Hi- I have never posted on a forum like this before, but I am feeling pretty desperate. I am a 37 year old female. I recently moved across country in June. I have been having some troubling symptoms for a while and the move and related stress did not do much for my symptoms. I am starting to suspect UC or some other autoimmune disorder. I apologize in advance for the long post, but I figure the more info the better. Hopefully I will get some resolution to my health problems and I can offer insight to someone else in the future.
My problems began this way: (This may or may not be relevant), but last winter around January, I began having episodes of stiff and trembling muscles with an extreme feeling of cold and chills(no actual fever). During an episode my back and neck would become extremely stiff and painful followed by my hands and sometimes legs trembling. I would feel lightheaded and sped up like I had drank 4 espressos. This happened a few times a week and it was almost always around 9:00 at night. I had a workup with blood work etc. and everything came back normal. My GP suggested panic attacks but I really didn't feel like I was panicking. I never took the meds and I seemed to improve. I was also on the BC pill at the time and I thought I might be having a reaction to that so I stopped taking it.
In March I was feeling pretty good but I was starting to become constipated when I have normally been very regular. I also had an infection and had to take Metranidazole/Flagyl. Not long after that I started have pain on the left side of the abdomen. Occasionally before a bowel movement I would experience an intense ripping pain that seemed to stretch my entire descending colon. The pain was brief but it would literally leave me doubled over. Around that time I started to have a generalized left side pain more often than not. At first I thought it was a flare up of my old endometriosis symptoms which had always been on the left side and were made worse if I was constipated, but this new pain lasts the whole month and it much higher up.
So this is where I am at now: I am still somewhat constipated. I have daily burning pain in my abdomen, vicoden barely puts dent in it. I don't have any diarrhea and I don't have any nausea. I can't tie these symptoms, at least directly to any food. (I already eat GF and very little sugar or dairy) The pain is worse on the left just at the end of my rib cage stretching across to my navel, sometimes it radiates to my back and now it mostly seems to be across my whole upper abdomen. The pain at times is a 5 or 7. Usually a heating pad helps any abdomen pain, but it actually makes it worse and contributes to the burning pain. I have never experienced these kinds of symptoms, usually if I have any sort of burning pain, my body is rejecting something and then I have diarrhea. This feels very different, like my colon is just raw or something and it seems to be getting worse.
My new GP (who is a total jerk, I am switching soon, but have to wait until Sept. to get in with the new doc) suggested I have Gastritis. He also suggested this was all in my head and I was simply constipated. So I went back and insisted he test my blood and a positive ANA was found (he dismissed that too.) He claimed because the rest of the blood test was normal the positive ANA didn't mean anything. I self-referred to a GI specialist. At least they took me seriously. The nurse practioner ordered an upper GI ( I did that last Friday and it was negative for ulcers or reflux). Now I am waiting to get in with the GI doc and schedule a colonoscopy. The barium from the upper GI MAJORLY flared all my symptoms and has made my intestines even more tender, which has led me to believe this pain is originating inside my colon. I have been reading these forums and I am beginning to think I could be in the midst of a Ulcerative Colitis flare-up. This has literally brought me to my knees. I was going to look for work as a teacher or substitute this year but there is no way I could work right now. I am barely able to keep my own household running. I am thinking about starting a SSRI just to get me through this. I wouldn't say I am depressed but the non-stop pain is totally wearing away at my nervous system and leaving me with very little reserve of emotional energy to deal with the rest of life.
Does anyone have a similar story? Burning pain and constipation? Anyone have UC without diarrhea? What is helping you? Diet changes? Exercise? Supplements?