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Worried about ibs symptoms and how to get private referral(8 Posts)
I've been suffering for the last few months from symptoms that might or might not be linked to a diagnosis of IBS that I had about 10 years ago following an lengthy episode of several months of symptoms, and a clear sigmoidoscopy. Since then I'd been more or less ok, though digestion is always a weak spot for me. However, I'm really concerned about the symptoms I'm having now as they don't seem to be responding to probiotics or changes in diet (have cut out wheat and dairy for the last month but haven't noticed any improvement), and they differ from my 'traditional' symptoms. It doesn't help that I suffer from health anxiety
I've been to my GP a few times over the last year or so (these symptoms have been an issue to some degree since I had a 24 hour gastro bug last summer), and have had blood tests - full blood count (once last Nov and again the other week); liver function; blood test for inflammation; test for coeliac disease. All these came back normal. My vitamin B12 tests also came back normal, but on the low side of normal
I haven't had any of the 'red flag' symptoms apart from the change in bowel habit - have to rush to the toilet once I've woken up in the morning, and I have a lot of excess wind and pain from trapped wind. I can also hear and feel the digestive process and it's really obvious. I'm really concerned about colon cancer but also what it could be if not that. It can't just be ibs - feels much more of an issue than it did when
I was referred to the gastroenterology clinic at the hospital in March, but at the time these symptoms weren't really an issue and I was suffering more from feelings of constipation and feeling full but not being able to go. I had a rectal exam and that was ok. They didn't think my symptoms then warranted a sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy. Weirdly, I don't have these kind of symptoms really now, apart from the excess wind/gas
I've got an appointment with my GP next week and want to ask for another referral, but I can't face another wait for an appointment. The consultant I saw 10 years ago still works at the local hospital but also has a private clinic and I was wondering whether I can ask to be referred to him and pay for the consultation myself. I do have private medical insurance but IBS is a pre existing condition so I wouldn't be able to use cover. I don't know what I need to ask my GP for, and how to then contact the consultant via his private clinic. I'm not sure what order you have to do things in. Any advice would be really appreciated. Sorry for this long and rambling question with probably far too much information. I'm just in a bit of a state about this
Speak to your doctor and ask for a referral to the consultant and for him to state that you will be self funding.
Did you just have the blood test for coeliac disease?
Thank you. So would I then get in touch with the hospital where the consultant has his private clinic?
Yes, had blood test for coeliac last November. I have tried eating wheat and gluten again since excluding them for a month recently and didn't notice any difference, and my symptoms didn't noticeably improve when I was excluding even after 2-3 weeks
You could just ring the private clinic and explain that you want a private referral from your GP. They will then explain the system to you e.g. GP needs to write or fax referral or whatever. If you do that first, then you can just take the consultant details to your GP appointment.
Have you had any help for the health anxiety?
If it was Coeliac disease it can take up to six months on a GF diet to notice an improvement, so I wouldn't rule it out. Also have you been tested for Lactose intolerance? a stomach bug can trigger that off.
I have gone direct to a consultant before, cardiology appointment for my son, but I think the normal route is to see GP who can then forward your medical history. Perhaps ring private hospital and ask whilst you wait for your GP appointment.
Sorry, my question might have sounded a bit abrupt. It's just that you mentioned having health anxiety and I wondered if you had tried getting any support. I found CBT very helpful which I did through an NHS well-being programme that one can self refer to in my area.
No, not abrupt WrongTrouser, don't worry - I have had two lots of therapy for the health anxiety though not cbt. That's what I wanted when I saw the last therapist but she said my health anxiety was too deep rooted for cbt. I was a bit annoyed about it.
Thanks for the additional detail re coeliac and lactose intolerance. I didn't realise it could take longer than a few weeks to notice a difference.
I think I might get in touch with the hospital tomorrow to see what they need and then I will hopefully be able to get the referral from my GP next week
I have a son who has Coeliac disease and another one who is lactose intolerant, although he is in the process of being tested for Coeliac disease too!
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