How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Julia Kizhner Your Own Question

Julia Kizhner
Julia Kizhner, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1126
Experience:  7 years experience working in Primary Care as well as Gastroenterology, Sleep Medicine & Weight Loss
23717712
Type Your Health Question Here...
Julia Kizhner is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

GI Doctor..headache..sore throat, or a cold, or a pain in the stomach

Resolved Question:

Specifically for a GI Doctor if there is one out there.

23 year old male

History of Generalized Anxiety Disorder/Hypochondria/OCD for the last 7 years

I worry about my health and am always nervous. Doesnt matter if I get a headache or a sore throat, or a cold, or a pain in the stomach.. I think the worst every single time.

My question is..

Since my anxiety started I BELIEVE, 7 years ago.. my stomach has never been the same. I get this strange boubling/gurgling/vibrating feeling deep in my lower stomach, in my intestines or like my colon. Sometimes it even feels like its in my rectum. It doesnt seem to matter if I eat healthy, or if I am eating "junk" food. It happens at all times during the day. Even happens when im eating or when I'm going "Number 2". Most annoying feeling/sensations I have ever experienced. It is not the regular hunger growling feelings either. My doctor said I have IBS with my anxiety, but nothing works. I take culterelle for 2 1/2 weeks now, and Benefiber Chewables, and acidophilis. I eat yogurt with probiotics, etc. I drink plenty of water as well. I always think im dying of something, or cancer is going to be created or something. My anxiety always gets the best of me.

PS. There is no history of any disease in my family.


Thanks,
Mark
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

Hello Mark and thank you for your question,

 

I can tell you that taking probiotics (culterelle and acidophilis) and benefiber is not a cure for IBS.

Your symptoms sound like a typical IBS presentation. IBS is also known as "nervous gut" and that is exactly what you are describing. The best and the only affective treatment for IBS is to treat anxiety since anxiety is the cause of your IBS. We use anti-anxiety medications for IBS even when people don't know that they have anxiety and usually their symptoms improve or resolve.

The best medications I have found to work for IBS are Lexapro or Amitriptyline. Instead of wasting your money and time by taking supplements which will probably do little for you, I would recommend talking to your doctor about starting one of these two medications. Until your anxiety is controlled, IBS will continue to act up.

 

I can reassure you that your stomach symptoms are not suggestive of any type of cancer and you are not dying.

 

I hope you find this information helpful. Please feel free to follow-up with any other questions you might have.

If you are satisfied with the answer, please click 'Accept' button so that I may get credit for my work.

 

Best wishes and good luck,

Julia

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have been taking Zoloft for about a month and a half, I started on a low dose of 25 mg, and about a week and a half ago I went up to 50 mg a day. I take 25 mg pill twice a day a few hours apart. I also have Diazapam which I take sometimes at night if my anxiety acts up (which it usually does).

These sensations are the strangest sensations though. Its not the regular hunger growl feelings which is like borborgami or something? This is something definitly different. I woke up at 450 am this morning, and it was going crazy, and I almost had a panic attack because of it. Strange growling feeling, its not usually loud... or like a boubling sensation that is like DEEP down LOW in my stomach, not up where the hunger growl would be.


Thanks
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your reply.

 

25 mg of Zoloft is a very very small dose and it probably hasn't done much to improve your anxiety. It sounds that you are starting to titrate it up but you will probably need about 100 mg daily before you start noticing any symptoms. My one advise right now would be to take 50 mg at once, not 25 mg several times apart.

 

These sensations that you are describing is definitely a symptom of IBS. When IBS is present you have increased gas in your gut so when the gas moves around, it causes these bubbling sensations. It is not associated with the hunger pains. This is simply increased motility of the gut and increased gas in the gut causing these sensations.

 

I hope this helps. Let me know if I can answer anything else for you. I will be happy to help you further.

If I answered your questions, please click 'Accept' button so that I may get credit for my work.

 

Julia

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Can stress make my IBS act up alot? I notice it does more when I'm stressed. But it doesnt seem to matter what I eat. If its healthy or unhealthy. Whole grains, wheat, anything seems to bother me.

Should I call my doctor to see if I can take the zoloft 2 pills at once?
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

Absolutely stress will make your IBS worse. IBS is called "nervous gut" so any stress, any anxiety, any nervousness will make it worse. Food often will make no difference on IBS although some people can tell that certain food item makes their symptoms worse but it seems that that's not your case.

