Visceral Hypersensitivity Syndrome

Are your bowels oversensitive?

Picture showing a body outline with red sensitive bowels.
Do you have pain in your bowels with no apparent cause? That could be from visceral hypersensitivity syndrome.
© Can Stock Photo

For the last few years there has been a lot of discussion about yet another possible cause of IBS symptoms.

It’s called visceral hypersensitivity  or visceral hypersensitivity syndrome, and it’s part of something called “functional gastrointestinal disorders.”

Whew! I try to keep things readable around here, but it looks like I’ll be slinging around some tough terms in this one.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

 

 

So what is visceral hypersensitivity syndrome?

First of all, viscera means the internal organs in the main part of the body, especially those in the abdomen, like your intestines.

Having hypersensitive viscera means that you are experiencing much more pain than would be expected, for the amount of stimulation.

Your bowels are basically screaming pain signals to your brain.

I’ve read where people compare this pain signal to a radio with the volume turned up too loud.

What causes visceral hypersensitivity syndrome?

There is a theory that damage to the lining or nerves of the intestines (or bowels) changes how they react to stimulation. The proverbial “raw nerve” might be one way to think of it.

This seems to happen after some kind of gastroenteritis (stomach flu) or similar bowel illness.

Then the the pain and other IBS symptoms (responses to  visceral hypersensitivity) just never seem to go away.

There are a number of illnesses that seem to have this in common.

Another study determined that people with visceral sensitivity issues had more pain receptors to hot peppers or spicy foods in their bowels.

Visceral hypersensitivity may be related to other illnesses.

Man_with_radiating_pain_from_visceral_hypersensitivity_syndrome
Small bowel changes can cause BIG PAIN for people with visceral hypersensitivity syndrome.
© Can Stock Photo

Some people don’t have the chronic constipation or chronic diarrhea of IBS. They do have the abdominal pain when their bowels move though.

One name for this is “chronic functional abdominal pain.”

Are there tests for visceral hypersensitivity syndrome?

There is one that I know of, though it’s a bit awkward to describe.

What they do is they slide an inflatable tube up your rectum and inflate it until you start to complain of pain. I would think that would be as soon as they started sliding the tube!

But seriously, people with visceral hypersensitivity and IBS experience much more pain at less inflation rates than people without these disorders.

Interestingly, people with these syndromes often have a higher than normal tolerance to external pain (so we’re not wimps ;).

Is there a cure for visceral hypersensitivity syndrome?

The medical world doesn’t seem ready to fully agree that visceral hypersensitivity syndrome even exists. There are many doctor’s that doubt it is real, despite some seemingly convincing evidence.

Of course many doctor’s don’t believe in IBS either.

What this all means is, there hasn’t been a lot of movement toward a cure for visceral hypersensitivity syndrome… Except perhaps for a surprise one:

Hypnosis and visceral hypersensitivity:

Picture of spirals and a comfortable, hypnotized woman.
Hypnosis has been shown to help bowel troubles like visceral hypersensitivity syndrome!
© Can Stock Photo

There have been interesting studies in Great Britain. Somehow,there is a major connection between the bowels and the brain. Here is why I say that.

People who received hypnosis treatments, had relief from IBS symptoms for up to 5 years! Hypnosis has proven to be effective against both IBS-D and IBS-C (diarrhea and constipation, in other words).

What else can you do about visceral hypersensitivity?

First of all I think you should avoid foods  that give you gas. No use inflating YOURSELF!

Also reducing stress and anxiety should help keep your guts from grumbling.

Avoiding spicy foods should help if you have extra pain receptors to spicy foods.

Avoiding foods that you are sensitive to, should help as well, since this should cut down on the cramping and diarrhea or constipation of IBS.

Find out more about what causes IBS here.

Comments

  1. Ivonush says

    OK, I understand. But the pain is so real! And I still don’t know how to deal with it. I have phisotherapy sessions, do some exercises, walk, added recently meditation. I also try to ignore as much as I can- telling myself that I need to “disconnect” somehow this brain- viscera link…
    But there are times I feel so impatient…
    Thank you. Ivonush

    ***By the way: great web-page

    • fadi says

      Yes, there is a way to deal with it if all else fails. Try low dose antidepressants. They work freak from my visceral hypersensitivity. Take them for 3 days and it’s gone just like that. Key reducing the dose until you find the minimum dose you need.

