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Hello!I'm not an expert at all, but I can understand why you're wondering whether your IBS might have something to do with candida - the athlete food and vagina problems sound really quite suspicious. By cutting out the gluten you've probably also cut out a number of foods that fed the candida, so no wonder it got better for a while. But I think it's very easy to get tested for this (stool sample) and your GP should be able to do this (though having lived in England until recently I know very well how hard it is to get them to do any tests at all....). Maybe this is the cause for your IBS, or just contributing, but any little thing helps. As to IBS symptoms being relieved by a bm, this is not true for me either. I get exactly the same as you, afterwards my bowels start cramping and hurting, feeling 'nervy'. My theory is that of course after emptying itself to a great part, it seems natural that the remaining contents are kind of reshifted and moved along (reshuffled?), and so peristaltic activity goes up for a while with the known side effects. What's helping me tremendously with this (as well as with the urgency in the morning) is soluble fibre. In England I tried Psyllium husk from the health shop, but it seemed to give me more bloating. But my GP prescribed 'Celevac', which is just plain Methylcellulose. I can't describe the difference this has made for me. At the time I was bed ridden and it felt like it saved my life, and I'm still taking it two years later. You can also buy it over the counter, but then it's �4.50 for a two-week supply (I used to take 8 per day). I used to take two before breakfast, two at around 11 am, two at four pm and two before bedtime. With the knowledge I have today, I would probably take at least three to calm down my bowels after the morning bm, say an hour later or so and another three in the afternoon, when again things seem to stop moving efficiently. Here in Germany there is no comparable product, so I've tried so called 'flea seeds', which have the same soothing and regulating effect on the bowels but turned out to work even better for me then the Methylcellulose, and do not cause any bloating at all either. To my surprise the fleaseeds (they look just like little black fleas) turned out to be Psyllium, too, but it's still very different from the Psyllium husks capsules you buy at the health food shop in England (don't want to bore you with the details). In any case, I am not sure fleaseeds are available in England at all, but if you ever visit the continent you could give them a try (you can buy them at any pharmacie, not expensive). I've actually been wondering whether I should start a little export/import company from Germany to England!! Finally, about the hot flashes, I just read something about pre-menopause or peri-menopause. This can hit you five years or more before you actually start menopause and is due to the hormones getting out of balance (of course every change in our bodies comes slowly). I'm almost 42 and my IBS is definitely heavily influenced by hormones and in particular, progesterone. I'm just following this new lead at the moment. I would love to hear more from you because in all the years in England I never met any fellow sufferer (my age). All the bestSusaloh
 
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