 

I have personally never prescribed Zoloft twice daily, I only use one daily dose. I do think you should ask your doctor if you can take 50 mg at once instead of separating it. If you are tolerating medication well, you will probably will need to increase it to 75 mg daily.

 

Let me know if you have any other questions.

 

Julia

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok it has made me very tired the zoloft since upping my dosage.

I was on lexapro for 8 days, and I reacted terribly to that. I was dizzy I was barely able to walk for like 5 days.

I really hope this zoloft starts helping my IBS as well though because this is something that is very annoying to live with. I dont have diahrea or anything that much, only once in a while and vice versa with constipation.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

I see, maybe that's why your doctor gave you 25 mg twice daily to avoid the tiredness side effect but you can try taking it at bedtime and that should help with that.

 

I hope Zoloft will start helping you too because it sounds that your symptoms are pretty bad but I do think you will need your dose titrated before you see any significant benefit. The idea behind Zoloft is to treat your anxiety first, that, in turn, will help with IBS.

 

If Zoloft fails, another very successful medication that can be used is called Amitriptyline so don't give up.

 

Julia

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Im not going to give up, I need to get everything under control. Ive been living like this for 7+ years. I cant even have fun anymore. I barely go out. I randomly get anxiety and feel like im going to die. I can barely drink beer because my IBS gets real bad from that, especially the next couple days after too. 23 years old, I have no fun.

Sorry my OCD makes me ask alot of questions.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

I am glad to hear that you are willing to work with your doctors to get all this under control. Eventually you will find a medication which will improve your symptoms and will help you function better, like a 23 year old should.

 

Let me know if you have other questions.

If I answered your questions, please click 'Accept' button.

 

Best wishes,

Julia

Julia Kizhner, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1126
Experience: 7 years experience working in Primary Care as well as Gastroenterology, Sleep Medicine & Weight Loss
Julia Kizhner and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks alot
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
My stomach makes a lot more noises noticeably when I lay on my side. Especially my left side. I really hope its just IBS.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

Hi Again,

 

Tell me, did you have any tests done such as endoscopy, colonoscopy, CT scans?

When were they done?

 

Julia

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have had NOTHING done. My doctor never recommended me to get anything. He always says I have IBS or a sensitive stomach because of my anxiety, etc. Its been going on for 7 years. Im only 23 years old, I would hope nothing serious would be wrong.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for replying.

 

Given your age and how long you have had these symptoms, I am quite sure that nothing serious is going on but due to the fact that you have anxiety which is making these symptoms worse, it would probably be better to just get some tests done. It would mostly be for your piece of mind because I do think they will be normal. But it may help you feel safer, therefore less stressed, therefore have less symptoms.

 

I would start with have 3 tests first - CT scan of abdomen and pelvis, a test for H. pylori which is a bacteria that lives in the stomach (best test to check for it is called "stool antigen" - your doctor will know), and also a blood test to check for gluten intolerance (basically meaning allergy to gluten product which is found in many food items, especially beer and since you said beer causes you a lot of stomach issues, I think it is something that should be checked).

 

Talk to your doctor about having it done. Explain that it will make you feel better knowing there is nothing wrong.

 

Julia

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ive never had any blood tests, because for most of my life I have been healthy, except for this. I have a regular physical and stuff every year but no blood tests.

Now I have to gain the courage to ask my doctor for at least a CT scan of the abdomen, and my anxiety will wreak havoc for so long until the results come in.

If this is IBS, besides the zoloft that I'm on to help with anxiety... is there anything else I can do or take for this? Some days, I dont even have the sensations. But for the most part they are there. I rarely have pain as well. Its just the boubling sensations deep in my lower stomach which is an annoyance.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

I think the first you should do (even before a CT scan) is to do a blood test for gluten intolerance and a test for H. Pylori infection. These are simple and even if positive, cause absolutely no harm but rather can be treated. I don't think it is anything to even loose a minute of your sleep over.

If those tests are both normal, you can then decide if you want a CT scan - I am 99.9999% confident that your CT scan will be normal and maybe having a normal CT scan can put your thoughts at rest and improve your symptoms.

