My GI guy seems to think that my intestinal symptoms are just irritable bowel, however I think that they may actually be something more. I am however having trouble getting him to really further consider what is going on because I am not losing weight, or having extremely severe symptoms.
Anyway, I'm 30, and taking protonix for chronic heartburn.
The protonix has mostly taken care of my heartburn (although not entirely), and greatly reduced the amount of diarrhea I have for some reason. But here are my symptoms:
intermittent Diarrhea and constipation (probably the reason he thinks IBS), and changes in the size and texture of my BMs (from tiny small ones to watery, mucusy, and normal)
painful bowel movements
bright red blood in my stools (usually only during flare ups)
fatigue during the day and a need for extra sleep ~12hrs (only during flare ups)
feeling of urgency for a BM but often no BM
mucus in my stool
Feeling swollen/pressure in my abdomen especially lower and upper left side, sometimes lower and upper right (not the same as gas, but feels like it is swollen along where my colon is, not my small intestines)
and sometimes it feels like I may have a low grade fever. But I usually don't have a thermometer on me during the day when it feels like it. I have occasionally managed to check and the temp is around 99.5F.
no relief from bowel movements
no weight loss, but mild weight gain (which I think is linked to eating more small snacks to take care of the heartburn I have in the evening)

During one of my flareups I went to my primary about the fatigue and she did a lot of blood tests and treated me for vit D def., put me on supplemental iron, and a high potassium diet. Which seemed to help at the time. And my follow up blood work was normal for everything. But now I'm having a flareup again, and I'm still taking supplemental Fe, still eating a high potassium diet, and given that it is summer I expect my vit D is normal (and I'm taking a supplement for it once a week still because it had seemed to hep previously). And I always make sure I'm well hydrated during a flareup and avoid coffee since it makes it worse. So now everything that seemed to help with the fatigue before should still be normal, but I am once again having major fatigue that interferes with work and my life and can only relate it to the flareup.

My protonix has just been doubled to take care of the evening heartburn. But I haven't really had any diagnostic tests other than the blood work to look at the fatigue.

Any idea what is going on or what I should be talking to my GI guy about or insisting on?

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replied April 16th, 2011
Hello and thank you for posting your medical question on E health Forum.

The constellation of your symptoms described here could be associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic functional disorder characterized by cramping abdominal pain or discomfort with alterations in bowel habits (bloating, constipation, and diarrhea).

These symptoms usually are present for at least 12 weeks in a patient during the previous one year, and unfortunately the onset or subsidence cannot be predicted.

IBS is diagnosed by its signs and symptoms and by the absence of other diseases. IBS does not cause any permanent damage or any serious illness but the symptoms cause severe discomfort & distress affecting an individuals work, ability to travel and attend social events.

Most symptoms of IBS can be controlled with diet, stress management, and prescribed medications (laxatives, antidiarrheals, antispasmodics, or antidepressants).

You may consider to consult your physician or a gastroenterologist for counselling if you have any additional doubts.

I hope you find this helpful.

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