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Q&A about IBS: Post your questions to panel of experts - ANSWERS BACK

(59 Posts)
HeatherMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 14-Oct-13 10:23:51

We're delighted to team up with Buscopan IBS Relief and a team of experts to offer practical tips and advice to help you take back control of your IBS.

The panel includes: Gastroenterologist Dr Anton Emmanuel, Dietician Helen Bond an IBS sufferer Nicola Gill, who's had the condition for 10 years and has learnt to control her symptoms most of the time!

Submit your questions before Sunday 21 October. We will send over a selection questions to the experts who will provide answers to try and help you better understand, control and cope with your IBS. The answers will be uploaded to this thread on 11 November.

This Q&A is sponsored by Buscopan

RedlipsAndSlippers Sat 19-Oct-13 11:13:57

I'd had IBS-D for about two years before I got pregnant, the whole time I've been carrying DS I've had no symptoms at all! Is it definite that the IBS will come back once I've had him?

babyjane67 Sat 19-Oct-13 11:40:54

I didnt even know there is an ibsc or d!
I was told my symptoms were ibs by gp but only ever had an abdominal ultrasound scan which was normal.no other tests
Have had it for about10yrs now
Have been given fibrogel,movicol&spasminol tabs which worked for a while then stopped working!
So dont use them amymore but am now on omeprazole tabs for gerd
Have laid off 'dark'drinks eg red wine coke etc as these seemed to make it alot worse but other than that havent changed diet etc

KateBeckett Sat 19-Oct-13 11:41:13

Whenever I go to the doctors about my IBS type symptoms I feel like I get fobbed off - told to look at the Internet, try avoiding dairy etc.

How do I get some proper advice on controlling my IBS and finding out what my triggers actually are? (Like others up thread I have had success on a gluten free diet, but tested negative for coeliac after 3 months of eating a gluten heavy diet)

My main sympom is really bad colic type pains which leave me in agony and occasionally vomiting from the pain. If I catch it early enough, tonic water and mints help, but not always. Any other ideas how I can deal with this crippling pain?!

whatswronddownthere Sat 19-Oct-13 14:06:13

i have suffered from what the gp said was IBS for years, although i have had no investigation. I have had private testing for intolerances etc but nothing has come up. If I eat a large meal, i instantly have an urgency to get to the toilet within about 20 minutes. i am in agony with cramping pains and unfortunately it has really affected my social life. I have stopped going for meals out with friends, if my husband and i go for a drive, i can't stop and have a nice lunch or dinner or eg fish and chips at the seaside, as i know i won't be able to go to the toilet for 20 minutes. i have had 2 accidents where i haven't made it to the loo on time and the idea of being caught short is just awful.

the gp prescribed me with mebeverine to take before eating but to ne honest they didn't help.

any advice would be gratefully received.

BIWI Sat 19-Oct-13 14:42:30

I would seriously, seriously, seriously recommend that you see what effect it has if you low carb. So cut out all bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and sugar (including fruit) for a couple of weeks and see what happens.

I was diagnosed with IBS -d about 5 years ago after many years of symptoms.

Then 3 years ago I was rushed into hospital after a routine appointment with my GP. This was due to very high ( 200/125) blood pressure. It was also found I had hypercholesterolaemia ( can't remember how high but doc said was one of the highest he had seen) - now this is nothing to do with lifestyle or diet- I am not overweight and my diet is good, these are hereditary.

Since I started the tablets for the bp, cholesterol and recently for hypothyroidism, my IBS has almost disappeared! It was so bad I was house bound... I was incontinent a lot. But I am now able to live normally again.

I wondered if the bp, or the meds I am on now are the reason for all this?

TheBreastmilksOnMe Sat 19-Oct-13 20:47:56

How often is coeliac disease misdiagnosed as IBS and what is being done about it? It's very damaging being incorrectly diagnosed as having IBS when it isn't.

Meglet Sat 19-Oct-13 21:30:58

toffi after all my investigations coming up clear my (lovely and non woo) consultant said my IBS was almost certainly caused by stress. Apparently my brain / bowel messages are shot to pieces. You'd never have guessed with me being a working single parent sad.

I think my c-sections and hysterectomy didn't help either. I often wonder if there are some adhesions sticking part of my bowel to some other internal organ hmm. My poor bowels are probably fed up with being shifted around.

MissSmiley Sat 19-Oct-13 23:25:21

I think maybe the pregnancy hormone relaxin helps with IBS symptoms while preg and breastfeeding. Buscopan also relaxes the muscles I believe. Incidentally my undiagnosed ceoliac disease had me hospitalised with diarrhoea while pregnant.
I terms of coeliac disease being missed it is not widely known by GPs that antibody tests can be wrong but a stomach biopsy can be really helpful if it's still suspected. HLA markers for coeliac disease can be useful to rule it out. I think the presence of other auto immune diseases can make antibody tests unreliable (this is just a hunch no proof).
I'd suggest ask for more testing until you are sure. If you are coeliac and not suffering with ibs even the tiniest bit of gluten will make you ill so going light on carbs can help but won't intimately make you well. You don't have to have diarrhoea every day. I know several people who became ill in cycles. Also you maybe also have secondary lactose intolerance which is probably what is causing the cramping and urgency. A year after going gluten free I'm still off normal milk.
I hope this helps. It means a lot to me. It took me over 15 years to be diagnosed and caused my infertility.
I am happy and healthy now though but it's been a long road.
If just one of you with ibs realises it might be sero negative coeliac disease then I won't have rambled in vain.
X

MissSmiley Sat 19-Oct-13 23:34:26

I can really relate to the colic type pains. I had these for years before any tummy symptoms. But bizzarrely only about twice a year. Eventually it was after every meal. Someone would have to rub my back and eventually after hours it would subside.
Narrow tubes and indigestion are what we used to blame it on...
And I can't bring myself to talk about accidents even now. Way too embarrassing - just know you are not alone.

PenguinBear Sun 20-Oct-13 00:18:20

My question is: how quickly after eating something my body doesn't agree with can IBs symptoms appear?

If I eat a certain type of take away, within 20 minutes I am stuck in the bathroom with accompanying stomach cramps. Why do I get such a quick reaction when the food obviously hasn't reached my intestines? It has happened numerous times so definately isn't coincidence.

Also wondered why sometimes I feel incredibly nauseous and then about 5 minutes later the stomach cramps start?!

endeavoured Sun 20-Oct-13 02:34:25

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

isitme1 Sun 20-Oct-13 04:34:57

Hi,
My ds is 3 and currently undergoing tests.
Is ibd and ibs the same?
He suffers from blood in stool, mucus poo, aches and pains in arms and legs and cramps.
Thanks

blue2 Sun 20-Oct-13 07:50:56

I've had massive problems with IBS for over 20 years. Tried everything. Had investigative surgery, the lot. Cut out wheat. It helped a bit. Cut out dairy - also helped a bit. Went on a low GL course for about a year under a nutritionalist . Felt better, but still not great. Tested twice for coeliac disease, twice negative.

Eventually - after massive row with my GP who said I was wasting money on charlatans, and I asked her quite what else I could do as her stupid suggestion of living off Immoduim and Senokot for the rest of my life wasn't an option - she referred me to a dietitian at the local hospital.

I was put on a FODMAP diet for 8 weeks and then went back to see the dietitian. Its an elimination diet that takes out a range of foods that aggravate the digestive system. It was discovered in Monash University in Melbourne Australia and Kings College in London are the UK branch of this eating plan.

I felt as though my insides had healed a lot in those weeks. I've reintroduced the foods slowly that I was off for 8 weeks, and now I know what sets it off.

I'm now lactose free, wheat free and egg free. Mushrooms are a no-no too! (My insides turn into non stick for 48 hours afterwards!). I also go easy on pulses, brassicas and loads of veg. Most raw veg I cannot eat either.

IBS occurs for so many reasons, but if you suspect its food related, then asking to be referred to a dietitian via your GP might be a good idea. FODMAP info online seems a bit scarce, probably because you should do the diet supervised.

QueFonda Sun 20-Oct-13 08:01:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sparkle9 Sun 20-Oct-13 08:56:24

I've felt fairly certain that I have IBS due to an urgency to go to the toilet, terrible stomach cramps, awful flatulence etc. I seem to be badly affected when I eat too much dairy - especially ice-cream or creamy pasta dishes and when I drink alcohol. Are these common triggers?

Is there any point in seeing my GP? Other posters seem to suggest this is a pointless exercise. Can IBS worsen over time? Does IBS after TTC/conception or pregnancy? Could IBS be a symptom of another problem? I ask as someone who is now being referred to an infertility clinic due to a short luteal phase and I'm just curious.

Lots of questions - sorry!

Meglet Sun 20-Oct-13 09:06:54

sparkle go and see your GP. Mine did take a few visits to get their arse into gear but I've since had a colonoscopy, endoscopy, abdominal scan and blood tests. All clear so at least I know my insides should work properly. Now I just see a dietician every few months now while we try and tweak my diet.

Sparkle9 Sun 20-Oct-13 09:15:27

I've been at the GP more this year than ever before in my life so I might leave it a bit! I moved house and then started TTC (and had a short illness) so my new GP surgery has seen me more times than my old one did in 8 years. I don't want them to think me a PITA and if doesn't look like they could actually DO anything to cure IBS.

mousmous Sun 20-Oct-13 10:53:12

why are gp's so keen to diagnose ibs without prior investigation.
a family member went with annoying and worrying symptoms i.e bloody, slimy stools, cramps, diarrhoea.
instead of investigating they were told it's ibs and to learn to live with it...
private and expensive investigation then showed something was amiss but therapy is working.

NorbertDentressangle Sun 20-Oct-13 13:23:45

I regularly get symptoms that match those of gallstones/gall bladder problems (pain up under my ribs, particularly on the right, and pain round to my back. Only eased by hot water bottle). This can happen every 4-8 weeks, lasts a day or two (not solidly) and then leaves me feeling almost bruised for a day or two.

A scan showed no problems with the gall bladder and the doctor suggested it is a type of IBS (part of the gut going into spasm). They gave me meds (I've tried Buscopan and Mebeverine) but TBH they don't seem to make a difference but I wondered if thats because I only take them when I've got an episode rather than all the time? Do they have a cumulative effect?

I don't really get any of the bowel/poo related IBS symptoms, I can't pin it down to certain foods and to me it doesn't seem like any type of IBS that I've heard of.

Does it sound like IBS to you? If so what can I try to stop this pain recurring?

KateBeckett Sun 20-Oct-13 18:10:14

Norbet - that is the pain I get which I described as 'colic-type' pain. Hotwater bottles and warm baths a go-go here when it starts!

When I get a particularly severe bout of IBS, this is what happens:
- Sharp acid-type pain in my stomach (left hand side, up near my ribs)
- I go completely pale, pure white
- Profuse sweating
- My arms and legs go freezing cold and tingly, like pins & needles
Then the pain intensifies and gets stronger and stronger until I hyperventilate and/or faint.
This usually happens if I haven't eaten for a while and then grab a quick snack, especially something sugary. I get it maybe 4 or 5 times a year.
On a day to day basis, I get sharp stomach pains, gas and diarrhoea.

The only thing that really helps is lying completely flat on my back, getting under a v warm blanket, having a hot water bottle and a cup of peppermint tea.

CaptainRex Sun 20-Oct-13 19:57:48

I get stress related IBS and have done for about 15 years, tried various medication and nothing seems to make much difference.

However my question / problem is that around the time I ovulate but not every month, I am kept awake most of the night with an agonising pain around my diaphram area from my intestines. I've been presceribed mebverine which doesnt seem to help as they think its colic related to my ibs but dont seem very interested to causes or what I can do to not get this awful pain.

girliefriend Sun 20-Oct-13 20:26:10

BIWI what do you eat?!

I seriously think I would starve if I cut all of that out of my diet! grin

girliefriend Sun 20-Oct-13 20:37:05

I had terrible IBS when I was 18 and it had a huge detrimental affect on my mental health to the point that I became very anxious all the time and more or less agrophobic. It was an awful time but somehow I managed to get myself better, was fine for about ten years and then it started again!!

Why??!

I keep off milk as that does not help but would struggle to find enough to eat if I cut out wheat, I find too much fruit or veg sets me off as well. Also even small amounts of stress are not good, have to reign in obsessive thoughts about 'will there be toilets...' as don't want this to take over my life. Have lost track of how many times I have had to grab my dds hand and shouted 'run' as we pegged it to the nearest loo grin poor kid!!

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