I’m starting to get worried about my gut. Actually, that’s a lie. I’ve been worried for a while now. For several months I’ve had chronic abdominal pain. At first it came and went and, though it was unpleasant, it didn’t bother me too much. I get all sorts of random symptoms that come and go and they eventually settle down. Not this time. The pain, I have to admit to myself, is getting worse. It’s constant and for 3 months now it’s been waking me up from sleep. Last night was awful and I am a wreck this morning.
I am in pain from the middle of my oesophagus to my backside. My back is in spasm from my shoulder blades to my tailbone. I feel permanently sick and, though I get hungry, I’m full quickly. The only good news is that my poop is fine, still huge, normal colour, no signs of blood, no constipation or diarrhea and I go nearly every morning after breakfast. It is, however, about the only thing in my entire digestive tract which appears normal.
I know my oesophagus and stomach are being eroded by acid but when I can’t take H2 antihistamines or PPIs treatment for my chronic GERD is almost impossible. High dose Gaviscon does help but doesn’t eliminate the problem.
I have so much wrong with me that the abdominal pain could be thirty different things: my MCAD, inflammatory bowel disease such as diverticulitis or colitis, gallbladder issues (my Mum had hers removed in her forties after 10 years of indescribable stomach pain), nerve impingement, hernia in the bowel wall, stomach ulcer……the list is endless. It could even be a back issue and it’s referred pain or it could be down to my endometriosis adhering to the bowel walls. Trying to get to the root cause of the pain is going to be a bloody nightmare and treating it with my drug allergy history probably impossible.
Ehlers-Danlos can cause a whole range of gut issues. MCAD obviously causes gut pain. Many people with M.E. have gut problems, the reason for which can usually never be found and get put down to “IBS” (a non-diagnosis if ever there was one). Endometriosis can also affect the stomach and bowel. It could be all four or totally unrelated and something else entirely – how on earth is the doctor going to know what’s causing what?!
The pain isn’t worse when I eat. In fact, it’s worse during the night and first thing in the morning when my stomach and bowel are fairly empty, work that one out! It’s proper getting me down now, especially as it’s affecting my sleep 😦
Please can I not have any comments telling me to cut out dairy or gluten or do a FODMAP diet. If only my health problems were that simplistic.
I think I’m going to risk taking some antihistamines and see if I can tolerate them. I started reacting to both H1s and H2s last year so stopped them, but it may be that now I’ve had a break I can tolerate them again (I started reacting to Gaviscon in 2015 but am taking it again fine this year). If antihistamines help at least I’d know it’s probably my MCAD that’s playing up (I am super itchy atm). I’m also still trying to pluck up the courage to try a different brand of PPI for my acid but am such a chicken when it comes to trying new meds after having so many awful reactions.
I suppose in some ways I’ve been lucky. I had no serious gut issues until I was 45 which, considering all my illnesses can cause stomach problems, is fairly miraculous. I’d better make an appointment to see my GP (for which I may wait 6 to 8 weeks), who will refer me to Gastro at the hospital (for which I may wait 4 to 6 months). So hopefully I might get to see a Consultant by October!