Severe Bloating..dr. doesn't believe in FM

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by Rgonza2, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Rgonza2

    Rgonza2 New Member

    I've never posted on a mssge board before, but found out about this site through a book about women living with fibromyalgia. I have suffered from severe bloating in my stomach (along with all of the other ailments) and wondered if there is anyone out there that is going through the same thing?? My stomach will go clear up to 43" and I am asked all time when is my baby due!! It's very hurtful!! I have been to every kind of dr. you can think of and my gasternologist said it is just part of having fm. My stomach seems to only go down when I take my pain medicine and lay down on my recliner chair with heat on my lower back and neck. When my stomach goes way up, my lower back just kills me and I feel miserable!! Any one have any suggestions that have helped them? P.S. I am a 48 yr. old female that had a partial hyst. 8 years ago, so I do still have my ovaries.
    Thank you so much and blessings to all that are suffering as I am on a daily basis with fm
    <br><br>[<i>This Message was Edited on 04/01/2009</i>]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/01/2009]
  2. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    If you haven't already, go to the Fibromyalgia Message Board here and post. I think they would be the best ones to answer your questions and give you their ideas and suggestions and they are some good people. Good luck on this.
  3. SnooZQ

    SnooZQ New Member

    Hi there,

    1) Food Intolerances: not at all uncommon with FM. Have you ever considered that possibility?

    Over the yrs. I've met a number of folks whose experience matched my own: bloating due to a food intolerance. Gluten (wheat, barley, rye) is a common culprit. But so are dairy, soy, or corn.

    Among women with food-intolerance bloating, the "when the baby is due" comments are not infrequently experienced. But if the intolerance is discovered and the offending item removed from diet, that problem becomes old history.

    Clues to food intolerance can come from testing and/or observation. Allergists find some food intolerances (the standard allergy types). Naturopaths do a a different sort of testing. The least expensive, but very valid, form of testing is dietary restriction of a given food group (whether gluten or dairy or whatever) for a number of months, followed by a re-introduction/challenge. Note occurrences of the bloating symptoms during the restriction phase, as well as the re-introduction phase.

    Since dietary challenges can be tricky -- the restriction phase must be 100% -- check your local public library for books on how to do this.

    Since you have seen a gastroenterologist, I'm assuming here that you've had an upper endoscopy with biopsy, to rule out celiac disease -- an autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten. It's much more serious than run of the mill food allergy (excluding anaphylactic allergies) or run of the mill food intolerance. Celiac can also cause bloating & even for some folks, FM symptoms. But ruling celiac in or out is very important because of related all-round health issues that need to be watched with celiac.

    2) Thyroid function: low thyroid can slow digestion, decrease digestive juice production, cause bloat & gut discomfort.

    Thyroid is often low in FM. Look back at your recent lab copies of your bloodwork, and check to see if you've had your free T3, free T4 and thyroid antibody levels done. If so, where do your results fall on the reference range given?

    Most FM patients are offered only a standard TSH test as a thyroid screen. This is inadequate -- but reasons why etc. belong on a separate post.

    3) Probiotics: help keep a balance of good gut bacteria. The "bad guys" in your gut can cause bloat. Active culture yogurt if you tolerate it, or a nondairy probiotic supplement are helpful.

    4) Yeast & sugar issues: Just as yeast raises bread dough, the same can occur in the gut, if yeast are out of balance with the good gut bacteria.

    Best wishes.
  4. Rgonza2

    Rgonza2 New Member

    Thank you so much for taking the time to post all of the info. I go to an internal dr. in a couple of days and am going to print all of this out and take it with me. You are right...the only test they did was the standard TSH test!
    Thanks again for sharing,
    Rgonza2
  5. SnooZQ

    SnooZQ New Member

    Most conventional MDs are schooled to believe that TSH "tells all" about thyroid. If your doc agrees to run the frees and thyroid antibodies, you have a gem. More likely, doc will fuss and/or refuse, because he/she 'knows' that TSH is enough.

    The reasons for more than TSH: TSH (thyroid stim hormone) is a product of the pituitary gland. As a measure of thyroid function, it is indirect at best. Many people with FM have minor glitches on the HPA axis -- their pituitary may not be optimally functioning. So relying only on the indirect TSH gives less complete information about thyroid function than the actual levels of free thyroid hormones in the body.

    My Int Med doc went by TSH ... I ended up self-ordering a thyroid lab panel (note, insurance will not cover self-ordered lab tests). When I went back to my doc with the panel's findings:
    a "normal" TSH of 2.65, but free T4 at absolute bottom of ref range, and fT3 below ref range, doc was willing to do a "trial" of low-dose thyroid hormone replacement.

    Getting adequate thyroid hormone & also replacing testosterone (I was out of range on that one as well -- even us gals need a smidge) was critical in reducing my FM myalgia & tendinitis.

    However, for me, the gut issues I triumphed over first. Ended 50 yrs of "spastic bowel" later called "IBS-c" with constant bloating -- pain severe enough that I'd had 3 hospitalizations with all sorts of workups -- simply by removing gluten from my diet. I am gluten intolerant, even though I passed the allergist's tests with flying colors.

