DH has constant bloating and abdo pain for 3 months. HELP! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 01-23-2008, 01:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My DH was diagnosed with stress-induced IBS, but he doesn't believe that is what he has. He is convinced that he has some kind of bowel cancer (he's only 31). We've gotten rid of all of his symptoms (he had a lot of diarrhea and blood) but one....his constant bloating. He is in so much pain at times he can't sleep. He is taking probiotics, eating lots of insoluble fiber (about 110% of the recommended daily intake as per specialists recommendation) and drinking a lot of water. 1 1/2 weeks ago he also started taking an IBS repair kit from the health food store (Renew). He also cut out caffeine/coffee, pop, all alcohol/beer. We've improved our diets significantly (only whole grains, lots of fruit and veggies, cooking most things from scratch...) Nothing is helping!!!
Being that is stress-induced IBS does it make sense to do an elimination diet? He is refusing to do an elimination diet because "he's never had problems till now".
Does anyone have any ideas on what else we can try??
Does anyone have any reassurance for him (ie that IBS just sucks and he's going to have to learn to live with it)?
Is it normal for IBS to cause to this much bloating that just never goes away (3 months is a really long time).

BTW - He had some kind of upper GI Barium study a few weeks ago that was normal. And he is scheduled for a colonoscopy in April.]

Help me help him!! He is making me CRAZY!!!
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#2 of 31 Old 01-23-2008, 02:04 AM
 
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What did they base the IBS on? Is there really a stress that has come on that suddenly?
My husband talks about a time many years ago when he could only eat rice and chicken for about a year when dealing with a bout of IBS.

It may be the colonoscopy is the only thing that will ease his mind. Why can't he get that done sooner?
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Originally Posted by tylerdylan View Post
My DH was diagnosed with stress-induced IBS, but he doesn't believe that is what he has. He is convinced that he has some kind of bowel cancer (he's only 31). We've gotten rid of all of his symptoms (he had a lot of diarrhea and blood) but one....his constant bloating. He is in so much pain at times he can't sleep. He is taking probiotics, eating lots of insoluble fiber (about 110% of the recommended daily intake as per specialists recommendation) and drinking a lot of water. 1 1/2 weeks ago he also started taking an IBS repair kit from the health food store (Renew). He also cut out caffeine/coffee, pop, all alcohol/beer. We've improved our diets significantly (only whole grains, lots of fruit and veggies, cooking most things from scratch...) Nothing is helping!!!
Being that is stress-induced IBS does it make sense to do an elimination diet? He is refusing to do an elimination diet because "he's never had problems till now".
Does anyone have any ideas on what else we can try??
Does anyone have any reassurance for him (ie that IBS just sucks and he's going to have to learn to live with it)?
Is it normal for IBS to cause to this much bloating that just never goes away (3 months is a really long time).

BTW - He had some kind of upper GI Barium study a few weeks ago that was normal. And he is scheduled for a colonoscopy in April.]

Help me help him!! He is making me CRAZY!!!
HI, I am a Raw Fooder and teach Nutrition at local college in Omaha, NE.

I recommend a Raw Food diet as cooked food isn't helping - haven't got the enzyme mutations to digest it properly - none of us have. Body cannot digest it and creating gases and discomfort. The same foods that cannot stomach will be easily digested if raw.

Check out raw food materials and think of doing some cleansing. Could start with health food store parasite cleanse, then bowel cleanse, then look into Master Cleanse and then only putting good raw nutrition into body.

I personally love Aajonus Vonderplanitz's work on this subject. Very informative, effective and I've had personal experience and body repairing itself now has fuel it needs.

