Ongoing nausea and stomach discomfort accompanied by differing bowel movements

Around 2005 when I was 15 and taking my exams, I would get sporadic abdominal pain and nausea. My GP referred me to a gastroenterologist and I had numerous blood tests and an endoscopy. Everything came back clean. I was prescribed Lanzoprazole and took Gaviscon tablets. After my exams finished, the symptoms appeared to go away, so the whole episode was put down as gastritis and stress related.

I didn’t have any further problems until May 2015 when I had to leave a cinema halfway through a film due to abdominal pain and nausea. Initially thinking it was a bug, I took a few days off hoping it would pass. However, to this day I am still suffering from an ongoing, undiagnosed stomach problem. I have seen several GPs, one dismissed it as irritable bowel syndrome, and another actually sent me for more blood tests, a stool test and an ultrasound scan. All of which, once again, showed nothing untoward. It is a daily struggle thinking ‘Am I going to get through today without any problems?’ My bowel movements have been affected also, with constipation a recurring issue. I took Fybogel for an extended period of time to try and resolve this and it worked initially, however I no longer take it and my bowel movements are still irregular. I go around 4-5 times a day on average. There doesn’t seem to be any pattern with anything. I altered my diet around a year ago to consciously eat more healthily – fruit, fibre, drink plenty of fluids. I don’t drink alcohol and only occasionally eat fatty takeaway foods.

I have tried many different remedies suggested by doctors over the past 22 months - some ease the symptoms but none have sorted me out. Obviously I haven’t been taking these all at the same time, but each for set periods of time to see if they made any difference:

2005: Lanzoprazole, Omeprazole, Gaviscon

2015 onwards: Omeprazole, Nexium Control, Buscopan, Fybogel, Cyclizine Hydrochloride, Tums, Vitamin Supplements

If I had to describe my symptoms in a sentence, it would be:

A regular feeling of nausea and stomach discomfort accompanied by differing bowel movements.

I am only 26 and I am at a loss at what to do. It is constantly getting me down and I get upset and angry because I just want to feel normal. The fact that tests and scans show nothing yet I clearly feel unwell is frustrating too. Has anyone got/had a similar problem? Any advice would be a big help!

Thanks.

21 Replies

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  • Hi have you had any stress lately, upset, shock, surprise-these can all cause IBS.

    I cant have fatty foods not even occasionally. takeaways have transfats-not good for anyone.

    Also try not to eat large meals and in particular after 6 pm; eat when hungry but dont fill up too much.

    Try not to get anxiouse about this eppisode; try to incorporate some relaxation and ME TIME into every day; see your GP if you cant relax or if feeling depressed-tired are suffering fatigue.

    Try to keep a diary of what you eat and you could find out what is the cause.

    If I get angry or upset it sends me stait to the loo; I have has CBT cognative behaveural therapy.

    I have found down the years that with this problem you have to keep pestering your GP and then you will get referals to all kinds of consultants. I started with this at 23.

    But then on the other end it could just be a bug; getting upset about it will make it much worse.

    Very Best Wishes and hope you soon feel much better-do keep me posted

  • Thank you for taking the time to reply, it is reassuring to know that I'm not alone. The episodes I experience are that regular that I can't seem to correlate them with any particular stress or shock etc. I haven't really had anything like that recently - my job can be quite stressful but that has always been the case.

    On the whole, i don't eat nearly as much as I used to. During 2015-2016 I lost a noticeable amount of weight (probably just over a stone) though lack of appetite caused by this ongoing problem. Particular types of food (dairy, wheat etc) don't seem to trigger anything sinister, it's the seemingly random nature of whatever problem I have that baffles me.

    Researching online leads me down all sorts of routes but I am yet to be diagnosed with anything. A description for Crohn's disease on NHS Choices seems to match my 'remission' and 'relapse' period between 2006-2015: "People with Crohn's disease sometimes go for long periods without symptoms or with very mild symptoms. This is known as remission. Remission can be followed by periods where symptoms flare up and become particularly troublesome." However, I don't want to worry myself further by trying to self-diagnose

    I am going to go and see yet another GP soon (the last GP who actually got me an ultrasound has unfortunately left) and hope that I can get a referral to a specialist. In the meantime I will just continue to take each day as it comes and try my best to manage my symptoms.

    Thanks very much, I hope that you also feel better!

  • Hi having no appetite dont sound good; my friend has chrones and had 7 inch of bowel removed; she was in so much pain before opp that could not get her off the bus we were on !

