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Here's the deal.I began suffering from bowell irregularities at least 5 years ago - change is consistency, frequency, constipation, etc...I suffer to this day off and on. I can usually bulk up and produce normal movements with metamucil. Otherwise, they are usually thin and pale.I have had two doctors diagnose me with IBS, although not based on any tests other than an abdominal MRI 3 years ago.I am constantly dehydrated, because I dont drink enough water and I run 3 miles every other day.It seems to me that given the length of time I have had these symptoms, anything serious would have manifest itself by now.I guess I am just looking from confirmation from others.Any thoughts.Thanks.
 

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texas123:Welcome to the BB.This fall will be 14 years that I will have had symptoms that have been diagnosed as IBS. You make a very good point that if I had something that was serious I would probably be a lot worse off than I am now. I know my condition is not life threatening but it is life altering and I expect the stress associated with my IBS will probably shorten my life to some extent.I have had a lot more testing than you but I never had an abdominal MRI. There was a time when I wanted to have a colonoscopy to visually examine and biopsy my transverse colon which is where I believe the source of my pain is but I am not so sure that I want one now. I too noticed lighter colored stools as a result of the IBS but never got an explanation other than �that is normal� from the doctors. It certainly wasn�t when I was normal. I don�t suffer from dehydration but my symptoms have changed over the years changing from C to more D. Oh well I am living proof that IBS or what ever I have is not fatal.I hope this is the kind of reassurance you are looking for. Of course if you haven�t had a proper workup you may have something other than IBS. That is why the Rome Criteria was developed to eliminate other conditions that IBS can mimic. http://www.ibsgroup.org/main/diagnosis.html
 

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I STRONGLY recommend everyone, especially those with IBS, to get a colonoscopy. The prep is no fun, but the test itself is no big deal.My GI doc insists on me having a colonoscopy every 5-8 years. As an IBS sufferer, I already exhibit many of the SIGNS of colon cancer. I could be lulled into a false sense of security by blaming those symptoms on IBS when it could actually BE cancer.My doctor says it usually takes 5-8 years before a colon cancer becomes a serious health threat. In other words, if something is found then, it is probably curable. Waiting longer or never having this test done at all is a disservice to you and your family.Get the test!!
 

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Here, here on the colonoscopy. I would say if you are running 3 miles every other day, you do need to drink a lot! I am a runner too and I can stave off headaches by drinking lots of water. Remember that your colons's main job is to reabsorb water back into the blood stream. The "soupy" stuff in your small intestine gets dumped in the large intestine (colon) where it gets dried out to make poop, and a little more nutrients are absorbed too. So if you don't drink enough water, your colon is going to suck more water out of your stools which can make you constipated and trigger IBS. Do you like Gatorade? (or any other electorlyte supplement)? I find it helps a lot with deydration (learned the hard way from overdosing on tequila), the medic at the resort I was at in Vegas told me to just drink it really slowly and constantly for a 4-5 hour period. It really worked!! Along with losing water, you lose electorlites, which are critical for all cellular functions. With you running, depending on your size, 8-12 glasses a day.
 

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I just wanted to add that it doesn't have to be water to keep up your fluid intake, ANY FLUID, except caffeine (in moderation) and alcohol both of which are diurettics (makes you pee). So drink, milk, juice, soda (some ibs-ers can't), gatorade, high water content foods, watermelon!
 
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