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Diagnosed as IBS. Taken topical steroids for pimples. Should I accept the diagnosis and take the pills?

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Practicing since : 2008
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I have had issues with bloating and constipation for years. In 2011, I reached a point after it became increasingly worse. March 2012 my gallbladder was removed. After numerous tests, seeing to Gastro Doctors and a diagnosis of IBS I continue having issues. I was perscribed anti-spasm meds. told to take stool softner and laxatives. I take up to 8 softners a day with little to no results. If I don't have a BM, my weight will increase by 5-7 lbs. After finally having a BM, it will decrease by 5-7 lbs. Also, as a child, I saw an Endocrinologist due to hormone issues. However, I don't remember the doctors or treatment I received. I also issues with my face and scalp breaking out really bad. The resolution...I was prescribed topical steroids to use for one week. Ulimately, the scalp and face still have not cleared up. Should I accept the IBS diagnosis and take all these pills because I still have the same issues even taking the meds. I know it's not healthy to go a week or so to have a BM. I am constantly tired and have absolutely no sex drive. Do you recommend seeing an Endocrinologist or other specialist? Thanks.
Posted Tue, 2 Oct 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 1 hour later

Thank you for the query.

I have found in your reports that you have also had laparoscopy because of endometriosis, if so, when was it performed and was endometriosis confirmed?
There is one more examination for you to be performed if all other tests came negative. If the patient is suffering from chronic abdominal pain sometimes laparotomy is performed. This is basically a classic surgery where all abdomen cavity organs are checked by a surgeon. Sometimes it gives a diagnosis, but no guarantee.
I have also found in your reports that there were some abdomen X-ray which came with incorrect result, what was it?
IBS is very often misdiagnosed and it means that doctor`s have no idea what the patient is suffering from.
Have you tried Rifaximine antibiotic therapy? In some patients it has great responses and can be an unexpected remedy as some percent of so called IBS is caused by severe bacterial infection.
If it is about endocrinologist, sure there are some hormone-related diseases that can cause severe constipations, but such diseases are associated with some other symptoms. It is very hard to find hormone-related disease that causes only constipation and abdominal pain.

Hope this will help. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed as IBS. Taken topical steroids for pimples. Should I accept the diagnosis and take the pills? 1 hour later

I was confirmed to have endometriosis after my first laproscopy 3/1994. A second laproscopy was performed 10/1996 and scar tissue was removed. I have had to children since the two laproscopy surgeries. My son was born 1/13/98 and my daughter 9/2/09. Also, I have no intentions of having anymore children in my life.

In XXXXXXX 2012, I had my well woman exam and provided copies of all the reports to my gynecologist. I explained the issues, how my weight changes and explained my stomach will get EXTREMELY hard until I have mulitiple BM's to provide relief. I have showed my boyfriend and mom, they could not believe how hard my stomach will get. Dr. Pierce reviewed the reports and suggested that I don't give up and go back to the gastro doctor. Because I had hormone issues as a teenager and had not had my levels checked in the last 3 years, I requested blood work. Unfortunately, I have not received a copy of the bloodwork. However, I received a letter stating the bloodwork and pap tests were normal.

Both the gynecologist and gastro doctor didn't think there was any concern with the 4/2012 CT scans. The chest xray confirmed that my lungs were clear.

Following up on the advise of the gynecologist, I returned to gastro doctor and the endoscopy was performed. When I went to the follow up visit, she said I have IBS and prescibed the "remedy" above. She said no antibiotics were prescribed because the results were negative. No, I have not tried Rifaximine antibiotic therapy.

At this point, I feel like a hamster on a wheel that just keeps going around and around, never stopping all while feeling miserable. The issues have been going on for quite so time with no real result. Symtoms may get better from time to time, but overall the same issue lingers. I have a reached a level of frustration because the doctors don't seem to think this is a big issue and only provide a bandaid.

Please advise where to go from here, the next steps and recommendations. I appreciate your time and assistance.
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 12 hours later

Thank you for the query.

First of all I would like you to know that your frustration is right. You have a right to feel comfortable with your body and there is no point in suffering. We do not live to suffer.
So we can say that you have had 3 surgeries (2 laparoscopies because of endometriosis and 1 for gall bladder remove). After every surgery (laparoscopy is still a surgery even if called minimum invasive) in abdominal cavity tissues gets irritated. It generates immune system response and leads to intra-abdominal adhesions. Such adhesion is some kind of obstacle for intestines regular function and leads to partial intestines obstruction (so called subileus). You can imagine that in your abdominal cavity there are a ribbons connecting one side of the abdomen with another side. And there is a lot of such ribbons so the intestines can hang on it and become narrowed. All this can cause symptoms you are suffering from. It is very common that such condition cannot be visualized by any test (including CT) but it`s there and causes pain and obstruction.

So in my opinion you should take all yours results and visit a surgeon. He will look at your results with different point of view as only surgeons can imagine how does it look from inside.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
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