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Getting Diagnosed

Hi there, I have been suffering with what I believe to be IBS symptoms for the past 18 months now and I’m struggling to get anywhere with my Doctor. Every time I have seen my Doctor or spoken to them they have always said the same thing, it could have been gastroenteritis. Sometimes it goes on for weeks others it`s just the odd day here and there.

For the last six months the symptoms have worsened and on a monthly basis I have been experiencing dizziness, nausea, excessive thirst, bloating, loose stools, stomach cramping and headaches. It’s effected me to the point that when I get these symptoms I just want to stay in bed.

I’m awaiting results of an intolerance/allergy test to rule anything out but the more I read about IBS the more I can relate to the symptoms.

I’ve been keeping a record of when I have the symptoms and also a food diary. The doctor has sent me for general blood tests and these haven’t shown anything abnormal. Has anyone any advice on how I should approach my Doctor? Or things that I can do myself to come closer to finding an answer.

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  • jaeger91
    1 year ago

    I’m sorry to hear you are suffering without answers. That gets really frustrating. Unfortunately the IBS diagnosis takes a while because there are no tests that indicate the syndrome. It’s a lengthy, and often expensive, process of ruling out other conditions that can be tested for. Once those tests come back negative, the diagnosis of IBS will probably be given. Even then, though, doctors’ opinions may vary. I had an internal medicine MD tell me I have IBS-D. Since then I have seen four different gastroenterologists. One told me it’s actually chronic constipation with overflow diarrhea and visceral hypersensitivity. Then I went through a week of testing at Mayo Clinic in Rochester which resulted in a diagnosis of IBS-M. No matter the diagnosis, the only treatment options are to try to manage the symptoms, and I find that disappointing and difficult.

    What I have learned from my experiences is that we have to advocate for ourselves. You’re taking the necessary steps by researching your symptoms and asking others about their situations. You are keeping a food diary and symptom diary, which is helpful. I do that, too. I try to see if certain foods result in symptoms or if there’s another pattern to the symptoms, so I can maybe identify what triggers them. It’s not easy, though, because a food might seem problematic one week but not another week.

    I recommend that you consult with a gastroenterologist (if you haven’t yet) about your symptoms. Don’t hesitate to seek a second or third opinion if you need it. Most of all, keep reading and hopefully you will find the right information to help with your specific symptoms. Good luck!

  • Chris Hall moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi, @jopea – Thanks so much for sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with getting answers from your doctor! Many folks in this community have had similar issues with their doctors regarding a lack of knowledge about IBS. That’s great that you’re keeping a food diary. This would definitely be good to discuss with your doctor. I wanted to share an article with you about some tips for speaking to your doctor about your IBS:

    Additionally, some folks have found it beneficial to consult a gastroenterologist and/or a dietician to help come up with strategies for symptom management. If you haven’t already, you could ask your primary care doctor for referrals! Please keep us updated with your intolerance/allergy tests! Thanks again for sharing with us. – Chris, Team Member

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