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Hi, I am new to this board, but am glad to find others who seem to suffer similar symptoms.I have been to the Dr many times in the UK, but each time they fob me off rather than taking tests or referring me to specialists. One did suggest it might be IBS, but gave me no further information about how to deal with it.I am just not sure if its IBS, because if I stick to a regular diet each day, e.g. bran flakes in the morning, salad/sandwich for lunch and then chicken and maybe a bit or pasta or soup in the evening I seem to have regular bowel movements and less stomach cramps.However, I have had severe reactions to Chinese food 3 times, and have given up eating it (I've been told its an intolerance to Mono-sodium glutamate). The first time I suffered a bad reaction to Chinese food was in October 2004, and since then, whenever I eat out or eat something out of my usual diet gives me terrible, terrible cramping, bloating, and in many cases either severe C or D- there was one time I didn’t use the bathroom for 7 days. Not to mention the strange gurgling noises from my stomach.Thankfully I have a very understanding fiancé, who has agreed to take me to a specialist once I move out to the US, as UK NHS Drs seem to be a waste of time.But I wonder, in the mean time, what you guys think this sounds like, I've had various ideas thrown to me by friends and family including – Celiac, gluten intolerance, IBS, mono-sodium glutamate intolerance, stress, etc.I’m getting more and more depressed about this, because the ‘attacks’ seem to be coming on more frequently. I have a very good job that requires going out to lunches, drinks, etc, but I am worried that one day I will suffer a severe attack at work, and I’ll have to resign!!! It just seems so unfair.I'd be so greatful to hear your opinions, and whether or not its possible to have IBS and other food intolerances at the same time?Also, for those who live in the UK, how expensive is it to go private and get tests done? Can you recommend any OTC medicines that will relieve my syptoms?Sorry for all the questions, but I have so many!
 

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Hi doolaly and welcome!
Yes, you can have food intolerances AND IBS at the same time! That makes it nice and confusing doesn't it??
If you have cut out all foods and still have IBS symptoms, good chance you may have both. Where are you in the UK? I am in the US, but work with a clinical hypnotherapist in the UK who gets referrals from gastroenterologists in his medical centre. He may have information for you regarding the tests and going private as he treats both NHS, non-NHS and BUPA.Sorry you are having lots of problems - I am sure others will be here to give you some suggestions - you can read about mine in the links below.Take care and again, welcome.
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Doolaly17 - Welcome to the board! Based on what you describe, it very well could be IBS. Some people w/ IBS have "triggers" (certain foods that set it off) while others do not. IBS really seems to vary from person to person. As far as doctors are concerned....well, IBS is often diagnosed after various tests have eliminated other potential causes of your symptoms. For me, I was maybe 20 or 21 when I first visited a doctor about my symptoms (and had been dealing with those symptoms already for a number of years.) Due to my age and symptoms, the doctor diagnosed me w/ IBS without anything other than a blood test. However, others go through colonoscopies and other GI exams before a diagnosis of IBS is given. Depends on the individual. I, like you, have a job that requires going out with clients to lunches, drinks, dinners, etc... and I DREAD it every time. But...I can't let IBS control my life, so I do my best to deal with it. Good luck and hopefully you'll get to see a good doctor who will finally diagnose you appropriately.
 

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Doolaly17,Hi there, I'm also in the UK and I complete understand your frustration with doctors. My fiancee has been amazingly understanding and really supports me with it, whereas other family members have not been so helpful. I've been to the doctor who gave me some medication to drink before meals and he said that would straighten things out. Wrong, it made things worse and I gave up using it. He seems unwilling to help and is one of those doctors who believes in sending you away with some drugs.The UK health service is a nightmare so I know how you feel. I'm considering going back there tomorrow to discuss it further with him.Paul
 
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