Does IBS always involve stomach pain?

I never have pain and am never constipated but I do have a lot of flatulence. Sometimes when I'm looser than normal (invariably caused by certain foods) I find that I expel mucus with the air. I looked this up on NHS Direct where I discovered IBS as a possible cause. But reading some of the awful problems many of you experience makes me wonder. What I have is very inconvenient and uncomfortable when I have an 'episode' because no matter how many times I go to the loo, I always feel there's more to come. Also I've taken to wearing Tena Lady day and night to be on the safe side.Because I'm housebound now my GP has to visit me and I don't like bothering her unnecessarily. I wonder if I DO have IBS.

How do I get hold of this diet plan many of you like? It sounds very interesting.

3 Replies

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  • Hi Meersbrook,

    I'm sure it's possible to have IBS and not experience any pain. There are just so many different symptoms associated with it and some people have only a few whilst an unfortunate number have them all. IBS is just a convenient, umbrella label that medics attach to patients with gastro-intestinal troubles who don't conform to any other recognised illness.

    It's essential that you get a proper diagnosis though as there are several other complaints that can cause similar symptoms. I'm sure your GP won't consider that she's being bothered unnecessarily and she should arrange tests for you and appointments with both a gastroenterologist and a dietitian.

    I think the diet you're referring to is the low-FODMAP regime which is, as you say, very successful for a great many people including me, but it doesn't work for all. Unfortunately, the English food info can only be obtained via a dietitian. The diet is very limiting (at least initially) and it's best to have professional support whilst on it to ensure correct nutrition.

    In the meantime, you could try eliminating some of the usual suspects from your diet, e.g. wheat, barley, rye, the onion family (apart from the green ends of leeks and spring onions), apples, pears, cabbage, peas, celery, broccoli and sprouts and beetroot.

    Hope this helps.

    Pagan

  • Thank you Pagan. The triggers seem to be crispy coated ready meals such as Chicken Kiev, samosas and fish and chips which I always heat in the oven. I've never eaten much fried food. I regularly eat broccoli, sprouts, cauli and spinach, usually with no ill affect. I love veg but I'm not fond of apples and pears so seldom buy them. I suppose it's a question of trial and error.

    I must admit that hospital appointments are a nightmare for me now. For years I've happily visited cardiology and haematology and am on quite friendly terms with professors of both, but the journeys there and back and the acquiring of wheelchairs etc make each visit a 'big production.' Still, I suppose I should do as you suggest and mention it to my doc. Thanks again.

    the .

  • I think you've probably quite correctly identified ready-meals as one of your triggers. Not only do the crispy coatings invariably contain wheat, if you read the ingredients lists of even the most innocent-looking processed foods you'll find there are countless chemical additives - even in the top brands.

    I can see hospital trips must be very tricky for you, but do try and go if you get the chance.

    I wish you well,

    Pagan

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