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IBS and IBD's (Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease) have very similar symptoms. Do you know for certain that what you're dealing with is really IBS? Just because a general practitioner MD says you have IBS that doesn't mean it's so. I guarantee you, even GI doctors make the same mistake. A lot of doctors like to lump the symptoms of IBD's into the IBS category (an IBS diagnosis) since IBS is so much more common than IBD. For example, many doctors will think it's IBS since there's no blood in the stool but in fact you really don't have to have blood in a stool when it's really an IBD.I suspect there are a lot of GP's who don't perform the necessary blood and stool tests to find out for sure and/or they may not have a GI doctor perform a colonoscopy.Just thinking out loud.
 

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The thing to remember with "it is so similar to IBS" thoughts is all the "not IBS" things have more symptoms than IBS, not the same and not less. (about the only less than are other functional diseases that are some of the symptoms of IBS but not the whole picture of pain and stool issues)Now sometimes there are very mild IBD's that don't do anything obvious for awhile, but still show up on some pretty routine blood tests (the kind every doctor does, like a complete blood count, so it doesn't take something really obscure to find, so I would recommend regular physicals with a complete blood count every year or two, but that is the same as everyone else who seems totally healthy should get).Generally if you are otherwise healthy (no fevers, no blood stools, totally normal blood work, no rashes or joint problems typical of people with any auto-immune disease, maintain weight if you even come anywhere close to eating enough calories in a day) it usually doesn't take several thousand dollars worth of invasive tests to be sure it is IBS. At some point the risk of doing test after test until you did them all is higher than the risk they missed something. Just because most medical tests are fairly low risk isn't the same as no risk at all so why not do them all for everyone.When they run people through the ringer of all kinds of tests with people who have typical IBS symptoms, no additional symptoms and normal blood work. 95% have absolutely nothing else show up when they do the full scope and everything else. Of the 5%, most of those are not IBD, either. This includes all the other minor things that a fair number of people have that no one knows about until they run enough tests (and if you ran every medical test on everyone every year you'd probably find most everyone has something that isn't perfectly normal sooner or later).I think the most commonly "missed" thing would be celiac disease, but it isn't as big a scary thing to worry about as IBD so most people aren't scared their doctor missed that. Most people worry they missed an IBD or Cancer. For some reason bread or pasta isn't good for me isn't great anxiety fuel.
 

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The thing to remember with "it is so similar to IBS" thoughts is all the "not IBS" things have more symptoms than IBS, not the same and not less. (about the only less than are other functional diseases that are some of the symptoms of IBS but not the whole picture of pain and stool issues)Now sometimes there are very mild IBD's that don't do anything obvious for awhile, but still show up on some pretty routine blood tests (the kind every doctor does, like a complete blood count, so it doesn't take something really obscure to find, so I would recommend regular physicals with a complete blood count every year or two, but that is the same as everyone else who seems totally healthy should get).Generally if you are otherwise healthy (no fevers, no blood stools, totally normal blood work, no rashes or joint problems typical of people with any auto-immune disease, maintain weight if you even come anywhere close to eating enough calories in a day) it usually doesn't take several thousand dollars worth of invasive tests to be sure it is IBS. At some point the risk of doing test after test until you did them all is higher than the risk they missed something. Just because most medical tests are fairly low risk isn't the same as no risk at all so why not do them all for everyone.When they run people through the ringer of all kinds of tests with people who have typical IBS symptoms, no additional symptoms and normal blood work. 95% have absolutely nothing else show up when they do the full scope and everything else. Of the 5%, most of those are not IBD, either. This includes all the other minor things that a fair number of people have that no one knows about until they run enough tests (and if you ran every medical test on everyone every year you'd probably find most everyone has something that isn't perfectly normal sooner or later).I think the most commonly "missed" thing would be celiac disease, but it isn't as big a scary thing to worry about as IBD so most people aren't scared their doctor missed that. Most people worry they missed an IBD or Cancer. For some reason bread or pasta isn't good for me isn't great anxiety fuel.
Great reply. Suffers of IBD do exhibit different symptoms, to varying degrees, than those who have IBS. Anyone who has blood in the stools and anemia and joint pain and rash and mouth sores and abdominal pain and other typical IBD symtoms most likely have IBD. Although there are a lot of people with a mild to moderate case of IBD who could pass for someone with IBS. In other words, not all people with IBD have all of the symptoms I just mentioned. They may have some but not all. Some bleed, some don't. Some have a rash others do not, some have joint pain and others don't, and so on. The opposite is true as well in that there are a lot of IBS suffers who in reality have IBD but don't exhibit many of the common and typical IBD symptoms such as the joint pains and mouth sores but do exhibit many of the other IBD symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, multiple BMs per day, fatigue, etc. I worry that many folks who have been diagnosed with IBS and are severely suffering from its symptoms may in fact have IBD. These are folks who have been labeled IBS because some doctor (usually a GP) did not really know the difference between IBS and IBD and couldn't properly interpret lab results and because of this they've lumped these people into the IBS category because, as I say, because they don't have blood in their stools nor do they have joint pain -- so they must have IBS. Personally, I am an example of this scenario. 18 years ago my GP said I had IBD and prescribed IBD meds. After a year on the meds the symptoms improved but not very much so I had a colonoscopy the results of which were normal and the gastro MD said I had IBS -- not IBD. For years afterward I still had problems but I was certain this was all part of having IBS. Now, several years later, I'm having problems again and a different GI MD says he doesn't think it's IBS. The lab results will tell. By the way, I've read a person can still have IBD (Crohn's) but yet have a clean colonoscopy. Go figure.
 

