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Wendy Harrison

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In February I started having indigestion in my lower abdomen. Around the same time, I started having bouts of diarrhea with intense cramping about once a week and would not have any bowel movements between those bouts. These bouts would last up to 40 minutes and I sometimes would feel like throwing up. Had an endoscopy which showed chronic gastritis but my doctor said this had nothing to do with the diarrhea. I also had an MRI of the lower abdomen and the results for all my organs/glands were normal. Previous to these tests, I had a routine colonoscopy a year ago. Also normal. The doctor said that I might have IBS. I am 71 years old. 

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Jeffrey Roberts

Dear Wendy,

I'm glad to hear that an MRI didn't reveal anything in your lower abdomen. I'm not sure I agree with gastritis not leading to problems lower down, namely diarrhea. Has anyone checked your pancreatic enzymes and/or gallbladder or liver function? Issues upstream can lead to problems lower down.

I wonder if some blood tests and stool tests might help identify if everything is okay. I also wonder whether an abdominal ultrasound might also confirm everything is alright.

Sudden symptoms over the age of 65 are generally a red flag and I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that it is IBS until everything else is ruled out.

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Thank you for your reply. I will take note of the tests you recommend and contact the doctor. The MRI was done with a dye and the doctor did say that it would show more than an ultrasound, which was done several years ago. I have had blood tests done for liver function.

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