Wondering if I have IBS

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paniccu
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 10/24/2005 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, I'm usually on the Panic/anxiety board, but I just noticed that there is a board for IBS. Ever since I can remember my stomach had gotten upset easily (cramps & diahrria), but I always attributed it to being nervous and anxious a lot. Over the last 3 or 4 months however, I've also had frequent painful bloating (bloating so bad that pants that fit me the day before were uncomfortably tight) with gas and heartburn (which I rarely had until recently).  So now I'm wondering if it's possibly IBS or a food allergy that's causing this?
 
I was wondering how bad the symptoms were before you went to the doc (I know, I know, I should go, but I am not looking forward to the tests) and what I could do initially to try to rule out other causes. I was thinking of keeping a food journal for a couple of weeks. I know milk can be a culprit. Anything else I should document, Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks for your help
Liz

hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
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   Posted 10/24/2005 12:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Liz -
I started posting here too (you know I'm usually on A/P too) because I was experience the same symptoms you're describing. I started taking fiber and calcium pills, and I think apples were causing the bloating for me. As soon as I stopped eating them it went away. Good idea to keep a food journal, that will really help you figure out who the culprit is! Do you feel constipated as well? I know for me when I have increased bloating and gas it usually means I'm constipated. I think you have to experience either constipation or diarrhea, or both, to really get the IBS dx. But I'm still not all to familiar with all this, so I could be wrong.
Anyways, nice to see a familiar face here too :) (and dbab and Flopsie! :) )


ali
 
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dbab
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   Posted 10/24/2005 12:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Liz,
Nice to see you over here, but sorry that the circumstances brought you over here.

You definitely have the symptoms of IBS. Have you talked to your doctor about it? Bloating is probably the most common symptom for all types of IBS sufferers. You probably know me from the anxiety board too and I know that my IBS symptoms get worse when my anxiety gets worse and vice versa. This is not uncommon also. For food allergies, there are tests that can be done to rule that out but a food diary is the best thing that you can do now. (Everyone here knows that I am a food diary fan) Have you had any GI tests done?
Hugs, Des
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dbab
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   Posted 10/24/2005 12:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ali... Nice to see you again :)
Hugs, Des
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paniccu
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 10/24/2005 12:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I haven't had any tests done yet. I haven't called the doc yet, but I'm going to. I wanted to keep a food journal first and make sure I'm not just developing some kind of food allergy. I want to keep track of my symptoms too so I can tell him what and how often I'm having symptoms. I tend to minimize things when I go to the doc. As you two probably already know, I really HATE going to the doc. I get anxious and emotional if I think I have a problem. I had to get a mammogram this year because there was a lump on my breast and I started crying in my gyno's office just thinking about it. That wouldn't have been so bad, but it was the first time I went to this doctor, so it was kind of embarassing. I am not keen on having GI tests done unless I have to. I may have to though, because this bloating feeling is not at all comfortable. Thanks for your quick replies. Sorry you guys are on here too, but it's not to see some familiar faces (so to speak :-))
Liz

dbab
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   Posted 10/24/2005 1:02 PM (GMT -7)   
If your insurance allows it, I would recommend going straight to a GI specialist. You will have less anxiety talking about your symptoms to him/her than a regular doctor. You will also most likely be taken more seriously since a lot of general doctors still don't know too much about IBS and most still consider it "in your head". You have taken the first step though in keeping a diary... that is wonderful :)
Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
 
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Flopsie
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   Posted 10/24/2005 1:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
Just a quick question..Do most of you alternate between C and D?
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Don't walk behind me....I may not lead
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7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 10/24/2005 1:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi paniccu, Welcome to the IBS forum! Dbab has given you some great advice... it is important to keep a food diary to see what exactly may be bugging you. Also, it is great to have with you when you see a doc.

Flopsie, I alternate between D & C.


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Flopsie
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   Posted 10/24/2005 2:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Lil, I do too, just wondered if that was the "norm"
Don't walk in front of me....I may not follow
Don't walk behind me....I may not lead
Walk beside me..and be my friend...
                                    Albert Carnus
 
and Lord, put your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth
 
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7Lil
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   Posted 10/24/2005 2:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hmmm... I think most people on this board have D and the others alternate (I don't think I can remember anyone who ONLY have C).
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Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
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   Posted 10/24/2005 2:20 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey newbies :) Welcome to our world, welcome to our world!