    She was off work for 3 months after opp and needed round the -clock care

    Hope you are soon feeling better

    Bless You

  • Agreed, it was one of my biggest concerns as it was unlike me to not eat properly. Thankfully I have put some weight back on over the past year.

    That sounds very bad I hope your friend has recovered well. It does sound like a drastic operation but was obviously necessary. I have many new questions to ask the doctor when I see them next (thanks to this website) and will definitely be adding Crohn's to the list of tests I require.

    Thank you I appreciate your comments and well wishes.

  • Hi theres a few things I remember about my freind before diagnonsis of chrones-she ate nothing more than protien-too much meat and she was bunged up a lot.

    Then she started getting runs a lot then after a visit to loo she found some strange worms-her bowel was decaying !

    I remember she was very tired and could not rest; her chest was uncomfortable.

    She still gets flare-ups but not gone back to deaths -door.

    On the other hand a male friend started losing blood had emergency surgery and now uses a colostomy.

    he got the hospital virus and was 11 weeks in hospital.

    i remember him saying how tired he was too before, problem arrose.

    he is fine now but on lots of meds.

    Blessings

  • I had And have a similar problem.

    I have the nausea and unpredictable bowel. My onslaught started after a wretched bout of salmonella. You may have had a food Bourne illness that went undetected as so much time has gone by. My diagnosis is PI IBS. No cure supposedly and a chronic condition. For extreme nausea I have a years worth of zofran tablets that work instantly. I don't like to take them or anything else unless I need to. I am also on Ativan as this whole thing has been going on over a year now. Zantac too and tums. The Ativan is my best help so I don't start the anxiety cycle. The other best thing I have found is a product from the US called GI Revive. It's from Designs in Health. It has L glutamine and slippery Elm and some other things that help soothe and heal. I am finally getting better. Stay vigilant and see other doctors if you need. Find a doctor that will put their arms around your case and work from square one. What you are experiencing is not normal.

    Good Luck!

  • Thanks for your reply. It is interesting to note that your problems began after a bout of salmonella. Could it be that the medication you took to remedy this had an adverse effect on your stomach? My problems don't appear to have been triggered by a particular infection or event however, so it's difficult for me to try and work out what started all of this.

    A lot of the possible diagnoses I have seen for conditions like ours all appear to be chronic with no cure which doesn't help with the anxiety one bit. I am hoping to see a doctor again soon so I will mention the products you have listed to them, thanks.

    Yes I agree that having a doctor who appears interested and empathetic to your symptoms is half the battle when trying to convey the extent of your problems to them. The amount of times I have just been dismissed as a viral infection or an upset stomach is frustrating.

    Best of luck in your battle too!

  • Hi I read your post and this sounds totally like me I was diagnosed with ibs 6 years ago but have been suffering with symptoms for far longer than that (I'm 22) last year I pull a muscle in my back and was given strong pain killers and after that I have suffered recurring daily chronic nausea. I have had countless blood tests, endoscopy, ultrasound, scans and a cocktail of various different meds. I now take cyclizine hydrochloride an anti sickness tablet twice-three times a day from the doctor, have cut out dairy as it flairs up my ibs as of recently, and I take a probiotic daily as recommended by a gastroenterologist who said that my nausea is probably caused by spasms in my bowel and triggering spasms in my digestive muscles going up towards my throat causing the nausea and dry heaving. I still suffer with nausea and hardly dry heave anymore but not nearly as severely as I did and I can usually carry on with day to day life/go to work hope this helps x

  • Thank you for your reply. I had read a lot of different posts online that sort of half described my problems so it is somewhat reassuring to read that you can relate to all of my symptoms. I'm sorry to hear that, I have read that pain killers can cause more problems that good in some people. My fiancee is a nurse and she has always advised me not to take Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs) or Ibuprofen as they can aggravate stomach problems.

    The Cyclizine Hydrochloride was prescribed by the GP who actually seemed interested in my case and sent me for the ultrasound. I was advised to only take them as and when required which has turned out to be around 1-2 every other day (more frequently if there is a particularly bad flare up of nausea). I have found that Tums have a similar nausea relieving effect for me so have begun taking those instead whenever I get a flare up. Is the probiotic your use prescribed or can you get them off the shelf?

    Yes your comments have helped as it's helpful to know I'm not alone. I hope that you overcome this horrible problem!

