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IBS?

Hi,

I have been suffering for a few years now with on/off stomach issues. Normally I don't seem to have a bowel movement for many days, sometimes not event once in a week. I get quite trapped wind and bloating. When I have situations where I may have to present at a meeting at work or if I am stuck somewhere (like a traffic jam for example) when I know I wont be able to get to a toilet I begin to panic and get unsettled feelings in my stomach. Then every 4 or so weeks I get really bad stomach cramps, especially after eating, I can feel really sick and it puts me off my food, it seems similar to stomach infections like Gastritis. I get full really easily when these flare ups occur and sometimes feel very weak and dizzy after eating and can get heart flutters. The worst thing about these flare ups is that it brings with it really bad anxiety. I worry that something is seriously wrong with me.

My Dr. has taken lots of blood samples, done a 24 hour ECG and also done an ultrasound to check there is nothing blocking my bowels or growing on them. All of these came back fine with no issues so she has said she feels that I have IBS. Do my symptoms sound like IBS? Has anyone has the same feelings as I have described?

I am also just wondering how long people have been suffering with IBS and is there anything you take which helps ease it?

Thanks :)

42 Replies
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Hi, I think you are suffering from constipation. Do you take stool softeners such as Colace to help you have a bowel movement. You said you don't have a movement for days at a time..or even a week. I would look into something like Citrucul or Metamucil..or perhaps flaxseed (ground). Fiber supplement is may be benefiber. Nausea, heart palpitations and had stomach cramps/flatulence are a sign of constipation.

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Hi Eliana thanks for your reply and your suggestions, my Dr. has prescribed me with Laxido and I have also tried Dulcolax which didn't really do much. I eat plenty of fibre and drink lots of water each day as not a massive fan of tea or coffee. I have also tried Fibre supplements, the instructions said to take 6 tablets before bed and I read the reviews which were great, they all said that they keep them regular but again they didn't seem to do too much.......

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Have you tried a prescription medication such as Linzess, Trulance, or Amitiza?

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No i have never heard of these.....

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You may want to "Google" them..but they are all very good..

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Thanks- what about the anxiety though..... didn’t think constipation could cause that?

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When I had constipation years ago after another illness the only thing I found that helped was Lactulose, which is very gentle and you can get it over the counter.

I was diagnosed with "spastic colon" over 40 years ago and nobody has said another word about IBS since then. I've been investigated several times since then for diverse symptoms, and nobody has found anything ... I've just come to accept that I'm a nervous and stressy person and my bowel (and probably other bits too) is irritable ... I take it seriously if pains go on too long (I'm about to have some other checks) but nothing nasty has ever been found.

And none of this helps with controlling symptoms!

I too get terrified in case I get an attack (wind/vicious cramps/then diarrhea) when I am out in the car. I now carry a self assembled kit of a towel and small "pot", but happily I have never had to use it.

Here's a revelation: I've been on antibiotics for 3 weeks for something entirely different, and no gut troubles at all during that time! My husband said the same thing after he had appendicitis - they treated it with antibiotics, and he had no gut problems for months afterwards. People are beginning to recognise that antibiotics are effective in suppressing some IBS symptoms, and this has come in the middle of an "anti-antibiotics" movement (for good reasons). No-one wants to be on antibiotics long term.

All the same I believe stress has a great deal to do with it as well.

All I can suggest it, if you find anything that helps your symptoms (or even might), take them in advance if you are travelling or doing a presentation. Just in case. I try and remember to take Buscopan or something like that if I am travelling, and an overnight Senocot if I think I have a bit of constipation building up (but not the night before!) as even a mild "slow spot" makes any attack much worse. I am fortunate in that I don't have attacks regularly, and don't have to take regular medication, but when they come it's without warning. I think a lot of people find that.

Anyway good luck I find that if I make some preparations, I don't worry so much about it happening, and that may help.

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Hi, sorry to hear you have suffered quite badly with it and strange that the antibiotics have seemed to help. I didn’t think they would have an affect. Mine is usually quite manageable but i seem to have had a lot of flare ups this week. Thanks for your help

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hi, i have Post infectious ibs and i also used to get symptoms like these. i’m now on a prescribed Mebeverine medication which i take 2/3 times a day before meals and it works great. it is most likely to be a form of ibs or possibly constipation

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Thanks DuGong, i really want to do stuff to try and prevent these flare ups. I’ve heard probiotics etc. can be helpfull. Have you ever tried any? How did you get your post infectious IBS diagnosed and what makes that different to other IBS?

