Ask Your Health Question and Get an Answer ASAP
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tell me, did you have any tests done such as endoscopy, colonoscopy, CT scans?
When were they done?
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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.
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.
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.