Hi Freya...welcome to the forum!
Curious..were you diagnosed with interstitial cystitis?
You do indeed need to see a gastroenterolotist and get checked out properly with a scope to see what's actually going on in there. The doc will (should) also have you do stool samples to make sure you don't have some infection/bug that's taken over and to check for occult blood if none is obvious during bms.
You'll also get blood tests to see if there are any increases that warrant further testing or to help lead to a diagnosis.
It's possible you do have only IBS...there are many who suffer terribly. There are some meds or food changes that can help lessen some symptoms.
Hormonal changes can affect the colon....are your periods up and down? Are you on the pill?
I wouldn't settle on just the diagnosis of IBS....although most of us have it as well as UC...UC in its early stages can act exactly like it. We don't usually seek doctor care until we experience more obvious symptoms.
How many times a day do you have bms? has that increased as well?
Dark stools can mean a few things...some not related to the colon at all, but definitely in the digestive system. The doc might request an upper gastro series to rule out anything wonky in the stomach or small intestines.
Do make an appointment with your doctor and request to be sent to a gastroenterologist at least to start.
The whole process sucks....and I can relate bigtime.
Hang tough...definitely keep us updated.
*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... tapered to every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....zymactive 3 - 5x daily
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg; Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS" worth it !!!