IBS affecting stomach!!

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/23/2008 11:57 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi all!! I'm a 23 year old woman and while I haven't been diagnosed with GERD, I'm currently going through tests for frequent heartburn. Here's a little background info...

November last year I had an endoscopy/colonoscopy and was diagnosed with IBS, having suffered from frequent abdominal cramps, diarrhea. I was put on 40mg of Prilosec a day (I'd also been getting reflux and heartburn), 10 mg of amitrypteline, and Levsin for when I had cramps. Following the diagnosis, I was told to make an appointment with the gastro doc for the following month to discuss treatment/biopsy results etc. Well, I was promoted at work, got busy and never went to the follow up appointment. In February, I went back to 20mg of Prilosec a day of my own accord. My symptoms seemed to be controlled at this point. I had changed my diet, given up caffeine, spicy foods etc.

During this time, I'd been getting frequent sore throat/swollen glands and eventually went to an ENT doc. He monitered it for a couple of months and was baffled. Eventually, he decided it was my tonsils (despite the fact that they were only mildly inflamed) and asked if I wanted them taken out. I decided against a tonsillectomy since it wasn't the definite cause and is very painful surgery as an adult.

Then, doing some research back in June, I saw that refulx can cause frequent sore throat (funny how these specialists sometimes fail to see the bigger picture). I went back on 40mg Prilosec a day. I was getting regurgitation at night but since I didn't really have heartburn, I just dealt with it. Then in July, I got agonizing cramps one evening, just below my rib cage. It was completely different to IBS cramps, raw and gnawing and happened every time I ate over the next few days. I made an appointment with my gastroenterologist but by that time the pain had subsided, it had lasted about two weeks. I went to the gastro last week and explained everything. Following this pain, my reflux/regurgitation seemed to worsen and I was occasionally getting that gnawing pain, as well as a very sore throat and that 'lump in the throat' feeling when I ate. He ordered another endoscopy and that's what I'm waiting for right now. His thoughts were that the pain was a severe esophageal ulcer that was now healing and that it may have caused inflammation or I had slowed emptying of the stomach (IBS can effect the stomach too), causing food to stay in my esophagus. Needless to say, he said that I should not be getting heartburn on a 40mg a day dosage of Prilosec. Right now I'm getting frequent regurgitation, heartburn and that raw pain below my ribs and well as that blocked feeling in my throat/difficulty swallowing.

I'm going for the endoscopy next week and am really curious to see what they find. I really don't want to have to go through any more procedures, nor does my husband want me to (he's a physician so in his eyes, no procedure done on his wife is a simple one). I think he's more worried than I am just because he knows too much. Anyway, I guess it's got to be done and the long term implications are a lot scarier if it's left untreated.

I've posted this is the GERD/heartburn board too as I don't know yet if IBS is affecting my stomach . Has anyone else experienced this? I'm still getting occasional IBS symptoms but it's not bad right now. Does anyone have IBS that affects the stomach and oesophagus?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 8/23/2008 2:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I have all the reflux problems you have but only occassionally get any actual stomach or intestinal problems. My worst part is the pressure in the throat, the mucous in the throat and it is all from acid which no medicine seems to help. I think it is good you are having the test again. I had mine in December and was diagnosed with esophagitis, gastritis and duodenitis all from acid. It can be very serious if not controlled and mine isn't but there doesn't seem anywhere else to go. Please let us know what they find.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 8/25/2008 10:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I have both GERD and IBS, so I'm really screwed up, lol, or so my wife tells me.

I used to get the sore throat, gas, burning, pain below ribs, etc.; if there was a symptom I had it. I finally had an endoscope done in January or February, after five years of suffering. I couldn't take Prevacid, body didn't like it, Nexium was too expensive, and seemed to see more of the side affects than the benefits, so my new doc had put me on Protonics after the exam. During the exam he said I had massive erosion of the esophagus as well as the stomach lining. Since being on the Protinics, which is cheap, I have felt 90% better as far as the GERD is concerned, no more heartburn, no more pain, no more nausea, and that's no matter what i eat, and I love some spicy stuff.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 8/25/2008 1:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Your doctor mentioned motility: "... or I had slowed emptying of the stomach".  Please note that Prilosec is a PPI antacid (Omeprazole = Prilosec, Esomeprazole = Nexium, Lansoprazole = Prevacid, Pantoprazole = Protonix, and Rabeprazole = Aciphex).  I've read and noted that PPI antacids can (and often do) slow smooth muscle motility.  So--If you already have a slow stomach emptying issue, a PPI will help initially with the acid issues but may (over time) make the underlying problem worse. 
So, it seems to me the best approach is avoiding PPI's.  That's not always possible.  Now that you are on one, getting off of it (and PPI's in general) is very difficult.  When you stop taking the medicine, your stomach will begin to overproduce acid as it 'bounces back'.  This can,of course, cause symptoms to worsen. 
There was a thread on Magnesium deficiency (I'll search for it, I think it was here) that had a lot of good info on getting off of PPI Antacids (--whether or not you think magnesium is a factor the general advice was there).  I recall I read about some folks who tried stopping cold turkey and it didn't work out well (per above).  Others had better luck by slowly cutting down dosages, and/or while beginning an H2 Blocker Antacid, Magnesium, Tums, etc and/or using a supplement like DGL Licorice.  Definitely read up on it and ask your doctor before making any changes.  You may need to keep on the current program until you have a 'good period' and then work out how to phase them out.   [Edit: Here's a link http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&p=1&m=459824 to a thread here on quitting PPI's]. 
I'm a little biased in that DGL Licorice works for me but it's not a magic fix.  I use it as a maintenance product.  It does NOT stop the heartburn directly but, for me, keeps it from coming back and helps with overall protective and healing process.  If I do get heartburn I take Tums, or Pepcid AC (but any H2 would probably be better than PPI, imo).  All that and a careful diet for sure.  Only negative is the taste is bad and you have to chew the capsules (they work with your saliva) before each meal. 
Again, this is all concerning motility as an underlying cause for your current issues. 

