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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm new here just found this place the other day. I'm not sure if I have IBS myself. Going for a consultation with my GP tomorrow as I've been off work for the last few days with a really painful stomach (left side, so not appendix). It's been on and off for a few months now but just lately it's really painful. Is there any tell tale signs I should be aware of? I've had a few people, including my partner and my dad say it could possibly be IBS.Thanks in advance for any replies.
 

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Basically IBS is pain/discomfort associated with a change in bowel habit.Things that may indicate it is something else.Bloody stools (not small amounts of bright blood which is usually anal irritaion but we are talking the coffee grounds kinda looking stuff).Inexplicable weight loss (if you do not eat, your weight loss is expected)Certain blood test abnormalities (like elevated sedimentation rate that indicates inflamation).Does the pain wake you up from sound sleep in the middle of the night, or does it tend to calm down at night? Usually (but not always) with IBS it tends to calm down at night (as the colon kinda goes to sleep when you do)If stool is normal it can still be a functional disorder (some separate the two and some do not..but if it is just pain and no other cause is found it might be called chronic functional abdominal pain, but that pain is treated the same as IBS pain so it doesn't make that much clinical difference).Good luck with the doctor.K.
 

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Basically IBS is pain/discomfort associated with a change in bowel habit.Things that may indicate it is something else.Bloody stools (not small amounts of bright blood which is usually anal irritaion but we are talking the coffee grounds kinda looking stuff).Inexplicable weight loss (if you do not eat, your weight loss is expected)Certain blood test abnormalities (like elevated sedimentation rate that indicates inflamation).Does the pain wake you up from sound sleep in the middle of the night, or does it tend to calm down at night? Usually (but not always) with IBS it tends to calm down at night (as the colon kinda goes to sleep when you do)If stool is normal it can still be a functional disorder (some separate the two and some do not..but if it is just pain and no other cause is found it might be called chronic functional abdominal pain, but that pain is treated the same as IBS pain so it doesn't make that much clinical difference).Good luck with the doctor.K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I was at the doctors on Friday morning and he said I was constipated and gave me Movicol to take. So far it hasn't had any effect other than giving me wind. Over the last week I've been able to go to the toilet twice, once was very difficult, the other not.There's no blood in the stools and my weight is steady, eating and drinking plenty.The pain is more severe on mornings and evenings before bed.Unsure what to do as I've been off work a week now and still no better.Thanks for the reply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I was at the doctors on Friday morning and he said I was constipated and gave me Movicol to take. So far it hasn't had any effect other than giving me wind. Over the last week I've been able to go to the toilet twice, once was very difficult, the other not.There's no blood in the stools and my weight is steady, eating and drinking plenty.The pain is more severe on mornings and evenings before bed.Unsure what to do as I've been off work a week now and still no better.Thanks for the reply.
 

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What did they say was the problem?Left side is pretty common in IBS, the bowel wall muscle is thickest there and mornings are common also.Are you going back to the doctor?
 

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What did they say was the problem?Left side is pretty common in IBS, the bowel wall muscle is thickest there and mornings are common also.Are you going back to the doctor?
 

