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Kathleen, I have been looking through this forum, and am concerned I might have IBS. Last year after a medical scare that turned out to be nothing my Dr. noted that I may have an anxiety disorder. She prescribed zoloft which I took for almost a year and recently stopped due to side effects. I have had 3 complete blood workups since then and my Dr. tells me my bloodwork is great. I have been checked for hernia. I also have dealt with hemmorhoids in the last 4 months. However I seem to bounce back and forth with stomach and intestinal problems. I guess my symptoms would be some abdominal cramping, lots of digestive noises,pain due to constipation,alternating between diarrhea and constipation and a couple of times it appeared like a small amount of mucous at the beginning or end of stools, and varying consistency and shape of my stools. I have more constipation then diarrhea. I will go days feeling great and then a couple days of these stomach troubles. After looking at my diet on bad days it seems like I had overate, or some particular foods, like spicy or hot foods it seems to flareup. It also seems worse when I am dehydrated or stressed. I have stopped drinking diet soda and have upped my water intake. I am a smoker but am trying to quit. I guess I am tired of feeling like this and just looking for possible answers.Thanks for your help with this.William
 

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That sounds consistent with IBS.Usually when people alternate keeping the constipation under control seems to be more important in trying to get things under control.So if the water isn't enough and you play around with fiber it may take a bit of an osmotic to keep things moving.Peppermint can help with the pain, mucus usually doesn't make much difference (seems scary but there is always some and anything can make the colon make more, like you have a stool that needs more lubrication to move). A lot of people have that problem with eating too big a meal thing, and just watching portion size works for that. If you need to always portion out your food and put the rest away. At a restaurant you can get a to go box and put some of the food in there at the start. A lot of people do that for diet reasons. We tend to eat more on how much food is sitting there, not how much it takes to fill us up.Some people find probiotics can reduce the gas, gurgling and bloating and looking at how much starch or other bacteria food (like some raw fruits) you eat can help with that. It can be annoying but isn't dangerous.
 
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