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Chris711
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 4/30/2007 3:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
 
My girlfriend has been having various stomach troubles for about 4 months now. Recently it's taken the form of stomach cramps that seem to be getting worse. Her doctor has done a brief exam and taken a blood test, neither of which came out massively out of the ordinary (slight signs of an infection apparently, but the doc didn't seem worried) One suggestion that's come up is IBS.
 
Just wondered if I could ask how this is usually diagnosed and if it does turn out to be the problem, how is best to treat it?
 
Many thanks,
 
Chris.

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 4/30/2007 9:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Chris,
I think your proactive attitude towards your girlfriend’s condition is awesome. If only we could ALL have significant others like you.
Most of us diagnosed with IBS have gone through many tests; usually including a colonoscopy, stool testing, blood work and even endoscopy. What are your girlfriend’s symptoms (diarrhea, pain, nausea, gas, etc.)?
What sort of infection did the doctor find? It baffles me a bit that her doc doesn’t seem concerned about this. Do you know if he checked for H.Pylori?
If your girlfriend does get diagnosed with IBS, she (and you) needs to be prepared for some changes. Diet is one of the key ways to managing IBS. It is important to eat healthy. Exercise and stress relief can also do wonders. I also highly suggest taking a probiotic daily. Most of us IBSers take some sort of probiotic which helps our digestion immensely. Fiber is also a great way to help manage IBS.
Again, it is great to see you helping your girlfriend. I hope we can help you help her. :-)
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
 
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Chris711
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 5/3/2007 4:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,

Well, we're not entirely sure it's IBS. Symptoms seem to be basically everything you mentioned, but recently it's mostly been stomach pains.

Don't know the exact details - they found a couple of things that were slightly out of normal range. White blood cell count, signs of inflamation through another test and something else. Initially a mistake was made and she was told they were completely normal - then the doctor confirmed it wasn't normal and told her to book an appointment (a female nurse has to be present and there's a stupidly long waiting list for a slot where both one of these and a doctor are available or something....) at the beginning of this week the pains got very intense and she arranged an emmergency appointment at the local doctors. The guy took a quick look and asked a few questions, then reffered her for some further tests at the hospital. Apparently he was very dismissive and seemed to think she was wasting his time.

She's an otherwise healthy, relatively fit 24 year old. She does however seem to have quite low energy at the moment, but it's difficult to tell whether that's the effect of a medical problem or just a hectic schedule.

She's tried pro-biotic yoghurts for a few weeks and apaprently not noticed any difference. Recently, she's gone for a more generally healthy diet (more fruit and vegetables primarily) although I'm not sure if this would be good for IBS?

Thanks for your support :)

Chris.

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 5/3/2007 8:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Chris,
Sounds like your girlfriend may benefit from both a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. She should really push her doc for more testing and an explanation of the tests.
You are right, healthy veggie and fruit diets aren't always good for IBS. To make the foods easier to digest I suggest cooking them thoroughly and staying away from skins. Tomatoes seem to be a common veggie that are difficult for IBSers, and apples are the fruit that give IBSers trouble. Seeds can sometimes do a number on us too.
Please keep us posted on your girlfriend's progress. And please, ask any other questions you may have.
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
 
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Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/3/2007 11:44 AM (GMT -7)   
No APPLES! Some people can tolerate cooked apples and applesauce all right, but never raw, and especially never any apple juice. Don't ask me why apples seem to bother everyone on here, but they do. I've been wanting to get more fruit in my diet and have tried tap-dancing around apple juice, but I definitely have more bowel problems when I drink just 8oz of orange juice or cranberry juice in the mornings. And I love fruit juice, especially apple juice. :-(

Also, never, ever any sugar-free products, including gum and mints. Sugar alcohols are in all sugar-free products today (except jelly, of all things) and every reduced-sugar product I have ever seen. They mess everyone up, but some people (like me) are hyper-sensitive to them and they will give you bad cramping, diarrhea, stomach gurgling, and misery in general. Some people also have to cut out all fake sugars, although I seem to be immune to saccharin, aspartame and Splenda.

Chris711
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 5/4/2007 3:57 AM (GMT -7)   
She's due for an appointment next month (sadly we have a state funded health service here, which has very little money at the moment, because the government is too busy blowing people up in the middle east eyes  and going private is extemely expensive....) guess they'll do things like a colonoscopy when the time comes. We'll see.
 
In the meantime, on the assumption it is IBS, I gather we need to avoid:
 
Avoid sugar-free sweetners
Avoid too much fruit - especially apples and tomatos!
Avoid alcohol? (that's a guess)
Avoid caffeine? (ditto)
Avoid chocolate
Avoid carbonated drinks
Avoid spicy foods
Avoid dairy
Avoid oily/fried food (including olive oil?)
 