There are a ton of wonderful peeps here who can guide you through the world of IBS.  The most common symptoms are bloating, gas, abdominal cramps, and either diarrhea, constipation, or both.  Those are the hallmark symptoms, and you have to have them for a period of at least 12 weeks (can be intermittently) before an IBS diagnosis should be made.  Also, some testing should be done to exclude other problems - about a gazillion million other things can cause similar symptoms, including food allergies, parasitic infections, bacterial overgrowth, etc.

In my humble (but sadly experienced) opinion, the following tests should be done at the get-go:

- Bloodwork.  Complete blood count (CBC) and comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), plus a sed rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) if you are having other symptoms such as fever or blood in your stool.

- Stool studies.  YUM!  Three ova/parasite tests (O&Ps) are necessary because parasites and ova are shed intermittently in stools, so they may not catch 'em with just one.  Even with three, it's not always a sure thing.  These O&Ps are an absolute MUST if you've had any recent foreign travel.  Also, fecal occult blood and fecal leukocyte tests should be done.  IBSers should not have positive fecal occult blood or leukocyte tests.

- Colonoscopy.  It's not that bad.  Really.  If you are having very bad constipation or diarrhea (going only a couple times a week or more than 10x/day) this is an important test to rule out cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, etc.  Also more important if you are over the age of 40.

about 1 in 5 Americans reportedly suffer from IBS, and most of them don't go to a physician about it because, honestly, most people don't really like talking about their poo.  But if it is bothering you, interfering with your life, just go to the doctor.  I promise you that no doctor is going to be grossed out by your story.  I come from a huge family of doctors, hoping to be one myself, and I swear our dinner conversations used to revolve around blood, guts, and poo on a regular basis.  Anyone with a doctor in the family will know exactly what I mean.

Keeping a food diary, like dbab suggested, is an absolute necessity and will make your doctor incredibly pleased and probably kiss your feet.  Also keep a symptoms diary along with it: how many times you go a day, whether your stools are formed or not, when your stomach cramps occur, when you notice the most bloating, etc.

I can't really commiserate with anyone on this board who experiences bloating, gas, or constipation.  Heck, according to the GI gods, I don't even have IBS.  But I come here because people are very open, honest, caring, helpful, and no-holds-barred when they need to be.  Again, welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 


ocrap
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 10/28/2005 6:20 PM (GMT -7)   
holy crap, pun intended. i just found these forums and everything i read i can relate to. i have been suffering severe anxiety for years now and am only in my midtwenties. the last few years have been really difficult because of what i know believe is ibs. i am lactose intollerant and was a vegan for years so food sensitivities play a huge role in my upsets. it seems ibd and anxiety/depression are like the chicken and the egg. i don't know which came first. i hate it though..... i avoid social events, never eat out.... it's starting to upset my boyfriend because i never go to his family gatherings...... im just too nervous that my stomach will be off to go to these social gatherings..... godd to know there are others out there to talk about my crappy problems...

7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 10/28/2005 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi ocrap (love the name!), Welcome to HealingWell!
I'm glad you found a place where you can relate. That's why we're all here.... we need somewhere to go to talk to people who understand, and to talk poo (it's taboo anywhere else).
Are you taking any meds for anxiety or IBS? Are you talking to anyone about your anxiety?
It is not uncommon for people with IBS to suffer from anxiety and/or depression. Many IBSers are on anti-depressants, which in turn also helps with the IBS.
I just wanted to welcome you and say hello.
Take care and keep posting!
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ocrap
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 10/28/2005 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   
hey lil,
thanks for the welcome. i was put on celexa for the anxiety when i was 21, took them for a couple of years and it seemed to help but also made me zombieish ( new word). so needless to say i am not currently taking any meds for my anxiety but keep thinking i should try them again to see if it helps with the ibs. right now i am taking probiotics, and aloe vera......... its hard to talk to people about both of these disorders either because like you say its taboo, or they just can understand it fully.... glad you gals are here

7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 10/28/2005 7:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Ocrap, I think it is wise for you to go on the anxiety meds again. See if you can get an RX for something besides Celexa. Keep pushing your doc until you find something that works for you. Hopefully, when you find the right med, both your anxiety and IBS will get better. In the meantime, keep taking those probiotics and get plenty of fiber. Try some relaxation techniques because that can help too (frankly, I used to think it was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, but it really does help).
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schmoo
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 10/31/2005 11:48 PM (GMT -7)   
im new does anyone feel this way?
 