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yes probiotics are great (Actimel or Yakult) i usually have 1 to 2 every morning depending how i feel. I got it from Gastroenteritis during easter this year and recovering from the illness triggered the symptoms but it’s not much different from other types of IBS however it is meant to clear up within a shorter time period than regular ibs.

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I got Gasterentoritis after a holiday to Ibiza 2 years ago and have never been the same since! Ive just gone to Tesco and got some Yakult so will start taking that in the morning. Do you ever get anxiety along with your IBS?

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i used to get anxiety with my IBS but i think that was due to the symptoms and not knowing what it was/what to do. i gradually have worked my mind to just blaming it on my IBS and i’ve been fine so far :)

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Thanks Dugong, i think i need to do the same and just tell my brain i am fine, it’s just IBS

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Having been an IBS sufferer for a very long time I've found that a 'proper' probiotic capsule is far better than the commercial yoghurts. My current ones are Bio-Kult from a health food shop and they contain so many more and varied cultures. You can vary the intake depending on your symptoms.

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Hi, thanks for this. I will see if i can find this in my healthshop 😊

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Yes I have had it for years I get pain and bloating I can even look pregnant at times I take buscopan which helps the symptoms Gail

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Hey Gail, i know what you mean! I can too, not a great look - especially as i am off to Ibiza in 3 weeks haha! Do you take anything else to help prevent it or do you just take buscipan when you flare up? Have you tried anything else? Also do you get the anxiety when having a flare up? That’s what i find most difficult to deal with!

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Yes I feel like I don’t fit my clothes especially my works uniform sometimes I have to wear another tee shirt and explain to my boss what the issue is as for taking other drugs yes I sometimes have to take co codamol to get rid of the pain Gail

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I think anxiety can make you constipated. Look into meditation to gradually help you calm your mind, which will calm your body and help gut motility. Headspace is worth looking at - lots of free meditations for you to try. It's helped me a great deal. Remember, you've seen the doctor and there's nothing wrong with you. Constipation is miserable but it can be overcome - yakult is good, probiotics and all the other ideas people have suggested. I feel for you - it can become a major preoccupation but try to remember that you're the master of your mind not the other way round. You will get better.

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Thanks so much Rozzy - I definitely need to look into something for anxiety. I think it’s just a viscious circle at the moment!! Thank you 😊

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Have you tried natural calm that works naturally with you system to keep it regular

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Hi Kimmiejo, no, i have not heard of this. Where wold i get it? Thanks

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Health food stores or on. line!

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This sounds exactly like me ! The panic sets my stomach off, I'm ok if I have no arrangements to go anywhere but if i know im going somewhere then the stomach problems start I'm convinced it's mostly in our heads and thinking about it makes it happen it's awful that your thoughts can cause this as it plays havoc with my life.

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It’s so annoying isn’t it!! Would be so easy if we could just switch certain thoughts off!! I went to France with work recently and was flying on my own and then also being driven from the airport to my hotel which was over an hour and a half drive. I was really worried about having a flare up so took some Kalms tablets before and i was fine! Didn’t even have to go on the plane or in the car! Hope you feel better soon

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Hi Natty91

I too can go days with simply normal Bowel movements. I will have flare ups out of the blue and they are urgent and watery! The worst is not knowing when or why. I have had IBS for years, just didn’t kn that’s what it was till later. I had an IBS blood test that verified I was 98 percent positive. I too have extreme anxiety but t now, knowing what it is for sure I shrug it off to a bad day and get on with life. It’s all good our can do or it will control you. You have to control the anxiety or the IBS way lol be worse. There is no cure, food diets help some people , so I hear but the mind is the main focus here. I truly believe that if you can be positive and push the bad, negative crap out you can be better. Works for me. No meds for me, I refuse to let my mind make me sick and I have to be strong enough to control it. If I mentally made myself this sick I am the only one that can reverse it, not some medication that keeps the pharmaceutical companies on business.