You have to be willing to help yourself in order to feel better. Starting Zoloft is definitely the first step for that but you have to try and overcome your fears which are not based on anything.

Based on all your descriptions, your symptoms, your age, the duration of how long this has been going on, your most likely diagnosis is IBS but because we do not have tests to diagnosis IBS, we need to rule out some other common causes of similar symptoms in order to definitely label you as having IBS.

The best medicines to treat IBS are anti-anxiety medicines, unfortunately nothing else really works. Some people do get benefit from probiotics but it seems that in your case it has not been much help.

 

Julia

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I always think that I am the only one who feels these strange sensations. I look up the information about IBS, and it says 1 in 6 people have like IBS? There is no way that 1 in 6 people feel like I do.

Most people talk about having to run to the bathroom and stuff. I dont have that. I go to the bathroom pretty normally everyday like 2 or 3 times. Once in a while maybe it will be diahrea, or it will be tough to get it, but for the most part it is normal.

Ive also had mucus in my stool though. Not in a while, but in the past (within those 7 years of dealing with this). Usually it is at the beginning or the end of the stool, clearish maybe orangish looking mucus. Its actually quite disgusting. I am not sure if that is related to the IBS. I dont have pain too often, and I've only had blood once or twice, with a hemorrhoid.

Next time I meet with my doctor I will mention a blood test to him. Im so scared like cancer is going to show up, its my most feared thing for my anxiety. It drives me insane just thinking about it makes my stomach get worse.

I wish this zoloft would calm me down, which in terms would calm down my "IBS" if that is what it is.

Im sorry for typing so much, my OCD doesnt let it end.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

IBS is very very common, I wouldn't be surprised if 1 out of 6 people had it but everyone's symptoms differ, some people have it more, some have it less, some have more anxiety and some have less. So you shouldn't compare the severity of your symptoms to other people. Everyone is different!

Mucus in the stool is very typical for IBS and you don't have to have diarrhea and/or constipation in order to be diagnosed with it. Symptoms of IBS include bloating, increased gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation. Not all of these symptoms need to be present at once so just because you don't have the diarrhea, it doesn't rule out IBS.

The blood test will not even look for cancer so doing a blood test should not cause you more anxiety. You DO NOT have cancer, you just don't, and so you don't need to worry about finding it. You need to start reassuring yourself everyday that you are young and that you don't have cancer.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your help, please dont be surprised if I end up asking more questions!



Mark
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am waiting for my monthly plan to continue (which should be today or asap) then I will accept. There is something going on where justanswer charged me extra money for no reason, etc and im waiting for an email.

I am almost positive you will be getting alot of accepts from me in the future as I will definitly be coming back im sure, and asking more questions about this.

Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

Thank you! I appreciate it. I will be happy to assist you and hopefully calm you down and reassure you that you will be just fine :)

 

Talk soon,

Julia

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I still am yet to accept the anser because i dont think my monthly thing resumes until april 27th but ask any expert, i will pay.. im not like that


But I still am getting these wierd feelings in my lower stomach like a vibrating and boubling. it feels like its in my rectum. i notice it more if i go a long time with out eating... then when i eat... also sometimes i notice like the lower right side of my stomach like bulges out like its inflammed sometimes and i push on it and it like dissapears but its like big.. and its been like that for years
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I really think its might be chrons disease does it sound like it? Can these annoying sensations really be related to IBS? Im nervous I took 2 maalox they seemed to help a little for now.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

I am so sorry, I did not get back to you yesterday because I am out of town and have very limited access to the computer.

I will be back home on Tuesday morning and will get back to you in more detail then.

I will tell you, however, that the main symptom of Chron's disease is bloody diarrhea. You said that you don't have diarrhea and you didn't mention anything about rectal bleeding, so I can pretty certainly tell you that you do not have Chron's disease.

 

Please go to your doctor and at least get the 2 tests I recommended done first - blood test for Gluten intolerance and stool test for H. pylori bacteria. You can also ask for a test to check you for lactose intolerance if you ever noticed that after eating dairy products your symptoms get worse.

Also, if you have been tolerating Zoloft 25 mg twice daily without problems, I would recommend increasing it to 75 mg daily - for example, taking 1 pill (25 mg) in the morning and 2 pills (50 mg) at bedtime.