Good luck
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#4 of 31 Old 01-23-2008, 03:12 AM
 
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My DH was diagnosed with stress-induced IBS, but he doesn't believe that is what he has. He is convinced that he has some kind of bowel cancer (he's only 31). We've gotten rid of all of his symptoms (he had a lot of diarrhea and blood) but one....his constant bloating. He is in so much pain at times he can't sleep. He is taking probiotics, eating lots of insoluble fiber (about 110% of the recommended daily intake as per specialists recommendation) and drinking a lot of water. 1 1/2 weeks ago he also started taking an IBS repair kit from the health food store (Renew). He also cut out caffeine/coffee, pop, all alcohol/beer. We've improved our diets significantly (only whole grains, lots of fruit and veggies, cooking most things from scratch...) Nothing is helping!!!
Being that is stress-induced IBS does it make sense to do an elimination diet? He is refusing to do an elimination diet because "he's never had problems till now".
Does anyone have any ideas on what else we can try??
Does anyone have any reassurance for him (ie that IBS just sucks and he's going to have to learn to live with it)?
Is it normal for IBS to cause to this much bloating that just never goes away (3 months is a really long time).

BTW - He had some kind of upper GI Barium study a few weeks ago that was normal. And he is scheduled for a colonoscopy in April.]

Help me help him!! He is making me CRAZY!!!
ps - forgot to mention most important thing - DHA - makes cells and all very deficient in it. It"s good for everything and will dramatically change your life including mentally - therefore good for stress levels and depression too.

America lowest in world - get at health food store - omega 3 fatty acid. Also liquid minerals important and FOS for bacteria in bowel so can help digestion.

All the best
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#5 of 31 Old 01-23-2008, 03:21 AM
 
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I got diagnosed w IBS years ago and I think it's just dr's way of saying "your bowels are irritable. We don't know why. Therefore, it's IBS". It turns out I was lactose and wheat intolerant. When I took those 2 things out of my diet, I got rid of the "IBS". It was apparently a miracle because dr's don't know how to cure IBS.
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#6 of 31 Old 01-23-2008, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What did they base the IBS on? Is there really a stress that has come on that suddenly?
My husband talks about a time many years ago when he could only eat rice and chicken for about a year when dealing with a bout of IBS.

It may be the colonoscopy is the only thing that will ease his mind. Why can't he get that done sooner?

The IBS diagnosis was based on his symptoms. He was seen by a colon/bowel specialist in a highly recognized clinic.
Did the stress come on suddenly? Yes and no. DH has a lot of anxiety issues and his anxiety causes symptoms, which makes him think he has cancer which stresses him out immensely because he convinces himself he's dying and then he is so stressed that he develops more symptoms....it is a very vicious cycle and one that is hard to break.
The original stressor THIS time was DS1 who has had some ongoing health problems. He's been failure to thrive since he was 8 months old and we spent 2 years trying to figure out why. Finally in November I'd had enough and we went back to see the pediatrician who ended up rerunning all the original testing to make sure nothing was missed the first time. DH was very stressed having the tests done and waiting for the results. He was SO sure something horrible was going to be found. His IBS (if that's what it is) started in November during all of that and now just hasn't gone away (I think because he is still so worried he has cancer).

The reason the colonoscopy isn't till April is because first of all the specialist doesn't think it is necessary but is willing to do it for DH's peace of mind so he didn't get any bumps to the front of the line. And secondly is because we live in Canada. One problem with free health care is the LONG waiting lists for everything. If the doc was worried he'd have had it already due to priority scheduling, but because he thinks it's just IBS he went to the back of the waiting list.

Does your DH ever have recurrences of his IBS?? It seems like such a restricted diet - he is fine eating everything again? If I can get enough stories like that one I may be able to convince DH to do an elimination diet (I have actually been through it before while breastfeeding DS1 who had food allergies, so I am sure we can do it again).
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#7 of 31 Old 01-23-2008, 12:00 PM
 
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My first thought, like one of the previous posters, was lactose intolerance. It DOES come on suddenly. Happened to me. Pain so bad I could barely walk. I too was misdiagnosed except I was told I was just constipated. I quit drinking milk and the problem went away. IMO, your DH needs to cut out milk for at least 2 weeks and see if his problems improve.

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#8 of 31 Old 01-23-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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I second or third the suggestion of lactose intolerance. It can be incredibly painful, and can occur in people who have never had a problem with it before.

It would be worth cutting the dairy for a while to see if that gives him any relief.

