IBS symptoms have suddenly changed and I'm worried there's something seriously wrong with me...

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This is so embarassing but I'm starting to get really worried and I need to put my mind at ease. To start, I'm a 26 year old female and I've been having problems with my stomach that are concerning. My doctor said that I probably had IBS a few years back. I remember having symptoms since middle school and they were always the same. I'd get those painful cramps and have to go to the bathroom very shortly after eating one of my trigger foods. Although it was sometimes difficult, I managed to get it under control. On new years eave, I woke up at 4 in the morning and started puking violently (I didn't have alcohol despite the date). Puking then escalated to nearly passing out whenever I was in an upright position. I always managed to lie down just in time and never actually lost consciousness. I figured that this had something to do with my low blood pressure or postural hypotension that runs in both sides of my family. I ended up going to the ER for the first time in my life because I couldn't stop fainting and puking. In the ER, they did blood tests and monitored my vitals and, of course, nothing abnormal. They gave me some antibiotics as well as something called "a pink lady", told me it was probably acid reflux and sent me home after suggesting I buy some Gaviscon. I nearly passed out while paying for my items. For the next 5 days, I barely ate and just stayed on the couch. I haven't vomited or nearly passed out since. I do feel neaseus after eating a lot though. I made an appointment with my doctor to discuss my ER visit and told her I didn't think it was acid reflux. She sent me for an ultrasound because she expected it was a gallstone attack. That test also came up with nothing abnormal. But here's where it gets nasty. My IBS symptoms have totally changed since then. I am constipated for days and I only poop once a week. My stool is hard pellets and painful to pass and there has been blood on the toilet paper more than once. Once I pass that 'poo plug', I have stool that's a lot looser and shredded looking. It's maroon in color but I think that's because I've been using berry flavored metamucil to increase my fiber intake. My stomach pain has decreased a lot. The most pain I get is a burning feeling in my upper abdomen after I eat but it's barely worth mentioning other than the fact it happens every day. I've tried increasing fiber and water with no change. I've started taking probiotics, stopped eating dairy & bread, and I've even tried fasting; no improvement. I just want to know what it could be. It's nearly April and I'm so tired of worrying. I have another appointment next week and I think I'm going to ask for a colonoscopy as I'm worried I have some sort of structural issue in my intestines. Once I know what it is I can tweak my diet and make some lifestyle changes. I don't want any laxatives or pills if I can avoid it. So, what do you think it is if you were to guess. I've looked up so many articles that I'm now just thinking the worst. I'm worried tests will just turn up with nothing again. I know that tests are the only way I can know for sure but I'd be interested in any theories as to what it might be. Thank you! smile

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  • Posted

    You have made good changes with fiber, probiotics, etc. It is probably still IBS because IBS takes many forms that maybe alternate from Constipation to Diarrhea to mixed. 

    If you think that its IBD, then colonoscopy is the best way to find that, but it is less likely. 

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  • Posted

    Your symptoms sound like IBS.  Bowel habits can change frequently from constipation to loose. My IBS started with stomach pain and constipation but when my panic increased because no doctor could diagnose me, I started getting loose stools.  My eventual diagnosis cured my panic and my symptoms improved.   I have had hard pellet like stools too. IBS is very unpredictable and symptoms can change over time.  Have you had any recent stress?  Stress. Is my trigger but food poses no problems.

     If your stools are hard peliets, they could have caused a haemorrhoid or fissure which may explain the bleeding.  You could have a fecal calprotectin test to see if you have any inflammation that could indicate IBD.  If you are worrying, this will make your symptoms much worse.  Don't google anything about your symptoms because it will increase your anxiety.  The fact that your stomach pain has got better is reassuring.

    You could try the Fodmap diet with the help of a dietician to see if this unearths any other food triggers that you are unaware of.  Many IBS patients are helped with this diet.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I have IBD it's proctitis and is a form of ulcerative colitis it affects the first 20cm of the bowel i do get bleeding and constipation which is most likely with proctitis. I had to get a colonoscopy to be diagnosed which was a very speedy process after i had blood in my stools. Hope you feel better soon,

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