      • Amelia says

        Dear Fadi,

        How are you doing? I am thinking of starting low dose antidepressants for visceral hypersensitivity of the oesophagus.

        Best wishes,
        Amelia

  2. Rachael says

    I am having SCREAMING gut pain that is totally incapacitating. All tests normal. CT, MRI,ultrasound, colonoscopy, EGD, blood tests.
    Any suggestions for medications?

    • says

      I understand where you’re coming from. I can’t recommend anything since I’m not a doctor, but my gastsroenterologist gave me a special kind of muscle relaxant that works on bowels. It seems to help a bit, but it makes me sleepy.

    • Chris says

      I was diagnosed with Visceral Hypersensitivity, Autonomic dysfunction, and a host of other illnesses. I smoke medicinal cannabis for me incapacitating gut pain and it really helps. I take tramadol, Nortriptyline, and Gabapentin, and those together do not work as well as the cannabis. I was forced to move to Colorado because of the legality issues around it, but it was worth it for my quality of life. I am also 6′ 3″ and 130lbs, so I need the help eating and fighting nausea.

      • says

        Hi Chris,

        I’ve heard of this condition, and I think I know someone that has one version of it. It’s also sometimes related to mitral valve prolapse syndrome, although it seems like the valve itself is a symptom, and not a cause. Thanks for bringing it into our conversation!

        Still dysautonomia is not well understood, at all. In fact it’s one of those things some doctors don’t seem to believe in.

        6’3″ and 130 lbs is way underweight! I admit that I don’t know anything about cannabis and medical use, outside of cancer and glaucoma, but I’m glad there is SOMETHING to help you.

        I hope you enjoy Colorado. I’ve always wanted to visit, and considered moving there. All the best – Shawn

    • fadi says

      Yes, there is a way to deal with it if all else fails. Try low dose antidepressants. They work freak from my visceral hypersensitivity. Take them for 3 days and it’s gone just like that. Key reducing the dose until you find the minimum dose you need.

  3. william says

    i have suffered from gut pain most of my life since i was misdiagnosed with ceoliac disease when i was 14.i am 63 years old now and the last five years have been terrible.i have all the tests but they are all clear yet i suffer from pain every day.things i used to be able to eat a few years ago are now intollerable.i dont understand why this is.i am virtually housebound and have to take morphine every day for the pain.how i would love to have a holiday!any advice would be appreciated.

    • says

      That sounds HORRIBLE! I don’t presume to give advice. I’m not a licensed professional or anything. But I will tell you what I think. So you’ve explored all the medical options, and got no relief? If diet changes don’t help, the only think I can think of is the mind body connection. Hypnosis and meditation have helped some of the people that I’ve talked to. I know that stress brings me gut pain like few other things. I’m told by all kinds of licensed professionals that stress, and the mind, and the gut are VERY connected. Maybe there is something for you there. I wish I could be more help. I hope you get some relief, William. – Shawn

  4. says

    I have been diagnosed with this, and I can promise you, the pain is real. At cedars, they treat this with low level older anti-depressants, well, they have not worked and now I am getting a intrathecal pump implanted next week. The only treatment that works is Dilaudid in my CSF. Tried for two years to get it under control, but no dice. Luckily for me, my doctors are strong believers the pain is real.

