I'm a 27-year-old otherwise healthy female from the UK and I've been unwell since August 2020. My main symptom is the feeling of trapped gas in the lower abdomen, more towards the pelvic area and next to the hip bone. The pain is worse on the left but sometimes spreads to the right. When I massage the area I hear gurgling, like liquid sloshing around. On the left, I can also feel what I think might be my colon - a long, sausage-like shape which is tender when I apply quite a bit of pressure. I don't know if it's normal to feel the colon (or even if it is the colon - I've not been examined by a doctor because of Covid) or if it's inflamed.
What is strange is that the pain is far worse when I lay down, so at night time it is very uncomfortable and I've been getting very little sleep. It just feels like the gas is pooling in the lower abdomen and I can't do anything to release it. Painkillers don't take the pain away as it's more the discomfort and sensation. Over the last couple of weeks, the pain has been increasingly getting worse throughout the day, as well as night.
All my doctor has done so far is blood tests. I'm not sure what for but I know it included Celiac and CA125 (both negative). I also had a pelvic ultrasound in December to rule out a gynaecological cause and the sonographer noted follicles on my ovaries, possibly PCOS. This diagnosis is pending the gynaecologist reviewing the scan and deciding whether I need more tests to confirm. I asked my GP about this and he thinks that even if it is PCOS, it wouldn't be causing me the intestinal pain I'm experiencing. He also said that whilst I'm under the gynaecological referral, he can't refer me to a gastroenterologist because they would unlikely accept his referral because the two services often overlap. So, until I hear back from the gynaecologist one way or the other, I can't get a referral. Given the current situation, even if I was to get a referral I'd be waiting months. I can't face that long in this much pain and discomfort.
My doctor has been pretty dismissive and said it's IBS, and has prescribed peppermint capsules and now Mebeverine, which have not made a difference and I've been taking them for four weeks now. I was put on a course of Metronidazole antibiotics in case it was an infection, with no improvement. I'd also like to emphasise that I've not had any bowel changes and my symptoms are not relieved when I have a bowel movement. This makes me find it hard to believe that it is IBS. I can't think of anything that could have brought any of these symptoms on and I've never had any problems before. The doctor I spoke to last time said there weren't any more tests to be done, such as stool, endoscopy or CT scans, because I don't have bowel changes and I'm young. I asked this because it even says on the NHS website that IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion, but things like IBD, diverticulitis etc. have not been excluded because I've been refused testing. It seems that because of my age and lack of bowel changes, I'm not likely to get any further tests because statistically, I'm unlikely to have anything 'serious'.
My diet has not changed and has been consistent for years. I've tried cutting out lactose, with no improvement, for a couple of weeks. I'm now on week 4 of low FODMAP, and I've been noting down everything I'm eating. I've not noticed any improvements or trigger foods, so I'm not sure it's diet-related. The diet is just making me more miserable and drained. I've tried Fybogel sachets to try and increase my fibre intake. Although it made me slightly more regular, it didn't bring me any relief of symptoms.
I'm desperate for any insight into this as I am frustrated about the lack of help from my doctor. I'm exhausted from lack of sleep (from pain) and I'm also losing weight (which is not good as I'm already very slim). I'm at a loss of what to do and getting desperate. Are there more tests I should insist upon? Are there supplements/herbal tablets I could try? Are there any other foods I should try and avoid? I have another phone appointment on 7th January with my GP and would like to be prepared to try and advocate some investigations without sounding like I've been Googling all of my symptoms.