Hi all iv been reading posts on here for a while now so have decided to post as im going through terrible flare up at the moment. I was diagnosed with IBS when i was 20 after suffering months of serious griping left sided abdominal pain. All blood works came back normal. Iv tryed every available med with buscopan giving a little relief. I am now 34 and my symptoms have changed. I now swing constantly between constipation and diarrhoea with no let up inbetween. The stomach pain is still there but i also get spasms along the top of my abdomen that keep me awake through the night. My bottom (sorry) gets constant shooting pains. If i have diarrhoea i get terrible painful bowel spasms that feel like labour the only thing that helps this is immodium. I have food intolerances to dairy and yeast. And pooping is all mucusy with blood. Iv been to the gp again and again theyv gave me meds for diarrhoea meds for constipation iv got meds for indigestion and antispasmodics iv got amitryptaline aaaarrghh im so sick of meds i dont want to take them anymore. 2years ago inalso badly hurt my back and have been on solpadol 30/500mg ever since. I inly take 2 at bedtime but i wondered if thse could have made things worse. Coeliac has been ruled out i have now finally been told im getting a referral to gastroenterology but have been labelled non urgent do i dont know when my appointment will be. Im at the end of my tether. This disease ruins everything xmas birthdays holidays i feel like the crappest mother in the world having to tell my daughter on her bday i cant take her to eat out as i feel so ill i want to crawl into bed and hibernate forever. Even my work is suffering with having to take sick days. I have absolutely no faith in gps anymore.

5 Replies

  • Hi,

    I'm sorry to know you have these problems, but you've come to the best forum on the web for support and advice, the people on here are really great.

    You should have been referred to gastro or colorectal a long time ago. When you eventually get your appt, you'll probably be referred for a colonoscopy, which is a really necessary procedure to rule out (or in) conditions that may be the cause(s). I also had a defecating proctogram late last year, the results of which were truly enlightening as it became apparent that 50% of my symtoms were caused by a rectocele and mild intussusception rather than IBS and I've been able to deal with these.

    If possible, could you make your initial appt with the gastro a private one just to kick-start things? It would cost in the region of £150 - £200 and following treatments/procedures can be switched back to the NHS.

    You haven't said what the issue is with your spine, but this sort of problem can make matters worse - particularly if the injury is lower than the T12 vertebra when organs in the pelvic cavity can be affected. I too have a spinal problem at L2 - L4 and take 15mg/500mg co-codamol twice a day, but having experimented with not taking it, and grinning and bearing the pain, it made no difference to my bowel issues. However, we're all different so it could be that your pain relief doesn't suit you. My neuro consultant doesn't think that my IBS is connected to my spinal injury, but I'm not entirely convinced about this.

    By doing the low-FODMAP elimination diet and nailing my trigger foods (too much wheat and dairy plus a few other bits and pieces), I've got my diet under really good control and am pretty normal 90% of the time.

    It must be really hard when you've got children and have to let them down, but try not to beat yourself up about it too much as you'll just end up making your condition worse.


  • Solpadol can lead to constipation so it is possible that medication could be contributing to your worsening symptoms but as your symptoms seem to be fluctuating the solpadol might not be having any effect on your IBS at all. It might be worth talking to your doctor to see if there is an alternative pain killer you could try instead just to see if there's any change in your IBS.

    Regardless of that, your IBS does seem to be controlling your life at the moment and that's very sad to hear. Rosie mentioned the low FODMAP diet and I'd say that's worth a try. Ideally this should be done with the help of a dietician but there are books and apps you can use to help get yourself going on the diet (see Monash University's app, and I've really enjoyed using 'The Low FODMAP Diet Cookbook' by Dr Sue Shepherd).

    The low FODMAP diet might not be a panacea but it might help make things a little more bearable. I wonder, have you considered seeing a counsellor/therapist about your IBS? In many cases, emotional issues like anxiety and depression can make IBS worse, and life events can even be the initial trigger for IBS as well. I started seeing a therapist for something else a few months ago and through that realised I'd been suffering from anxiety for many years without realising it (I just thought it was the buzz of my job). Now I'm managing to get my anxiety under control I've noticed a significant improvement in my IBS symptoms. They haven't gone away completely and I still have flare-ups but things currently seem a lot more manageable.

  • I suffer on the IBS-D end. One thing you mentioned is Imodium, which definitely works. But it can also cause me major bloating and pain. If this is your case, try half a pill to see if it gives a better result.

    As others have mentioned, FODMAPS was key for me.

    I'd start a food and symptom diary so you have some recorded information by the time you get to the gastroenterologist.

    I was also placed on the non-urgent list (in Canada). It wasn't until I told my GP actually stopped to listen that she upgraded me (I told her on multiple visits that I was experiencing incontinence. I was in my late 20s at the time, that alone I would think should be considered 'urgent'). So keep telling the doc your symptoms.

  • Thankyou very much for your replies it somehow makes things a little more bearable when you dont feel quite so alone. I have bought a low fodmap book from the book shop to start trying iv always struggled to control my diet so i think this could be a good starting point and i should have done it years ago. Rosie i dont have a spinal problem as such i had problems with back and hip pain during both pregnancies then a serious of falls after this which has left me with bad back pain that doesnt go away. An xray came up clear and i was refused an mri scan so did physio for a while then was discharged with codeine to get on with it. That in itself can be a bit limiting unfortunately. I try to deal with symptoms as they arise as id rather not be on meds constantly but im finding for example one day ill be taking immodium which is fab and doesnt cause any pain etc but then the next day ill need buscopan then the next it will be another symptom like indigestion. I use creams for my bottom most days for the anaesthetic effect. If i use immodium my diarrhoea will usually settle for a few days afterwards then i feel like im getting a build up of trapped wind which then starts the diarrhoea again and its so urgent its horrible and the bowel spasms are so painful its difficult to copewith them at work. I dont feel people really understand unless theyv done it. My manager told me to go to the gym more often to make my body stronger #sigh#!!

  • Your poor girl!!!! You are not a crappy mother and reading some of these stories I realise how lucky I am to have such a good doctor. Passing mucus and blood and suffering constant pain is not normal and hopefully your appointment will come through soon.

    A lot of doctors seem to think bowel problems are "all in the head", and sometimes they are caused by stress and anxiety, but the physical symptoms you are getting should be checked out thoroughly to rule out anything else.

    The physical symptoms of bowel problems as all of us on here know, can in themselves cause huge depression, stress and anxiety as well as a huge lack of confidence and embarrassment.

    My son was diagnosed with IBS, depression, anxiety for over 10 years, when in fact he had Crohns disease which caused devastating damage to his bowel. I only wish I had known what I do now, as I would have dragged him to the hospital years before and would not have left until they had done every possible test if this could have prevented what he has been through.

    It probably is IBS, but how on earth does the doctor know if he/she has not referred you after you have had problems all these years?

    You could try going along to the hospital yourself if the pain is really bad as this may speed things up as they will have to check you out.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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