Hope this finds you all doing well and good.
At the very onset of my "diagnosis" of IBS in 2001 I was ignorant as to the smptoms, etc and just took my doctor's word for it. The only two symptoms I had were some abdominal pain, more like bubbling and gurgling and what I thought were "ribbon shaped stools." I have since learned that you cannot be diagnosed based on two symptoms that in no way meet the Rome II criteria for IBS. I had NO bad abdominal pain, no change in bowel habits, no diarrhea, no constipation, etc. I did not know all this back then and had I known I would have saved myself a lot of time and effort of getting it under control.
I was sent for a colonoscopy in 1991and told that everything was fine and that the "ribbon-shaped" stools were probably caused by IBS. It wasn't until I went for my colonoscopy last week, performed by the most highly prestigious gastro in Utah that I learned the difference in "ribbon-shaped" stools and what I was passing. He gave me a clean bill of health, except for the diverticula which I already knew I had and told me to get in 20 grams of fiber a day, which I already knew and already put into practice.
When I asked about the "ribbon-shaped" stools he asked me to describe them. I told him that they were normal in size but sometimes two of the parallel sides were flattened out, making the stool not perfectly round. He explained the difference and told me that "ribbon-shaped" stools are pencil-thin stools. The shape of stool I was passing is commonly caused by the diverticula pockets.
I was relieved to learn that I do not have IBS as I am one who takes an illness or disease head-on and gain control over it instead of letting it take control over me. I did hours and hours of endless research, learning all about the different types of fiber, how and when to eat them, trigger foods; you name it-I learned it all and in all honesty spent over 100 hours on the computer and in re-learning how to cook and eat.
I guess my point is this. Make sure your diagnosis is correct. Don't just take someone's word for it. Don't diagnose yourself based on one or two symptoms.
And most of all, if you DO indeed suffer IBS learn all you can about it. Learn how to eat properly. Don't wait for symptoms to come up and then try to treat them with certain foods. For example, if you are constipated don't eat a high fiber green leafy vegetable, such as spinach, to get your bowels to move. Eat properly to begin with and avoid constipation completely.
Don't let your IBS control your life. It can be totally controlled if you learn to eat properly. If you are interested in any of the many research papers I have created and would like to learn more about controlling your IBS please feel free to email me and I will be happy to share with you what I have learned.
Hope this doesn't sound "preachy," just trying to share what I learned and hope that some of you can glean from it.
And one little p.s.--a vegetarian diet truly is the best, not only for IBS sufferers but most all Americans today. Just had to throw that in.
My best to you all,