I hope you can be happy and positive, it does make a difference.

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Hi Torcol,

I'm brand new to this complaint - indeed I don't know for sure if I even do have IBS (I have a consultant appointment on Monday), but all my symptoms seem to me to be text-book. Would you kindly tell me what the blood test was you mentioned, and which was 98% positive and what that 98% refers to? I'm very ignorant about this condition!

Many thanks indeed!!

Peter A

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My doctors office had just gotten the approval (to my surprise) for IBSCHEK. It is a simple blood test, I had never heard of a blood test for IBS. I have medical anxiety so bad that I wouldn’t do any invasive testing. No colonoscopy, endoscopy, dye related anything. Just so happened the day I went to my doctor she said “hey” we just got our approval for IBSCHEK today! You would be our first, do you want to take it? I inquired what it involved, when she said a simple blood test I jumped at it! It also included a fecal test that is actually mailed by me to the lab. Took a while getting results since it was a new test and had to wait on both but after about 3 weeks I got the results. It tests enzymes, acid levels, bile secretions, and others I can’t remember. IBS is complicated in that it has no known reason “yet” and many symptoms that are unique to each individual but this test can diagnose with great accuracy. Using the most common characteristics that patients complain about, pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, fatigue and dumping. After much scientific testing they came up with IBSCHEK based on those most common symptoms and the combination of colon, intestine and stomach fluids. They believe the brain stimulates the gut so my anxiety often sets it off. Having gotten a clear diagnosis has helped my anxiety ALOT and in return my IBS has improved greatly too! No more worries, I know what I have so I feel great. I am in the US, not sure if that matters.

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Hi Torcol,

Thank you so much for taking the trouble to provide such a thoughtful and comprehensive response; I am most grateful to you. I live in the UK, in SE London, and will be having an appointment with my gastroenterology consultant on Monday morning. I already have IBD in the form of very mild (to date) ulcerative colitis, so over the past 7 years since its diagnosis I have got slightly used to bowel problems!! I will most certainly ask if IBS test is available over here.

Again, thank you so much, and I send you my very best wishes for good health and long term remission from your symptoms.

Peter A

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Can you let me know if they say we do do these tests in the UK?

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Hi Natty91!

I 'googled' IBSchek and there are places in the UK that offer the test, but I doubt very much if it is yet available on the NHS. Here's one that appeared when I searched: The Functional Gut Clinic Ltd. Based in central London (Upper Wimpole Street) with a northern 'branch' in Manchester. But it's best to check yourself to see if there are other organisations local to you which may be more convenient. Hope that helps!

Best wishes, kindest regards and above all, good health!

Peter A

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Most welcome and only good days for you!

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Thanks very much!! Peter A

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Hi Torcol, thanks for this. I need to just not let those thoughts consume me! I got a book called the chimp paradox which is all about realising irrational thoughts and trying to overcome them, it’s really good. And also spoke to a hypnotherapist which may be a road to persue as a last alternative. Im just gunna get lots of health bacteria in my gut, eat well, exercise and think happy. Hopefully that will get me on the road to recovery!! Thanks for your help, so glad you are just able to shrug off the negativity 😊

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....... just ordered The Chimp Paradox! Sounds like a book that could help x

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Hope it helps 👍🏻😊

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Sounds like a wonderful plan! My best to you

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I've also tried the usual drugs to treat anxiety, and in my case also pain. All they did was make me feel like a complete zombie wading through treacle! I love your attitude....stick with it. Sometimes easier said than done I know. xx

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I’ve never tried medication for anxiety and trying not to go down the road cause i am scared i will not get off of them! I have just done a 30 day free trial with Audible with Amazon (im going to cancel after 30 days) but you get a free audio book which you can keep even when you cancel so have downloaded a CBT book to listen to at work and might buy some sleep hypnosis. X

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If I can do it anyone can! I believe you will too!

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I know many on fodmap diets, probiotics, medications, gluten free, dairy free, etc.... ninety percent still experience the same symptoms. I personally opt to except that I have IBS, yes I have IBS and the only one it matters to is me! I no longer worry about the possibility of an unexpected accident nor what other people (that I don’t even know) may think!! It’s all about me and who’s more important than that??👍😊

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