Patient Comments: Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Diagnosis

How was the diagnosis of your irritable bowel syndrome established?

Comment from: Jan, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

I am a 38-year-old mother of one and grandmother of two. I miss out on a lot of things going on in their lives as my life has been taken over by irritable bowel syndrome. I can barely eat breakfast or lunch and only a saucer-sized meal for dinner. My stomach swells up as if I'm four months pregnant. Whenever I swallow food, I get severe pain. If I eat gluten-free food and gluten-free drinks, I'm 100% fine. If I have any regular food, the pain is unreal.

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Comment from: berly, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 09

I have suffered from what I think might be IBS, but I do not have the cramping or pain that seems to be associated with IBS. I can go from constipation to diarrhea in a flash. The diarrhea can almost be explosive at times. Foods, especially ones with MSB, fatty, etc., seem to trigger a bowel movement that makes me run for the bathroom. Salad bars seem to be a big contributor to my symptoms. I just avoid them when possible. I seem to be affected by smells, too. I can go into certain stores and have to go to the bathroom. I have had colonoscopies, drank barium and have only been told that I have a spastic colon. Another person that listed comments talked about having to have a bowel movement if they wait a bit to urinate. I have that problem, too. I hate having to always know where every bathroom is!!!!

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Comment from: bvi1998, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

Though it seems I have always had these symptoms, it seems my first clue was when my doctor was doing a quick rectal exam and told me I had a spastic colon. Years later, I went to a gastroenterologist because I was having a lot of pain in my intestines. From my described symptoms, it was determined I had IBS but was also given a colonoscopy. Nothing was found with the exception of inflammation in my large intestine, which he thought could have occurred because of the prep. When he was performing the colonoscopy and got to that area, it was very painful and made me clearly say "ouch" out loud to him. I was prescribed Nulev, which allows me to have about five minutes to get to the bathroom: a fantastic emergency drug, just great. Other than that, no other tests have been performed.

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Comment from: Amysroses, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 27

I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome in my early 20s. I am now 32. I had a colonoscopy performed, and my doctor told me to use Benefiber (a powder in my drinks), get plenty of exercise, and drink lots of water. Since then, I have gone to the emergency room because I looked very pregnant some evenings. I was just extremely constipated. I learned to deal with my instant pregnancies right before I started getting major pain in the right side of my stomach some evenings. I thought I had an erupting appendix! Back at the hospital, I learned to deal with that and the constant changes from diarrhea to constipation.

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Comment from: jilly, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I was diagnosed with IBS as a college student, 35 years ago. A barium enema test was used to rule out non-functional disease. The triggers back then remain the triggers today stress and alcohol. Bouts may last only a few days or go on for months. Yet there have been years where I have had no symptoms. The symptoms are mixed. Constipation always occurs with bloating. Diarrhea may be loose stools or very frequent stools. Pain is concentrated on the left side and lower back. Relief after a bowel movement is very brief. The pain returns very quickly and is then even more intense. I liken it to a hot poker up the rectum. I had a colonoscopy 4 years ago that was negative. Now I am about to get another as the doctor suspects diverticulosis.

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Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I was diagnosed with IBS when I was 17; I am now 32. I have also always suffered with anxiety, which I have found definitely has an effect on my IBS symptoms. It comes and goes, and I have been able to recognize certain triggers, for example, when my period is due, I have diarrhea and cramps. If I drink tea or coffee, I immediately have to use the bathroom, etc. My symptoms cycle through constipation and diarrhea alternately, and the pain is usually in my back or on one or other side of my abdomen, sometimes dull and nauseating, sometimes sharp. Heat pads help. At first I was given Colofac, but I don't use them now. I occasionally take peppermint oil capsules, but to be honest, I don't find anything does the job very well. I prefer to avoid known triggers if possible and deal with the symptoms. Exercise helps too; I walk a lot these days. IBS is very unpleasant but can be coped with. The longer you have it, the better you get to know yourself and your own symptoms and triggers, because everyone is different.

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Treatments Question: What was your treatment for irritable bowel syndrome?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Symptoms Question: What symptoms do you have with IBS, and are there certain triggers?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Diet Question: What dietary changes have you made to manage your IBS? Which foods seem to make it worse?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - SIBO Question: Have you been tested for SIBO? If so, what were the results and how is it being treated?

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