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Hi everybodyFirst off, I would like to apologize if this is in the wrong forums and please move it if necessary.Anyways, I'm not sure if I have IBS or not so I would just like to list what I experienced and get some opinions.I'm a 20 year old male, underweight, and have been experiencing some abdominal discomfort more or less on a daily basis for the past ~3-4 years.This is what I usually experience: First, I get abdominal pain in the lower left region and it feels hard there but you can't tell visually. Then I can feel the diarrhea coming for 30min - 1 hour and during this time, there is pain and tightness in my abdomen. Rarely the pain goes away and all is good. However, about 95% of the time, I hear my stomach gurgling and that's when I know I have to go. Normally, I go 3-4 times until it feels like everything is completely gone, and once I have done this, I feel great and all the tension is gone (I even get hungry). At work, I only go once to avoid possible embarrassment in the washrooms.This happens, at the very least, once a week, and for me, seems completely random (can be at night, and can be in the morning). I would say it doesn't interfere with my sleep since I only had to wake up to deal with it a few times. By the way, I hate it when it happens in the morning because I have work.In short, I get a lot of diarrhea and I get pain in the lower left side of my abdomen before it happens. It happens, as far as I'm concern, randomly.Recently I've been drinking peppermint tea and eating probiotic yogurt and I think it helps a little, but it could just be a placebo effect. I've told my family doctor about this and he just disregards it as he says my blood test / urine test say I'm healthy.I just went through an "episode" like 30 minutes ago and decided to post on a forum but I remember I had a lot more to describe while on the toilet but I forgot. I'll add more if needed but this is all I have for now.Thanks
 

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Although it does sound a lot like IBS, it really is up to your doctor to make this diagnosis. Normally there would be a few other tests on top of blood tests before other causes can be ruled out. If you are underweight, there is a possibility of parasites or other disorders that are not generally detected through blood tests You need to see your doctor and let him know that is adversely affecting your life and perhaps he will then take some notice. There are treatments that he can prescribe that can help you but he needs to complete the diagnosis first. There might also be some dietary considerations/food intolerances. Try and get to the bottom of it (no pun intended) whilst you're young and before it gets any worse.Good luck.
 

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Do you eat enough on a regular basis to maintain weight? Some people just don't feel like eating enough but if you are severely underweight (BMI less than 18) it may be worth checking your calories in and how much you burn off at your exercise level.If you are doing a lot of exercise you may not be eating enough to keep the weight on.BMI calculator is here http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/You can use a lot of online programs to track diet. I like http://www.fitday.com and it will do an analysis of how much you eat vs how much you need to eat.If you are eating more than enough to be up to your ideal weight and exercise (or if your work is physical rather than at a desk) doesn't explain where the calories are going you may need other tests. I'd at least make sure one to get a blood test for celiac and that isn't often in the "you are healthy" panel.
 

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Anytime an individual presents with persistent diarrhea and abdominalpain for 3 to 4 years, they should be referred to a gastroenterologist.I'm shocked your doc did not do this.Don't even hesitate to contact one in your area right away.
 

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Thanks for the replies
Anytime an individual presents with persistent diarrhea and abdominalpain for 3 to 4 years, they should be referred to a gastroenterologist.I'm shocked your doc did not do this.Don't even hesitate to contact one in your area right away.
Well, the diarrhea and pain isn't that bad. I've learned to cope with it but when it happens, I just really don't like it but it does feel good after since I feel completely empty. I don't think my doctor is that great since he's kind of old school but I don't think he really wants to go through the hassle to find out it's nothing. I guess I might consider going to a walk in clinic, but these topics are so embarrassing.PS. I would also like to add that I usually get gas and stomach aches when I get either excited or worried. For example, before an exam, I would most likely lose my appetite and still get stomach aches and sometimes diarrhea to accompany it. An example of getting excited is when I decided to buy all new furniture, I really enjoy planning things and organizing things (I'm weird I know), so when I was looking through a catalog, I would get gassy (sorry, I know this sounds weird).Oh and I forgot to add, I think putting a laptop (heat) on my lap and near my abdomen also makes things worse (I think, it's just a theory).
 

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When someone with celiac eats a diet full of wheat the small intestine can't absorb things properly.I'm not sure why you think you can't have it if you eat wheat, may have nutrition problems, and have GI symptoms?Celiac is a reaction to a protein in any thing that has wheat, rye, or barley in it. The whole grain has gluten in it, and even a trace amount can set celiac off. A friend of mine with it gets problems if something that touched wheat isn't washed well enough before touching his food. It is an immune reaction, it doesn't take much, and fiber doesn't protect you from the gluten. It is not a disease of processed food. Whole grains with gluten are just as bad as processed ones.If you use a program like http://www.fitday.com it will tell you how many calories are in all the things that don't have labels. All that info is widely available on many websites (all the calorie tracking ones and plenty of others) and in many books with calorie counts. It really isn't that hard to find out.
 

