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Advice on a diagnosis


Looking for some advice if anyone is able to help. Bit of history which hopefully helps;

For years now I've suffered from what my family used to refer to as 'gut rot' where anywhere from 30-120 mins after a meal, my stomach churns, cramps and I have to go empty my bowels. Doing so may take a few tries but always clears up the pains near instantly. This can happen anywhere from 2x a week to being fine for 2 months.

Dec 21 I had an episode where my abdomen felt incredibly sore in various places, and enough to the stage where I didn't want to eat and took myself to emergency care over Xmas it was that bad. I went through the process of providing stool sample which flagged the IBD test, got referal to colorectal surgeon, had the colonoscopy (clear) and 2 mri scans (clear) and effectively abandoned. Chased them multiple times and got told to wait for a future appointment (last in person contact around April 22). Never recieved any kind of diagnosis other than effectively ruling out Crohns/UC.

Following that I've had minor irritations sporadically, which I've taken mebeverine for (prescribed by doctor at time above) and just tried to be wary of what I eat. Usually clears up within 12 hours.

However as of early this week it's started again. I don't nessecarily feel pain, but discomfort. It started on left side of abdomen and felt a bit like muscle spasms and now just feels like general aching over intestinal areas. Eating seem to aggravate it, but no other problems of note. Everything I read on healthcare sites suggests to wait 2 weeks or so if nothing else seems wrong so I've not contacted a doctor as of yet.

I've always been on the fence about whether this would be considered IBS or not and open to opinions (Accepting nothing is an official diagnosis unless I go to a doctor). I've tried food diaries to see if trigger foods, I've tried low fodmap diets etc. and it's just all very random.

Do the symptoms above feel like I'm in the ballpark for pushing my doctor for an IBS diagnosis and advice managing?

Thanks for any help in advance.

  1. Hi, sorry you're going through this, yes IBS has a mind of its own. It's random or consistent. It's painful or tolerable. It's 1 bowel movement or 10. It's certain foods, sometimes its not.

    The left side pain is classic for IBS sufferers. I get that too. I used to have gut issues every 9 months, then they got more frequent. Now its every 4-7 days.

    My GI doctor told me I get colon spasms and that is the pain and cramps I feel. But she basically kept saying it's IBS for past 5 yrs. She said nerves will do it too. Stress. She's been right, all tests, imaging and bloodwork come out normal. I got IBS-D.

    There's 1 more test to do for me, SILO test.

    Are you getting constipation or diarrhea or both?
    Have you tried Peppermint tea to soothe the stomach?
    Have you tried to eliminate possible trigger foods?
    Have you tried the low FODMAP diet?

    1. Are you getting constipation or diarrhea or both? - Diarrhea only. I keep my fiber levels relatively high to avoid constipation after having issues with hemmorhoids previously. (Nothing OTT though for Fiber).
      Have you tried Peppermint tea to soothe the stomach? - I've tried peppermint capsules to little effect. Not tried tea though.
      Have you tried to eliminate possible trigger foods? - Took food diaries for over a year trying to work out problem foods, look for consistencies and nothing.

      Have you tried the low FODMAP diet? - Tried converting to low fodmap for around 1 month and it made no noticable difference.

      I've got a suspicion that anxiety is the big trigger for me. I feel like when life is more stressful or I'm worrying about something it can be more common.

      Reassuring to hear that left side is a common symptom, and makes me more inclined to get proper diagnosis from doctor.

  2. Hi , I'm so sorry you're going through this. From what you've described, did I understand correctly that there was something found in your stool test that made your doctor test for Crohn's and UC? If yes, I'd push doctors to further investigate as with IBS, all tests usually come back clear. Have you been tested for Microscopic colitis, which is also a form of IBD?
    As for trigger foods, there are many people for whom the Low FODMAP diet might not work.
    We have these two articles that might be helpful: Reacting to everything you eat:, and what to do if the Low FODMAP diet doesn't help: Have you tried cutting out common triggers like gluten, dairy, coffee, greasy foods? I personally react to gluten and it took me ages to figure that out, since I was having gluten with almost every meal and my symptoms weren't always digestive.
    In your comment above, you mention that anxiety is a trigger for you, which is actually pretty common! It's my biggest trigger for sure. Have you tried techniques like hypnotherapy (, EFT tapping (, meditation etc.? That really helps me.
    I hope this helps. -Karina (team member)

    1. Did Emily ever follow up with that story? She mentioned she tested positive but Id like to know if the Xifaxan worked for her and an IBS update.

    2. Yes! I’m going to link her update after taking the antibiotics here: Have you received your test results yet or are you still waiting?
      Karina (team member)

  3. Ask your Dr. for Xifaxan. It's a 2 week regimine of pills that cures IBS in about half the sufferers. It must be taken for 2 weeks to be effective in IBS sufferers. If they only give you 3 days worth they're treating you for travelers diahhera. Hopefully you'll be cured!

    1. Thank you all for the replies, they've been of great help and comfort.

      Had my call with doctor yesterday who in general agrees everything looks towards IBS, but they need the gastro team to confirm they've done everything they can beforehand. So being referred back to them (Doctor unsure why they stopped seeing me in first place).

      I enquired about SIBO and that's something gastro team do so will have to raise it with them as well. In mean time getting bloods & faecal tests redone to check what they show up again.

      1. Sounds like she meant everyone to have better bowel health. I doubt its "everyone" but sounds like maybe the doctors prescribe it pretty easily. We'll have to find out about that, would be interesting and I always suspected our doctors in the U.S really don't want us healthy. How would they make $$ if everyone was healthy.

      2. That's possible. I have never seen a doctor in Italy, but I currently live in France and here doctors prescribe antibiotics, and even other strong medications like cortisone, very easily (even when they're clearly not necessary, so it's not a good thing...). But I've never been prescribed Xifaxan despite my IBS.
        I can relate to what you say about doctors not wanting us healthy. Although here it's more about not caring and listening to patients. It's so frustrating.
        Karina (team member)

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