Post Edited (eihcet) : 8/25/2008 2:55:29 PM (GMT-6)

frustrated with symptoms
New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/10/2008 12:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I am a 35 year old woman. I have been told I have IBS. 
 I was given zelnorm, loved it!!!!!!  I recently learned that it has been taken off the market, I was bummed.
  I had an expierience in May, I had not had a decent bowel movement in a month. One morning (as before) I started to get the bad heartburn/swollen feeling. I felt like I had to burp and couldn't. I hated to even swallow my saliva. My throat down to the bottom of my ribcage felt swollen inside. It even felt difficult to breath. I felt bloated. My left arm felt numb, like I had slept on it, so I waited over an hour and the numb feeling was still there, so of course this had to happen on a Sunday morning. No doctors office is open. So I end up at the ER. They did a bunch of tests, inc. having me swallow an anesthetic and maylox mixed, that did not help the swollen/burning feeling in my chest/throat. They did an ultra sound of my gull bladder and a scope, they said I looked "perfect". So I got no answers to what that was, I am assuming it is related to my IBS. I haven't heard of anyone having the pain in the throat/esophagus before. It lasted for 3 days.
  Now 4 months later, I am starting the same symptoms....the pain/swelling/heartburn feeling in my throat on down, like I have to burp but can't. Almost like it's hard to get anything down or up. I feel bloated, especially after eating. In May I was given samples of Ametiza. I took one 24mcg on Monday Sept. 8th  and two hours later diarrhea. Like straight water! It helped on the bloating feeling which helped the pain/swelling/heartburn feeling for a day. So last night I took another Ametiza at 9pm........not good, at Midnight I was up with massive diarrhea again.
  So I am wondering does anyone else with IBS have these sypmpoms as well? Everything on the internet I have read about symptoms does not mention the bad heartburn/swollen feeling in the throat/esophagus, being related with IBS.
Thanks for taking the time to read my story....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 9/10/2008 7:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, I get the swollen feeling and the pressure in the esophagous and it can be very painful but I consider it seperate from IBS. I think those of us just have sensitive gastro systems and have many things. Acid contributes to gas. I have a hard time burping and have to really contort my body sometimes to get up a deep burp which helps for a minute and then back it comes. When I get that bad I have to take a Dulcolax and get the gas moving down and out. I feel like I am stuck at the throat and at the stomach but I think it is so much gas in the stomach that it is pushing back up. I take a strong Simethicone pill, Pepto, anything I can get my hands on to break up the gas. I have found that my trigger is coffee(brewed) I have been doing great lately and then today went to lunch and drank a couple cups of coffee and now am a mess with gas and mucous in throat so I will take a Dulcolax tonight, just one so I don't have to run. I have never taken Amizita.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/3/2008 4:03 PM (GMT -7)   

An update...

I went for an endoscopy back in August. It was a lot harder than the first time round. I was soo nervous. The doc didn't find any strictures in my esophagus but he put a dialator through to see if that would help. He said it was probably a functional problem with my esophagus/stomach. So that means that basically none of my digestive system is functioning properly. He said to see how it goes and to come back if there wasn't any improvement and they would do a stomach emptying test.

Well, it's just over a month later and I just keep feeling worse and worse. Every meal I eat gets stuck in my throat and regurgitates back up every few minutes. It clears after a few hours, which means it eventually moves through to my stomach. This regurgitation is leaving my throat raw and very painful and I have constant swollen glands. I'm exhausted, probably a result of my body fighting the swollen glands, sore throat etc. I've also been getting chest pain after eating.