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FYI with permission from the UNCCOMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW OF CONSTIPATIONWilliam E. Whitehead, PhDCenter Co-DirectorWHAT CAUSES CONSTIPATION?Constipation can refer to either very slow movement of food residues through the colon (slow transitconstipation) or difficulty passing bowel movements after they reach the rectum (outlet dysfunction). Thespecific symptoms of constipation are listed below. Doctors often diagnose constipation if patients have atleast two of these symptoms more than a fourth of the time:� Straining� Hard or lumpy stools� Feeling that there is a blockage in the rectum that prevents bowel movements from passing� Having to press around the anal opening� Less than three bowel movements per weekThe large intestine is a tube-shaped muscle, and short segments of this muscle can squeeze together(contract) to close off the inside. Most of the contractions are not coordinated with each other; they justmove food residues back and forth so water can be absorbed. However, about 6 times per day, strongcontractions begin in the right side of the large intestine and move progressively downstream pushingfood residues towards the rectum; this is called a High Amplitude Propagating Contraction. If thesestrong contractions fail to occur, food residues can't move downstream and slow transit constipationresults.WHO HAS CONSTIPATION?From 3% to 10% of people in surveys say they are constipated, and a higher number, about 30%, reportthat they take laxatives at least once a month. More women than men say they have constipation, andmore African Americans than Caucasians. As people grow older, they report more constipation. However,in most large surveys, older people have as many bowel movements as younger people. This suggests thatas people age, they have more trouble passing a bowel movement (need to strain more), but the frequencyof bowel movements does not change. Many of the drugs people take for pain, high blood pressure, ordepression cause constipation. Talk with your doctor about your medications; he or she may be able tochange the drugs you take for these health problems to ones that are less constipating. Becauseconstipation is a very common problem, and it is not life-threatening, most doctors will start treatmentwithout doing tests. It is only when the treatment is not successful that patients need to be tested toidentify exactly what causes it.TESTING FOR CONSTIPATION:� Sitzmark test is the most helpful test to find the cause of constipation. This test measures howlong it takes food residues to travel through the gut. This is done by having you swallow tiny softrubber rings in a capsule about 1/2 inchacross and then taking an x-ray 5 dayslater to see how many of the rings areleft. In some clinics the rubber ringsare given for 3-5 days instead of justonce.� Anorectal Manometry is a test used tomeasure the pressure in the anal canalwhen you strain to have a bowelmovement to see if your sphinctermuscles relax as they should.� Pelvic Floor Electromyographic[EMG] stands for activity. This is usedto test the failure of the sphinctermuscles to relax (outlet dysfunction)Small sensors are used to record theelectrical potentials your sphincter muscles generate when they squeeze.� Balloon Defecation is a test in which a small tube with a balloon on the tip is inserted into yourrectum, filled with water or air, to see if you can pass it like a bowel movement� Evacuation Defecography is an alternative test used to inject a thick paste made from barium andMetamucil into your rectum (this behaves like a soft bowel movement) and uses an x-ray to seehow well you can pass it out.HOW IS CONSTIPATION TREATED?Laxatives are used when food residues move slowlythrough the large intestine. There are several types:� Fiber supplements or high fiber foods, combinedwith drinking more liquids, may cause you to havelarger and softer stools. This can eliminate mildconstipation.� Stimulant laxatives usually contain senna orcascara (laxatives that occur naturally in someplants) or bisacodyl (the ingredient in Dulcolax).These are effective laxatives if used occasionally,but they may stop working if they are used everyday.� Osmotic laxatives stimulate the small intestine tosecrete more water to make bowel movementsofter. Examples are milk of magnesia, magnesiumcitrate, lactose, and sorbitol.� Polyethylene glycol (the ingredient in Miralax) is aliquid which your body can't absorb, so it flushesfood residues out of the intestines.WHAT ABOUT DIET AND EXERCISE?A diet high in fiber can reduce constipation by making your bowel movements larger and softer.Breakfast cereals are often fortified with extra fiber. Prunes are a natural laxative. Drinking plenty ofwater may also help. Foods that can make constipation worse include cheese and bananas. Surveys showthat people who exercise most days, even with mild exercise such as walking, have less constipation.Surgery. When slow transit constipation is very severe, your doctor may recommend removing yourlarge intestine and connecting your small intestine to your rectum. However, this surgery often has sideeffectsincluding fecal incontinence; it is used only as a last resort.Biofeedback is a method for teaching people how to properly relax the sphincter muscles when they arestraining to have a bowel movement.Muscle relaxing drugs are drugs that relax the sphincter muscles as well as other muscles of the body.Research Study at UNCUNC has a grant from the National Institute of Health to test different methods of treating constipationthat is related to difficulty passing bowel movements. Patients who qualify will receive one of threeexperimental treatments, which are free and which last for three months.How to make an appointment at UNCThe UNC Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders accepts referrals from doctors or patients totest for the causes of constipation and to make treatment recommendations. You can schedule anappointment by contacting (910) 966-5563.To enroll in our research study, you or your doctor should telephone Mr. Steve Heymen at (910) 966-2515. http://www.med.unc.edu/medicine/fgidc/comp...onstipation.pdf
 