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Anon,You seem to have some fear about going back to the doctor. A BMI of under 18 and having abdominal pain and diarrheafor 3 to 4 years. This is not something you want to overlook.I agree that a colonoscopy is not tempting but these daysthere are alternatives. Swallowing a capsule/pillcam (capsule endoscopy) is an alternative and is completely painlessand no risks are associated with it (no one has ever died from it.)Another alternative is x-rays (small bowel follow through, barium x-ray)and MRI (Mr enterography.) You can also do blood tests (iron, blood sedimentation rates, c-reactive protein, etc.) Why not do a stool test? What's so bad about scraping poop into a vial?It's not the best thing in the world but its not bad at all. There's a lot of reasons to see the doc right away. Some people suffer witha problem and then realize it was something simple (parasite, giardia, etc) thatcan be zapped with one dose of antibiotics. Or it could be something like Crohn'swhere it's critical you get care sooner rather than later as this could preventcolon surgery down the road. My own father passed away from colon cancer simply because he refused to doa colonoscopy. And he rationalized the pain and diarrhea the way you did, sayingit's not too bad. But he knew something was wrong (he was a physician) but he ignoredit until blood was pouring out of his anus. But it was too late.
 

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Your theory about getting excited or stressed is a common theme among individualswith IBS. But again, only a specialist can diagnose you. IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion.After running a series of tests on you and it all coming back negative, they will diagnoseyou with a type of IBS. The theory of the laptop on your stomach is a new one. I keep an open mind but I'mnot so sure about that. But this is what happens when you spend 3 to 4 yrs with symptomswithout little to no medical consult. I did the same thing when I was first told I had a fistula.I was in denial and was convinced I'd be ok. Then even when accepting I had it, I thoughtabout the past....."did I get it from sitting on a dirty toilet seat?" LOL
 

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Sorry about the multiple posts....forget to say something about the walk in clinic.First, you can simply get a new doctor. I can tell you now that if you told himyou have diarrhea and abdominal pain for 3 to 4 years and he ignored it, then he isan idiot. I'd get a new doctor and never even call or talk to the other guy again. Noneed to even explain why you left, just leave, run as fast away from him as possible.In regards to embarrassing topic to discuss. Well, yes I agree to a certain extent. Butyou have to remember these are physicians who hear this stuff on a daily basis. I currently have two perianal abscesses, fissure, and a fistula (possibly two of them.)I did not want to discuss this with ANYONE but now, I call my friends who are doctorsand openly discuss it. And by the way, if I got treatment for my simple anal fissure (possibly just a topical ointment), I most likely would not have the abscesses (infectedfissures cause an abscess and its not uncommon to have an infected fissure since fecesare near it on a daily basis.) and would not have the fistula. All I had to do was go to the doc, discuss something uncomfortable for 10 mins and get ointment that would havesaved me thousands of dollars, twenty doctors visits, two emergency room visits,four digital rectal exams, TONS of anxiety, and surgery next month.
 

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Firstly, compared with what you're going through, a colonoscopy is really very easy and usually pretty painless. I know that some people have bad experiences but the majority don't. I found it and the preparation very easy. If the dr thinks that you need one, don't be put off. However, I think that there's a few things that could be investigated first.For example, you could quite easily have celiac disease with your symptoms. There is a blood test for it and, for you, it would seem to be one of the first things you should get done. You may not want to hear that you have to give up wheat but, these days it's not so hard. I have given up all grains and my energy levels are great. It's a bit difficult to buy snacks while I'm out, that's all.I know what you mean about it being linked to your emotional state - that's really common - but it shouldn't cause ongoing issues.
 

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Yes, blood test for celiac and an allergy test for wheat.So simple, so quick. Same with the blood work, stooltests, and even x-rays are all super easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the info guys. I think I'm going to try to find a gastroenterologist (not sure if that's easy or not, sounds hard, I'll ask for recommendations from my doctor lol). Wouldn't celiac disease make me unable to eat wheat at all? I eat wheat every single day but I don't get abdominal pain everyday.
 

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Anon,I'm not coeliac, but I know I'm sensitive to wheat.A number of ailments I've had in the past are associated directly with wheat. It would take a week or two of wheat eating before I would feel any side effects.Wheat is toxic to some and semi-toxic to others.Wheat is not on my diet anymore, and fortunately for me, traces don't bother me.Jackmat
 
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