    • says

      That sounds like a heavy duty treatment Jeremy! Thanks for sharing your information so that others have more information about their options. – Shawn

  5. Mel says

    Shawn, All this makes sense to me, my son has been diagnosed – he is 12 And it has been going on now for 2 years now after lots of tests. He lost 21lb in weight and his attendance at school went down to 30%. his trigger is physical exercise, carrying heavy items or exertion. He is taking low dose anti-depressants for the pain (signal Blockers). So far so good but we’re unsure of the future. One day at a time. Just wanted to say Thank you for the info and putting it in simple terms :0)

    • says

      Oh my gosh! There is nothing like watching your child go through that kind of thing. I hope the “so far so good” goes to “so far, GREAT!” Thanks als for the kind words. – Shawn

    • alice says

      Hello. My daughter is now 9 years old and she has been dealing with chronic pain for 2 years. She gets pain everytime she eats, leaving it impossible to finish her food. A doctor said she has Visceral Hyperalgesia. My poor daughter has went from a happy, healthy girl to a depressed victim of pain. Her only wish in the world is that she can eat a meal without having pain. We’ve seen so many doctors, went through so many medications. It’s a nerve problem in her stomach and nothing is helping her. Any advice from anyone would help!!!

      • says

        Alice, there are few agonies worse than having a sick child and feeling helpless. I’ve had that short term but never anything like 2 years. I can’t imagine what you all are going through.

        The things I’m about to say are my opinion, and not medical advice. But I’m kind of desperate to pass along anything that might point you toward some help.

        You say it’s a nerve in her stomach, Since you’re commenting on the viceral hypersensitivity page, I’m guessing stomach means abdomen/bowels. If it really is a stomach problem, the following may be less useful.

        If your regular doctor can’t do anything but put a name to the problem, I think you need to look to other sources. Other people have made a lot of helpful comments on this site. Here are a some things that they say have helped.

        These are not in any particular order, some of them may seem far fetched, but have studies, or at least stories to back them up.

        A naturopathic doctor. These doctors deal with the body’s natural function, and use herbs, foods, and changes in diet to help the body heal itself.

        An allergist. One woman had nothing but trouble until she went to a korean doctor who also was an allergist. She found foods that were causing her a lot of trouble. I’ve heard a lot of stories like this.

        A hypnotherapist that specializes in IBS and/or pain control. There are some studies and great success stories from England of IBS being cured by hypnosis. Other people have used it for all kinds of help with pain. Even if it doesn’t fix everything it may help.

        An acupuncturist. Some people think acupuncture is not real. I promise you that it is. I had a chronic back issue (muscle problems) when I was about 22. Neither an MD, nor a year of chiropractic (3 times a week), could help. An acupuncturist fixed in 5 visits. If you can find one, I strongly recommend going to a person who studied at the New England School of Acupuncture.

        A food elimination diet can be a huge help for some. There are a few ways to do that. One way is to stop eating the most common problem foods, then adding them back one at a time too see if there is a pattern. Many of the practitioners listed above can help with that.

        I earnestly hope that something here or elsewhere helps your poor daughter. Please let us know if you find something that helps!

        BEST OF LUCK! – Shawn

      • says

        Hi Alice,

        As you know so well, there are few agonies worse than having a sick child and feeling helpless. I’ve had that short term, but never anything like 2 years. I can’t imagine what you all are going through.

        The things I’m about to say are my opinion, and not medical advice. But I’m kind of desperate to pass along anything that might point you toward some help.

        You say it’s a nerve in her stomach, Since you’re commenting on the visceral hypersensitivity page, I’m guessing stomach means abdomen/bowels. If it really is a stomach problem, the following may be less useful.

        If your regular doctor can’t do anything but put a name to the problem, I think you need to look to other sources. Other people have made a lot of helpful comments on this site. Here are a some things that they say have helped.

        These are not in any particular order, some of them may seem far fetched, but have studies, or at least stories to back them up.

        A naturopathic doctor. These doctors deal with the body’s natural function, and use herbs, foods, and changes in diet to help the body heal itself.

        An allergist. One woman had nothing but trouble until she went to a korean doctor who also was an allergist. She found foods that were causing her a lot of trouble. I’ve heard a lot of stories like this.

        A hypnotherapist that specializes in IBS and/or pain control. There are some studies and great success stories from England of IBS being cured by hypnosis. Other people have used it for all kinds of help with pain. Even if it doesn’t fix everything it may help.

        An acupuncturist. Some people think acupuncture is not real. I promise you that it is. I had a chronic back issue (muscle problems) when I was about 22. Neither an MD, nor a year of chiropractic (3 times a week), could help. An acupuncturist fixed in 5 visits. If you can find one, I strongly recommend going to a person who studied at the New England School of Acupuncture.