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#9 of 31 Old 01-23-2008, 12:35 PM
 
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My husband has gone through bouts of IBS as long as I've known him. He did get back to eating normally again after his year of chicken and rice. (I didn't know him at that time.) He is also prone to anxiety, so stress can definitely set it off.
So tell him yes, my husband did get back to eating a much greater variety of food, but still had to eat carefully. It seems like he had to avoid caffeinated drinks and also high fat greasy foods.

Right now he is back with the bloating and diarrhea, but he has gone through some incredible stress in the past year, with cancer and radiation. So some of it may be the side effects of the radiation, plus the stress induced IBS.
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#10 of 31 Old 01-23-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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Wait, Did I read your post correct? He was bleeding and the dr said it was only IBS?

It sounds like IBD to me, and not IBS.
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#11 of 31 Old 01-23-2008, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wait, Did I read your post correct? He was bleeding and the dr said it was only IBS?

It sounds like IBD to me, and not IBS.
I haven't heard of IBD - I am assuming Irritable Bowel Disease? How does it differ?
He was told the bleeding was from anusitis (inflammed anal canal) which he had a few years ago (and was properly diagnosed with a scope at that time, but not this time). He did the treatment for the anusitis and the bleeding stopped. Anusitis is also often stress induced, but may be diet related.
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#12 of 31 Old 01-23-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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IBD is Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's. They are more severe than IBS in that the GI lining is inflammed. I'm a little surprised your dh's dr didn't want to go ahead and do a scope and is putting it off.

If he is having bloating issues, I would cut out the fiber and go on a bland diet. Eating raw veggies causes me A LOT pain. See if he will cut out the dairy too.

I don't know how the Canadian HC system works, but can he get a second opinion?


--sorry for an spelling and grammer problems. the baby is distracting me
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#13 of 31 Old 01-23-2008, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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IBD is Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's. They are more severe than IBS in that the GI lining is inflammed. I'm a little surprised your dh's dr didn't want to go ahead and do a scope and is putting it off.

If he is having bloating issues, I would cut out the fiber and go on a bland diet. Eating raw veggies causes me A LOT pain. See if he will cut out the dairy too.

I don't know how the Canadian HC system works, but can he get a second opinion?


--sorry for an spelling and grammer problems. the baby is distracting me
UC and crohn's were briefly mentioned, but not thought to be the case. The specialist said to heal the IBS he needed to eat 100%+ of the daily required fiber. He's been doing that for one month now. You think the fiber may be causing the bloating???
He is giving it till his birthday (in 2 weeks) and then going back to the doctor if he is still having problems. He agreed this morning (I emailed him at work) to try cutting out the dairy for 2 weeks. YAY! I've been trying to convince him to try that for weeks now!
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#14 of 31 Old 01-24-2008, 12:14 AM
 
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UC and crohn's were briefly mentioned, but not thought to be the case. The specialist said to heal the IBS he needed to eat 100%+ of the daily required fiber. He's been doing that for one month now. You think the fiber may be causing the bloating???
He is giving it till his birthday (in 2 weeks) and then going back to the doctor if he is still having problems. He agreed this morning (I emailed him at work) to try cutting out the dairy for 2 weeks. YAY! I've been trying to convince him to try that for weeks now!


Cutting the fiber is just an idea to try. I have UC and when I'm flairing I eat very little fiber. Start with dairy and go from there. Good luck!
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#15 of 31 Old 01-24-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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Can I suggest Gluten Intolerance or Celiac DIsease? It is autoimmune, so it can come on suddenly or slowly at any stage of life. I'm sure you know this, but gluten is in wheat, rye, barley and most of the oats you can buy in the US. Its also in their close relatives like spelt etc and derivatives like Semolina.

There are blood tests for this that aren't exact, and he has to be eating gluten for them to work. If you go for these blood tests, be sure he's eating a normal amount of gluten-filled foods before the tests. While he's having the colonoscopy, you may ask them to do an endoscopy, which is more accurate (still not exact) at diagnosing Celiac Disease with a small-bowel biopsy. I'd do both if he's going to be sedated anyway.

If you don't want to do medical route, just take those foods away (I know, sounds easy saying "just"). Remember to read ingredients. Soy sauce is a major tricky one on this diet.

