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Long story, I'll try to keep it short. I'm not sure if I have IBS but I might. My sister and I both have Ulcerative Colitis. She has it much more severe than I do so while she takes Asacol and worries about it constantly, I take nothing and haven't really ever needed medication. I had a bad flare up when I was 18-19ish, went to the hospital and had a colonoscopy. At that time, I started taking Salofalk tablets and enemas. When I was 22 I graduated and went to South Korea to teach English. I also started smoking and shortly discovered that smoking puts UC into remission (I'm one of the only people that benefits from smoking, lol).Other than a bit of blood in my stool now and then and the occasional constipation which everybody gets in Asia from eating so much white rice and very little fiber, I've had no distress from UC since I was 19. Cut to the chase... Recently I decided to switch countries and move to Japan. I got really excited around a week or two before moving and started packing/selling my life away to get ready. That was around the time it started. First I got constipated. I've been constipated since then, actually. After the constipation I started having panic attacks and became really focused on the beat of my heart for some reason. This lasted right up until this week when I coaxed my body into actually passing some stool as well as some gas. I went to two doctors and had EKGs/Chest X-rays/urine tests/Blood pressure tests and they all came up perfectly clean. I later realized that this might have to do with my constipation. When I arrived to Japan I had no health insurance and I began working for a new employer so I hoped it'd go away on it's own as I really did not want to drag my bosses into this. Unfortunately, it got a little bit worse and I had to ask someone about it. They took me to the hospital and the doctor put me on some herbal remedies for the stomach/colon then recommended me to a gastroenterologist I will see in three days. It really sucks needing to take someone of the opposite gender from my company along with me on all these trips as I don't speak Japanese very well yet. What goes between me and my doctor also goes between my employer who is probably worrying about whether hiring me was a good idea. Anyway, that was off topic a bit... The symptoms I've been having:-Constipation.-Anxiety attacks (heart racing, "tingly feeling") (I'm prone to anxiety, especially when something is wrong with my body).-Fatigue. -Feeling "not quite right".-Slight neck pain (when looking right/left) and swollen lymph nodes in neck.-Lower back ache after sleeping on my back. It actually stopped happening recently after I cleared out some of my constipation. -After taking laxatives (once), my poo was stringy and dark. It made the toilet water dark brown. -Without the laxatives my poo is lighter and softer and often mixed with blood/mucus. -Sometimes I just poo this white fluff with blood on it... I hate that one because it looks like something really bad. etc. These symptoms seem more related to IBS than to UC. My sister told me that it was an IBS attack and that she had them too, but I couldn't find anything on the internet about UC and IBS existing in the same person. Does UC bring about IBS? Is this a UC attack or an IBS attack? ... Or is it something else?Also, I need help with the really tricky part of going to this specialist. What do I tell them? Should I ask for an gut X-ray/colonoscopy? Meds? They do have treatment for UC/IBS here but it might be more difficult to be picky as these diseases/illnesses/whatever are EXTREMELY uncommon in Asian countries while they are the opposite in Western countries (when I told a doctor in Korea I had UC he was really surprised).Any help would be appreciated. I've gone through a lot of stress, annoyed a lot of friends and even endangered my employment trying to figure out what this is. Any information would be really appreciated...
 

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Does UC bring about IBS?
No it doesn't nor does UC bring about IBS. But one can have both simultaneously.Which IBS or UC is acting up at the moment?? Only a Dr can tell ya that.. so good that you have an appointment set up. I know it must be horrendous to have to have a translator etc.. with you but.. hang in there.... just til you find out and can get yourself set up with some treatments to help manage your symptoms.
Should I ask for an gut X-ray/colonoscopy?
Absolutely a colonoscopy! And biopsies should be taken... This is important since you have a history of UC. I hate to say this but UC is, IMHO, much more serious a diagnosis than IBS and nothing to fool with. So that should be ruled out first and foremost and the best way to do that is via a colonoscopy.Here some info on diagnosis:http://www.ibsgroup.org/diagnosisInfo on diagnostics tests:http://www.ibsgroup.org/testsHere.. 10 good questions to ask the Dr.:http://www.webmd.com/ibs/guide/questions-about-ibsLet us know how you make out!All the best
 

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Thanks for the information, BQ. The reason I think it's IBS is mainly because I called my sister and she told me that it's not uncommon for people with UC to have IBS problems. My symptoms match IBS and not UC, for starters and when I was asking my sister about them she could practically finish my sentences.Oh well, I guess I will know for sure on Friday. I hope the gastroenterologist speaks English so I can kick my translator out. Why do we even have a large intestine, anyway... it's a stupid organ.
 

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Agree with BQ.Colonoscopy absolutely. Hang any embarassment. Your health comes first.Not sure that you fit under the IBS umbrella, but whilst you are in the dark about your symptoms you may as well.Although you described your condition as Ulcerative Colitis, I'm hoping you only have Ulcerative Proctitis (inflammation of the rectum - not the whole colon), as you describe your symptoms as being quite mild before the stress of moving jobs affected you. Jackmat
 

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Wave...
This:
Why do we even have a large intestine, anyway... it's a stupid organ.
Made me smile and I must agree. :)Now here is a great comparative chart about Symptoms. http://www.ibsgroup.org/symptomsHope this helps and please DO keep us posted. Will be thinking of you and crossing everything the GI speaks English!
 
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