        A food elimination diet can be a huge help for some. There are a few ways to do that. One way is to stop eating the most common problem foods, then adding them back one at a time too see if there is a pattern. Many of the practitioners listed above can help with that.

        Of course the trouble is, not all practitioners are equally talented. I went to an acupuncturist that was useless, and 2 that were AMAZING. I went to one naturopath that was NOT helpful, and one who made a huge difference. I know that makes the task seem even more daunting. Sorry.

        I earnestly hope that something here or elsewhere helps your poor daughter. Please let us know if you find something that helps!

        BEST OF LUCK! – Shawn

  6. suzanne says

    i can’t stop crying, this made me feel like I am not the only one!!!! everything you wrote is my daily life and I am just so happy to read all of this! thank you thank you! i have been seeing a therapist for months now, who is working with my GI. I’ve been sick for year, after my selemela poisoning a year and a half ago everything has been worse, I have IBS, crohn’s, gastritis, ulcers, hernia’s in my stomach and now visceral hypersensitivity, its just so much to deal with, but reading this helped me! this is a real diagnosis its not in my head as some OLDER GI doctors have told me, thank you thank you

    • says

      It sounds like you’ve had a miserable time Suzanne! I’m glad something I wrote made you feel better. I hope you find an answer to this misery soon. It sounds horrible. – Shawn

    • Chris says

      This might not be applicable, but I suffer from lots of the same things and have had to deal with many hernias. I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome type 3. If you have stretchy joints, or skin, this might be the underlying condition for your symptoms. This disorder is horribly under diagnosed and most people with EDS suffer from many misdiagnosis before the get the EDS diagnosis.

  7. Lynda says

    Great site!
    Have you heard of people having this pain only in one spot, and not all over? Mine mimics a gall bladder attack, but I’ve had hida scans and ultrasound, all negative. The pain is like a knife.

  8. says

    Jeremy, I would like to know who your doctor’s are. My daughter has suffered for years. Winds up in ER multiple times a year and is treated like a drug seeker. She finally was admitted due to high liver enzyme panel. They inserted stint and clipped muscles in esophageal area to prevent spasms. She was discharged next day but within 24 hours returned to hospital with several abdominal and chest pain. More bloodword was done and another CT scan. The Gastro doctor told her everything was fine and he could not keep her in hospital. He said she had visceral hypersensitivity, but he did not do the test I have seen described on this and other sites. He also did not give her a clue about how to manage the pain or whether there was anything to be done. She is hurting, crying, and frustrated. She feels like she is worthless because she continues to have these episodes and remains in pain with no help from doctors. If anybody knows of anyone who can help, I would love to have their name.

  9. Rosie says

    I have been doing a great amount of home grown research on line due to my neice’s son’s condition. I am amazed by how many site have overlapping issues. On this note I would recommend that some might be helped by seeking a doctor to investigate MCAS/D. Mast cell activation syndrome/disorder sounds like a very possble link to some posts here. Wishing you all best health.

  10. Rosalie says

    I have Crohn’s disease and am at the moment having a “flare up”. I underwent right hemicolectomy 4 years ago for obstruction. However, i recently had yet another colonoscopy and my Consultant diagnosed visceral hypersensitivity too. Is there a treatment that you can recommend?

    • says

      I can’t recommend. I can only pass along. I’m not a doctor, but I WOULD like to help. Here’s what I’ve read and what I just looked up. There is a HUGE linke between the brain and the gut. Some people have tried “cognitive behavioral therapy” which is a form of mental health treatment. It helps to change the way a person reacts to things (i.e. helping to reduce stress).

      Another thing that I’ve read helps with this kind of pain is hypnosis.

      On the drug side, there are things your doc may recommend. One thing that seems to help people is a very low dose of some older anti-depressants. I think this makes sense since the gut uses a lot of the same chemicals as the brain, (serotonin, etc.).

