A flare-up or a bug? : I have "IBS" (personally... - IBS Network

IBS Network

34,010 members11,539 posts

A flare-up or a bug?


I have "IBS" (personally I think its something more serious). I suffer everyday with diarrhea no matter what I eat, severe abdominal cramping and have had 8 anal fissures in the space of 2 months.

Anyway, today I've had my usual diarrhea but its been literally coloured water and there's been fresh blood on the toilet paper. (possibly from the anal tear that I'm currently sporting) I have been vomiting, have zero appetite and have a terrible migraine. Could this be a bug or a "IBS" flare up?

I have a doctors appointment on the 7th of this month to ask for an endoscopy but I am absolutely sick to death of diarrhea. It drains me so much! I sleep 4 hours a day then have my normal 9 hours on a night :-(

For a 21 year old, I have no quality of life!

13 Replies

hi Marie you not on your own i've just had the last two weeks with my Abdomen and there a bug going around that is really knocking people of the feet and causing the same problems as you have, hope you get better soon will be thinking about how your getting on take care Alan xx

Hidden in reply to Hidden

Thanks Alan. I think I may need to phone in sick tomorrow. I feel really breathless as well. Not sure if its related but I've had to dig out the inhalers (I never usually need these)

Ugh I feel so drained :-( x

Hidden in reply to Hidden

hi Maria if its that bad would it be wise to call 111 at least for some information on how you are at this moment, you need to call them take care let me know how you get on your friend Alan xx

Hi Maria if you are this bad, it could be either, I use to be like this. I think you should contact your doc for an earlier appointment, sounds like you are dehydrating your self. IBS-D can seem like a nightmare and your mind think all sorts. See your doc ASAP . Do you take anything to stop Diarrhea ?. I hope it slows down soon and try and keep an eye on what foods are kicking you off, when bad I know anything, but try and keep an eye on it.

Hidden in reply to Blue52

Thank you for your comment! I am feeling a little better today. Still the odd trip to the bathroom but the vomiting has stopped. I took a buscopan IBS relief tablet this morning so we'll see how that works out.

I have really bad acid reflux today and feel really tired and drained but other than that, I'm okay. Thank you for your concern, I guess I'll just have to plod on lol xx

Blue52 in reply to Hidden

That will be the Buscopan, have you any Gaviscon you can take, and if you can drink tepid water maybe a while after kettle been boiled, sometimes helps with reflux. I take Nexium tabs for that, I believe you can buy them now, but get mine through Docs. I use Colpamin for my flare ups and I don't seem to have any probs with them unlike the Buscapan. Hope you feel well soon Hun, not nice I know, you can't win keep it in , and reflux, let it out and pain 😖😣. Bless you take care.xx


sounds awful. probably a bug i had on in December. keep water intake up and eat little perhaps boiled egg.No meat for a day or two.Could try NORMACOL on prescription as a substitute for fibre may help with D. it certainly helps me.

hope you soon feel better.



very unlikely to be anything serious at your age. blood urine tests should assure you.


Hi Maria, I'm glad you feel a bit better today and hope that you did phone in sick as it certainly does sound like a tummy bug to me and you need keep away from people for 48 hours after the last episode i.e. vomiting or diarrhea. I have had IBS for nearly 20 years and have to say I have never experienced diarrhea and vomiting with the condition although I know that there are people out there that are sick with IBS. I feel sick at times but my main problem is bloating, pain and constipation.

I really do hope you are starting to feel better as in my book there is nothing worse than being sick.

Take care

I am the same but mines chronic constipation! ! Bee in agony every time I eat& bloating& wind just kills me waited 8 months now and only just got am appointment for 15 FEB!! CANT believe they keep giving me rotten drugs that make me even worse! ! Stopped taking. Every thing they gave me now Ijust want to know why I.m blocked with constipation every day!!good lluckx

Hi maria94!,

I've had two anal fissures in the past two months and I go from been constipated to having diarrhoea.

At the moment I've got constipation.

I get a lot of stomach cramps and other stomach pains.

I've tooken all kinds of medicine for IBS., but nothing works and everything remains the same nothing seems to touch it or make it better.

Definitely make sure you are taking in fluids. Pedialyte or even coconut water will help with that preventing dehydration. Diarrhea can take a toll on you as far as leaving you tired and dehydrated. It sounds like you have a bug aka stomach flu, stomachbug. If you don't have an appetite, try to get some bland foods in so at least pure getting some nutrients in. You can try a bone broth or any "nice on the stomach" kind of soup (broth based). Some saltine crackers are optional. Now to keep you from vomiting I use charcoal pills. They're meant to absorb any toxins that may be sitting in your stomach. So it speeds up the process of healing from the stomach flu. Look that up as well :) You can fins that at a CVS pharmacy or Walgreens. If you do in fact have the stomach flu, go on the BRAT diet. Noo I'm not calling you a brat lol it stands for Bananas Rice Applesauce Toast. If you're not able to keep any other foods down then you're not ready and need to eat something more gentle like the brat diet. Good luck and feel better! :)

Hello, this is my general response to help people find a baseline. First, go to the doctors and get yourself checked for intestinal infections, and whatever other tests they want to do. Most people find they are all clear, and that IBS is a condition brought on by our modern diet, freely accessible food, sedentary lifestyles and a trigger of an earlier infection. After 27 years of suffering with IBS I have found that the long-term solution that actually works is all about vitamins and fasting and both are equally important. You are effectively the manager of a “food nutrient extraction factory”, I know that is obvious, but I have found that IBS is not about medicines, but about changing the way you run the factory, and thinking about it in that way.

