IBS improves with age!?: I`m just reading Prof... - IBS Network

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IBS improves with age!?

janke profile image

I`m just reading Prof Whorwell`s "Take Control of your IBS" and finding it interesting but disagree strongly with his statement that IBS usually improves with age. That certainly isn`t my experience. I`m now 60 and worse than I`ve ever been. Perhaps doctors assume older people don`t suffer because we don`t go to the doctors. In fact, we haven`t got better - we just can`t see any point in going to the doctor any more because we have tried everything they have to offer and it hasn`t helped. Perhaps we should start putting them right!

23 Replies

Hi there .never a truer word spoken .they are talking out of their backsides .x

I agree with you. I’ve had IBS for many years and am older now. It’s definitely not better. It’s as bad or worse than it was and there are still no good medications for it. I’m still taking Donnatal like I did years ago. I’m. Not sure if it helps, but it agrees with me more than some others like Bentyl.

Hi I am a ibs suffer I started when I was 38years old I am now 78 years old and still suffering it has got that bad lately they gave me the camera and a t c scan don't let People say it gets better I am saying it gets worse I would say I am the proof of that don't you

Hi there, Ive suffered for 20 years and it definitely doesn’t get any better.

Hi I have not read that part in the book yet, as I have only had a quick look at it so far, but I also am getting worse as I get older. Mine started also in my thirties now in late fifties.

Mine started in late 30's. Now 65 and definitely worse. Had cameras up and down, tried all the food exclusions. I used to be able to eat almost anything but find as time goes by that there are just more and more things that upset me.

Mine also started in my 30s. Now in my 40s, still hopeful I'll find a solution so I can work without worrying about it. I have family members in their 70s and 80s who still have problems. They don't see the point of telling the doctor about it though.

I am 79 and have had IBS for 40 years and it has definitely got worse, and I agree that the Drs don't seem to take it seriously enough. Holidays have usually been ruined, nervous about planning anything now!

Hi janke. I agree. I am in my early 60s and have found my IBS getting steadily worse over the past few years. Also, I seem to worry about it a lot more. Am now on anti-depressants and awaiting CBT (have been waiting for over a year!).

Mine is a lot better than it was years ago but I'm not sure if it has anything to do with getting older.

Janke, i agree with you it is a waist of time and effort to see the doctosr when there is no alternative to put them right. Thank you for your reply.

What a load of rubbish. A have been colonic irrigating for 3 years. Plus my IBS is no better - GOD BLESS US

Like others, I agree with everything you have said! I am 74 years old and am suffering the worst IBS problem I have EVER had. Not sure how these Professors come up with their conclusions! Just hope not a lot of money was spent on THAT bit of pointless and misleading research!

I agree with all the comments. Had IBS for 30 years, very up and down with it. Never know what to eat or if it will agree with me. Holidays are a no no and most socializing is a nightmare. Luckily I have a understanding husband. Doctor's are no help! 😕😕

I also agree with the comments. I have just turned 60 and had IBS over 30 years now (daily for the past 25 years since my son was born). It just seems to eat away at more and more of my life.

Couldn't agree more Janke... I've been suffering ever increasing discomfort and distress for approx 30 years now. It all started with Gastro Enteritis when I was 17... I'm now 47 and it just keep getting worse. Despite having a very successful career, I can no longer hold down a normal job (had to give up 2 years ago after a falling out with my previous employers over it), and am now virtually housebound due to IBS-D and Bile Salt Malabsorption incontinence.

I follow a strict low-FODMAP diet, have to take codeine if I want to leave the house and spend most everyday in considerable discomfort despite the interventions available.

I've seen consultant after consultant, and have tried everything possible to relieve the symptoms. I was referred back to my GP again just last month with the quote: 'Presently, we have very little to offer and have reassured [me] about the benign nature of this condition...'

Whilst not being 'cancerous' there is absolutely nothing BENIGN about this! This is no life for anyone... I hope and pray that research funding improves and something can be found that can stop this happening; not just for me, but for the hundreds of other suffers out there.

Wishing you all the very best,

K xx

janke profile image
janke in reply to KirstieG

I had a similar comment when a consultant signed me off "we have found nothing serious and this is good news" - it doesn`t feel like good news if you still feel rubbish - you feel like you have been abandoned. I even read in one book that sufferers often get better when they have been reassured there is nothing "seriously" wrong! I don`t expect doctors to be able to cure everything - but some continueing support would be nice

Absolutely agree. I’ve had IBS for over 30 years and it’s certainly not improved - I'm 72 now. I used to get some breaks from it but now I go to bed with it and wake up to it - pain in stomach, headache, bloating and the most awful wind. It really gets me down now. In all those years I’ve seen just 4 different consultants and one dietitian but the last two consultants both commented that I’d seen consultants before, sort of suggesting that I shouldn’t really be expecting any more help. They didn’t acknowledge that I was asking for help again because I still felt so bad. My GP I have to say has tried to help and didn’t hesitate to refer me. Pity the consultants weren’t able to help though. Here’s hoping more of us eventually get more help. Good luck to everyone. I know how you feel.

Yes totally agree. My partner always had a few problems with his tummy but definitely got worse as times gone by. And as you say, they don't take anyone serious at the GP these days.

I guess it depends on what's triggering it. If you have anxiety related IBS that might be the case as when you get older to tend to care less. I've had IBS for over 10years and if anything it gets harder.


Has anyone tried ground flax seed for constipation - seems to be a big help for a lot of people.


I have had much less diarrhea since giving up milk and going to Koko coconut milk I also have lactose free cheeses which is easier to digest. They are easy to get from the supermarket.

PROBIOTICS for all IBS symptoms

Also Optibac probiotics or VSL or Alflorex, Align probiotics are worth a try - look at the reviews on amazon and you can see if they work or not by the number of positive reviews.

Pick one brand that has good reviews and research and try it - don't have too much at once go easy while your body adjusts. I found taking one every other day was needed at the start. Then when things improve you may choose to have one a day. It has helped a lot of people. Especially if you have had a lot of antibiotics which have killed off the good gut bacteria which helps us digest food better. The lactobacillus and bifidobacterium seem to be good bacteria and are in most probiotics. Also some people are helped by Saccharomyces Boulardii. A probiotic yeast.

I also have tried YAKULT with no bad effects if I have one a day. Even though I am intolerant to milk this seems OK.


If you want a more natural way of taking probiotics - Kefir also is recommended - that is a probiotic yoghurt drink - I have not tried that yet. Again do some research on the web.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to alicemarsh

I have heard some people have been helped greatly with "super seed Garden of Life". It has just about every fiber in it..probiotic, probiotic and omega 3's. Heard it's great for constipation and IBS. I'm probably going to get some online. I've tried everything else. Running out of options.

I was diagnosed in my mid 30's, I'm now 69 and mine is as bad as ever, things I used to be able to eat years ago now cause me problems, certainly doesn't get better with age.

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