      There are a few ideas. I hope this or something else gets you feeling better!!! – let us know what helps please. – Shawn

  11. Rosalie says

    Thanks for that Shawn, I do tend to react badly to stress, particular emotional stress i.e family issues etc. I will let you know what I try and what the results are.
    Thanks
    Rosalie

  12. RH says

    My daughter has been suffering with this for six years now. However, she feels all of her organs working and it transmit as pain to her brain. Her GI doctor, whom we were very lucky to find after numerous trips to the ER and other doctors who told us she was faking, diagnosed her with this. She prescribed Levsin and recimmended she also consultant with a psychiatrist. He put her on Trileptal. Both of these help her to cope but the pain is always there. It seemed that puberty brought it on much stronger than when she was younger. The doc said she has always had it. I pray to God to take her pain away. As her mother, i would gladly take her pain, as long as she would be pain-free.

    • says

      RH, that sounds horrible for both of you. I’ve read about acupuncture or hypnosis helping with reducing pain signals. I’ve had acupuncture myself for a really bad back condition. It was astonishing how well it worked. I wan’t a believer. Now I am. Hypnosis has a history of helping with visceral hypersensitivity, and I wonder if it would help with this. I pray that something works for your daughter.

      Shawn

  13. Susan says

    When you say hypnosis…do you mean any sort that brings about relaxation or addressing the nerve endings that are causing the problem? I have Visceral Hypersensitivity and my hypnotist got me to address my nerve endings as objects that I can talk to and ask them what they want and I can ask them to calm down. Hasn’t worked yet, but we’re working on it. I have Visceral Hypersensitivity that translates as bad nausea…every day. It is NO fun. My life is altered forever if this never goes away. Thanks for this website. I’ve had a hard time finding support online for this terrible condition.

  14. Jeremy says

    Hello, I’ve been diagnosed with visceral hypersensitivity of the gut, but I have pain in the stomach and chest, with a lot of nausea, but not really many IBS symtoms, am I the only one in here that has that particular situation?

    • says

      In case no one else chimes in right away, I want to give my 2 cents. I’ve read that people with IBS often have GERD, AKA acid reflux. The esophagus, the stomach, and the bowels all work with some kind of peristalsis or other contractions. The esophagus goes from the throat through the chest, to the stomach (chest pain), the stomach squooshes the food back and forth (technical I know ;)) , then it moves into the bowels. I wonder if maybe you have some kind of sensitivity to this whole process. Just a thought from a non-medical person. I hope you get some answers, here or somewhere, that help you Jeremy. – Shawn

  15. Alex says

    My 12yr old son Dx w/visceral hyperanalgesia after 2.5yrs of every lab test,X-ray,CT,endoscopy/colonoscopy…the works. This has been the worst thing to ever happen to our family-to see our son suffering in pain. On a med disability plan for school,can’t hardly eat,suffering in pain everyday. Has developed anxiety/depression as result. Been on Neurontin,Elavil,Norco-@ least 10 other meds & NOTHING helped. Not even acupuncture. Read about Boswellia Serrata for intestinal inflammation-even though my son has never shown to have any inflammation with biopsies etc. Started him on 750mg 3X/day & within 10 days-his pain is HUGELY improved!! Now,going on 14 days & still doing great. Still having pain,but says it’s only a “2” on the pain scale,when before it was a “7 or 8″ most days. He’s back to playing,laughing,being silly,eating. I don’t know how long this will last,but I am 100% sure the boswellia is the reason for the relief!

      • Lisa says

        Hi my 13 year old daughter has been in hospital for 5 months now severe abdominal pain she is now nj fed as she can’t eat or drink as she brings up mouthfuls to the extent she was so under weight all tests normal with no phycological cause I am sick of doctors not doing enough or should I say quicker she is still waiting to see a specialist in Birmingham as we are in n Ireland doctors here doesn’t know much on this visceral hypersensitivity even though I think she fits it what do you think

          • says

            I’m sorry Lisa, I don’t have enough experience with different doctors. There are many thousands. I CAN say that Boston has some of the best doctors in the world (in many people’s opinion).I would recommend you search the many online sources that rate doctors. This is really tragic, and I wish I knew how to be more help.

