New to boards. Could I have IBS?

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/9/2007 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone

Thank you for reading my post.

For the past 11 days I have had bloating, gas, and belching--pretty much all day long. It starts in the morning and seems to get worse as I eat meals through the day. Sometimes right after I eat just a little I have belching and feel full in my stomach. I have alot of flatulence and a lot of uncomfortable bloating. It started with strong cramps in my bowels about 11 days ago that lasted an hour. I don't have strong cramping anymore. Only the bloating and flatulence and belching. I do not have any D. My stools seem pretty normal for me, although typically on some days I tend towards constipation which always goes away when I add in fruits and veggies. I have a BM every morning and as long as I eat fruits and vegetables my stools are usually ok.

I am female.
I just turned 40.
My weight is normal (I am 5'9" and weigh about 130 lbs)
I have NO history of digestive disorders, other than occassional constipation
I am currently breast feeding my 6 month old baby
I tested negative for Giardia
An urgent care doctor (Not my primary care doc) palpated my gallbladder area and said my liver and gallbladder feel normal.
I have tenderness/pain under my right ribcage--but only when I press there, and not all of the time.
It doesn't seem to matter what I eat. Everything is bothering me.

I am paranoid that I may have ovarian cancer (no family history but one side of my family is from Eastern Europe, I have mild Endometriosis, I didn't have kids until my late 30s, I took fertility medications for several cycles.) I have an ultrasound scheduled for next week to look at my ovaries, but neither the Urgent Care Doctor nor my acupuncturist thinks I have Ovarian Cancer.

My acupucturist has me on digestive enzymes, pro-biotics, and some curing pills for digestion (started them last night). She thinks I may have gotten some kind of virus and my intestines got out of wack and seems to think I will be back on track in a few days. Today I woke with lots of gas before I even started eating or drinking anything!!!

It is just so disconcerting to not know what is causing this. Sometimes during the day I feel fine, but when I eat, or sometimes right after, or sometimes 1/2 hour or 2 hours later I feel crummy.

I just started keeping a food diary a few days ago. I have never had any food intolerances that have seemed obvious. I don't have any food allergies.

I eliminated dairy for 2 days at the suggestion of the Urgent Care doctor, but it didn't seem to make a difference.

I don't eat alot of sugar. I don't drink soda. My biggest vice is a cookie or icecream several times per week and I don't always eat whole grains at breakfast.

I don't know what to do next. I coincidentally have a physical scheduled for next week.

Should I try some sort of elimination diet or dietary changes?

What questions should I bring to my primary care doctor next week?

What further testing should I have?

Thank you so much for any thoughts!!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 8/9/2007 11:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mimi,

I can't really say whether you have IBS or not. The doctor has to rule that out. Based on your excess gas though, it sounds like a possible bacteria problem. Your acupunturist gave you some good things, the probiotics and digestive enzymes should help with that. Sometimes that takes a while though to start working, give a few days at least. Sugar seems to be the biggest problem with bacteria but it sounds like you don't eat too much but many things can cause overgrowth of bacteria (including antibiotic use).

Belching, fullness and bloating can also point to the possibility of GERD or heartburn so you may want to mention it to your doctor.

Good Luck

Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Co-Moderator ~ Lupus Forum 
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Klonopin PRN, Miralax 17g, Supplements

Post Edited (dbab) : 8/9/2007 12:30:56 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 8/9/2007 12:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I am over in crohns but saw your post and wanted to assure you about some stuff. My mom has late stage three ovarian cancer. To test for it you would have a ct scan w/ contrast and a ca-125 blood test. ca-125 can elevate with some female problems (i.e. endo and fibriods) but mainly it is used to see if the chemo is working. Basically it is a rough indicator. It is unlikely that you have cancer, but sometimes it is better to be safe then sorry.
Good luck!
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I will find a way, or make one.-Philip Sidney
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/9/2007 2:08 PM (GMT -6)   
With your baby just 6 months old, this may all be part of your body adjusting to your hormones. It can take a bit to get those back on track, and they DEFINITELY play a role in how your bowels function. Your doctor may also be right that you have just picked up a little stomach bug/bacteria and that the probiotics will help. Mind you, they cause gas when you first start taking them, so don't confuse that gas (or gas from fiber, if you take that) with gas coming from a gut problem.

Also, according to the Rome II Criteria, you have to have symptoms such as these for a total of 6 weeks out of a year (not necessarily consecutively) before you can be diagnosed with having IBS (and provided they've ruled everything else out); that's because you can pick up a stomach bug or go through a hormonal time that can mess your guts up for a little while. While it's not bad to get yourself checked out, don't trust a doctor telling you that you have IBS until you've had these symptoms at least 6 weeks. Some doctors are a little IBS-happy now and they'll slap that label on you and refuse to do anything else for you. That's not right in any case, but especially if your symptoms are still new and there's things you can do (like the probiotics) to treat what may not be a permanent condition.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/9/2007 4:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all of the input!!

Keriamon, is it true that Pro-biotics cause gas initially? I had never heard that?

Also, do folks suggest I increase my fiber intake right now? Will that help or just confuse matters??


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 8/9/2007 5:25 PM (GMT -6)   

Your gassiness might increase if you start taking fiber supplements.  I'd suggest waiting for a week or two to see if this resolves on its own, and then think about fiber supplements or increasing the fiber in your diet.  Probiotic formulas can occasionally cause increased gassiness in people, but that usually subsides within a few days.

This could be so many things, so definitely be as patient as you can.  Don't zero in on a diagnosis just yet!  If you're having right upper quadrant (RUQ) pain, an abdominal ultrasound or even an upper endoscopy might be wise.  Your physician can palpate your abdomen, but they really need to actually see the organs for a more thorough picture. 

Dbab was right on that your symptoms could be indicative of GERD, and I've heard that this occasionally presents after pregnancy in some women.  The upper endoscopy is the test of choice for that beast.


Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/10/2007 9:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Culturelle gives me some serious gas and I can't seem to get over it; but it really is great about keeing me from getting D when I'm on antibiotics. I take it before bedtime so that most of the gas comes and goes while I'm asleep and so I don't have too much left over the next morning. Acidophilus caused some gas in me intially, but I seem to be okay with it now. I think it's Lil that's the exact opposite of me: Culturelle is fine with her but acidophillus always makes her gassy. So you might have to go with some other probitoic if you notice getting gassy after taking it and that that gassiness doesn't subside.
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