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IBD's can go into remission, so if you get a colonoscopy during a remission it will look OK. That doesn't mean the IBD is gone forever and healed. It may come out of remission in the future. Crohn's can also be in the part of the small intestine you cannot see in a colonoscopy. If you have a lot of the additional symptoms of Crohn's and a clean colonoscopy they usually do a capsule endoscopy to look at the rest of the small intestine (assuming they believe there is no obstruction or strictures in the small intestine--they may also do a barium test through the small intestine if they worry about a stricture).The inflammation of an IBD can cause functional problems, so some people continue to have symptoms when all the medical tests show they are in remission and that is usually considered that they have both functional issues and IBD (as inflammation usually starts IBS in anyone, but can be from an acute illness and your body does the same things fighting off an infection as it does when it attacks your body).Most people with IBS symptoms only and normal routine blood work are not just IBDers in remission or undiagnosable.For a lot of people with clear IBS symptoms and normal on the routine blood work they find that putting them through test after test in a attempt to prove something, anything else is wrong only serves to increase the stress levels and make IBS worse.It can be hard to know when/where to draw the line. Hopefully new tests like the IBS-blood test that can diagnose IBS rather than rule other things out will help in drawing the line. Just at some point making everyone do a lot of invasive tests that are most likely useless ends up doing more harm than good. If you do it to 10,000 people and you make 100 worse but only make 1 better, do you keep doing it to everyone?
 

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I definitely tend to think I have something more serious than just IBS as I've had gastric bleeding on several occasions. I've had various tests- a colonscopy, endoscopy, enteroscopy, blood test for celiac, barium meal x-rays and capsule endoscopy and they've not found anything unusual however, and refused to do any further tests such as an MRI scan at this stage.
 

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I definitely tend to think I have something more serious than just IBS as I've had gastric bleeding on several occasions. I've had various tests- a colonscopy, endoscopy, enteroscopy, blood test for celiac, barium meal x-rays and capsule endoscopy and they've not found anything unusual however, and refused to do any further tests such as an MRI scan at this stage.
Haven't written in here for a while...but just signed in tonight to see how the things go...Anyway...I know people (one close friend of min) who had this episode when he went to poop and all coming out was blood...they checked him on all sides possible and nothing was wrong. And in some time, it went away. And honestly, at this point, for you...they checked everything there was to be checked. I cannot think of any other organs that would give you a bleeding but the ones they've checked...if you feel you want to be at rest...check everything else though i am sure you're alright...just live your life and be happy and it will go away...stop thinking of it!...this REALLY helps!
 

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The same thing happened to me a few years ago and I'd forgotten about it then... but it happened again recently, not just once but on 4 occasions over the last couple of months, so you can see why I might find your reply slightly patronising. I'm in the UK and an NHS patient so I can't get further tests without the specialist's referral unless I pay for them privately which earning minimum wage I cannot afford to do.
 

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Anyone know how many tests you get until the IBS "diagnosis of exclusion"? I lost a bunch of weight when my symptoms got bad, so I've been through the ringer (colonoscopy, blood test for celiac, blood test for bacteria, stool tests for blood and parasites, capsule endoscopy) and nothing positive yet. If I hadn't lost weight, my pain and diarrhea along wouldn't be enough for all the tests. I think they've ruled out IBD, but have another visit in a couple weeks to discuss what next.Should I expect a diagnosis finally of IBS?Honestly, as frustrating as IBS seems to be, the prospects of IBD were worrying me, and I hopeful that it's not a possibility any more.
 

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I mean you pretty much have the gamut. Scopes (camera pill and colonoscopy). Seems like the appropriate blood and stool tests as well.I mean some people can keep pushing for all sorts of MRI's and Cat scans but they don't usually find anything on the outside of the colon when the lining is clean.Some people do have symptoms indicative of gall bladder disease, but usually they test that first if your symptoms are more that direction (severe pain after meals on the upper right that goes into the upper back usually with nausea and vomiting, and this is usually stops you from doing anything but lie in pain type of pain).If you haven't had a female check up recently that can be another thing to make sure you are up to date on.In the USA there is a blood test FOR IBS that doesn't just exclude other things, but it isn't common, yet. http://www.ibsbloodtest.comThe only other angle to look at is if you have a lot of straining issues (like it takes a long time to pass a BM no matter what the consistency) you might need to get the pelvic floor evaluated.If you lost way more weight then not eating would indicate (and a lot of IBSers stop eating much when their symptoms are bad) make sure the thyroid tests and screening for diabetes and that is up to date so there isn't a metabolic reason for eating more than usual and still losing weight (if you eat less and lose weight that is normal weight loss).
 

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The same thing happened to me a few years ago and I'd forgotten about it then... but it happened again recently, not just once but on 4 occasions over the last couple of months, so you can see why I might find your reply slightly patronising. I'm in the UK and an NHS patient so I can't get further tests without the specialist's referral unless I pay for them privately which earning minimum wage I cannot afford to do.
I am sorry...I wasn't trying to be patronizing...I understood, from your post, that you had all kind of tests done and they found nothing and I never mentioned further tests. What I said was that I think the ones you had can tell you are pretty much ok and I cannot imagine what else would give more insight on that sort of problem.
 

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NP, it's just that nothing winds me up more than being told to stop thinking about something and it will go away, especially when I've already tried this method and it failed miserably! The doctors are already dismissive enough of these problems that it takes me collapsing and being took into A &E by ambulance and losing a huge amount of blood for them to even test for anything after them dismissing my condition as IBS out of hand, it doesn't help to go onto a support forum and feel as if I'm being dismissed yet again. You said "if you feel you want to be at rest...check everything else though i am sure you're alright" which is why I thought you meant have further tests (but you're wasting everyone's time).I've heard from others including a lady who said an mri scan helped docs ascertain she had crohns, say that MRI scans are often the best indicators of anything going on.
 
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