I am new to this discussion board, but hope I can get some information and maybe advice. Amid a ton of stress in the past 6 months (my brother passed away of lung cancer and I quit smoking after 40 years (4 months ago) etc.) I find myself with some major intestinal problems. I have been to my doctor (for what it was worth) and she says I have IBS. I'm not sure I trust her, but Ok. I have a ton of gas problems, and I mean to the point of embarrassment, cramping, abdominal pain, major diaherra, some constipation, and a whole lot of noisy growling going on constantly. Does get a lot worse after eating. I haven't been given any meds or advice on what to eat and what to avoid, or anything that would seem to be of practial help. Any advice, comments, or information?
You've said that you've seen your doctor, but not that you've been through a ton of tests to figure out what's going on. If you haven't then the doctor shouldn't be saying IBS, as it's a diagnosis of exclusion - when they've run more tests on you than you ever imagined could exist and still nothing can be found, then you have IBS.
I suspect (and it sounds like you do too) that something else is going on. For starters you've been through "a ton of stress" and that's going to take it's toll on you. Quitting smoking during this is also going to mess with your body. I see a recipe for disaster.
First thing to do is try to limit what you're eating to simple, whole foods. Then start a food diary where you right down *everything* you consume (food, drink, gum, meds, vitamins, etc) and any symptoms you have during the day. Do this for a few weeks and then look back over it to see if you can spot any trigger foods. This is much easier to do when it's all in writing.
Btw when your digestive tract starts going haywire, one of the first things to go is the ability to break down lactose (milk sugar). It's probably worthwhile to give up obvious milk sources for awhile.
Gas tells me that your body isn't digesting food properly. Then you've got diarrhea with some constipation, which shows that your body is trying to regulate itself but keeps swinging too far away from 'normal'. Make sure you keep your fluid levels up as dehydration can be nasty.
Then comes stress reduction - yes I know, much easier said than done. The reality is that stress is going to make everything you're going through that much worse.
I highly recommend you to go to a different doctor. My current doctor (5th one) told me that most doctors find the 'subject' of 'diarrhea' as 'boring' and don't really want to spend much time with it--if you're lucky, they'll run blood/stool tests and if that comes out negative, they'll diagnose you with IBS and send you on your merry way.
"IBS" is the catch-all diagnosis for when tests for parasites/celiac/crohns/colitis/diverticulitis/etc come out negative.
You should be having these tests--colonoscopy, blood tests, stool tests, ultrasound (of abdomin area), pill-cam, among others to diagnose it properly.
Keep on searching! We're there with you in spirit!
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