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FYI with permission from the UNCCOMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW OF CONSTIPATIONWilliam E. Whitehead, PhDCenter Co-DirectorWHAT CAUSES CONSTIPATION?Constipation can refer to either very slow movement of food residues through the colon (slow transitconstipation) or difficulty passing bowel movements after they reach the rectum (outlet dysfunction). Thespecific symptoms of constipation are listed below. Doctors often diagnose constipation if patients have atleast two of these symptoms more than a fourth of the time:� Straining� Hard or lumpy stools� Feeling that there is a blockage in the rectum that prevents bowel movements from passing� Having to press around the anal opening� Less than three bowel movements per weekThe large intestine is a tube-shaped muscle, and short segments of this muscle can squeeze together(contract) to close off the inside. Most of the contractions are not coordinated with each other; they justmove food residues back and forth so water can be absorbed. However, about 6 times per day, strongcontractions begin in the right side of the large intestine and move progressively downstream pushingfood residues towards the rectum; this is called a High Amplitude Propagating Contraction. If thesestrong contractions fail to occur, food residues can't move downstream and slow transit constipationresults.WHO HAS CONSTIPATION?From 3% to 10% of people in surveys say they are constipated, and a higher number, about 30%, reportthat they take laxatives at least once a month. More women than men say they have constipation, andmore African Americans than Caucasians. As people grow older, they report more constipation. However,in most large surveys, older people have as many bowel movements as younger people. This suggests thatas people age, they have more trouble passing a bowel movement (need to strain more), but the frequencyof bowel movements does not change. Many of the drugs people take for pain, high blood pressure, ordepression cause constipation. Talk with your doctor about your medications; he or she may be able tochange the drugs you take for these health problems to ones that are less constipating. Becauseconstipation is a very common problem, and it is not life-threatening, most doctors will start treatmentwithout doing tests. It is only when the treatment is not successful that patients need to be tested toidentify exactly what causes it.TESTING FOR CONSTIPATION:� Sitzmark test is the most helpful test to find the cause of constipation. This test measures howlong it takes food residues to travel through the gut. This is done by having you swallow tiny softrubber rings in a capsule about 1/2 inchacross and then taking an x-ray 5 dayslater to see how many of the rings areleft. In some clinics the rubber ringsare given for 3-5 days instead of justonce.� Anorectal Manometry is a test used tomeasure the pressure in the anal canalwhen you strain to have a bowelmovement to see if your sphinctermuscles relax as they should.� Pelvic Floor Electromyographic[EMG] stands for activity. This is usedto test the failure of the sphinctermuscles to relax (outlet dysfunction)Small sensors are used to record theelectrical potentials your sphincter muscles generate when they squeeze.� Balloon Defecation is a test in which a small tube with a balloon on the tip is inserted into yourrectum, filled with water or air, to see if you can pass it like a bowel movement� Evacuation Defecography is an alternative test used to inject a thick paste made from barium andMetamucil into your rectum (this behaves like a soft bowel movement) and uses an x-ray to seehow well you can pass it out.HOW IS CONSTIPATION TREATED?Laxatives are used when food residues move slowlythrough the large intestine. There are several types:� Fiber supplements or high fiber foods, combinedwith drinking more liquids, may cause you to havelarger and softer stools. This can eliminate mildconstipation.� Stimulant laxatives usually contain senna orcascara (laxatives that occur naturally in someplants) or bisacodyl (the ingredient in Dulcolax).These are effective laxatives if used occasionally,but they may stop working if they are used everyday.� Osmotic laxatives stimulate the small intestine tosecrete more water to make bowel movementsofter. Examples are milk of magnesia, magnesiumcitrate, lactose, and sorbitol.� Polyethylene glycol (the ingredient in Miralax) is aliquid which your body can't absorb, so it flushesfood residues out of the intestines.WHAT ABOUT DIET AND EXERCISE?A diet high in fiber can reduce constipation by making your bowel movements larger and softer.Breakfast cereals are often fortified with extra fiber. Prunes are a natural laxative. Drinking plenty ofwater may also help. Foods that can make constipation worse include cheese and bananas. Surveys showthat people who exercise most days, even with mild exercise such as walking, have less constipation.Surgery. When slow transit constipation is very severe, your doctor may recommend removing yourlarge intestine and connecting your small intestine to your rectum. However, this surgery often has sideeffectsincluding fecal incontinence; it is used only as a last resort.Biofeedback is a method for teaching people how to properly relax the sphincter muscles when they arestraining to have a bowel movement.Muscle relaxing drugs are drugs that relax the sphincter muscles as well as other muscles of the body.Research Study at UNCUNC has a grant from the National Institute of Health to test different methods of treating constipationthat is related to difficulty passing bowel movements. Patients who qualify will receive one of threeexperimental treatments, which are free and which last for three months.How to make an appointment at UNCThe UNC Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders accepts referrals from doctors or patients totest for the causes of constipation and to make treatment recommendations. You can schedule anappointment by contacting (910) 966-5563.To enroll in our research study, you or your doctor should telephone Mr. Steve Heymen at (910) 966-2515. http://www.med.unc.edu/medicine/fgidc/comp...onstipation.pdf
 
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