New, in pain and worried

Hi everybody. I'm Gemma. I'm 34 and have been told I have ibs although I've not undergone any actual tests. Doctors said could easily confirm it due to my symptoms.

I am usually constipated but for the last 5 days I've had diarrhea. I have severe bloating, my upper abdomin is distended and double the size it normally is. Had to loosen my bra as it was so tight. I'm tired, uncomfortable, in pain and keep having nausea. I'm taking mebeverine 3 times a day before meals. I'm not intolerant to any foods. The doctors have tested for that. I just need some advice on what to do by someone who understands my condition. I'm panicking it's something more sinister as bowel and stomach cancer has been in my family. I'm utterly low, weepy and just don't know what to do with myself

13 Replies

  • Aww Gemma!! Has the doc suggested tests needed to exclude the things your family been through?

    I joke I have a beach ball under my tops and until recently I'd gain like 3lbs having an ibs attack from water retention - the bodies way to cushion the poorly part of your bowel!!

    Make sure your doc rules out the family history for you - be strong and force the issue and hopefully you can have that excluded!!

  • Thank you for your kind reply. The doctors haven't done any further tests regarding ibs or stomach cancer etc etc. They said from my symptoms it's clearly ibs and haven't taken it any further. But it's just getting worse, the pain is terribly uncomfortable, the bloating it making it hard to even stand up from a chair, headaches are horrendous, and nothing helps. I've started taking peppermint oil capsules today to see if that helps.

  • Try low fodmap diet, may offer relief from bloating

  • Please talk to doc again and explain family history - ask for tests!! If it is ibs it's bad enough ( not as bad as cancer ) but better you know it's that and you can take action. I've been diagnosed ibs Rome II but also have inflammation in stomach and duodenum - which I think is the main cause of my ibs - too much acid produced in stomach and causes all my problems. See if going gluten free and dairy free help!! Read labels each time you go shopping once they have excluded the nasty things!! All the best xx

  • A GP cannot diagnose IBS. You need to insist on being referred to a gastrologist to have tests to rule out anything else. IBS is used as an excuse as it is not a disease in itself just the diagnosis they give which means they can't really find anything else.

    As said above try Fodmaps way of eating for a while. Get the Monash University app and follow the green traffic light foods for up to six weeks then add back in other foods one by one. IBS is different for anyone so although you may not come up as allergic to a food on an allergy test that food may still affect you.

    You could try going gluten and/or dairy free first for a week each to see if they make a difference.

    I wish you luck.

  • See a different GP and insist on being referred. Put a complaint into the practice manager. For 2 years my GP was the same and insisted I had IBS. Wouldn't refer me etc. Turns out I had an ovarian Cyst. By the time I finally had a scan it was 15cm x 20 cm and I had to undergo a hysterectomy!! GP's make my blood boil . I wish had had spoken up or changed doctors.

  • Hi Gemma, my GP decided my symptoms added up to IBS and despite an almost constant pain in my left side & a suggestion from a consultant Gastroenterologist I work for that I have a CT my GP refused! Especially with your family history which should be investigated at the very least, I agree you should insist on a referral to a specialist. GP's only know a little about a lot of conditions & mainly serve to refer you for specialist opinions.

    In my case the gastroenterologist I work for has arranged himself for me to have a flexible sigmoidoscopy & ultrasound scan, for which I am very grateful. As he says anything else needs to be ruled out before I will be able to manage my IBS if that's what it turns out to be.

    Best wishes


  • Hi Gemma, I'm so sorry you are in so much pain and feeling so terrible. I had a whole year of this type of problem last year so I know what you are going through. I kept going back to the surgery and in the end I asked for tests to be done. I know it's hard to insist on tests but with your family history you have every reason to. They can do a stool test which can be organised from the surgery which would be a start. It would also be a good idea if you were to have a colonscopy too or a CT Scan or Ultrasound Scan and blood tests too. It's a shame we have to suffer so much before doctors will do anything to properly diagnose what is wrong. Don't give up, please go back as soon as you can get an appointment and insist that you need some tests due to your family history. If the doctor you see doesn't listen, ask to see another one at your surgery if you have more than one. I saw four different ones until one of them decided to send me for tests. I really hope you soon get some help, don't leave it. I know what a trauma it all is and you are really worried but it's better to get it sorted out than keep leaving it. Thinking of you.

  • There are several bowel conditions and your doctor needs to send you for hospital tests taking into consideration your family history

    go back to the doctor

  • Gemma you must insist on being referred for a colonoscopy. A doctor can only diagnose ibs if everything else has been ruled out. I went for years in pain and my GP saying it is just ibs. I got a new doctor who sent me for further tests and diagnosed with diverticulosis and intussusception.

  • There are non invasive tests to rule out IBS from other more serious conditions. Blood tests (WSH marker), Gastro-Tumoral marker (also from blood), Calprotectine tests (stool sample). Go to a private lab, and you can have in a week the results.

  • Hi I am new here too. Don't panic I went through the same. It got so bad I couldn't leave the house. I lost control in public and in my own back yard! Diagnosed with IBS and BAM which is bile acid malapsorption. Hang on in there

  • Hi Gemma. I was sitting here looking at the NHS website for info on IBS and saw your post. I'm 45 and have been told I have IBS too by my gp. I was taking mebeverine 3 times a day before meals also, and am awaiting a referral. For the last 5 days I have had bloating and pain in my upper stomach and was wondering what to do (trying not to panic). I took mebeverine for the whole of March then thought I could really feel a build up of it in my system, so I stopped taking it and my stomach went mad. Since first week of April I went back to taking just one in the morning, but stomach feels much worse than it ever did before I took anything for it, especially the last few days.

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