IBS without C or D?

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 7/17/2007 1:59 PM (GMT -7)   
My dr.s have still not been able to reach a diagnosis for me, and they keep bringing up IBS even though I keep telling them that I don't have C or D. I have multiple (usually 2-3) BMs/day, but these are just regular-no straining/constipation, and not diarrhea, either. My main symptom has been upper right abdominal pain and mild nausea. I don't have any of the "bowel attacks" that I have been reading about here and this is why it is hard for me to accept an IBS diagnosis. Any thoughts/ experiences similar to this?

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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/17/2007 2:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi sylvestergirl,
Have you been put through the testing ringer to rule out anythng else (like gallbladder, appendix, GERD, H.Pylori, etc.)?
IBS does seem like an odd diagnosis for pain & nausea without bowel changes. Change in bowel habits is the #1 symptom of IBS.
Go with your gut, keep pushing your docs. Or, get a 2nd opinion if you can.
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 7/17/2007 3:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I would suggest a CT scan of abdominal and pelvic area with contrast and a ultrasound for gall bladder. Appendix is not always as we have been led to believe, high white count, intense pain. I finally had exploratory surgery after 2 years of hell and it was my appendix causing the problem. I had pain but not severe and nausea and pain in my right thigh. Yup. all coming from appendix. With today's dianostic testing they would have seen the problem in a minute.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 7/17/2007 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, they have done it all--I had two CT scans (including with contrast), bloodwork and urine tests, a complete abdominal ultrasound, a colonoscopy, and a stomach scope--the latter with biopsies that were all fine. I also had a pelvic exam and a vaginal ultrasound. Nothing has shown up yet. Because the symptoms are significantly worse (right upper abdominal pain accompanied by general malaise, nausea, headaches) during my period, the gyn suggested a laparoscopy to rule out endometriosis.

Canyongirl, was your pain in the upper right quadrant or was it lower? I know the laparascopy would be to look for endo but would they see other problems as well, if any were present (such as the appendix)?

Thanks for all the replies--I am really frustrated, especially as I just returned from the gastro dr--he is very competent and nice and I trust him completely, but he still has no idea what is causing this pain and I am at my wit's end.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/21/2007 12:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Please, I ask everyone who has IBS do not be misinformed by doctors who have no idea about this condition. Even the great almighty Rome Criteria is absolutely bull! There are 4 kinds of IBS , dominate C, dominate D, Alternating ,and Pain dominate. I was diagnosed almost 25 years ago by a brillant Gastro doctor, after 6 months of agony. Went to OBGYN, said maybe cyst, went to general doc said gastro infection, nothing helped till I found my way to a great doctor. Had all tests, upper GI, lower GI, colonoscopy, stool samples, etc... He Said, you have a Spastic Colon(IBS, not even named back then) After suffering non stop for 6 months Librax took my pain away in 3 days. Pain Dominate IBS is very much stress related and does not usually respond to diet change. Mucsle relaxers and meditation are the way to go for this type of IBS. Just knowing what my problem was helped me tremedously, over the years I have been able to control it for the most part, by knowing what it is and dealing with my stress, not to say it hasn't been very painful at times, and takes a long time to calm down. I do not like to be on medication, so over the years have only resorted to Librax 2 times, have for the most part learned relaxation methods. Doesn't work right away, but keep at it, calm yourself, relax, breathe deep, yoga, anything that will help you take the stess out of your life. What I mainly want to say, is yes , sylvestergirl if docs are saying you have IBS, doesn't matter if you don't have C or D, you very well could have IBS. Please don't be complacent by my rant though, get all the proper testing that is required to make a diagnosis.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 7/21/2007 12:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your post, Marey. If you don't mind my asking, did you get a lot of headaches with your abdominal pain? For me this has been the most troubling at times--since it gets hard to focus, function, or be pleasant when my head is pounding. It seems to go in waves along with my side pain.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/21/2007 1:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Actually, sometimes I do get headaches with my pain. It is not constant though, once in a while. I also experience back pain frequently when I am having IBS troubles. I would like to talk to you again, as it is hard to find pain dominate IBS 'ers on these message boards. Have to go now, but will be back to check in, maybe have some stories to share. Take care.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 7/21/2007 10:15 AM (GMT -7)   


One thing you might want to look into is a HIDA scan to check your gallbladder's ejection fraction.  This is different from an ultrasound in that it doesn't image the gallbladder, but checks to see how much bile your gallbladder is producing.  If you're producing too little, symptoms like nausea, upper right quadrant pain, etc. can result.  Many people with a low ejection fraction get their gallbladders removed and feel quite a bit better.

