Ibs or gluten intolerance?

Hi all,

I have an appointment at the doctors tomorrow originally was to discuss possible IBS but a collegue suggested it could also be worth mentioning about checking for a gluten intolerance/celiac?

I've been having reoccurring symptoms for a year & worsening over the last few months.

My symptoms:

Repeat bouts of diarrhoea varying from days to a week at a time.

There has been blood/mucas a few times however after a discussion with NHS24 they suggested it was just a burst blood vessel

severe bloating /cramp & discomfort after eating i find its at its worst after eating egg, cereal, bread/rolls, lentil soup & pasta aswell as having milk.

Often feeling sick and loss of appetite

Bouts of dizzy spells/sweats/general unwellness

Extreme tiredness - been receiving b12 injections for this however they dont seem to help all that much. I was told i had absorption issues and thats why im receiving the injections.

Skin breakouts around mouth area also bumps/pimples on arms

I also experience alot of trapped wind & often feel like my bowels havnt completely emptied after going to the toilet

Does anyone think it sounds more like a gluten intolerance as aposed to IBS?

16 Replies

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  • Hi, it certainly wont do any harm to tell your gp what you have said on here. There is every possibility of it being coeliac or intolerances so any test/investigations you can encourage your gp to give you will be to your benefit to rule things out if nothing else.

    There are lots of cross overs with symptoms that you have mentioned from b12d other vit/mineral deficiencies. Thyroid is another. So it seems as if a full blood screen would potentially show up any other things.

  • Hi thanks for replying yeh i've put alot of my symptoms down to my b12 but having a really hard time with the bloating and diarrheoa after eating so thought it could be down to ibs.

    I've already been tested for thyroid issues but that came back clear.

    But cant help to ask for another blood test to be done

  • Hi Lauporr

    Coeliac disease can often be misdiagnosed as IBS. Current guidelines say that coeliac disease should be ruled out before a diagnosis of IBS is made. Have a read of the information on Coeliac UK website. Good luck at the doctors.

    coeliac.org.uk/healthcare-p...

  • Thank you for your reply :) i'll have a read

  • The celiac test will only work if you are eating gluten... definitely it should be excluded.

    Did you get a printout of your thyroid results and post them on the thyroid uk site? Because sometimes they are said by gps to be normal when they are not.

  • been receiving b12 injections for this however they dont seem to help all that much. I was told i had absorption issues

    Do you know why you have absorption issues?

    A common cause of a B12 deficiency is Pernicious Anaemia - which is caused by Autoimmune Metaplastic Gastric Atrophy (AMGA). This kills off the Gastric Parietal Cells (GPCs) in your stomach. GPCs have two main jobs -

    They make something called Intrinsic Factor (IF) which is a protein responsible for escorting the B12 molecule across the gut wall. AMGA means no GPCs which means no IF which means no B12 getting into the body.

    GPCs are also responsible for making hydrochloric acid (HCl) which does various useful things, like breaking down proteins and stopping bacteria from lower down the gut getting into the stomach. A lack of HCl (achlorhydria) means that proteins can pass into the large intestine - where they don't normally get to. The bacteria there can have a big party with this unexpected bonus - causing gas, bloating and diarrhoea. Bacteria can enter the stomach and cause further havoc.

    A gastroscopy is probably the best way to identify AMGA.

    I treat mine by taking about 30 ml of lime juice (in water, tonic, orange) during meals (except breakfast). It's certainly fixed my GI problems.

  • I wasn't told why I had absorption issues. But he did say that I didn't have pernicious anaemia just B12 was low and that injections every three months would rid me of my symptoms.

    I had been receiving injections for 4 months then returned to the doctor as my tiredness didn't ease if anything it got worse. However the injections did seem to ease the tingling arms/legs, brain fog etc. that I was experiencing.

    I had asked to have my injections closer together hoping that may help. He told me absolutely no way this could happen and prescribed me 50mg Cyanocobalamin to take three times daily I have felt no change from these at all.

    I have since transferred to another medical practice. When there last week I mentioned about having injections and tablets but still feeling tired. he said it was ridiculous that my previous doctor didn't look into other reasons that may be causing the tiredness and has asked me to return in a week when my other test results come back (I am currently being tested for Coeliac & crohns) he said that the extreme tiredness could be a symptom of one of these. and if not he would like to retest my B12/Thyroid etc.

  • How does your doc know you don't have PA? The only test for it that's currently available - anti-IF antibodies - gives a negative result in 50% of people who do have PA. Martyn Hooper, the founder of the Pernicious Anaemia society, tested negative three times!

    If you've been taking B12 supplements in the last few months then any blood test would be meaningless.

    If there's no resolution when you see the new doc next week then I'd ask him to put you back on a new course of B12 injections and to get a referral to a gastroenterologist.

    I've put together a summary document that contains links to several expert documents and excerpts of the important points. You may like to print it out and take it with you...

    frankhollis.com/temp/Summar...

  • I think some of them say you don't have PA if you don't have macrocytosis. That's what my GP said last time.

  • Yup, I forgot that one. Thanks. It's also covered in my summary.

  • I learnt it all from you!

  • Could be gluten intolerance but also sounds like you may have an allergy to egg and dairy. If it was gluten intolerance you would normally have a reaction from all gluten that you eat. Bread can have dairy in it and the other foods could have dairy/egg in then so it may be just that thats affecting you. Have you had or thought of having an allergy test which can include all allergens. This may point you in the right direction.

    Suzanne

  • Yeah my mum mentioned maybe its a dairy thing as i seem to have the worst time after eating things like egg or drinking milk. I've never thought about an allergy test but might be worth looking in to. my doctor suggested it could be coeliac and took a blood test for that on Friday. i might suggest an allergy test if that comes back clear.

  • Definitely get tested for coeliac disease, which is not an intolerance to gluten - it is an autoimmune disease. If left it can become difficult to digest other foods, such as milk (lactose). It also becomes difficult to absorb nutrients and vitamins - hence people being diagnosed after presenting with anaemia.

    If you get it ruled out then you can go down the route of gluten intolerance, IBS.

  • Hi babe ibs has the same symptoms as gluten intolerance but are you sure its not coeliac disease becouse I suffered all the horrible gut problems & never far from the toilet for ten yrs thinking it was ibs untill I got so ill & had to have a urgent blood transfusion but I suffered so much pain & dyria & stomache pains so bad untill I lost so much weight then they told me that I had coeliac disease so go bak to yur doctors and ask to be tested for it dont leave it like I did hun take care & be safe patricia

  • Hey, yeh i hadnt looked much into colieac until i went to the doctors and he suggested it could be that hes took a blood test so will see what results say

    Thanks for replying, hope your well!

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