Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Diagnosis

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
How was the diagnosis of your irritable bowel syndrome established?
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See what others are saying

Published: October 06

I was diagnosed with IBS after a bowel scan last year and it is certainly worse when I have my period. I also keep a food diary so I know what triggers an attack. I also take an Imodium Plus before I eat a meal out, just in case, and it does work. I am an anxious person anyway and I think that it is generally accepted that anxiety can affect the stomach. The worst thing about IBS is being far away from a toilet and I had an attack while travelling on the tube home from work once. I was lucky in that the staff at the station were sympathetic and I got to the toilet in time. I think that if you find yourself in such a situation, be honest with people and they will understand. You have to learn to live with it and let's face it there are people out there with a lot worse health issues. IBS isn't life-threatening, just inconvenient..

Published: September 10

I was diagnosed with IBS when I was 17; I am now 32. I have also always suffered with anxiety, which I have found definitely has an effect on my IBS symptoms. It comes and goes, and I have been able to recognize certain triggers, for example, when my period is due, I have diarrhea and cramps. If I drink tea or coffee, I immediately have to use the bathroom, etc. My symptoms cycle through constipation and diarrhea alternately, and the pain is usually in my back or on one or other side of my abdomen, sometimes dull and nauseating, sometimes sharp. Heat pads help. At first I was given Colofac, but I don't use them now. I occasionally take peppermint oil capsules, but to be honest, I don't find anything does the job very well. I prefer to avoid known triggers if possible and deal with the symptoms. Exercise helps too; I walk a lot these days. IBS is very unpleasant but can be coped with. The longer you have it, the better you get to know yourself and your own symptoms and triggers, because everyone is different..