     i have a constant stomache ache, and about 4 out of 7 days i have loose stools. every month i have a flare up and have bad runs, its gross but its all water and little bits of what i ate, i also suffer from anxiety and a fear of mine is vomiting, so when i have a stomach ache i freak out that im gonna vomit, which makes symptoms waaay worsethen i get panick attacks that could last the duration of the day, my cheeks get red, sweaty palms, extra acid in the stomach, gas, diherria,you name it i get it. im lactose and tolerant also , it gets very hard to alter my diet because im a 20 yr old female living with two males (my boyfriend, and his brother) i am almost always broke and the grocieries we get is for everyone. well write me back if n e one knows where the hell i start.

mountain_hare
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 10/31/2005 11:58 PM (GMT -7)   
schmoo:

My condition is pretty similiar to yours. If you want a long winded version, read the new thread I just made: http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=26&m=354460

I really sympathize for you. We seem to share the following...

1. Constant stomach ache.
2. Loose stools.
3. 'Flare ups'. I'm having one today, but I'm not sure if it's a gut bug or not.
4. Fear of vomiting. There is definitely an interesting trend between IBS sufferers and the fear of vomiting.
5. Heightened temperature sometimes, especially after bad runs.

I'm sorry to say that I don't know what to do about it. However, if you manage to find a solution, please drop a line.

schmoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 11/1/2005 12:02 AM (GMT -7)   
i would really like to talk to you because everyone i talk  to seems to be weireded out by me saying im scared to vomit, if you have msn pls msg back and mabey we could talk and vent ect.

mountain_hare
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/1/2005 12:14 AM (GMT -7)   
schmoo, add me on msn. I'm korthax@hotmail.com

dbab
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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 11/1/2005 6:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Emetophobia is not as uncommon as most people think. Its just the embarrasment that people have that they don't like to talk about it. They say that it could be from a traumatic occurence while vomitting in your early ages.  I personally don't have this fear but I have met a lot of people that have it. It has been brought up many times in the anxiety forum so I know a lot of people there could relate. Unfortunately, if I had that fear, I don't know what I'd do... I've gotten sick many of times.


Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
 
"Sometimes I'm afraid, and I don't feel that tough...But I'll stand back up" - Sugarland
 
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7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 11/1/2005 9:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Schmoo & Mountain, welcome to the site!
I am one who has a phobia of vomitting. Funny too because I feel like I could puke everyday (or just about). I am nauseous a lot. The worst is having someone around me who is puking... I can't handle watching it, hearing it or even knowing about it. I start to panic, shake, get nauseous, and want to run. I used to run from my boyfriend when he'd get sick. I felt like such a horrible girlfriend. He was sweet though, he used to warn me and tell me to leave.
Anyway, you have joined a great group here and I hope you get the help/support you are looking for.
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dbab
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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 11/1/2005 1:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Now I have a sort of fear I guess of other people vomiting around me. I get the anxiety feelings like you do Lil and I can't take it. I'm like that with everyone but my son... I guess there was no way that I could let that bother me being he is my son... he will be sick... and I am his mom. Isn't that funny? It doesn't bother me a bit with him but everyone else I get the same feelings as you do.
Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
 
"Sometimes I'm afraid, and I don't feel that tough...But I'll stand back up" - Sugarland
 
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7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 11/1/2005 1:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I hear that a lot from mom's. I still don't get it though.... puke is puke no matter who it is coming from. I must admit though, I don't have a problem with baby spit-up (usually - unless I'm alread feeling ill).
I wonder if there is a way to overcome emetophobia....
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dbab
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Date Joined Jan 2004
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   Posted 11/1/2005 2:01 PM (GMT -7)   
We had a discussion on fears not to long ago on the anxiety forum and many people said that Cognitive Behavior Therapy is the best way to overcome your fears. I haven't tried it yet, I would love to get rid of my fear of heights so I can drive on bridges and things like that (I have adjusted so many routes to avoid bridges) so I may look into it. Other than that, I'm not sure what else would work.
Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
 
"Sometimes I'm afraid, and I don't feel that tough...But I'll stand back up" - Sugarland
 
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