        • says

          This must be an agony for all of you Lisa. When you say she brings up mouthfuls, I don’t know what you mean. From what I know of it though, this sounds MUCH more complicated that visceral hypersensitivity syndrome.

    • Eric says

      I read the post by Alex on Boswellia Serrata (Feb 9, 2014) — for his 12 yrs old son.
      Our son who is 12 yrs ago also – has the same illness (Visceral Hypersensitivy and Gastroparisis) – our son now has an NJ tube (from nose to jejunum) and has been on Neurontin and Amitryptiline / Elevil) . He has had all sort of testing and all sorts of meds and natural meds but nothing helps.
      My wife and I are REALLY INTERESTED to find out more about Boswellia Serrata .
      Please inform me the BEST BRAND of the Boswellia Serrata – as not all brands are alike.
      Thanks.
      Eric

  16. Martine says

    Hi Shawn, I have been suffering from Visceral Hypersensitivity for three years now. I do have IBS-C, and the pain started when I was at the tail end of pre menopause and moving into menopause, and continued to get worse as my hormones dropped. After having a hysterectomy, the pain was full blown, including all of my organs and the muscle wall of my chest. Even my hearing is more acute. I have seen 12 doctors here in Canada so far – none have heard of this, nor do they want to. I have read a couple of articles on the internet that state that V.H. is linked to women whom have IBS and are going through menopause. I am seeing an Endocrinologist, but he hasn’t heard of it either. He has me on the regular hormone therapy and it does help a bit, but there are other hormones involved. He, as well, doesn’t want to put any effort into researching this. I don’t want to take the low dose antidepressants due to the nasty side effects. Do you know of any Endocrinologists in the USA that do treat for V.H.? I am willing to travel, just to get this figured out.

    • says

      I’m sorry to learn that you are struggling Martine. The U.S. is huge. I wouldn’t know where to start to point you. I don’t have any personal good experience with an endocrinologist. Here is what I would do in your shoes. I’d find an Osteopath (An O.D. instead of an M.D.)in your area. I’ve had very good luck with these doctors. The 2 I’ve seen have a more holistic approach to health. They both looked at me as a whole person, not an assortment of unrelated parts. If that doesn’t pan out, I’d definitely try acupuncture first, then a naturopathic doctor. If you can’t get these services near you, then you may have to travel. I’ve had excellent results for several problems from an acupuncturist. A acupuncturist helped me figure out some things when western medicine had given up. My problem with an endocrinologist, is that’s only looking at one piece of the puzzle. It COULD be your answer, but I would try these other’s first. GOOD LUCK!

  17. Jo Lisa Blossom says

    I also applaud this site. I DID cry when I found this information. I have been suffering with abdominal pain for over 10 years. Only one doctor said that I had ‘hypersensitive nerve endings’ in my stomach but no one else seemed to get that. I had many pointless tests that made me feel more depressed when they came out ‘normal’. This is far from normal. This information is such a huge relief and it fits perfectly where the other 800 things I’ve looked up never matched my symptoms. There is an old movie where a guy finally gets the answer he knew was true but no one else believed and he throws his hands up in the air and yells “VINDICATED!”- that is me in the female version right now. Thank you Jesus for this gift of information. Help me to be grateful in my suffering as it reminds me to pray. Your site is that answer to prayer. Thank you, too! We appreciate you!

  18. alena says

    Hi. Ive had stomach problem all my life starting with a case of drinking bad water and getting sick on it. I was heavy as a child, had my galbladder removed at 14 because it s 9% functioning and all sludgy, and I have gotten past an eating disorder and phobia of vomiting. I have been diagnosed with reflux, ibs and now visceral hypersensitivity. They put me on desipramine 10mg but i am having a flare up right now. It is making me feel like life sucks. I gained 5-7lbs in the last two weeks, I am so bloated I look and feel like I’m pregnant, my pain is bad, im tired and depressed from it, and I feel like I’m never going to get into tip top shape for my wedding at this point. What should I do?

