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I've had what I'm guessing is IBS for years. The first time I remember thinking I had a problem was around the time I was being told to have a hysterectomy for fibroids (2001, 9 years ago) - I was worried that it was ovarian cancer making me bloat up to the size of a 7 month pregnancy. It wasn't, and I had the hysterectomy with no problems.My IBS (if it turns out to be that) is of the "teaser" variety -- right when I decide it's bad enough to see a doctor, it STOPS, for a while. When it's "in remission," I don't even think about what I'm eating, and I feel fine. When it's bad, it's not as bad as what I've read some people suffer with, but it's uncomfortable, annoying and, at times, anxiety-causing (urgency).I'm not one of those people who are comfortable with my bowel functions. I'm almost 50 (no kids), and have never changed a diaper, and I have what I refer to as an aversion to ###### (am I going to get in trouble for using that word, on this forum??). When docs want me to do fecal smear tests -- I just don't. Makes me gag. So I worry a little about colon cancer, but I've had a couple of colonoscopies, now, with no problems (or results).ANYWHO - the point of my posting - is that I'm having a "bad spell" and have an appointment to see a GI doc in less than a week.IS there any good resource for things to know, when dealing with a doctor on this? Tests that are their way of blowing you off and that are a waste of time? Questions to ask? Information to go prepared with? Qualifications to look for?I get the feeling that an IBS "diagnosis" is never the end, or even the beginning of the end, of the problems. That I could now be sent down a long road of "try this, try this, try this -- well, then, we can't help you," with no resolution. I want to shorten that road as much as possible by knowing what to aim for, look out for, be aware of.Any tips?And how many people vote for avoiding the medical route altogether, and focusing on mental health / mind/body issues?ThanksEm
 

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I vote on avoiding the medical route and packing enough supplements into me to allow my body to deal with my chronic problems. (I will see the doctor for a tumor or a broken leg.) It has certainly worked for me.Mark
 

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There isn't any set rule of tests that are useless or just to shut you up as most of them do have uses and patients that they are needed for.Generally for your first appointment I'd have take a moment to document your sympotms. So diarrhea 3X a week, or whatever it is for you.Expect some blood tests and maybe a stool sample to start with. I would ask they also do the blood test for celiac disease as sometimes that does pop up later on in life. (You must be currently eating gluten for a lot of those tests to be accurate).Even if you do not want to take any treatment a doctor would give you I do think getting routine blood work before just doing other things is a good idea. If you did have something like celiac nothing will do much good if you don't follow the gluten free diet.There are a couple of Functional GI clinics in the USA but no special qualification that separates those doctors from any other.If the blood and stool tests are clear and your symptoms seem typical that may be all you want to do. However at almost 50 you are at the age they usually start colon cancer screenings so you may want to do the colonoscopy now and get it over with. They can do at least in some places a virtual colonoscopy, but if they see anything they will need to do a regular one.Every disease, even one easy to diagnose, has a try this try that path. Most doctors start with the typical things to see if they work, and if they don't they move on. Usually people do find something that works, but it helps to have a doctor that wants to be on your team and help you figure it out.Some people go to the mind/body stuff only after other things don't work, but some people want to go there first. Check http://www.ibshypnosis.com to see if there is a hypnotherapist trained in IBS in your area if you want to go to a person. People listed there were trained at the functional GI clinic I go to. There are also home hypnotherapy CD's that help some people. Mind body tends to have in general a 70% success rate so still counts as a try this try that in my book as nothing ever works for everyone.
 

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Emkay WelcomeHere is a list of questions that you may find helpful to bring with you:http://www.webmd.com/ibs/guide/questions-about-ibsAlso look up to see where our white tool bar is. There you will see tabs that say "Symptoms" "Medical Tests" "Diagnosis". Click on those for much more info.
 
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