These are just my thoughts. I have to second that removing lactose would be the best one to start with, much easier than removing all gluten!!

Good luck.
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#16 of 31 Old 01-24-2008, 12:54 AM
 
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Wow, how frustrating.
Slippery elm can sometimes work wonders with IBS. And meadowseet is another one.
Native Remedies makes a great formula that has both these.

Also, there are several homeopathic remedies that might help the bloating if you match the symptoms up right. You can read more about that here.

Good luck with all this. I hope your dh finds relief soon!
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#17 of 31 Old 02-19-2008, 01:22 AM
 
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I don't know if I'm too late to chime in--I agree with what the PP said about celiac. DH's brother was diagnosed at age 33. Also, that could be something to check your son for as well. Kids diagnosed with FTT can have celiac (and first-degree relatives of someone with celiac are more likely to have it as well). Good luck!
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#18 of 31 Old 02-19-2008, 02:35 AM
 
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I notice that no one has mentioned the possiblility of intestinal parasites, which often produce symptoms which mimic IBS.

I have struggled with huge bloating issues (literally!) for the past few years and was finally diagnosed with blastocystis hominis last fall. It was a relief to pinpoint a likely cause for my bloating/multiple food intolerances/skin rashes etc., although finding a cure for this problem has been challenging. It may be a good idea to get tested for parasites if nothing else seems to help.
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#19 of 31 Old 02-19-2008, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I notice that no one has mentioned the possiblility of intestinal parasites, which often produce symptoms which mimic IBS.

I have struggled with huge bloating issues (literally!) for the past few years and was finally diagnosed with blastocystis hominis last fall. It was a relief to pinpoint a likely cause for my bloating/multiple food intolerances/skin rashes etc., although finding a cure for this problem has been challenging. It may be a good idea to get tested for parasites if nothing else seems to help.
Great idea!! I am definitely going to suggest that one.
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#20 of 31 Old 02-19-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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My DH has IBS symptoms and has been seen by gastros in the past, but chooses to modify his diet on his own to manage it now. He has a family history of colon cancer and ulcerative colitis, too. He has eliminated dairy and goes light on eggs. Coffee is an awful trigger for him so he never has that. Too much insoluble fiber isn't good either. That could be causing your DH's boating symptoms. Dairy + fiber = bad news for my DH. A bean and cheese burrito used to send him to the bathroom pretty quickly, but once he eliminated the cheese he found out the beans didn't actually bother him that much. He had thought they were the culprit, but it turned out to be the cheese.

I know a lot of people on MDC have had success with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (do a search), but it relies on too many of DH's trigger foods (eggs and dairy) and he wasn't really interested in even looking at it. I did find another site that fits better with his triggers and symptoms here: http://www.helpforibs.com/diet/fiber1.asp . You might like to take a look.

I'd lay off the insoluble fiber for a bit and see if that eases the bloating. It's an easy enough thing to do. Then the first thing I would cut out would be dairy and after that wheat/gluten. Some people are really sensitive to gluten. I seem to tolerate it fairly well, but I did have a reaction to some seitan (wheat gluten meat analogue) because it was just soooooo much gluten. It was yummy going down, but put my tummy in a turmoil so I don't buy that anymore. We still do all the regular wheat stuff (bread, crackers, cake, etc) with no trouble.

Oh, I agree that the parasite angle is worth looking into, but my money is on the insoluble fiber. It's the simplest solution and coincides with his symptoms.