Also (this is less likely) you might want to re-check is your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level.  It's a simple blood test but docs don't always perform it regularly.  Sometimes an overactive thyroid can lead to increased frequency of bowel movements (it's actually one of the hallmark signs).  Or you can look back at the results of your bloodwork and see if they ever did one.

I have heard about pain-predominant IBS.  Although most people do have bowel changes, it's hard to exclude someone from the IBS realm simply in the absence of them (especially since we don't exactly know what IBS is). 

Co-moderator - IBS Forum

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 7/21/2007 11:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, I have been wondering about the HIDA scan. I had the small-bowel follow through yesterday and when I follow-up with my gastro dr next week I will ask him about this, because while it could very well be pain-dominant IBS, the pain is often located right at the gallbladder site.

Thanks for the replies--makes me feel a little less crazy and frustrated! :)

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/17/2007 8:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had irritable bowel syndrome for many years, but no one has told me which one (pain dominate, etc). In fact, I never knew that IBS had several categories.

In November of 2004 I had a severe gallbladder attack, and when my doctors were trying to diagnose a cause, they found a large mass over my uterus. It turned out to be a borderline ovarian cancer, and the prognosis is excellent. I had an abdominal hysterectomy and several months later, my gallbladder was finally yanked out as well because of stones (no cancer there).

Since my hysterectomy and gallbladder surgery, I seem to have IBS more often. Sometimes, anyway. And I have found that at times I have pain in my upper-right abdomen. Several months ago, it got really bad and I thought maybe my cancer came back? So I had a number of tests, including a xrays, blood work and a CT scan. They all came back normal. Then, I tried to modify my diet not only because of the IBS but also because I don't have a gallbladder any longer. The pain got better, but it still comes back off and on.

Sometimes I get pain in my back and behind both shoulders - whether or not this is related, I couldn't tell you. Sometimes it feels like my upper right side is swollen, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes I get bowel movements before and after the upper-right hand pain, so I think this may be IBS-related, but I'm not sure.

Btw, during my hysterectomy my oncologist found that I had endometrosis, but I don't think it was widespread, and I don't know if it can recur after surgery. Maybe I have adhesions too?

The pain isn't constant, nor is it getting worse. It just seems to be off and on. Sometimes it gets better after eating, sometimes worse. Recently, I was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes and so far it's under control with diet and excercise. And, I have an underactive thyroid, so every several months I get blood work done. All those tests have come back normal.

Should I be worried? Should I have additional tests? Could this be my IBS getting worse, or what? I would appreciate any advice you guys would have. Thanks!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 8/19/2007 4:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi dianajune,

Welcome to Healing Well. It sure sounds like you have gone through a lot. My husband also had his gallbladder out many years ago and he still gets that sudden pain in his upper abdomen also. Of course he won't go to get it checked out but I'm thinking that its probably the bile burning probably dumping too much at a time since there is no gall bladder to regulate it.

I'm sorry to hear that you have endometriosis. I have heard that can be very unbearable. The symptoms can be very close to IBS so you may be experiencing pain from that may be imitating IBS pain. I would definitely talk to your doc about it, surely there is something they can give you to help with the pain which would probably help with the IBS pain as well.

I definitely suggest seeing your GI and/or your GYN to talk about these issues. You shouldn't have to live with the pain.

Take Care
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


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/20/2007 10:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Diana, if you have D problems, then try Welchol; it's a cholesterol medicine, but it has this funny way of absorbing excess bile in the GI tract which is a real life-saver for those of us with otherwise constant bile D. Also try taking Caltrate 600 w/ vitamin D for D. Not only does the calcium help absorb the water in you intestines, making your poops less liquid, but it also is beneficial to the lining of your intestines. I think I inflamed my intestines with a combination of a bad reaction to sugar alcohols and too much bile (I was off my Welchol). It was the calcium that got rid of my intestinal pain and helped the Welchol get rid of the constant D.

I used to get the same aching pain in my back and especially in my right shoulder, arm and elbow when my gall bladder was acting up. I found that caffeine was causing that. If you ever drink caffeinated drinks (including decaf coffee, which still has a good deal of caffeine in it), stop and see if that helps those aches. Carbonated drinks might also be causing them (gas).
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