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Friday, March 7, 2014
I was diagnosed with IBS about 20 years ago and although I didn`t have frequent bowel movements, I did have them and they were normal. About a year ago, my movements changed. It`s like everything stopped and I could hardly even have a movement. I`ve had the bloating, gas, and discomfort before, but its much much worse now. I`ve tried almost everything. Even an enema I did once almost didn`t work and that scared me. All I would get was alot of pain with nothing coming out. I tried probiotics and for 2 weeks suddenly had normal movements almost daily and I felt great; but then it just stopped working and all the symptoms came back. I `ve been to 3 gastro. doctors in 2 years; who of course tell me I`m constipated. I`ve tried all the stool softners, mirolax, and I`ve been increasing my water. Nothing is working and I`m getting scared. There is no colon disease in my family. I`m 49; had my first colonoscopy just 2 years ago; was normal. I`ve had an complete ultrasound done, CT scan of abdomen (which only showed alot of fecal matter), Gastric Emptying Study (normal), and am scheduled for a small bowel study. My present doctor doesn`t seem to have any answer and just told me do a clease, which I did a week ago and was unbelieveably painful, terrible cramping; and now no movement since the cleanse. The 2nd day after the cleanse, I woke up with terrible pain in the abdomen all day for 2 days straight. I started psyllium once a day a week ago and increasing my water. Still no movement in 7 days. I feel the need, but won`t come out. I have no clue what is going on. I`m doing everything right and nothing seems to be working. My doctor is frustrated and says she doesn`t know what I want! I have other physical symptoms that began a couple years ago including fatigue; sleeping alot; unintentional weight gain (20lbs) and continuing with no change in diet or exercise; dry skin and then the severe constipation. I started to think I might have an underactive thyroid, but they keep telling me my TSH is normal. I keep going to doctors but no answers. I`m scared I`ll end up in the ER being compacted. I just don`t know what else I can try or what might be going on. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
If you have not done it already, consider seeing a specialist in motility disorders, or a colon and rectal surgeon with an interest in pelvic floor dysfunction. There is a methodic way to evaluate constipation, and it is not clear that you have had it.
Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Colorectal Surgery Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati