question (dbab)

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mdgirl
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/8/2005 9:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey! How are ya?!
 
I was browsing the forums tonight and I'm going to post a snipit of something you said:
 
" It is a disorder diagnosed through exclusion however that is because the symptoms are very similar to other things (ie IBD) but there are specific symptoms that you have when they diagnose you with IBS (under Rome II criteria). "
 
I am going into my doc next Monday; to discuss my suspected IBS w/ her.... I was watching tv a few days ago and they had a special on IBS. The doctors said to diagnose it, they do not need to do any tests (like colonoscopy or endoscopy) that they just "rule out" everything else and listen to your symptoms and make a diagnosis right then and there. That is the first I have ever heard! What kind of tests can I expect to have in diagnosing my (probable) IBS? All the posts I have read about testing mention a colonscopy and after finding "nothing" and listening to your complaints, they can diagnose you then. I would love to not have to go thru the colonoscopy and was just wondering how the majority are diagnosed?
 
Thanks! :-) :-)

dbab
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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 12/8/2005 9:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi mdgirl :)

There are some docs that will not go through all the tests and will give you an IBS diagnosis without them. These docs are mostly not gastroenterologists though, these would mostly be your family docs. It is true that most doctors can have a good hunch that you have IBS based on your symptoms and are usually right on the money after they ask you questions however the good doctors will rule everthing out. A "diagnosis of exclusion" is exactly that. They will exclude everything before giving you an IBS dx. They can't exclude without doing tests. Now the extent of tests vary from doctor to doctor. I have heard of doctors only doing a fecal occult blood test to rule out other things before giving an IBS dx. My doctor did more though. I have had a fecal occult blood test, thyroid test (they do this when constipation is an issue), barium enema, and colonoscopy. I will tell you that I have had IBS for 16 years and was just given a Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis this year. I also have diverticulosis which would have never been found without doing my barium enema (my UC would not have been found without my colonscopy).

A colonoscopy is really not that bad. The worse part is the prep and now thats really not that bad if you get the right prep. I don't like the golightly and phospho which I have used many times and for my last colonoscopy, I was given the option of the pills. I'm so glad I did, swallowing pills was much better. I would suggest some testing to rule out other things and to give you peace of mind.

I hoped this helped a little.


Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
 
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mdgirl
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/8/2005 9:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you SO much!!!
 
I don't mind the fecal test (I have actually had one many years ago for an un-related issue) but I am a little uneasy about the barium enema simply because I have had family members die of cancer and I am paranoid about cancer, xrays and radiation. I have had so many dental xays in the past two years (over 15) and I tend to worry. My boyfriend has had a few colonoscopys, but I know the preperation wasn't too pleasant for him. I am worried about that. I am trying very hard to not jump to conclusions about these tests until I talk to my doctor and learn more about them. I always tend to initially worry, and then I am fine.
 
While I am pretty sure it's IBS, I am almost positive I don't have "anything else". But, it would be nice to know WHAT I have. Just to put a label on something.
 
Thanks for the info! I am taking notes and printing them out so I can be prepared for my doc!

dbab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 12/8/2005 9:41 PM (GMT -7)   
If you need to know the name of the pills, they are called Visicol. Also I would take the colonscopy over the barium enema for two reasons... the barium enema is somewhat unpleasant (you are fully awake and no anesthesia whatsoever and it can be quite uncomfortable) and the colonoscopy is a more thorough test as they can see your colon visibly for any color abnormalities and they can do a biopsy if needed.
Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
 
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dbab
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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 12/8/2005 9:57 PM (GMT -7)   

Here is the link to the pharmaceutical page for Visicol:

http://www.salix.com/products/products_visicol.asp


Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
 
~My reality check bounced
 
 
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Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 12/8/2005 10:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Just wanted to throw in my two cents too...a doctor may not go through a rigamarole of testing if your symptoms aren't very severe.  For instance, if you have bouts of diarrhea occasionally, some bloating, and minor abdominal pain they may just do some quicky tests and say you have IBS.  If you are spewing the goods out >10 times a day, have blood or nocturnal symptoms, they'll probably want to give you a more thorough exam.

