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Is it IBS or is it something else entirely

Author: Scott Best

Some times when attempting to talk about or deal with Irritable Bowel Syndrome one has to take pause and consider whether what one has to say is relevant or helpful in any way. It’s so easy to get caught up in the personal experience of what IBS brings to life that making a point rather than telling the personal side of the story gets lost, or at least seems to.

And as I pondered this thought something inside assured me that even just telling the story sometimes is relevant, sometimes just sharing the personal experience is important. It’s important for so many reasons that to not tell the story might be worse than not trying to help at all.

Every day I come across more and more people who like me, have suffered for so many years in obscurity or ridiculed silence, that for me at least it’s important to tell the story, to share the experiences, to let those that suffer know they are not alone in their struggle.

It just might be that by telling the story from enough different perspectives, after digesting enough information from enough sources there might be a revelation of sorts, the moment when we connect the dots from enough experiences that a cure or causation might be found.

In my last article I addressed the issue of the proper diagnosis for IBS, and again, I am dealing with this issue. It has been many months now since I spoke of the issue with my gallbladder that went acute and needed to be removed.

I t was shortly after the surgery was when I wrote about the change that had taken place. About how after the surgery, I seemed up to then at least to be almost symptom free. Alas the feeling of freedom did not last. I must admit that the symptoms of my IBS did seem to be gone for many months. But the euphoric feeling of being free from Irritable Bowel Syndrome was relatively short lived.

I did get almost 6 months of life without IBS symptomology, which was great while it lasted. I was almost sure, for a while that my diagnosis had been incorrect, and that removal of the gallbladder was the definitive cure for my condition, but it wasn’t to be so.

Like I stated, there was about a six month void where IBS wasn’t a part of my vocabulary. But slowly the symptoms returned to their previous height of pervasiveness whereby almost monthly now my life is placed back into the one or two week cycle of pain bloating constipation and diarrhea.

Not only that, but from time to time I get the hard pains that were associated with the gallbladder problem. I don’t understand this at all. I have read where there have been rare instances where some people have actually had two gallbladders with both causing issues that required attention. It seems that in all the cases I researched the second gallbladder was missed in most every test performed because it was hidden under a fold of the liver.

It just seems so ironic; to have so many things going on that a good diagnosis can’t be rendered. Now the question needs to be asked in my case, am I one in a million that truly has a second gallbladder, or is the pain that I am experiencing just another facet of what seems to be my ever changing list of symptoms caused by the IBS condition.

This situation brings almost nightmarish thoughts to mind of how to even get a doctor to consider the possibility that I might have a second gallbladder that is in need of removal. I spent so many years and so much money trying to get them to believe me about the one they removed. I am still not exactly sure which made more of an impact, the fact that the gallbladder was so bad that it was life threatening or the fact that I threatened to kill the attending physician in the emergency room because of the pain I was in the night it nearly ruptured.

The second set of unanswered questions that haunt me would be, is my diagnosis of IBS still wrong? Do I actually have a second gallbladder? If so, how will I ever get a doctor to consider the possibility of a second gallbladder? Given the previous diagnosis of IBS, and the fact that I have had my supposedly only gallbladder removed, how will I ever convince a doctor to look any further without thinking me some wacked out hypochondriac who only complains of pain to gain attention. The position I find myself in now seems to be exactly where I was before the gallbladder went way wrong and caused them to sit up and take notice. Except now there are more complicated questions to ponder

To complicate matters even more during my writing of this article, I came across some new information which adds another wrinkle to the garment of Irritable bowel syndrome that I wear.

I came across some information about something called Postcholecystectomy syndrome. Postcholecystectomy syndrome as I understand it is a condition where the symptoms of gallbladder disease continue even after the gallbladder is removed. Something I was never informed of prior to my surgery. So now another new front of where to begin is added.

So now what to do? Do I have IBS, do I have Postcholecystectomy syndrome, or do I in fact have a second gallbladder. This just keeps getting better and better. How will I approach a doctor now and convince them that I am a sane rational human being at this point? With all this going on, I am finding it hard to convince myself.

Comments on this article can be left at

Copyright 2008 Scott Best

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