Is this really IBS?

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hi All

I Have been diagnosed with IBS, which has generally alternated from constipation to diarrhoea, however in recent weeks this has changed to sort of merge in to the two. Let me explain.

I am quite regular when I pass stools, however I only ever go every 2 to 3 days on average. However when I do go there is always a sense of urgency and I do get lower abdominal pains. Stools themselves are very watery to begin with, almost like the end of Picolax bowel prep when having a colonoscopy, which is then followed by loose stools, following this I've sometimes had bright red blood. These bouts leave me feeling generally very ill and terrible for about a day, and then it seems to ease, until I need to go again. I would like to add that when I do have one of these bouts, I only ever pass stools once, not many times as most IBS-D sufferers have to endure.

I had a colonoscopy a few months ago with biopsies taken, and apparently my colon, rectum and terminal ileum looked very healthy, no visible problems, and the biopsies came back clear, the only thing found was haemorrhoids, and from what I saw quite prominent ones as well, so the bleeding is pretty much guaranteed to be that. What I'm querying is the not going for a few days, then when I do pass stools its watery diarrhoea, and I only have to go once that is making me question my diagnosis of IBS.

Does anyone else go through these sorts of episodes? I would be interested to know other peoples experiences, especially if they are similar to mine.

Any thoughts, views and comments would be greatly appreciated.

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Paul I also have IBS but I do have ulcerative colitis the two are totally different, yes you can have loose stools but still be constipated, sounds nuts i know but if your really impacted then the stools coming up behind will sometimes be watery and deep past, how's your diet, are you getting enough fibre and fluids, if you have bad hemorhoids then that can cause a blockage in the rectum making it difficult to go loo and making the piles worse, what are you using

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  • Posted

    Paul

    I understand some people can go several times in one day, although regular stools over two days may be normal for you.

    If you suffer pyles you will pass small specks of light coloured blood, although I was told when having an examination these can be cleared when you have an inspection done.

    Last time for me I suffered a fissure and they did something to sort it as they inspected for other things, I go through tests because of some medications I take, they can cause problems for me.

    If you are not sure what is going on talk to your GP, He may be able to put your mind to rest in Surgery if it is still something like Pyles, there are ointments that can be given

    Good Luck

    BOB

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  • Posted

    Thank you for your comments Alexandria and Bob, I appreciate them.

    i have heard of being constipated and still having loose stools, and that was almost how it felt. My diet is quite poor, not in the sense of ‘bad for you’ foods, but more to do with having loads of intolerances to numerous foods meaning my diet is quite restricted. I only drink water, and plenty of it, and 2 cups of decaf coffee a day.

    Apparantly, my GP and consultant don’t seem too bothered by the bleeding, it worries me when it starts dripping out of me, but all the blood tests I’ve had, and there have been loads, never show anything abnormal including anaemia. The bleeding only ever happens when I have the urgent, violent bowel movements, when I have a normal bowel movement I don’t bleed. I have wondered if I have a recurring fissure?

    My last colonoscopy has ruled out Ulcerative Colitis, and probably Crohns Disease, although my GP wants me to have a small bowel MRI scan just to be on the safe side. I also had an endoscopy about 2 years ago but that was fine as well. I have used Anusol suppositories before which seemed to clear up the bleeding for a while, but it has come back, although not every bowel movement as I said earlier.

    This last bout that happened yesterday, which prompted me to ask about it on here, and the generally ill feeling that accompanies it, seems to have cleared up now and I feel normal, or as normal as I can be with the health issues I have.

    I find it all quite weird really, and there’s not much point going back to my GP for the umpteenth time, as he will just say it’s haemorrhoids and IBS.

    Thank you again for your comments though, they are very informative and helpful.

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  • Posted

    The bowel habit changes you describe are very common with IBS.  It sounds like fecal impaction where you pass hard stools or nothing at all and then it turns to diarrhoea. Going once is nothing to worry about; most  often, I only go once and this is good for me.  Going more than once is unusual for me.

    Accept your disgnosis of IBS, because your colonoscopy was clear. Everyone experiences IBS differently and people don’t always fit neatly into IBS C, D, or A.  It sounds like you are experiencing IBS A since you are having periods of not going and periods of urgency.  Try lots of fruit or a short term laxative for constipation and Imodium for diarrhoea.  Try ointments and ice for your haemorrhoids.

     

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the comments Pippa, much appreciated.