On top of all this, the IBS is still in full swing. As the IBS goes, I have good weeks and bad weeks. A bad week with these swallowing problems is hell, and I'm working full time on top of it. I'm thinking that these problems with swallowing are more severe, maybe achalasia. It seems like my doc was spot on. I was thinking all along this was GERD, that's what my husband thought too. Now I think that food is not even making it into my stomach like it should. I'm biding my time before I go back to the doc. I have one sick day left at work. I think it's a case of waiting until I just can't bare it anymore.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 10/3/2008 6:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I think this is the test that you need. It doesn't sound like fun though but I think you are on the right track with the Achalasia. I realize now this is what my Dad had in latter life but had never heard of it then (no internet).


New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/4/2008 8:05 PM (GMT -7)   

 Thank you Canyonbabe, I think so too.

Got to say I'm pretty dowm right now. Just had an argument with my husband over all of this. I was explaining how I'm feeling worse and it's not IBS it's swallowing food etc that's difficult. He just kept going on and on about how I don't eat a balanced diet and what's the point in doing all these tests if I don't have a proper diet. Well, you know I'm eating better then I did a year ago, gave up caffeine, chocolate, greasy foods, spicy foods. I know I don't get enough fruit, veg but when you're afraid to eat because you know you'll feel like crap no matter what you eat, the last thing you think about is getting a 'balanced diet'. I'm just so upset, all I wanted was support, not a lecture. And to top it off, he's a doctor, you'd think he'd have compassion. As I said, would you tell a patient that they "eat like crap" if they told you they were feeling bad. I know for a fact that he wouldn't and he would treat them a lot different than he did me tonight. I don't know if it's that being a doc, he knows too much and can't accept the fact that this is something that won't go away with a "balanced diet". I feel like he doesn't believe me, that he thinks I'm making too much out of it. Well I wish he could walk in my shoes for a day... He keeps questioning my doctors diagnosis, saying maybe I should see another doctor. I don't know at what point I should take his advice or not. He's not a GI doc. The biggest part is, it's stopping me from going on with this other test, going back to my doctor and there's nobody else I can lean on.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 10/5/2008 10:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey greeneyes, I'm sorry to hear you're so down. I'm studying to be a doctor and trust me, most docs have NO IDEA what it is like to be in less-than-optimum health. Most people who are chronically ill don't go into medicine because they know that the schooling and residency is so freakin' demanding...so you get these young, healthy people who really don't "get it." Certainly there is not enough attention paid in medical school to the actual patient experience of illness (if I have anything to say about it when I become a doctor, and hopefully professor, that will change radically)! Plus, they see some pretty horrific things and hear some horrific stories - we are trained with "worst-case scenarios" - so they tend to become jaded over time. Worse yet, this is your husband, and it makes it all the more difficult for him to see you in pain.

My dad is a doctor and when I got very ill as a youngster with fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, etc. he gave me Pepto Bismol and told me to wait it out. Turns out I had appendicitis and my appendix ended up rupturing because we didn't get to the doctor in time because my physician father thought it was indigestion!

Case in point: you do what you need to do for you. Your husband is not your doctor; let him be in charge of his patients' care and you and your own doctor be in charge of YOUR care. It's imperative to set boundaries!

Have you had a gastric emptying scan done, 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 Jul 2008
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 10/6/2008 3:24 PM (GMT -7)   

hi green eyes, just a thought but have you been tested for h-pylori ? that can be very painfull and a lot of the symptoms you are describing reminds me of when i had it.

amanda x

extreme constipation from birth
fainting spells aged 15, then diagnosed I.B.S
anal fissures, haemorrhoids internal and external
mucous and bleeding
sigmoidoscopies, endoscpies, scans, x-rays, bloods
h-pylori aged 24-26
more tests, diagnosed severe slow transit, marker tests took 3-4 weeks to come away
large colon removed in 2007, aged 27( surgeon said removed 10ft) no colostomy
still in severe pain, awaiting dietician appt, now lots of food intoleraces
 so much better. now concentraing of food intolerances, odd bad day
meds- ibuprofen, fluoxetine, amitriptyline,and omeprazole 
now med free!!!
LOCATION- North east of scotland

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 10/6/2008 5:39 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know what kind of Doctor you husband is but this is like being the shoemaker's daughter, fixes everyone else's shoes and lets his daughters fall apart. You don't sound at all like you are making too much of this. It is one reason they don't let Doctors operate on their own family. Do what you know is correct? It is not your diet from the way you describe it and I understand about being afraid to eat some things. The things you have eliminated are the best things that you could elminate. Hang in there and keep looking. If you don't want any more tests. Ask your GI doctor if you can try Reglan and see if that helps with motility. I don't think it helps with esophageal motility but who knows. He can tell you.
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