    Good luck to you on your doctor's vist.
  6. Rgonza2

    Rgonza2 New Member

    Hi Snoozq,
    Wanted to let you know that at my dr. visit, she said that if I keep on this path I am on, I am going to die! She was outraged at all of the medications I have been on for years, and all of the dr.'s giving them to me. She said I had to immediately go on gluten free diet, no dairy, no coffee, etc. She also stopped two of my medications (Ambien CR and Protonix) and said I needed to start eating 5 cloves of raw garlic every day, 4-5 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar at every meal, take fish oil liquid every day, vit. C every day and give myself injections of B12 (1000 mg ) every 15 days. She said I was in worse shape than an 86 year old woman she had just seen. She said I was full of yeast (have to take some medicine for that), but oddly enough, I don't have any discharge. She also said she doesn't believe in FM or IBS and said my body is just full of acid and inflammation. I started all of this regimen on Sunday and boy has it been rough!!! I have been so sick, and my stomach is still really bloated! She said to give her a month and if I didn't see dramatic results I could fire her. I am so upset and depressed!! It's hard to take someone telling you that FM doesn't exist (after you have been to several dr's who put you on all kinds of medicine for it!), and that if you keep doing what you are doing you will die!! I hope all of these measures work, I am exhausted and afraid to get my hopes up that it will make me feel better.
    Best Wishes,
    Rgonza2
    [This Message was Edited on 04/19/2009]
  7. SnooZQ

    SnooZQ New Member

    Not at all typical standard of care for an IM MD! Much more in the realm of integrative/naturopathic.

    Be sure to take that ACV diluted, and to rinse well/brush, immediately following taking it. Otherwise it's sayonara to your tooth enamel!

    Best wishes on your regimen.
  8. Rgonza2

    Rgonza2 New Member

    Hi SnooZQ,
    Yep, her card states that she is board certified in IM and studied womens (gynocology) at the Mayo clinic. When I went for my visit, she said she doesn't believe in prescribing medicines to treat problems, so I think you are right when you say she is more of the naturopathic dr. Thanks for the tip about the ACV, I had no idea. I appreciate it!
    Best wishes,
    Rgonza2
  9. SnooZQ

    SnooZQ New Member

    WOW. I've heard a number of sad stories about Mayo docs. But this story is completely different.

    May I ask which Mayo? Rochester or a satellite?

    Did you luck out with her? Would you share her name? Thanks.
  10. Rgonza2

    Rgonza2 New Member

    Hi SnooZQ,
    Sure, I don't mind sharing her name at all. It is Lida Aghdam, M.D. Her card just says that she is board certified in Internal Medicine and Womens health and gynecology from the Mayo Clinic. I'm not sure which one she was at...I'm going to ask at my next visit.
    Hope all is well,
    Rgonza2
  11. Twinky1

    Twinky1 New Member

    hi RGOnza2,I have been diagnosed with fibro for 12 yrs and right now@ my lowest point ever . I have cfs too. I feel worthless. Iretired from work when I was 62. I can't walk very well and I need to lie down a lot. The bloating makes me feel terrible. I thinkig about asking my dr. to put me on Cymbalta.
  12. wow keep us updated on what helps or what you find, severe bloating has always been my problem. I do have gastroparesis so t hat doesn't help. one dr told me to take fibercon and that helped for a while but now I can't take fiber. sigh....good luck
  13. Rgonza2

    Rgonza2 New Member

    Hi Twinky1,
    I want to encourage you to hang in there, there is hope! I have been following the dr.'s advice (see my email from early April), and I have to admit the first two weeks were very rough. I am finally starting to feel better than I have in years!!! I was like you...all I wanted to do was lay down, I was so exhausted. The bloating is finally going down lower than it has been in over 3 years!! I tried Cymbalta and it didn't work for me, but I have heard that it can help others. I am finally starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel and am hoping that I will be able to feel well enough to start some light exercises. Last week was the first time I have been able to make it through a whole week of work in years!! WOW! I have to tell you that I too, was at my absolute lowest just 2 months ago... I just couldn't take it anymore, which led me to go ahead and try what this dr. recommended. I even told my grown children that this was it for me, I'm too tired to try anything else. Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to encourage you that there is hope even though you feel so tired and in pain. It's hard to explain to people how much bloating truly makes you feel..your whole body seems swollen and you feel like "if I could just give birth or get this thing cut out of me I would feel better" that's how much pressure and pain it causes!! I wish you the best and hope you are feeling better soon!
    Rgonza2
  14. fibromickster

    fibromickster New Member

    Sounds like your bloating is IBS, which is very common in women especially after having babies. I do have that as well as all the other symptoms of Fibro.

    I hope you get the help that you deserve.

    Take care
  15. Rgonza2

    Rgonza2 New Member

    Hi jaminhealth,
    Yep, I cut out all gluten, fried foods, dairy and coffee. It has made a huge difference! I'm still struggling with a lot of the morning stiffness and muscle aches in the neck, back, legs, feet and hands. I go back to the dr. tomorrow for the report on all my blood tests, so hopefully there is something else she can help with.
    Thanks for the info on thryoid....the dr. did say on my first visit, " I pretty much guarantee your thyroid is low?.
    Best wishes,
    Rgonza2
  16. SnooZQ

    SnooZQ New Member

    Yeah! Good for you. Keep getting the word out to others. Once your thyroid is balanced, you will likely see a good bit of improvement in the pain.

    Best wishes. Keep up the good work.