Question: At time my belly swells so I look pregnant It swells that much it is pressing on my rib cage and it can be difficult to sit upright due to the discomfort. There is no crimpy pain just swelling nor do I suffer from gas. I have diagnosed with DD as well as IBS. In my blood test the PV CRP and ERS have been raised since June last year. the whole situation is getting me down I have lost the weight I was 13st9lb and gone from a size 20 22 woman’s dress size down to a 12 to 14 then my tummy has started to swell so it is as big now as what it was before I lost the weight. My GP is considering sending me back to see a gastro again which I do not really want to do if I can help it. However, I know that I am not going to be able to carry on like this for much longer. What does not help too much is that I am on the blind register. I have a guide dog and a retired guide dog I was born with cataracts where I ended up having an ICCE to remove the cataracts followed by a detached retina around 4 years ago now. I am unable to get a job because of my sight. I live alone although I do have a good friend, how lives round the corner from me. My GP was saying that it could just be the IBS, which is coursing my problems there is no pain other than the pressing on my rib cage with my belly swelling so much, and I do not suffer from gas. My IBS is mainly IBSC although I have been going normally for a few months without taking laxatives I am aware that I am unable to be constipated due to it could make the DD worse. I am having a can of prunes a day, which is keeping things good in that department. I do not eat potato or bread just because I do not like them. I have tried changing my diet to see if it is that which is coursing the problem but up to now, nothing seems to be working. I have even gone to my local college had quite a lot of alternative therapies to try and relax me thinking that this would help but nothing seems to be working up to now. If I could get the bloating to go down, I would be happy. There is just one more thing, which I did not mention that when I go to pass water I very often have to strain as if I am having a poo to manage to wee if I do not do this the water want come out and it can get very uncomfortable. I am being very stressed and depressed over what is happening to me it has been going on for ten months. I just cannot see any end to it. Can you suggest anything?
Answer: You are clearly having such a difficult time with this and there are several issues to consider. The first is your inflammatory markers (ESR and CRP) are elevated and you have lost weight. It is important you see your gastroenterologist about this so he can check that you do not have anything more serious. Your need to strain to wee as well as poo is also of concern. It could be that one is affecting the other or that anxiety is inhibiting both but it needs to be checked. Second, if there is nothing more serious, then your can of prunes a day may well be responsible for this considerable distension and bloating. Prunes contain sugars that are not well absorbed in the small intestine and will be fermented in the colon releasing large amounts of gas. You should perhaps consider alternatives for your constipation. Resolor is a new type of treatment for constipation that looks to be more effective than others. But I strongly suggest you get an appointment to see your gastroenterologist.