 

Let me know if you have other questions but I may not get back to you right away because I have limited internet access but as soon as I can get to a computer, I will write you back.

 

You can click 'Accept' whenever you wish, I am not worried about you not accepting.

 

Julia

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It says I have to pay seperately to accept your answer. Would you like to answer any other question I have and I will just accept right away to pay for what youve done here.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

You don't have to pay separately to accept my answer, you just need to click 'Accept' and I will get my payment.

I already answered a lot of your questions but I will be happy to answer any other ones you have. I am back at home so I have access to the internet without a problem now.

 

Let me know.

 

Julia

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I been waking up in the middle of the night with these feelings too. The strange sensations in my lower gut there so annoying. I dont know if its because I eat late. I had lasagna and some ice cream at like 930 at night. But this has been many years like this. Can it be like colitis or something. I really dont think its just IBS. Im scared to get tests done even though they wont show anything bad, i dont know why.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

Just like with Chron's disease, symptoms of colitis are bloody diarrhea. Again, you don't have these symptoms so I really don't think you have colitis.

There really aren't that many things that can possibly be wrong with your gut. You definitely don't have cancer (because the symptoms you are describing are not symptoms we see in people who have cancer), you most likely do not have colitis (either Chron's or ulcerative colitis) because you do not have the bloody diarrhea and the weight loss that usually accompanies colitis, you don't have a stomach ulcer.

 

You are scared to go get tests done because you have anxiety disorder which is not treated properly (you are under-treated). But there is not much else (or anyone else) can tell you until you get some tests done. None of the tests are scary and even if they diagnose a problem, the problem is not life-threatening by any means. If anything, it will help you so much. For example, if you have lactose or gluten intolerance, all you would need to do is avoid foods/products that have lactose or that have gluten. What is scary about this?

 

You should get an ultrasound or CT scan of your abdomen to look for gallstones, sometimes they can cause abdominal pain after eating but usually it only happens in right upper quadrant of the abdomen so i really dont think you have any gallbladder stones.

 

If you want to get better, you need to go and get tested. I am sure your tests will show nothing, which means you have IBS and just knowing that, will make you feel so much better. The more you worry, the worse the symptoms get.

 

I hope this answers your questions. Please, get the courage to see your doctor. You will be just fine but me saying that will not get rid of your fears. You will only feel better once you do the tests and find out that everything is ok.

 

Julia

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you ! I hope some day I can build the courage to go to the doctor like you said.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you ! I hope some day I can build the courage to go to the doctor like you said. It says I have to pay an additional 18 dollars, so let me ask you a question in another page or something so it goes with my monthly account.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

You are welcome.

 

Yes, if you click 'Accept' it will charge you another $18. I must have misunderstood what you said earlier.

 

When you start your new question, you can say "For Julia" or just request me. I am on line until about 4:00 pm central time today.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Nurse Milli, RN

    Nurse (RN)

    Satisfied Customers:

    4043
    20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NU/nursescare4u/2013-3-31_03429_JApic.64x64.jpg Nurse Milli, RN's Avatar

    Nurse Milli, RN

    Nurse (RN)

    Satisfied Customers:

    4043
    20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/agketch/2008-7-14_184046_drketchresized.jpg Dr. Ketch's Avatar

    Dr. Ketch

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    102
    Medical Degree, Former Assistant Professor at School of Medicine at Yale University
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FA/FamilyPhysician/2013-8-31_191624_JA550x500Photo.64x64.jpg Family Physician's Avatar

    Family Physician

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    5622
    Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/drphophalia/2007-08-23_095626_dr._arun_phophalia.jpg Dr. Arun Phophalia's Avatar

    Dr. Arun Phophalia

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    17025
    MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VA/VANP/2012-6-6_235535_Skye2.64x64.jpg A. Schuyler, NP's Avatar

    A. Schuyler, NP

    Nurse Practitioner

    Satisfied Customers:

    12170
    Board Certified NP, MS, RN. Private practice & hospitalist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TA/tazechip/2012-6-7_135230_drpic.64x64.png Dr. Chip's Avatar

    Dr. Chip

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    10029
    Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/neurosurg/2009-10-06_120923_profile.jpg Dr. Mark's Avatar

    Dr. Mark

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    6234
    U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery