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01-05-2015, 12:52 PM   #1
Tm370
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kent, United Kingdom
I'm wondering..

Hello all,

My name is Tim. I was diagnosed with post infectious IBS three and a half years ago, after suffering from a bout of gastroenteritis. I have severe problems with my diet. I cannot tolerate dairy, soya, herbs, spices, fried food, juices, fizzy drinks, alcohol, wheat, any cakes or biscuits (Even if they are lactofree/wheat free), crisps and some other things. Basically, I ate only skinless potatoes with some veg and salad, meat, and some lacto-free products. I also have porridge with maple syrup, and I eat some dark chocolate on occasions. I control my symptoms if I 1) stick to my diet 2) do not talk whilst eating - talking always leads to diarrhea 3) sit for extended periods after eating, from 30mins to over an hour depending on the size of my meal.

I have spent the last few years working out what I can eat. The frequency of my attacks have certainly decreased, but I feel that my food sensitivity has increased.

I do not fell tired with my illness unless I have diarrhea, which usually only happens in the mornings occasionally if I keep to my diet (if I ate freely I would have diarrhea multiple times a day). I do not suffer from fevers, I only have pain when I'm going to be ill, and my weight is under control (I'm 5 10 and around the 10 stone mark, which has been consistent for 12 months or so).

However, I have other symptoms which are consistent with IBD conditions. I have had blood in my stools with more frequency over the last six months, which also appears on the tissue paper after wiping. This does not happen always, and sometimes not for weeks at a time, but it does happen. I also have some arthritis in my back, and I occasionally get eczema.

My father suffers from IBS-D, my mother has bad arthritis, and I also have a cousin with IBS. 2 more distant family members on my mother's side have died from bowel cancer. I had a blood test sometime ago which did not show any unusual inflammation.

I would really like to know the opinions of some on here, and whether they thought I likely had an IBD condition. I plan to get tests when I can get them, although I dread the inevitable colonoscopy.
01-05-2015, 01:38 PM   #2
UnXmas
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A colonoscopy isn't inevitable if they can find the source of bleeding without one. I would think the bleeding would be the symptom of most concern to doctors. If a rectal examination reveals, e.g. haemorrhoids that explain it they may not feel a colonoscopy necessary, and it may be up to you if you want to push for more tests to try to identify the cause of your other symptoms. If the blood is bright red it could be something fairly straightforward like that. Dark coloured blood and/or large amounts of blood will warrant further examination. A colonoscopy will also be needed to rule out bowel cancer, which with some family history it may be a good idea to check for just in case, though the risk depends a lot on your age as well, and IBD (in the colon at least) could be ruled out or confirmed at the same time.

IBD could explain your symptoms, but so can many other things, and you'll only know by having tests. This would not necessarily start with invasive tests, but blood and stool tests and a rectal exam or sigmoidoscopy may give your doctor enough information to decide whether more testing is necessary. If diet is playing a major role in your symptoms, it would be a good idea to be tested for lactose intolerance and coeliac disease.

Did your dad have extensive testing to reach the IBS diagnosis? I.e. scopes and/or barium studies or other imaging tests to rule out IBD and other conditions, or was the IBS diagnosis made just based on symptoms?
01-05-2015, 02:01 PM   #3
libbyhughes
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: norfolk, United Kingdom
A colonoscopy isn't actually that bad. I find an endoscopy MUCH worse. I have had 3 colonoscopy's - and 2 endoscopy's. Hope that helps x
01-05-2015, 03:38 PM   #4
UnXmas
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A colonoscopy isn't actually that bad. I find an endoscopy MUCH worse. I have had 3 colonoscopy's - and 2 endoscopy's. Hope that helps x
I hated the one colonoscopy I had but only because of the prep. Endoscopies, no prep so I don't mind them. In fact now I have an ileostomy, I never have to prep for anything.
01-07-2015, 06:26 AM   #5
Tm370
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kent, United Kingdom
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. I'm 27, and my father's diagnosis was only symptom based, but was never as severe as mine. I definitely suffer from lactose intolerance, so I avoid all lactose products. I will certainly look into further testing with my GP now.

Thank you for your help and advice.
01-07-2015, 08:19 AM   #6
scottsma
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Location: Tynemouth, United Kingdom

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Please go to your Doctor soon and get things moving.(no pun intended).All this is obviously worrying you,so the sooner you do something the better.
Things sometimes aren't half as bad in reality as they are in your head.
Get the tests (make a list for the first apt.,) get diagnosed and maybe things will be ok after all.Best wishes.
01-07-2015, 04:35 PM   #7
UnXmas
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Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. I'm 27, and my father's diagnosis was only symptom based, but was never as severe as mine. I definitely suffer from lactose intolerance, so I avoid all lactose products. I will certainly look into further testing with my GP now.

Thank you for your help and advice.
At 27, bowel cancer is highly unlikely, even with distant relatives who had it, so if that is one of your worries, it probably doesn't need to be.

Your father's condition may well not be related to your own, but it may be worth talking to him and seeing if he is concerned about his own diagnosis (some doctors jump a bit too quickly to an IBS diagnosis). A lot of people don't feel comfortable discussing illness, especially bowel symptoms, so only you can make a judgement as you know your father and your relationship with him. It may be you can lend each other a bit of support now you're going through something similar.

A lactose intolerance test may still be useful, as it provides official confirmation for your doctors to see, which may help them work out which symptoms it accounts for and which may still need diagnosing. (Because many people identify food reactions incorrectly, some doctors may not take your word for it, which doesn't mean the doctors are being unnecessarily distrustful, just practical: they need to be certain.)

The main test for coeliac, if I remember correctly, may give a false negative result if you have been avoiding gluten for a while before you take it. If you do need this test though, your doctors should explain that to you.

As I said before, I think the bleeding may be of most concern to your doctor. It would definitely be a good idea to ask his/her opinion about getting some tests done.

Don't worry too much about a colonoscopy. If investigations do get that far, it's an unpleasant couple of days: one day you take a laxative to clean out your bowel, the next they do the test, with some degree of sedation, doctors seem to vary a lot about how much sedation they like to give - I was knocked out completely for mine. You should get a chance to discuss any worries you have about it beforehand. You might not be able to speak with the doctor who will actually perform the test, but you can ring the department and someone there will answer your questions. Yes, it's miserable, but it's a couple of days and then it's done.

I hope you get some answers and relief very soon.
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