Another post wondering "Could be IBS or gall bladder?"

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/6/2007 4:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello.  I am a 21 year old female looking for some answers regarding problems I've been having recently.  But first, I'd just like to say I've been looking at this forum a lot in the past week or so and it's such a nice and friendly place.  I appreciate the idea of there being somewhere to find support and share information.
Also, I have read the comprehensive gall bladder post which I believe Keriamon wrote (thank you for that).  However, I still have some questions.  Please bear with me, as brevity has never been a strong point of mine, and please excuse me for being graphic. :)
For the past three weeks, I've been having a ton of digestive problems including heartburn (it started out as that, primarily), diarrhea (at first normal looking, then yellow, then with pieces of undigested food and mucus in it, sometimes once a day, sometimes multiple times), and general stomach discomfort (but no out-and-out pain).  I've also lost 10 lbs, but I'm sure that's to be expected when you're eating a lot less and then it goes straight through, though I generally have an appetite.
The week before this all started, I had encountered some very heavy stress and worry, so at one point, I thought maybe it was anxiety.  Sure enough, after I started doing some deep breathing to relax, things improved a little bit (the stomach discomfort wasn't AS bad, but the diarrhea was still yellow and regular).
about two weeks in, I saw a doctor and he took some blood (for h. pylori and hiatal hernia tests) and said he'd be scheduling a gall bladder scan for me.  And if that didn't figure things out, they could do a HIDA test, fecal testing, and so on.  I'm actually glad he took me seriously.  He also put me on Nexium for the heartburn and it's helped a ton.
That was a week ago and between then and now, I've been trying to find more information about what could possibly be wrong without getting too upset about it.  This board has been a great help, especially as things have gotten a little more rough recently.  For the past few days, I've been having weakness in my arms and legs (causing some weird sensations), aching in my neck and shoulders (not pain though), and tonight, I had nearly whole green beans in my stool and even managed to vomit some up.
I guess I wonder if any of this actually goes with IBS-D to the point that having it could be feasible, especially with the sometimes stress trigger.  I think some of my symptoms do lend themselves to gall bladder problems and it's true: I haven't had the tests for that done yet.  Still, I think about it a lot as I'm waiting and I just wondered if anyone had any words of wisdom for me.  I appreciate any help anyone can give me.  Keep rockin' on this wonderful board! :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/7/2007 7:17 AM (GMT -7)   
You could have IBS. Undigested food wasn't something that I had in my poops when my gall bladder was acting up--but bad gall bladders have a variety of symptoms, so you can't rule that out. Also, they put me on antacids and they didn't do anything. Of course, some people reflux their excess bile up into their stomachs and esophaguses, so that may be why it works for you and didn't for me (all of mine goes down--D). Mucus is also something that I didn't experience, but the aching in the shoulder and neck (especially if it's on the right side) is usually a pretty -good indicator--although gas can sometimes cause the same sensations. In short, you've got symptoms that are traditionally associated with both, so get the hida scan and then go from there.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 8/7/2007 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Make an appointment with a Gastroenterologist.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/7/2007 3:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you both for replying.  The further along this gets, the more I want to see a gastro.  Unfortunately, at the moment, I'm waiting for blood test results (which seem to be taking forever) and also for that referral to get my gall bladder scanned.  I can't stop thinking about what's wrong, which I'm sure is only making things worse, and I dread going back to school at the end of the month feeling this way.  That said, I know there are people going through a lot worse on a daily basis.
Keriamon, I've been wondering if general body weakness fits in with gall bladder and IBS-D.  I've been experiencing a lot lately and I just wondered if there was any way in general to remedy that in both cases.  I again appreciate all the help I can get.  Thanks.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 8/7/2007 5:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Scooter, welcome to HealingWell!  Sorry to hear about your discomfort, but you're taking all the right steps, and you'll find a lot of information here.  I'm one of the forum mods and a first-year medical student (doesn't mean a whole lot, except that I'm interested in this stuff; I've also been through a veritable gastrenterological nightmare, which is much better now but still haunts me on occasion).  Hopefully we'll be able to help.
You should be getting an abdominal ultrasound and HIDA scan, two separate tests to check your gallbladder function.  Your doctor was good to think of H. pylori (this is the bacterium that causes 90% of stomach ulcers, usually contracted from drinking contaminated water), although I've never heard of a blood test for it; usually they use a breath test, so you might want to ask about that.  And I believe that the best test for a hernia is an EGD (upper scope) or a barium swallow.  So you might want to ask about those too.
I have to jet for a while unexpectedly but this is a start...let us know how things are going!
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

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