hth

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#21 of 31 Old 02-21-2008, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the ideas everyone. I ended up doing a lot of online research into IBS and found a great website (helpforibs.com) with an IBS diet that we are trying. So far it isn't helping, but I think maybe it will take some time (it's only been 9 days). The diet consists of really limiting insoluble fiber (the opposite of what the specialist had him doing) and eating a lot of soluble fiber. It also is limiting fat, dairy, alcohol, carbonated beverages, caffeine/coffee, red meat. The hardest part is limiting the insoluble fiber especially the whole wheat aspect of it. We tried a complete dairy free diet for 3 weeks before this one and that didn't help at all either so it isn't a lactose intolerance.
The other thing I did is called the colonoscopy clinic and pleaded with them to fit him in sooner since his appointment is still 2 1/2 months away. They agreed to squeeze him in next Friday. YAY!!!
And I convinced him to go to some counselling sessions to learn how to handle his stress and anxiety better. It is really hard to cure stress induced IBS when you are stressed all the time because you think you have cancer. So, hopefully between the 3 things he will be back to his old self soon.
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#22 of 31 Old 02-21-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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Good luck! The counseling may be the most valuable part. He's so lucky to have you.
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#23 of 31 Old 02-21-2008, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good luck! The counseling may be the most valuable part. He's so lucky to have you.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! That is perhaps the nicest thing I have heard in weeks!! He is lucky to have me....I just wish he saw it that way!:
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#24 of 31 Old 02-22-2008, 02:46 AM
 
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I want to reiterate getting tested for celiac or maybe trying a gluten free diet. I was diagnosed with IBS a few years ago and was able to make it manageable, but never completely gone with diet (mostly more fiber) and accupuncture. It wasn't until I had to do a total elimination diet for my DS and discovered that he was gluten intolerant, that I realized that whenever I ate gluten, I got an "IBS" flare-up. I also can't do any coffee, regular or decaf, and really, if I get too much of any grain, I have a problem. The important thing to remember about doing a GF trial is to also eliminate any "trace" gluten from cross-contamination, be it old cooking utensils and pots and pans, to flour residue in cabinets and on counters. It can be a serious undertaking, but SO worth it if it's the problem.

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#25 of 31 Old 02-22-2008, 10:28 AM
 
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Does he still have his gallbladder because these were my (very non-classical) symptoms with gallbladder disease.
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#26 of 31 Old 02-22-2008, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Does he still have his gallbladder because these were my (very non-classical) symptoms with gallbladder disease.
yes, but a recent ultrasound was normal.
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#27 of 31 Old 02-22-2008, 10:59 AM
 
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My husband had his first G.I. appointment yesterday. He's had non-stop diarrhea and gas since he had radiation about a year ago and then had ehrlichiosis a few months later. He's been "managing" it with immodium. He's on lifetime immune suppressants (kidney transplant) which makes it all a little more tough to pin down.

The G.I. physicians assistant is having him tested for C. Diff and having him try a 14 day dairy free elimination diet. If neither of those are the culprit, then he is supposed to try a 14 day gluten free elimination diet. She is also ordering a blood test for "celiac sprue" and thyroid levels next week, when he has his regular blood tests done. If all that doesn't come up with results, then she'll recommend a colonoscopy.
Like your husband, he does have some anxiety, but not quite so bad. The immune suppressants both moderate and contribute to that.
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#28 of 31 Old 02-22-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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yes, but a recent ultrasound was normal.

My ultrasound was normal too! My HIDA scan was abnormal however.
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#29 of 31 Old 02-22-2008, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My ultrasound was normal too! My HIDA scan was abnormal however.

hmmm - interesting. And you've since had your gallbladder out and now feel great??? If this doesn't clear up after the colonoscopy I am sending him back to his doc to get a HIDA scan ordered. Thanks for the suggestion! DH has pain all hours of the day and night whether he's eaten or not - were you like this too?? What about bloodwork - did anything show up? DH had mildly abnormal liver function tests a month ago,but we attributed that to his fatty liver (he is overweight and has a known fatty liver).
I searched for bloating and gallbladder and not only is that symptom on the list, but so are many others that he has ie constant headaches, undigested food, pain under right rib cage, diarrhea, gas....it's all there!!!!
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#30 of 31 Old 02-22-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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Yep - exactly! I always thought if I didn't have right upper quadrant pain it wasn't my gallbladder! WRONG! I felt 100% better THE DAY AFTER SURGERY! Also of note is that I had a colonoscopy the week before my gallbladder was removed and the 'clean-out' made the attack worse! Just a thought - he may want to have the HIDA scan first! Definitely a lot less miserable a test - no bowel prep involved!
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