To be honest there seem to be a lot of things you can't eat and very few you should. It seems the suggestions for good foods are largely,
 
Rice
Pasta
Rice or corn based cereals
Tortillas
Potatoes (possibly not the skins?)
Sweet potatoes
Bannanas
Avocado
Mango (atleast there are a few fruits in there!)
Peppermint
Maybe try the probiotics again
 
Is there anything you can do to compensate for the lack of fresh food? It can't be healthy avoiding fruit and veg all the time?
 

Wotan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 462
   Posted 5/4/2007 5:40 AM (GMT -7)   
 Of course, Librax (Chlordiazepoxide/clidinium) take 3-4 times a day is quite helpful. 

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/4/2007 7:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, avoid caffeine and alcohol. Chocolate is a bit of a toss up, but it depends on how much she consumes of it at once. I think most people on here can tolerate a piece or two of candy.

Olive oil and other healthy fats don't bother me, but I can't speak for everyone else on that one. Deep-fried fast food, pizza, etc. greasy things are a no-no, though.

Peppermint is good if she's having gas problems, but not good if she has acid reflux; it causes worse acid. If she doesn't have reflux, though, she should be okay with peppermint candies and tea (tea is very popular on here). No bananas if she's having problems with constipation, but okay if she's having normal bowel movements or if she has D.

I don't have a problem with cooked veggies or lettuce, but then I don't have a gas problem either. You might try her on only cooked veggies and see what happens. Some people on here absolutely cannot have lettuce, while some of us can. Never get pre-cut or salad bar lettuce, though; they put a chemical on it that keeps it from getting brown and it causes diarrhea if you eat it too frequently or are sensitive to begin with. Never any beans.

Red meat and pork are usually pretty rough on people, but most people can tolerate chicken and fishes. I think that venison might be an okay red meat, though, since it is so very lean.

While it probably isn't healthy for a normal person to not eat fruits and veggies, your GF is no longer normal, so the rules don't apply to her anymore. In my opinion, it's always less healthy to make yourself sick and upset your stomach or bowels. An irritated digestive tract will always cause more health problems than a lack of vegetables.

Canyonbabe711
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 5/4/2007 11:19 PM (GMT -7)   
whereas it might be IBS I would make very sure that it is not female related as that is more dangerous at her age. The chances she has something severe intestinally would be rare. If there is any way she can get a CT scan of pelvic area I think that would be a good idea. The other thing is appendix. I had symptoms for years which noone could figure out since my blood work was OK and it turned out I was all messed up inside physcially with an appendix in the wrong place. This did not appear till I was in my 20's. They didn't have CT scans then so had to do exploratory surgery. Now it would be a piece of cake. Before you decide it is IBS I think you need to rule out the more serious stuff.

oneday
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 5/5/2007 4:25 AM (GMT -7)   
hi chris

i guess yuo are from the uk like me. i nkow how hard it is to get testing. i had to wait a=ges to see an gastrontest at hosptial. i thne had to wait ages for a sidoscopy whcih showed nothing. thye said it was ibs. i thne went back to my gp as i hvae been suffering bad stomach pains whcih i was up a and e with about fours days in a row. thye sent me aaway wiht strong pain killers whchi do nothing. my gp got fed up wiht me going back up there thta evernutally she agreed to send me for a second opoinion at a different hosptial. i am waiting for a colonsocopy now whcih i am due to hvae in july.

i am angry thta my loacl hospaitl sent me home wiht out any testing. i went up there on another ocasion as i sometimes bleed from the back passage. i was bleeding and it woulndnt stop so i went up there to be told thta it was a heavy bleed but to wait for the sidcopy camrea. thye just dont seem to care.

Chris711
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 5/14/2007 3:18 AM (GMT -7)   
oneday said...
hi chris

i guess yuo are from the uk like me. i nkow how hard it is to get testing. i had to wait a=ges to see an gastrontest at hosptial. i thne had to wait ages for a sidoscopy whcih showed nothing. thye said it was ibs. i thne went back to my gp as i hvae been suffering bad stomach pains whcih i was up a and e with about fours days in a row. thye sent me aaway wiht strong pain killers whchi do nothing. my gp got fed up wiht me going back up there thta evernutally she agreed to send me for a second opoinion at a different hosptial. i am waiting for a colonsocopy now whcih i am due to hvae in july.

i am angry thta my loacl hospaitl sent me home wiht out any testing. i went up there on another ocasion as i sometimes bleed from the back passage. i was bleeding and it woulndnt stop so i went up there to be told thta it was a heavy bleed but to wait for the sidcopy camrea. thye just dont seem to care.
Yep, I am indeed - the joys of the NHS......
 
My girlfriend was basically told to go away by one GP. She's in quite a lot of pain and not prone to being melodramatic without cause.
 
Still waiting for a hospital referal eyes
 
We found some diet suggestions on the 'net which she's been following (me too when I'm there) but so far that hasn't had a huge effect. Hoping it turns out to be something else - easily curable - that saves us from a lifetime of mushroom rissotto!
 
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