  • I buy my probiotics from holland and Barrett. Glad that it reassured you I found it reassuring to find someone in the same boat as me! I know what you means with the pain killers I have never been able to take ibuprofen as it had always given me dreadful stomach pain and doctors had advised me to avoid them Incase they damaged my stomach lining. i don't even take paracetamol unless I desperately need to (which is almost never)

  • Excellent, I will have a look in there at the weekend then to see if I can find anything that might help me, thanks! Totally agree with that, it definitely helps talking with someone who deals with the same symptoms on a daily basis, knowing that I am not alone.

    Yes I am always wary of painkillers, paracetamol is the only one I will take and like you say only if absolutely necessary.

  • The ones I take are called non dairy acidophilus plus. They are a bit expensive if they aren't on sale though think they are usually £15 so I attempt to buy mine in the sales or when they have little deals on

  • Have you been tested for coeliac recently?

    Before my coeliac diagnosis i was in a similar situation, eating healthily but it was in fact doing me a disservice in actually exacerbating the symptoms.

  • Thanks for replying. I have had numerous blood tests of which I think I have been tested for Coeliac and nothing came back to suggest I should avoid gluten. However, I am hoping to seen a GP again soon so will make sure that Coeliac is tested for again, just to be sure. My cousin has Coeliac so I have been speaking to her about her symptoms and seeing if any tally up with mine.

  • About a month ago, I was miserable everyday with these symptoms, swollen stomach, nausea, uneasiness, shooting pains and some spasms. I went on non-dairy, gluten free, low fodmap way of eating and felt great the past few weeks. Some of the swelling went down and the pain nearly gone. UNTIL yesterday I guess I got too relaxed and the good foods on my list but a little too much. OUCH. Was in pain all night and feel crappy today. I guess I need to live and learn. I've only had these problems the past 3 years since I had breast cancer. I believe the stress, medications and unhealthy eating choices all contributed to this. Live and learn I guess. Starting today I am vowing to eat right, in smaller amounts and try to stay pain free. No food is worth feeling like this.

  • Thank you for your reply, sorry to hear you have been suffering with similar symptoms. I made the conscious decision to eat more healthily around a year ago and I can honestly say that it hasn't really affected the sporadic nature of my symptoms. I haven't noticed any correlation when eating dairy or wheat to my flare-ups. However, I have not yet tried excluding them completely.

    You are absolutely right in saying 'No food is worth feeling like this.' I am hoping to see a GP soon and will try to get a referral to a specialist. If I do have an intolerance, then hopefully they can find it.

    I am very sorry to read you have also been battling cancer - I can't even begin to imagine what you must have been through. I really hope that your new found change in diet helps towards easing your stomach symptoms. Best of luck!

  • I have the same symptoms with stomach discomfort, bloating and feeling of nausea. The doctor increased my Zoloft ( anti depressant) and put me on Amitrip as well. The Ami helped for a while and now not as much.

    This whole thing really sucks! I was and try to be a very active 72 year old!

  • Thank you for your reply, sorry to hear you are suffering as well. I am fortunate enough not to require anti-depressants as yet but as my symptoms show no sign of disappearing I may require them soon. It could well be the increase and combination of a new medication that has had an adverse affect on your stomach? If the symptoms continue for an extended period of time, I'd go back to your doctor and maybe ask him to seek alternative options that hopefully wont cause you any more stomach discomfort.

    Yes it really does suck, I hope you manage to find a solution for your symptoms, best of luck and I hope to be active at 72!

  • Have you had a test for gastroparesis? Just in case it is relevant as a friend has this. al

  • Thanks for your reply. I have not yet been tested for gastroparesis but I am hoping to see a GP again soon so I will flag this up with them and hopefully they can rule it out. I have just looked up the symptoms and some of them sound familiar so it is definitely worth me getting tested for it. Thank you for the suggestion!

  • An Update.

    I have been to see my GP again and had more bloods taken this time specifically looking for markers to indicate Coeliac, Chrons and any other Inflammatory condition. I also had two different stool samples taken for testing.

    These tests have all come back normal.

    My GP decided not to refer me for anything further (i.e. to a specialist or for further tests/scans) and basically said he thinks it's IBS and I will just have to live with it.

    While I am relieved nothing sinister showed in the tests, I am still frustrated with it all as I feel I am back to square one. I still have the same nausea/reflux symptoms and frequent bowel movements. The Ranitidine I was taking didn't really seem to make much difference so I have stopped that altogether. The only thing I now take is a multivitamin with probiotics tablet once a day.

    I guess I am going to have to come to terms with the fact that this is something I am going to have to life with indefinitely :(

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