      Im almost coming to terms and accepting my IBS diagnosis, I just never realised it could make someone so ill, after the last bout I was totally drained, felt very nauseous, had abdominal pains, my bowels wouldn’t stop churning and gurgling, and felt lightheaded and faint, almost like I was going to pass out, it made me feel really ill.

      Unfortunately I can’t eat fruit due to intolerances to the fruits I liked to eat before I got ill, and as for medications I don’t like taken them after a really bad Naproxen experience, I’ll only take meds if absolutely necessary.

      Thanks again for your help Pippa, you’ve been a great help.

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    • Posted

      Imodium is actually mild and will help your diarrhoea when it strikes  Just make sure you don’t take too much and constipate yourself. Don’t be frightened to try it because of one bad experience. Your bad experience was due to a very strong painkiller which can be harsh on the gut; Imodium is not the same.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for the advice Pippa.

      The only thing is that I don’t have numerous bowel movements, quite the opposite really. I only usually go every two to three days, and when I do I only pass stools once, I never have multiple trips to the toilet, so I doubt Imodium would be helpful, but thank you for the tip anyway, I do appreciate all comments.

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    • Posted

      Although Imodium may not be of use just now, it is always a good idea to consider it in case your IBS does chsnge and you start to get diarrhoea.   I have IBS C, but occasionally I have been caught out and my stools have changed to diarrhoea when I have been stressed.  Imodium has helped me in this situation.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the advice Pippa, I do appreciate it, and I will keep Imodium in mind for the future.

      You say you suffer with IBS C, could you possibly tell me how long you have to wait between one bowel movement and the next? I haven't had my IBS categorised but I'm more edging on the fact that I do have IBS C, rather than A or D. Although there are a couple of factors that I think influence my bowel movement frequency, the first being the fact that I take a regular dose of Mebeverine, which slows the digestion process down, and secondly that I can only tolerate a low residue diet, meaning I probably don't produce much waste anyway. I'd be interested in knowing how long you have to waiting before you eventually go, and also what is the longest you have had to wait.

      I'd be grateful for your comments on this, thank you.

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    • Posted

      Sometimes it has been days and at worst two weeks.  I often find the constipation is at the worst end of the scale when I go on holiday, eat differently and the water is different.  So I have to top up on lots of fruit to compensate.

      I was wrongly prescribed Mebeverine by one of my doctors.  If you are constipated, this medication is the last thing you should take.  She knew I was constipated because I told her that I would have diificulty producing a stool sample.  The tablets gave me terrible indigestion and really backed up my stools.  I switched to Buscopan instead which is far better and gentler on my stonach. 

      My IBS wasn’t categorised either.  However, you can tell yourself what type you have. If you are mainly constipated, this will tell you that you have IBS C.  If you have diarrhoea in the main, this would be IBS D.  If you have a mixture of both, this would be IBS A.  A lot of people tend to have alternating bowel habits with IBS.  I have had IBS C mainly but also have had IBS A.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for all the info Pippa, it's been very helpful.

      Personally, I sound much like you, the constipation seems more prominent and frequent than diarrhoea. I've actually had the longest spell of not having a bowel movement, which had been 4 days up until this morning. And this bowel movement was totally different to my last, it was what I would say was a normal stool, whereas the movement prior to this one was watery diarrhoea. So strange it goes from one extreme to the other.

      I'm starting to wonder if Mebeverine might be making symptoms worse than actually helping, and have heard it should be avoided if you experience constipation. I get the what I think are typical indigestion symptoms, bloating, burping, stomach ache, nausea and random sharp chest pains. I think it could be time to review my medication with my doctor, don't you think?

      Just one other thing Pippa, do you ever get hot, flushed feeling in your face with your IBS? My bowels are churning like mad today, which is actually quite normal, but every now and again my face feels like it's really hot, no other part of me, just my face. Body temperature is fine though.

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    • Posted

      I don’t get hot flushes with IBS but everyone is different.  Mebeverine is known to cause terrible indigestion and for me that turbo charged my GERD.  I didn’t even finish rhe first slide of tablets.  I gave them up once and my symptoms got so much better so I tried them again to see what would happen and the side effects came back.  I threw them out and quite honestly, the bin was the best place for them! A lot of people cannot tolerate Mebeverine.  

      The patient leaflet was useless with telling you about the side effects so I immediately thought that the reason I was getting worse was because I had serious condition that had been miseed! When I googled the side effects in desperation, all my symptoms came up one by one and the relief was immediate.  My chemist told me how good these tablets were when I picked them up!  Msybe they are fine for a small number of people, but not for me!  I would ask your doctor to change your medication, My doctor immediately recognised my side effects.

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