Diagnosis of IBS

Hi everyone. Can I ask what sort of diagnostic tests you have had and what sort of referrals I should ask my GP for?

My symptoms started about 5 years ago after a meal out. I had really bad diarrhoea for the following 48 hours that then recurred every few days for about 12 weeks. I put it down to a bad case of food poisoning. I then had about 8-12 weeks of lower abdo pain. I had had a gynae op so initially thought it was that but then went to GP when the pain lasted longer than I thought it should. He asked about bowel habits, said it was IBS and gave me mebeverine. That had no effect on either the diarrhoea or the pain.... I generally have a BM anything from 5-12 times a day, with associated lower abdo pain and cramps. A little like period pains. About two or three times a year, although it has now been three time is the last three months, I get anything from 4 days to a fortnight of excruciating, cold sweat inducing pain that I can't seem to control. I've tried paracetamol, ibuprofen, codeine, buscopan and everything else you can buy over the counter. None of them have any effect on the pain. Last time it was so bad I ended up in the doctor's surgery and they ended up sending me to A&E. I had an x-Ray and a gynae scan but nothing seems to have shown up. I'm really scared of the pain coming back because it seems to get worse each time and last for longer. I'm terrified that one day it just won't go away! I have to go back to the docs to get the results of the scan and want to ask him for a referral or something but not sure what to ask for! Sorry for going on a bit but haven't really put it all down like this before! Thanks for reading.

13 Replies

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  • I had a lot of testing as recommended by my GI doctor. I think some were looking for other potential causes/diseases, but it's been a few years and I can't remember all the details.

    Celiac screening - blood test

    Parasite test - stool sample

    H. Pylori breath test - breathing test

    Vitamin D - blood test

    24 hour urine test

    Ultrasound looking for thickening of the intestinal wall - we have a specialist developing this technique here so I'm not sure how available it is

    Colonoscopy

    Gastroscopy

    There were other blood and stool samples taken, but I can't remember what they were for.

    But these were all recommended by a GI specialist. The big thing is to get a referral for a specialist, as I found the GP pretty limited.

    Good luck. Feel free to message me if you have any questions - it's tough to figure this out.

  • Hi

    I agree with runswithdogs.insist in a referral to a consultant Gastroenterologist who will review your history and order tests ,mainly to eliminate all else .Having done that then the fun starts as you go through the long and individual process of trying to identify your triggers ,to manage your particular version of IBS.cheers .

  • I have nothing much to add beyond what has been said already, but it does sound as though we've all had similar experiences with GPs and consultants. Runs with dogs has already given most of the main stuff that is done once you get a referral, so you need that first. If your GP is being awkward (which some can be) try and get a second opinion, but don't be put off - just keep on insisting. Good luck!

  • my tests were all blood tests but I did not wait for the GP to spurt into action and started FODMAP. I am sorry for your suffering Piksie

  • I've had IBS since 1996 and agree with all above, once you've had the relevant tests the only way is through diet and I agree with Evan48 in that some doctors basically fob you off as if there is nothing wrong with you. My doctor is quite good but I have to say it's been about 2 years now since I bothered going to the doctor and last time he referred me to a dietician (with pushing from me); I saw the dietician and she said that one of her colleagues was going to be trained on the FODMAPs diet and I would be contacted within 6 months. I contacted them again approximately 8 months later (they said to chase if I hadn't heard anything) only to be told that the funding had been removed - great! I am very sceptical if there are any doctors out there that truly understand on how disabling this condition can be!

    As far as I'm concerned the only way to handle this condition is by going DIY as there is very little understanding out there. Sorry to sound like there is no hope but there is, there are methods that work, just need to find them.

    Best of luck to you and I really hope you find your triggers and manage your symptons.

  • Terrible terrible pain, I am the same I am now going for the camera, as last resort, like you have tried everything. Lets hope that the hospital can sort it out as this controls your life.

  • Terrible terrible pain, I am the same I am now going for the camera, as last resort, like you have tried everything. Lets hope that the hospital can sort it out as this controls your life.

  • You need to have all the tests available to eliminate other bowel disorders such as diverticulitis and Crohn's for example

    You should at least have a gastroscopy and a colonoscopy

  • You need to have all the tests available to eliminate other bowel disorders such as diverticulitis and Crohn's for example

    You should at least have a gastroscopy and a colonoscopy

  • I have had all the tests that were going from my consultant at the time (now about 15 years ago), including full anaesethtic etc.

    result? i have IBS - spent some time with hosp dietician that ended up a big fat zero, no triggers, no nothing.

    Nowadays i just live with it, no choice

  • ID Williams, very sad to go through so much. Do you follow FODMAP or anything else that helps?

  • Hi- you should definitely ask for a colonoscopy/gastroscopy. Also tests for coeliac disease and for lactose intolerance.

  • I was diagnosed in June this year after stool samples and blood tests. No colonoscopy, I was told to keep a food diary and see if I could control it with food, and if things get noticeably worse then they'll refer me for a colonoscopy. Luckily for me I do seem able to control it 90% of the time by watching what I eat, although I am having a bit of a flare up at the moment!

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