Posted 17 November 2017 - 05:26 AM
I've had some trouble with my bowels over the last year, and I was curious to know if my symptoms suggest irritable bowel syndrome.
I'm 24 years old and suffer from anxiety. Up until last year, I was fairly unhealthy, carried extra weight around, and had an extremely poor diet (rarely ate veggies, mostly subsisted on meat, fruit, and other things). My father's death from throat cancer made me want to be healthier. I plunged headfirst into diet alteration, adding veggies, fruits, nuts, and lessening my intake of oil, carbs, and meat.
My new lifestyle worked extremely well--I lost about 14 pounds in 6 months. I was very proud of myself, but began noticing problems crop up.
In December of last year, I noticed my bowel movements became looser. I couldn't say it was truly diarrhea (it wasn't watery), but stool looked like a fine powder on the bottom of the bowel. Some days, I'd have normal movements, then at the end of the day, my stool became powdery. I noticed I tolerated carbs, protein, and generally "unhealthy" things just fine, but vegetables and fruits like carrots, lettuce, tomato, apples, and other things came out partially digested. I noticed after meals I suffered gas and experienced lower abdomen gas pain as well. I occasionally see mucus in my stool (always the color of the movement), but it's never a large amount
These symptoms stayed for about a week, but eventually faded away. I was still concerned and decided to ask about them during a lab follow up with my doctor. Perhaps one of my lab results would explain the symptoms.
During the appointment, I discovered all my lab numbers were good (no vitamin deficiency or anemia of any sort). I asked my doctor about the symptoms and she seemed generally unconcerned about them, attributing it to my new diet.
A majority of the time, I can eat normally and experience no symptoms. Sometimes, however, the loose stool, gas, and pain return, but inevitably taper off and disappear. This week, I suffered another "episode," which has yet to subside. I'm worried about my symptoms, but am trying to remain calm and rational. I started a food/stress diary to catalog my symptoms and see if I can identify triggers. The symptoms are still the same as usual--loose stool, bits of undigested veggies and fruit, a bit of mucus during movements, gas, and gas pain in lower abdomen. I have no family history of colon cancer, no blood during bowel movements, no nausea, no loss of appetite, and no fatigue.
I plan to bring up my symptoms again during a meeting with my doctor in a few months, but I wanted to get a second opinion from those who have experience. Could this be IBS? Any suggestions on ways to lessen these symptoms?