, I suffer from diarrhea, not constipation. But when I'm crampy I like to do the child pose from yoga. I find it comforting for my guts. Might be worth a shot.

  • Dont feel disheartned by not getting all your awnsers straight away. I was initially rushed into hospital for severe stomach pains a few years back and was told i was severely constipated due to my diet. My back pain was apparently from the job i do. The only way i found out was a random meeting with the doctor to review my tablets. He heard my "stomach" constantly rumbling done a few visual checks and thats how i got diagnosed. My advice would be try to keep track of any "unnatural" symptoms around your digestive system including your back and also toilet habits. Take all this information to your doctor as this will help them see the bigger picture.

    To help with my pains i take buscopan which soothes the majority of the pain to a dull ache. If that doesnt work usually a coffee hot bath will help me clear my bowels.

    Hope this helps

    John

  • Hi DLJN89 - I have the opposite IBS to yourself so cannot speak from personal experience. However I did own a Residential Nursing Home way back in the ’80’s and had many incidences of an elderly resident ‘blocked’ up for days on end. Eventually the GP and myself came up with a routine of using something called Microlax twice a week which was like a mini enema that worked beautifully. It is something that you would be able to administer yourself whilst sat on the loo. Might be worth asking your GP about when things get as bad as at present and whilst you get properly diagnosed.

  • Quite honestly I'd go to A and E if you haven't been to the toilet for 22 days and your stomach is like that then you need medical attention. Even more so if your doctors not helpful with you. If it was my partner I'd insist but obviously it's your choice. Wishing you all the best.

  • Oh wow, I feel you, I feel your pain so much! I have exactly the same symptoms as you. The only difference between us is my digestive problems didn't start until I was in my late twenties/ early thirties. I've been through all the laxatives, as you have. The only thing that has ever worked for me is Milk Of Magnesia, if you live in the UK it's available from any pharmacy and probably the larger supermarkets. I'm not sure if it's called anything different in the States but I once suggested it to an American woman who'd never heard of it so it's proper name is magnesium hydroxide. I never even knew this had laxative properties. For me I went 9 weeks without a bowel movement, it was insane. Eventually I was given a sack ( literally) of Picolax and told to drink one an hour until something happened. As you can imagine it was not a pleasant experience, you literally have to live in the bathroom for around 4-6 hours until it clears.

    However in your situation I would seriously recommend going to A&E. if you feel at all unsure about going phone 111 first, the non-emergency NHS helpline. It sounds very much like you have an impacted bowel and I'm 99.9% sure that they'll tell you to go to A&E.

    Another good thing that should come out of your visit to A&E is that you can go and see your GP on Monday. If the receptionist is being difficult or saying there's no appointments say that you've been in hospital over the weekend. You don't need to say why, but that'll get you at the very least a phone call from your doctor. I think the best way to convey how unwell you are is just to be totally honest. Write down all the things you want to tell the doctor, you can even show them the list. Again I've had exactly the same problem with my GP. They just didn't seem to realise how serious this condition is. I've had to give up work. I can only ever have a bowel movement if I take the Milk Of Magnesia. I've lost 3 1/2 stone in weight over the past year. I am now seriously clinically depressed because it's taking so long to get anything done. I had a colonoscopy last March which was so painful I came out of my sedation. I was told I'll need a CT scan to examine me instead but I'll need to see the consultant to be referred for that. I'm finally going to see him on 9th March!

    Don't let your situation end up like this!

    Good luck and let me know how you get on?

  • Hi I have learned over the years that you have to NEG the GP to get anywere. YOU have to be firm !

    Its not good to go without loo for 2 weeks and maybe casualty is the place for you; Ring and find out

    Very Best Wishes

  • I was asked to go on a very restricted diet for a month by a professor doing studies into IBS. He said that I would not be able to go properly on this diet and was given Picolax for a month. That was good. Having said that you have gone far too long without going and need medical help as keeping it in is toxic.

  • After 22 days it's likely that your lower bowel will be seriously impacted and you will need an enema to clear this. This happened to my then girlfriend many years ago and her GP arranged for a district nurse to visit to give her two phosphate enemas. The relief was almost immediate.

  • Thanks for all of your comments guys, I've been keeping a pain/health dairy since the start of the year. Going to see the GP tomorrow. Depending on how that goes, I'll try Milk of Magnesia. I was able to have a small bowel movement today so, the constant pain has dulled.

    It's great knowing we're not alone in this situation

    I'll let you know how t goes at the doctors

  • hope you get some answers deffo get some further studies done now u are older . my mum had diverticulitis and had a bowel blockage. let us know how u get on.

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