IBS or Gallbladder?

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Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 4/15/2008 10:12 AM (GMT -7)   
This has been my question for a while now. Does anybody else with IBS get major pain and bloating in the middle of the upper stomach(where the ribs meet). It is usually right after I eat something or drink coffee. I also get this weird yellowish mucus discharge with BM's. My doctor assures me it is IBS, he said it was so severe that he almost couldnt do the colonoscopy because of the spasms, I just never thought that it would affect it up so high!

Post Edited (Loni123) : 4/15/2008 2:46:16 PM (GMT-6)

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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 4/15/2008 11:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Have you had a scope of your stomach and upper intestine, by any chance?
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Please always remember to consult your medical professional regarding your medical questions; this forum is intended to provide patient-to-patient support. Although some of us have healthcare backgrounds, we cannot diagnose or treat patients on the board.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 4/16/2008 6:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes 2 weeks after my colonoscopy, he didnt really find anything, which I thought he would find something there and not with the colonoscopy, our bodies are so strange! I really thought I had an ulcer, I was shocked to have an IBS diagnosis. I had an ultra sound done on my gallbladder once before because of the pains that I was having, I have been having the pain and bloating for 15 years but the last couple of weeks it seems to be getting worse then it has ever been before.

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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 4/16/2008 7:09 AM (GMT -7)   
One, an ultrasound is far from conclusive; you need a HIDA scan to actualy test for gall bladder function to see if it's working right.

But the fact that you were having spasms lower down in your intestines does sound more like IBS; you shouldn't have that problem with a bad gall bladder (or, you could have both--never know). Anyways, did he or anyone else give you any sort of anti-spasmodic to take when you're having that problem? Also, did they do a stool sample to see if that yellow discharge is bile acid? While bile in the stools is often linked to a bad gall bladder, people whose intestines are working too fast can have bile in their stools because there's no time for the body to reabsorb it properly. If you are having bile, with or without a bad gall bladder, you can try taking the medicine that I'm on, which is Welchol; it soaks up bile in the intestines. However, that will not stop the cramping/spasaming that you have.

As you have probably figured out, coffee--even decaf--is pretty well a no-no. Caffeine was my gall bladder's worst trigger, and many, many people with IBS can't tolerate it either (decaf coffee has less caffeine, but is not caffeine-free).

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 4/16/2008 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   
my doctor put me on Zelnorm, but when it was pulled he didnt give me anything else. I asked him for something and he said well the Zelnorm should of cleared it up so I shouldnt need anything else from here on out????????? I have never had my stool tested, maybe I should suggest this to my doctor. I am now on an HMO so I will have to start over with another doc because he is not on my insurance, prob a good thing lol. Yes I know, and am sooooo sad about the coffee. I am also learning that chocolate,pizza and all those other foods I love to eat are going out the door. I hate IBS!!!

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/3/2008 6:56 AM (GMT -7)   
IBS and Gallbladder
Came across this topic and thought i might share my experience. I had lower abdominal pains some 6 months ago that wouldnt go away, had constipation and irregular bowel movements, it was extremely frustrating, i went to a GP who said I have IBS I then went to a gastroenterologist and he did an endoscopy and a colonscopy and a ultrasound and a full blood count and found nothing and said its IBS. I changed my diet , exercised , pretty much tried everything but the problem still persisted. 5 months later i went back to the gastroenterologist with similar pain but more in the upper abdominal region and a bit to the right hand side but also the lower abdominal pain. He sent me to do a CT Scan and full blood count and a food allergy test. All came back normal. The gastroenterologist was a bit dumbfounded and so referred me to a surgeon. The surgeon asked me about 20 questions , said I need to go do a Isotope test to check the gallbladder as they would not be able to pick a problem up necessaraly on a CT scan. So 30 minutes later I was doing a isotope test and sure enough my gallbladder was completely dysfunctional, it just didnt work at all, following day i had a laproscopic surgery to remove my gallbladder and out of hospital in 24 hours. SUDDENLY my IBS has disappeared. So what does that tell you? The surgeon said something very interesting, he said that alot of doctors are very quick to say that you have IBS but in alot of cases there is an underlying problem that may mimic IBS such as mine. Also IBS is common but so is gallbladder removal, so best do an isotope test and see if your gallbladder is not maybe the underlying problem. Its generally not an expensive test. They put the isotope into your vein, and watch the tracer  move through your liver, gallbladder, small intestine and finally bowel. Mine didnt enter the gall bladder at all it was completely dysfunctional.
Hope someone can maybe cure their IBS from this info, also my bowel movements are normal now and I can eat any food as well

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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 6/3/2008 7:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi mtuckersa,
Welcome to HealingWell! :-)
Thank you for sharing your story with us.
Unfortunately, you're right, there are many ailments out there that can mimic IBS. That's why it is super important for people to be persistent the way you were. Keri too, had to make several trips to the doctors and do at least a couple hidascans before they found her dysfunctional gallbladder. You know your body best, and if you feel something's not right, then no one's going to fight for you but yourself.
Thanks again for sharing!
Co-Moderator IBS Forum
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