This is based on some excellent publications, and also by observing how healthy people live. But, if you are all clear from the Doctor’s, then the first thing to sort out is your vitamins and the timing of your eating and fasting periods. An incident of food poisoning or infection can start you on a cycle that you need to make a really concerted effort to break out of. IBS causes vitamin deficiencies which are very difficult to overcome in most people’s diets, especially because you are probably eating selectively to manage your symptoms. Your vitamin levels affect the health of your intestines, and the health of your intestines affects your vitamin absorption, so it is a vicious circle that you have to break. Get some really good, expensive, multi-vitamins (ideally constituted for your age) and take them without fail every day before your breakfast. Get a blood test for Vitamin D and get you doctor to judge your supplement level required in IU’s. Do not get the ones with high calcium and magnesium content initially as certainly in large doses these minerals can mess you up as they consume your stomach acid, and you should get enough of these minerals from your diet. If you are on low FODMAPs, go for all lactose free dairy products to boost your calcium. At the same time, sort out your fasting periods immediately. This is normally completely overlooked by GP’s, but is critical. Your small intestine should be practically sterile, and your stomach acid along with bowel cleaning during fasting (called MMC) will usually do this. You need to fast for this to be effective, and by that I mean, ABSOLUTELY NO eating in between meals, only water, or zero-sugar drinks. Imagine that you never washed your dinner plates and just kept putting food on them all the time!, they would be permanently loaded with bacteria. You need to give your small intestine plenty of time free of food for cleaning and maintaining the factory. The modern scenario of have cupboards full of rich foods permanently available day and night is a modern luxury outside of the original design of the human being. Your stomach will sort itself out when you have got control of your small intestine (although if you've got gastritis you'll need to finish a course of omeprazole first), and then your large intestine will improve later as nutrients are more efficiently absorbed from your small intestine. Furthermore, you should be able to avoid bouts of gastritis as during the fasting periods, your stomach acid is more neutral at nearly pH 4. As a basic program, eat a good breakfast at say 7am (porridge with 50% lactose free milk) or what suits you and then a good lunch at 12 o'clock - absolutely no food in between. After lunch, no food again for at least 5 hours, and eat well again for your evening meal because it has got to get you through the night. No supper or snacks, no food or milk at all until breakfast the next day.

Further to this there are some things that cause direct inflammation of the colon by toxicity, and are are considered separate to the usual SIBO mechanism described here:

1.) Seek out and try to eliminate “trans-fats”. These cause direct inflammation of the colon, separately to bacterial overgrowth and you will be more sensitive than most because of SIBO and this confuses what is causing you trouble. Chips, hash browns, butter, popcorn and things cooked in cheap or old frying oil as you find in many restaurants can give you colon pain directly through inflammation. It usually passes in a day or so, but trans-fats are bad for you in a miriad of ways, not only by inflammation of the colon. Ideally, starches should only be boiled, rather than fried.

2.) E407, or “Carrageenan” – is a high MW galactose food additive derived from a red seaweed, which is only present in small quantities as a thickener, but even at that level it has been shown to be “highly inflammatory to the digestive tract” and associated with IBS, colitis and other GI diseases. There is loads of literature and objections to this substance on the internet. It is present in Milbona Crème Caramel, and many other products. After weeks of good health, just one of these products knocks me out with colon bloating and pain. I have found this by trial and error several times. Food tests show that even the food grade carrageenan contains between 2 and 25% of the non-approved “degraded” carrageenan, which is colon damaging and carcinogenic. Some food agencies now prohibit this additive altogether, and it may be responsible for a lot of IBS cases. It may be found in chocolate milk, cottage cheese, cream, crème caramel, ice cream, almond milk, diary alternatives, such as vegan cheeses or non-dairy desserts, coconut milk, creamers, hemp milk, rice milk, soy milk, and particularly processed meat. It is used extensively in cheap meats and is injected even into beef joints – so always get organic or local butcher fresh good quality meat!). It may be labelled as E407 or Carrageenan, but if you’ve got IBS, consider it as highly toxic for you. It may take a couple of days to get over a dose of this.

3.) E451 and E452, are sodium triphosphate and sodium polyphosphate predominantly used for packaged ham. These are also allergens for IBS and give me a similar reaction to E407. The diphosphate (E450) is commonly used in many foods and is not troublesome in my experience. Make sure you buy fresh ham “on the bone”, and check with your butcher whether it has been treated.

Red meats take a long time to digest, and also contain some trans-fats, but are usually tolerable. Only have them once a day, and just a light salad to go with them, not a load of starchy food or grains, as they have long digestion times. Ideally, you don’t want carbohydrates being held up in transit with heavy meats.

You will feel hunger in the fasting periods, but this is doing you good, and you must NOT respond to it - only with water or no-sugar drinks. This is CRITICAL. Importantly, when you are feeling better, do not resort to your old ways, you are still recovering, and you need to make a life-style change to have this level of discipline in your eating and continue with it. Do start doing some exercise if you don’t already, as this will really help with your gut motility, and your general health. It takes a few weeks at least, and you need to persevere. You then need to maintain a healthy and consistent way of eating and always keep the vitamins topped to prevent you from relapsing. In a couple of weeks, you should be able to be getting off the low FODMAP diet, and mixing back in the higher FODMAPs.

There is a lot of support for L-glutamine to help with repair of your intestinal lining; this means buying 500g of the bodybuilder powder type and having a couple of tea-spoons of this a day, one before breakfast and one just before you go to bed, and you can have this in a light cordial drink. A lot of this was taken from this excellent paper below, but it does fit exactly with what I have experienced. For the first time I really feel in control of the IBS mystery that has been a burden for years. Good luck. Please reply if this works for you.

Treatment and Management of SIBO — Taking a Dietary Approach Can Control Intestinal Fermentation and Inflammation

By Aglaée Jacob, MS, RD

Today’s Dietitian

December 2012, Vol. 14 No. 12 P. 16

You may also like...