    • says

      You have been on a hard road Alena. I can’t tell you what to do, I can only tell you what I think. Desipramine, as you know, is an antidepressant. A really old one. I wonder why the doc would put you on such an old medication when there are many newer and seemingly better meds. You may want to ask. It’s certainly possible that it fits your symptoms better than other things.

      Mental anguish, anxiety, depression, etc. can often lead to problems with the digestive tract. There is also something called mitral valve prolapse syndrome, which is a group of symptoms that can affect GERD, stomach and IBS symptoms. It’s controversial though.

      As far as what to do, what “I” would do, is try to be careful of how much I eat at each meal, and only eat what would fit in my cupped hands for one meal. Many people say this is about the size of the stomach, and can make digestion easier. The other thing I would try is a food elimination diet to see if it helps your symptoms settle down for now. Just my thoughts on the matter. Here is some info I put together on a Food Elimination Diet.

  19. Faith Brooks says

    Hi everyone, I found this article trawling through the internet trying to find information and possible help for my 14 year old son.

    He has been in pain for just over 2 years now and life has been so frustrating for us all but especially him having to live it daily. He started with pain after some sort of bug that he had which had him have a splitting headache and then vomit. He felt fine after vomiting but it seems to have triggered something in the viscera. The pain started slowly but by about the fifth day we were at the doctors and started on the long road of tests. This is the only thing that we can link to why this might have all started. They queried all sorts of things at the time like appendicitis, adenitis and of course after going to the Emergency Room a few times ‘all in his head”! A normal day the pain is around 5/6 on his scale and can ease off mid afternoon to about a 4/5 and then back up again in the mid evening and can go up to 6/7 sometimes he can’t get to sleep and then it wakes him in the night. He can’t concentrate at school as the pain gets too much for him.

    He, like others on this site has had lots of different tests that have shown nothing. (MRI CT X-ray ultrasound) We have also tried a Naturopath and exclusion diets, hypnotherapy, psychologist and a gastroenterologist. The gastro doc diagnosed IBS but did also explain about the nerve problem although didn’t call it visceral hypersensitivity. The only thing that gives him relief is acupuncture. He may get a few hours of pain relief from it or half a day if he’s lucky. He has had the following prescribed, Endep (amartyptaline) which wasn’t very successful and now Lyrica (pregabalin) sorry if they are spelt wrong!! The lyrica seemed to be working for a few weeks and then it all started again and an increased dose has not helped. Everything takes so long and no one really seems concerned about trying to get something sorted, I think it’s in the too hard/unusual pile?

    He has missed such a lot of school and is now repeating year 8 again. I just wish we could find something that helps allow him to lead a more normal life so that he can get back to school and his friends and normal teenage life.

    Reading this article makes me feel relieved that actually others have experienced the same and that we are not crazy but also very sad for the future that no-one has much light at the end of the tunnel. I really worry about his long term future in terms of school and later managing to hold a job if this is something that he will always have.

    I think we will go back to our gastroenterologist and see what he has to say. I wish everyone luck, improvement and better health. If anything works for us in the future I’ll post and keep looking in to see if anyone else gets a eureka moment. I’m also keen to look at the boswelia that was mentioned as another thing to try????

  20. Leslie says

    I just found this site and am grateful I did. I have been suffering almost 2 years with abdominal pain and some nausea. The nausea was pretty bad at first, but I was also dealing with vertigo at the time and attributed the nausea to that. I’ve had lower abdominal pain on and off for years but not consistently. Then the pain, feeling of fullness, bloating , lack of appetite, and trouble swallowing became regular. Most every day I feel horrible. Due to lack of appetite i have lost 75 pounds i was overweight but this is
    ridiculous. I have had test after test, all normal of course.
    I was even scheduled to have my gallbladder out but thankfully I canceled the surgery. The chronic pain however began after I hsd a hysterectomy. I also have an undifferentiated connective tissue disorder. Now I was just told I have visceral hypersensitivity. I feel like the doctors don’t know what is wrong so they just tell you that you have VF. I also feel like the doctors think you’re crazy if you have VF. I have been prescribed Buspirone. It is an antidepressant. I haven’t seen anyone else prescribed this. Does anyone else take this med for VF and if so has it been successful?

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