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Hi AllI am suffering a flare up of IBS at the moment and have been for the last couple of weeks. I just can't get my bowels under control and can't remember the last time I passed a normal 'stool' My BM are usually loose and messy (as I call them!) But this time my stomach feels like a washing machine going round and round. I'm really bloated (like I'm pregnant), I have acute pains in waves (sometimes I feel a little nauseaus when this happens) and when I go to the loo, and sorry to get too graphic, but it's like an explosion. I'm sometimes scared to go as I don't know what will come out!!! Sometimes I pass nothing but mucas - but this has only happened a couple of times in the last two wks. The pain sometimes radiates around my lower back. In the last couple of weeks I've also experienced times when it's been hard to go but this has never really lasted more than 24hrs.Do these syptoms sound typical to everyone? I'm just thinking that it might be a bug or something as it's been going on so long for me. Also, when people are having a flare up, I was wondering how many times they actually went to the toilet in a day.Would be really interested to hear your experiences. I'm so tired of this and just want to feel 'normal' again. Any advice on natural remedies would also be appreciated. I'm currently using aloe vera juice. Thanks Jo. x
 

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Generally IBSers go fewer times than you see with an acute GI bug (so from none to several, most commonly up to 3-4 or so--with a GI bug you often see 20 or more episodes of diarrhea a day depending on how long the bug lasts).Some IBSers go more times than others and there isn't a solid cap where if you go 9 it is IBS and if you go 10 it must be something else. But generally IBSers have fewer episodes than acute illnesses (and on average have less than people with Inflammatory bowel disease, but the ranges greatly overlap, but if you routinely go 10 or more times a day the doctor will usually run more tests than if you have 3-4 BM's a day)You aren't mentioning the usual something worse than IBS symptoms so it probably is IBS (and it is the most common cause of these symptoms).IBS often starts with a GI bug. But if you have symptoms for 6 weeks or more that is getting into IBS territory. Sometimes the gut can be a bit wonky for a few weeks after a GI bug so you need usually at least 6 weeks of symptoms (and doesn't have to be every day, so over the course of 6 months, so at least a week a month) before they go to IBS rather than lets see if you are just still in the healing up time.
 
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