Bowel changes in young woman could be IBS symptoms

IBS is extremely common but many do not seek medical attention.



May 12, 2020 - 9:00 AM

Dear Dr. Roach: My 18-year-old daughter has had digestive problems on and off for a few years now. Her appendix was removed in March 2015. She had brutal abdominal pain, but the ultrasound scan didn’t show anything wrong with her appendix. Summer 2018, she started having bad digestion problems. She could hardly hold anything in. The food came back out, either by diarrhea or vomiting.

Our family doctor sent her to a pediatric gastroenterologist. She had a complete workup, including stool cultures, the entire thing. They found nothing wrong with her. Now she has noticed that eating anything warm makes her feel “wobbly.” She often eats a popsicle when that happens, and the “wobbliness” magically disappears.

Do you think it could be a problem with her vagus nerve? Our family doctor is not taking this possibility seriously at all and will not investigate it. She now has diarrhea only once or twice a month, which starts with pain or discomfort. She occasionally still has vomiting. The abdominal discomfort gets somewhat better after a bowel movement, but it’s really the popsicle that makes it get better. — J.M.

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