Post Infectious IBS

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 5/19/2008 8:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Who else has been diagnosed with this? I'm in the middle of tests to see if I truly have IBD (ulcerative colits) OR if I have post-infectious IBS (due to a bout with c-diff that lasted for 4 months).

I'm just wondering if and how post infectious IBS differs from "regular" IBS and what some strategies are to deal with it. My biggest issue is shooting pain through my gut.

31 yr old female
Dx'd in 2/2008 UC (not sure how much, or where, LOONG story there, i'm sure i'm getting another scope soon)
Asacol 12xday, Rowasa 2xday (off these for now waiting for pred to work)
Prednisone 40 mg/day

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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 5/19/2008 12:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm not sure if there is such a thing as post-infectious IBS. More like they never got rid of the C. difficile and you never got your good bacteria back in balance. I have read that it is VERY difficult to get rid of c. difficle, and even worse if it's the antibiotic-resistan strain. And even when it's gone, you need a lot of probiotics for a long time to restore balance in the guts. Anyone needs probiotics after taking antibiotics, but the longer you are on antibiotics and the stronger they are, the more probiotics you need. I typically take probiotics while on antibiotics, and at least for a week afterwards. Sometimes up to three weeks afterwards. And that's for just one week of antibiotics at a standard dose.

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Date Joined Mar 2005
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   Posted 5/19/2008 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, there is very clear evidence that post-infectious IBS exists and can be debilitating. You may have cleared your C. diff infection but continue to have problems. My advice would be to talk to your GI about starting a regimen of probiotics, especially Bifidobacteria infantis, which has shown promising results for people with PI-IBS.
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Please always remember to consult your medical professional regarding your medical questions; this forum is intended to provide patient-to-patient support. Although some of us have healthcare backgrounds, we cannot diagnose or treat patients on the board.

New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/21/2008 6:02 AM (GMT -7)   
My 16-year-old son developed c. difficile when he was 10-years-old due to a severely adverse reaction to antibiotics.  It also took several months not only to diagnose him, but to treat him and control the c. diff levels.  He was left with Post-Infectious IBS; and yes, there is such a thing.  Google it.  There is a lot of info on it now.
He continues to struggle with his IBS -- the abdominal pain being the most predominant of his symptoms.  We have changed his diet, tried a multitude of medications traditional and homeopathic and have not come up with a real answer to quell or even control his symptoms.  He tends to have a tougher time during certain times of the year, seasonal if you will.  Simple things like a cold may or may not wreak havoc with his condition.  De-stressing is the most effective in helping him face a flare-up.  In other words, removing as much external stress from his life as possible, so he can focus on making it through his flare-up quickly.
Two things that have aided in his ability to work with his condition are Culturelle and Fiber therapy.  Culturelle is a probiotic.  I am convinced that it has helped to reduce the number of colds he gets.  He used to get 2-3 colds/year and since being on Culturelle, he sometimes does not even get a single cold in a year.  FiberCon and Miralax help to create gentler BM and are therefore less irritating to the lining of his large intestine and colon. 
As to differences between IBS and Post-Infectious IBS, from our experience and research, it seems to be the severity of the flare-ups (they are greater) and the rectal bleeding that can sometimes occur.  That is what took so long to get a diagnosis.  Bleeding is not a symptom of IBS, but is for Crohn's and UC.  However, bleeding with Post-Infectious IBS has been observed. 
Good luck.  Truly the best medicine to alleviate some of the hardship of this condition is diet, exercise, stress-relieving activities (yoga, meditation), and a great support system.  We just keep reminding ourselves that it is not life-threatening, working on a healthier life-style, and knowing the symptoms will pass.
Do you have any allergies, even mild ones?  We were fortunate that during one scope my son was having a mild seasonal allergy bout.  They were able to diagnose him with focal allergic colitis.  Have your doctor take note of any bumpy areas during your scope that appear "manufactured," in other words not naturally occurring.  Even mild bumps can be a sign of allergies.  These bumps become incredibly sensitive when bile/stool passes them.  Think sand paper on soft tissue.  This can be a cause for some of the bleeding.

Post Edited (chessie1097) : 5/21/2008 7:11:27 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/21/2008 2:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm on crack. *I've* talked about post-infectious stuff before. No idea where my brain was that day.

Anyways, it is still a good idea to make sure that you DON'T still have the actual infection because they are very hard to get rid of, as I mentioned. And a good, long dose of probiotics is always good to help stave off antibiotic-associated colitis.

Did you know that some people are now studying to see if there's not a connection between food posioning and long-term bowel (and even other systems) problems?

Chessie, has your son been investigaged for food allergies?

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 5/21/2008 3:04 PM (GMT -7)   
What is post infectious IBS? and can you take antibiotics for IBS?

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 354
   Posted 5/21/2008 4:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Mathgeek - are you still bleeding.
Jessica 26/F On Entorcout again...
dicyclomine 10Mg before bed
Citalopram 20 MG
Colazal 3X3/day
Culturelle once daily
omeprazole(for acid reflex)
Tried (Entorcort EC 9ml/day and Prednisone, Asacol)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/22/2008 7:29 AM (GMT -7)   
No, Jrlm, you can't take antibiotics for IBS. If you have an infection or bad bacteria, then you have something other than IBS anyways, if that makes any sense. IBS is that which CAN'T be identified.

Post-infectious IBS--including post-food poisioning IBS--is when your bowels don't go back to normal after having an infection or being posioned. No one knows why they don't go back to normal, but a bacterial imbalance can sometimes be the cause. Thus why I am really on about a long dose of probiotics after being sick AND after have antibiotics (in the OP's case, she got hit with both).

It could be that long-term infections/poisioning damage the bowels in some way.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 117
   Posted 5/22/2008 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been dx with post-infectious ibs x 4 1/2 yrs now. I had a terrible illness - ? viral possibly meningitis, but a spinal wasn't done at the time, so never know for sure. Anyway, I never got completely better. I still have a lot of pain as well as bowel problems. I also had c-diff and was treated twice for it. My doctor did lots of tests, one of which shows that my nerve endings are extremely sensitive: making the pain much worse. Good luck, I hope you get better; mine has been so debilitating that I am no longer able to work and miss lots of important events because of the pain and such.

Have a wonderful pain free day, Anne.

IBS, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, PTSD, GERD, migraines, past endometriosis, ovarian cysts, polyps in uterus = hysterectomy, gallbladder removal.

cymbalta, amitza, vivelle patch, fentanyl patch, oxycodone, levisyn, restoril, xanax, phenergan, mobic 

New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/25/2008 10:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Keriamon -- Yes, my son has been check for many types of allergies over the years. He has a dairy intolerance. He is checked periodically for allergies and is scheduled to be checked again this summer. His last allergy testing was about 2.5 years ago before we moved (across many states). We feel it's time to check again since his very mild seasonal allergies (which were/are managed by over the counter meds) have changed. The symptoms have progressed slightly and we suspect the new climate/environment has contributed this.
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