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 12/9/2005 10:11 AM (GMT -7)   
My GI suspected IBS from the beginning but I wasn't satisfied. I couldn't believe she couldn't do anything to "cure" me. So I asked her if she was ABSOLUTELY sure and when she said "no" we decided to do all the tests (for my peace of mind). I had 14 vials of blood drawn, stool test, bone density test, thyroid checked, upper GI endoscopy, colonoscopy and abdominal ultra sound. I was happy to avoid the SBFT (small bowel follow through - barium) and sigmoidoscopy. In the end I have "just IBS." I'm glad I did it all because now I know.
Don't worry about he scope. Like dbab said, it's not that bad. You poop liquid for a day and then you get "medicated" and it's over. I think it was soooo worth it.
Take care.
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Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 12/9/2005 10:29 AM (GMT -7)   
I chose not to have my last scheduled colonoscopy because I thought it was unwarranted. One, I had had one already and it showed up nothing (because it was my gall bladder, not my colon that was the problem at the time). I have a family history of Crohn's, and was quite sick with my gall bladder, so it's not like it was a shot in the dark to think I might need one. But this last time I was presenting with IBS symptoms and my doctor (a different one from the first colonoscopy) jumped right to giving me a colonoscopy. She didn't even want to do blood work or a stool sample first. She even told me she was pretty certain I had IBS. I heard $$$ ringing up in the background, so I decided not to do it. I was quite sure I did not have an IBD because I never had blood in my stool or on my toliet paper (and an occult blood sample proved negative too), and I had stopped hurting and was starting to get some better, although I hadn't yet figured out what was making me better (calcium). I didn't want to go through yet another colonoscopy that would show up nothing at all just to prove that I was right in the first place (I thought it was my gall bladder when they were scoping me the last time). That and they wouldn't give me the pills. They said they didn't clean you ought good enough and I said how clean did they need me to get, seeing how I had diarrhea every day anyways? The nurse just gave me this "What a stupid layperson you are" look and went on talking about the phospho soda stuff.

Long story short, make sure you feel comfortable with your docotor and staff before going through the procedure. If you feel that they treat you like you are a complete and total idiot not worthy of having things explained to you, then find another doctor. If you are recommended for a colonoscopy, be sure to ask why exactly the doctor thinks you need one. If he's already sure you have IBS, why have an uncomfortable, costly procedure? A lot of people forget that doctors are not God and you don't have to do what they say. In fact, they're not really "saying" anything, they're making suggestions.

If he legitimately thinks you might have an IBD or your family history includes cancer of the digestive tract and/or IBDs, then do as he recommends. If you do have a family history of colon cancer, then get used to having one every 10 years or so as a preventitive thing; you definitely should have one in that instance. And in that case, you'll at least put your mind to rest when the test comes back clear. But if you have a clean family background when it comes to digestive cancers and your problems are not very serious, as Sarita mentions, then, if it was me, I would expect the doctor to do a whole lot of convincing as to why I would need a colonoscopy, otherwise I would opt out. It's not that they are that bad or painful or anything, but who wants to spend a day going without food and pooping continuously? It's just not something anybody WANTS to do, so, in my opinion, I need a really good reason for doing it.

dbab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 12/9/2005 10:49 AM (GMT -7)   
I understand the objections to this however I have to disagree. I have seen so many times where people are very frustrated because they don't feel assured that they have all the answers. Yes, I will say that a lot of times it can be an issue of money however IMO a good doctor will check everything out. Not everyone with IBD will see blood (occult blood is not visible to the naked eye). I have read many posts and have noticed that people get dx'd with an IBD or something else by chance through a colonoscopy. That kind of happened with me. I went into my last colonoscopy to have my routine cancer screening and also to check on my diverticulosis (I am only 30 btw) and came out with a UC diagnosis. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought... besides some light bleeding that I confused as being hemmhroids I never dreamed in a million years that I could have UC. Now I am being treated for it. Thats just my 2 cents and my opinion only :)
Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
 
~My reality check bounced
 
 
Please help Healing Well continue to help others by donating  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 
 


7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 12/9/2005 11:14 AM (GMT -7)   
You all make very valid points....
There is the Prometheus Lab. I forgot to mention that in my post. A couple of my 14 vials of blood got shipped off to Los Angeles for the IBD, Celiacs and Lactose Intolerance tests. That could be a good way for results without a scope. Although, I must agree that I do think a scope is important (to be absolutely sure).
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
 
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