Could these also be symptoms of IBS?

4 answers | Last updated: Jul 14, 2012
A fellow caregiver asked...

I am a 52 year old female in good health. I had a hysterectomy 5 years ago, leaving my right ovary. I have IBS and have always had problems with constipation. Lately, I have experienced pain in my right back side and at night I awaken with leg pains. I have a lot of gas, cramping, and when I'm not constipated I have to go to the bathroom several times a day. Any suggestions on what is going on?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Reading your letter, you may have some scarring in your right abdomen from your previous surgery.  These scars are called adhesions, and they can be a problem.  For instance, the scarring can be extensive and cause problems with your digestion, because things cannot move through the bowels well.  I would suggest seeing your health care professional for a thorough check, as they may want you to see your Gastroenterologist for follow up.  You may need to have more tests done to make sure nothing new is going on.

Community Answers

Guber answered...

again, low in magnesium. This mineral will let you have reg bowel movements, helps joints, heart, and nerves. I take it daily and have for years. I feel wonderful am 53, never have these prob. anymore. take care now.

Kateclc answered...

I've had this kind of IBS all my life. In addition to the answers above, it may help to dramatically reduce your consumption of flour products (breads, crackers, pasta, etc.) and other dense/dry foods like meat, and also to avoid RAW vegetables while increasing your intake of cooked ones. Fruit too, of course. Chew twice as long and hard, whenever possible. Good luck!

Lindasd answered...

I found out by the fact that a coworker's wife had this happen. Many women are told they have IBS or that their symptoms are IBS when they really have ovarian cancer. Make sure you rule out any other disease before you assume the pain and symptoms are from your IBS. My coworkers wife had a complete hysterectomy with both ovaries and uterus removed. Years of being told she had IBS. Ended up she had ovarian cancer even though her ovaries had been removed there is still tissue. By the time tests were done she had to have aggressive treatment for the cancer which eventually spread. More recently she thought it was in remission and she started having IBS constipation symptoms. A trip to the cancer clinic and sure enough the ovarian cancer had returned and spread. Get more tests.