IBS or something else?

Hi all

I am a 31 year old male. Since August of last year I have been suffering from symptoms of IBS. The condition started with a bout of diarrhea when my wife was giving birth through an emergency c-section. Most people think that it was the event that triggered the condition since it was a stressful situation. Basically during the day I have slight to mild abdominal pains, the consistency of the stool varies from formed to bitty, at times I have nausea, and I feel/hear noises and rumbling in my stomach and intestines. For some time this had stopped - I had been taking ERCEFLORA/CLINFLOR probiotics and COLOFAC/NO-SPA anti spasmodic (either one or the other). In fact from February to May of June of this year my bowels were trouble free. Unfortunately by the end of June I went to Spain and had a paella which was not fresh - the morning after I had a very bad bout of diarrhea once again and this seems to have once again awakened the condition. By mid July I had started experiencing the symptoms again.

I ve been to several different doctors and they all suggested IBS: Celiac test, blood tests are always OK, blood pressure ok too, never saw any blood in my BMs except for some transparent mucus. I had even a rectal test last year which resulted negative. I never suffer from constipation and my BMs are usually trouble free except for the discomfort they cause me before. I ve been as well to a therapist who tested me for food intolerance through bio-electronic resonance - she told me to stay away from egg yolk/white, yeast, all dairy products, wine and even chocolate. Due to this diet and to the daily exercises I lost some weight as well - but its 100% due to the diet I am doing nothing alarming.

ERCEFLORA/CLINFLOR probiotics and COLOFAC/NO-SPA anti spasmodic seem to work however I am still not living comfortably. The discomfort is really annoying. Sometimes I feel like something is tightening up in my stomach...probably its acid reflux. I am at a point where I have to decide whether to do further tests - I was planning to do a FOBT test but my doctor suggested to wait a bit for the intestines to calm as the result might give positive results and I will be 'forced' to do a colonoscopy. I was told that at my age, without family history of colorectal cancer and polyps, a colonoscopy is not recommended - there are risks involved and in my circumstances they outweigh the benefits. May I remind you that I rarely have diarrhea, never saw blood in my stool (not sure about occult) and I am not loosing weight for nothing. Regarding weight I lost 7.7Kgs in 215 days - I don't consume junk food, no pizzas, no dairy products, no fats, no sodas, no cakes...nothing just vegetables, chicken, fish and fruit. I also removed coffee from my diet - I used to take quite a lot and now I am taking herbal tea.

What do you think about my situation? should I keep taking the probiotics and the anti spasmodic and that's it or I go for further tests? if yes, which tests should I do?

Thanks a lot guys

5 Replies

  • Hi,

    If you really think the probiotics and anti-spasmodics are working then, of course, you should keep taking them. However, you should definitely ask for a SIBO test and also fructose and lactose malabsorption tests.

    In terms of food, I'd recommend the low-FODMAP diet which works well for many people on here. Food intolerance tests are notably unreliable and usually come up with the same old list of usual suspects, whilst FODMAPs lets you find out what really suits you as an individual and what doesn't. There's a lot of rubbish written about the diet out there (plain wrong and often outdated) and the most reliable sources of info are at Monash University where the diet was, and still is being, developed (you can download a good smartphone app from there) and Patsy Catsos's book, 'IBS-Free At Last'. The NHS also offers advice on it.


  • Yesterday I had some whole grain pasta with some soya cream and salmon - it caused me extreme gas pain and loosened my stool...is this because its insoluble fibre?

  • Take a look at the FODMAPs info as I've suggested and you'll see that, apart from the salmon, what you ate yesterday wouldn't do you much good. Wheat, barley and rye are all no-nos (at least initially) and whilst soya products are okay for some people, the advice is to stay away from them.

  • I compiled this chart : img89.imageshack.us/img89/6...

    It's a matrix of food which is soluble fiber and compares its FODMAP and gaseous properties. The food in RED should be AVOIDED by IBSers and the food in GREEN is OK.

    What do you think of it? can you give suggestions about the missing properties?

  • Download the FODMAPs app from Monash Uni, there's an excellent guide on there.

You may also like...