1. I'm not sure since I've not been officially diagnosed with IBS. I had rectal cancer in 1999, 90% of my sigmoid removed, 15 inches of my colon removed, gall bladder removed too, temp ostomy but that was reversed 8 weeks later. Stage I Rectal Cancer (no treatment necessary). I have now been left with daily symptoms that mimic IBS, this is what my doctor has told me. I find a lot of helpful suggestions on this forum, hence why I hang out here. This is very helpful IBS group!
2. Diet varies, person to person. I cannot recommend enough the use of a food journal. Any ordinary notebook will suffice. Keep a page for each day and record every single thing you eat, if you take meds during that 24 hour period, any other pertinent info that's helpful to reflect back on later (if it was a good day vs bad, or busy with activities, etc.). Personally, I still follow a very plain diet called a Low Residue Diet. I eat 4 to 6 very small meals a day, as opposed to 3 huge ones (I never was much into a large breakfast though). Large quantities of solids seem to induce hours of bm activity for me. But if I graze (3 crackers, 3 small pieces of cheese, OR a banana, OR an individual cup of applesauce, OR half of a turkey sandwich), I do much better. My gut isn't overwhelmed with a huge amount of food. And my overall bm activity is spaced out, small amount each time (I go anywhere from 12 to 20 times a day).
3. Yes anxiety plays a key part in IBS. When I am really worried about
something, my gut is out of whack, if we're traveling and on the go a lot (busy vacation, for example), I usually have to abstain from food, because if I eat, I will probably have D. I say no to a lot of social, on the spot outings. Or I have, my in-laws already know I'm going to say no 50% of the time (they tend to socialize a bit too much, the women I mean). And their socializing always includes a meal, which makes things harder for me. I come up with other plans - even if those plans mean I'm sitting on my couch, watching anything I can find on TV. At this point (9 years later), I've learned to be MY own advocate and not cave to peer pressure (even at 53, I can find peer pressure if I look for it).
4. Yes, you should seek a Gastroenterologist to determine if you have IBS.
I wish you well!
PS - I forgot something I did, faithfully for 2 years after post-op. I ate for 12 hours a day and had nothing other than water for 12. I would stop eating solids after dinner each evening. If I was hungry I would drink 1 or 2 tall glasses of water. This tricked my stomach into thinking it was full of food. I mainly did this so I could sleep 4, 6 or even 8 straight hours of sleep without bm activity. It also gave my gut a break from going so much too. I ended up sleeping much better, than I ever did before (we were used to late evening snacks while watching TV), I lost weight and felt great. Somewhere along the line, I started munching on snacks my family had out after 7 or 8 in the evening. And paid for it. I really should go back to this old rule though, no solids after 7. Since I get up around 7, that's a nice 12 hour period with no bm activity (in theory). I remember I just made sure I ate very well and healthy foods the other 12 hour period.
Post Edited (Marsky) : 7/30/2008 7:56:43 AM (GMT-6)