Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Test, Symptoms, Diet, and Treatments

Question:

How was the diagnosis of your irritable bowel syndrome established? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: MickieD, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 07

I received a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in my late 30s after finally seeing a gastroenterologist. He did a colonoscopy to rule anything else and diagnosed my pain and diarrhea as IBS. Before exams in graduate school I usually had bad flare ups. My family doctor said it was just how I dealt with being nervous. I used to make a joke about how where other people popped Valium when they were nervous I popped Imodium!

Comment from: joe, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 24

I was diagnosed at the age of 62 with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and have all the symptoms that are associated with it, including after a bowel movement I have to return to the toilet two or three times after, to clean myself again. This can be very distressing.

Comment from: lindylil, 45-54 Female (Patient) 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.

Comment from: bvi1998, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

Though it seems I have always had these symptoms, it seems my first clue was when my doctor was doing a quick rectal exam and told me I had a spastic colon. Years later, I went to a gastroenterologist because I was having a lot of pain in my intestines. From my described symptoms, it was determined I had IBS but was also given a colonoscopy. Nothing was found with the exception of inflammation in my large intestine, which he thought could have occurred because of the prep. When he was performing the colonoscopy and got to that area, it was very painful and made me clearly say "ouch" out loud to him. I was prescribed Nulev, which allows me to have about five minutes to get to the bathroom: a fantastic emergency drug, just great. Other than that, no other tests have been performed.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) 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.

Comment from: NARAYAN m., 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 18

I have been suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) since 2 years. At that time I went to a gastroenterologist and he did the colonoscopy and found it normal but the problem still persists. I go to the toilet 4 to 5 times a day. Now I found some home remedies which are very beneficial, like massage on the belly which cured my IBS.

Comment from: medjjmv99, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 06

I have a friend who suffers from irritable bowel syndrome all his life. He went to different doctors, was treated with all kind of medications, but to his surprise he went to Peru for treatment and he was prescribed enzymes and a medicine called Colonis not available in the US unfortunately. He also he takes saliva raw every day for the acid reflux. I hope this advice helps anyone who may be suffering from this terrible disease. Now he is happy as he slowly has progressed. He also he did a special diet, no grease, no rice, no flour, no citric food such oranges, no beans, no soda, no chili, no junk food in general, and no alcohol. He takes chicken soup with vegetables every day, homemade of course, and sweet potato. He bakes chicken or fish with salt only, no fried baked only.

Comment from: Shahin, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 08

Your problem maybe parasitic infection or bacterial toxin! If you think that you may have signs/symptoms or have been diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), colitis, etc. I suggest, have your family physician run a stool ova and parasites test. Blastocystis hominis, and other non-pathological protozoan can be the cause of your ongoing problem. Also consider having white blood cell stool test, and a stool toxin assay performed. If so, medications are available to clear most of the microbes from your gastrointestinal system. Ensure to follow it with generous regimen of probiotics to replenish good anaerobic bacteria. Just remember, don't underestimate bacterial and protozoal infections causing your disturbances.

Comment from: marj, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 10

My IBS was diagnosed by palpation by various doctors examining me for something else! I think antidepressants and stress have been partly to blame. I have recently had a colon obstruction and surgery for that.

Comment from: tubbymags, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 04

I was diagnosed with IBS after many visits to doctor and hospital colonoscopy.

Comment from: Net, 35-44 (Patient) Published: April 01

I was diagnosed after experiencing a period of diarrhea and a lot of pain and discomfort in the stomach. I was afraid to go anywhere as on several occasions I had accidents. I had all sorts of tests and a bowel scan. I was advised by a family member to try ginger. I started eating small pieces through the day and found it relieve a lot of the discomfort and slowed the urgency. I would easily eat a packet every day for a few months and symptoms eased. I have slowed my intake and watched what I eat in -- particular avoiding creamy and fatty foods.

Comment from: Free now, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 26

In hindsight I realized that IBS started in my late teens but at the time I certainly didn't even know IBS existed. I was pretty insecure at the time and suffered from what we today call anxiety. Anxiety wasn't an option in my family it was more of a 'don't be wimp, get over it and you'll be fine, just do it.' approach. Plus I grew up in a family where you wouldn't stay home or go to a doctor unless you had a high fever or were severely bleeding, so I never considered consulting a doctor. It was just what it was. Eventually I must have gained more confidence and the anxiety and IBS subsided. A few years ago I went through a lot of stress and turmoil in my private life and all of a sudden IBS was back. I thought celiac, lactose, menstrual cycle but so I changed my diet and it didn't work. Some days I would just double over in pain even though I had only eaten the good stuff. And finally I went to a doctor who apart from the normal IBS examinations also asked me a lot of questions that were related to what was going on in my life. Once he was sure I had IBS he referred me on to the Australian IBS Centre on The Sunshine Coast Queensland. I must say the results are mind-blowing. Not only am I free from IBS but I also don't have that nasty anxiety anymore. It only took me 5 sessions to get over it, they are awesome and I really don't know where I would be without them.

Comment from: notIBS, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 19

I WAS MISDIAGNOSED! If several doctors tell you that you have IBS because they can't find a cause for your stomach pain, check for kidney stones. They treated me for a year for digestive troubles, and found out that I had 2 kidney stones. I had stomach pain that came and went, and abdominal cramps. After the stones were broken up and removed all the pain was completely gone.

Comment from: patti, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

My diagnosis came after a slew of tests which began with a rectal exam and stool sample test. Next I had a barium enema with contrast and a week later a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. I also at this time had a barium swallow. I was treated with 2 strong antibiotics and dicyclomine. One year later I underwent another colonoscopy, endoscopy, abdominal and pelvic ultrasound, cat scan, and ercp because of a spot in the pancreas. Repeat CAT scan is ordered for late next month.

Patient Comments & Reviews

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Symptoms

    What are your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms?

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  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Experience

    What changes have you had to make to your routine since being diagnosed with IBS?

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  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Foods to Avoid

    What foods aggravate IBS? What foods and lifestyle changes have helped you mange IBS?

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  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Medications

    What medications have you tried to treat IBS symptoms, and what have been effective?

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  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Preventive

    What prevention measures do you use to avoid getting IBS?

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REFERENCES:

Aragon G. et al. "Probiotic Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2010;6(1):39-44.
<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2886445/>

Camilleri, M. "Current and future pharmacological treatments for diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome." Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy, 2013. 14 (9), 1151-1160.
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. "IBS and IBD: Two Very Different Disorders."
<http://www.ccfa.org/resources/ibs-and-ibd-two-very.html>

Jeffrey S. Hyams, M.D. Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children. National Institutes of Health. Jun 25, 2014.
<http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/ibs-in-children/Pages/facts.aspx\>

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. "IBS Diet: Cramping and Diarrhea." Jun 14, 2016.
<http://www.aboutibs.org/ibs-diet/cramping-and-diarrhea.html>

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. "IBS in the Real World." Jul 26, 2016.
<http://www.aboutibs.org/ibs-with-diarrhea.html>

National Cancer Institute. "What are cruciferous vegetables?" Jun 07, 2012.
<http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cruciferous-vegetables-fact-sheet>

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