Posted 11/13/2011 3:35 PM (GMT -6)
I need to say this up front, I am not a doctor, and I can't make diagnosis over the internet. I hope your mother is seeing a Gastroenterologist, although a Primary Care Doctor is a good starting point, they tend not to have a lot of expertise with extensive digestive disorders and that is why I would recommend a good Gastroenterologist or Colon/Rectal Specialist to rule out serious issues.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a difficult diagnosis for any doctor to make, as I understand it, as it is a process of elimination. What kinds of tests has your mother had? What is her diet like? Is there a relationship between the bloating and the timing of her meals? One thing I would advice is under any circumstances, don't strain on the toilet!!! This can cause hemmorhoids, anal fissure, hernia or even an Internal Rectal Prolapse!!
A Colonoscopy and most likely a digital rectal exam is usually a good starting point to rule out serious problems with the colon. This could be something simple like constipation, or an unbalanced diet. It is important to eat enough fiber(both insoluable and soluable) fiber 25-35 grams of fiber along with enough water, 64 ounces daily, otherwise fiber can cause constipation! There is also a possibility of food intolerance, a food diary is often a good starting point. Probiotics might be helpful, the multivitamin that I take and also the yogurt(Stonyfield) that I eat includes probiotics. The digestive system is extremely complex, I hope your mother will see a specialist, wish your mother good health and keep us posted. Ruth