A long time ago, in a surgery far, far away...

Hi everyone from (sometimes) sunny Wales, UK.

The saga begins in a doctors surgery far, far away. I might as well have gone to the mighty Jabba as to date, no one has given me an answer, which really does make me go to the dark side and join the Empire rather than the rebels.

Late 2019, I started getting bloating, feeling very tired, bad indigestion, headaches, back pain. I was regular on the loo, but constipated, so went to the 'doctors'.

They took a zillion blood tests, and initially suggested I had a H Pylori infection. Blood test showed zilch.

They then suggested it could be celiac disease, as there was a very slight trace of the thingy that could cause it, even though my son has coeliac disease and we'd been gluten free for two years previously. They suggested I go totally gluten free for a month.

Frustrating experiences with doctors

You've guessed it, no change. Third visit. Dr Hopeless said it could be diverticulitis, off you go, and booked me an appointment with a gastroenterologist at a local hospital...

Then lockdown in the UK happened. This was March 2020. In August 2021, I eventually had my appointment with the most annoying specialist ever, who cut me off at each question, and exclaimed after 18 months of waiting that it 'could' be microscopic colitis, but 'probably' IBS. I walked out in disgust, waste of my time and a pointless half hour with a complete idiot.

Anyway, since then my symptoms have been the same, no worsening, sometimes changeable, happening more often, but just THERE!! AAGGH!!

Symptoms

So, the symptoms are usually: Random flare ups, sometimes last for a few days, the longest has been six-seven weeks, then stop for anything between a week and two months.

It's usually bloating, lots of hiccups and burping, hideous acid reflux (which I've had for years before on and off) and feeling lethargic, irritable and very tired.

When it stops, it stops, totally back to normal. The stomach ache, isn't really an ache, it's just a weird feeling of fullness and soreness, and wanting to just have a good burp and farts, which are incidentally positively evil on occasions, sorry again to my long suffering wife.

I believe GERD has joined the party a few weeks ago, with the usual top of stomach burning and burping up food, and the 'oh my god what's wrong with me' comes and goes every so often, yes I suffer from anxiety as well, oh joy of joys!!!

Lifestyle changes

I stopped smoking ten years ago, and my wife cooks the healthiest food ever, and has recently gone vegetarian, and I'm going the same way.

I have tried just about everything in the book, and prebiotics don't help at all. In fact, the only thing that helps is prune juice, yoghurt, and my wife's lovely curried soups, full of lentil goodness!!

I'm tempted to back to the 'doctors' but know they'll just fob me off with some crap.

I found this forum out of the blue, and hope all you lovely fellow sufferers can suggest some remedy or relief, or share your stories too in the hope that I don't have to go to the far side of the galaxy to find an answer. And yes, I'm a 50 something Star Wars geek, as you've probably guessed.

Thank you in advance for any help.

Stay safe, and bloat free!

Tony I.

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