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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,I am so incredibly happy to have found this site. I am in my mid twenties and have been suffering from IBS since I was about 14 years old. I have been to a gastroenterologist twice where I was diagnosed with IBS and given a handout educating me on what foods to avoid/eat. This doctor told me he didn't want to do anything invasive and based on my complaints he believed I was suffering from IBS. I have also been to my primary doctor and have gone on prescription medicine to help with the horrific colon spasms and to stop diarrhea. In addition, I also tried Paxil for a short period of time. Nothing seems to help in the long run. I will go through two weeks being OK then I'll have an episode (or something along these lines). This issue controls every aspect of my life and relationships. In fairness, my diet (being a college student and always on the run) has not always been healthy. I tried earlier last month to cut out all the bad food and eat healthy for about a month- still suffered. Since last week I have been home with diarrhea which had red blood twice in it. I started an ultra bland diet and donnatal as per my doctor. Unfortunately, the diarrhea did not stop which is not usual for me. My doctor did blood work which only showed that I was slightly anemic. I'm waiting on the results from a stool sample I brought to the lab. The doctor mentioned that maybe it was ecoli or a bacterial infection. I have been doing research online (without trying to lose my mind-thanks WebMD!) and looking into IBD, Crohn's disease, etc. I do have a history of anemia. I'm wondering if maybe I have been misdiagnosed and my body is really beginning to #### out (excuse the pun) on me. I was wondering if anyone had any advice or answers when it came to their diagnosis (and if it was the right one). THANK YOU!
 

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Unfortunately blood in stools can be anything from a GI infection (most likely explaination) to an autoimmune disorder (best self-diagnosis to scare yourself with other than cancer and would have had other things show up in the blood work they do for anemia other than just being a bit anemic)Many young people, especially women, who do not eat healthy get anemic so you can't assume that means you have been bleeding for years and just not noticing it. You may want to be tested for celiac disease as that can make it harder to get your nutrients in from your food as well as any other tests they think are necessary and it a good thing to have checked if you have IBS symptoms and chronic anemia issues.IBS is chronic and can be severe so it can be "just" IBS and severely impact your life.
 

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Lacy,I am with you all the way. I am sick of living with this and the doctors just say live with it.I have tried everything the doctor tells me to do. Without relief.I suffer daily and have for 23 years. I am concerned some days if I can do my job because of theIBS. It has consumed my life.But the doctors don't see the severity of OUR symptoms and life altering drawbacks due tobeing afraid of Incontinence.I feel your pain!!
 

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Thanks a lot for the info Kathleen. Excuse my lack of medical knowledge, but do you know what causes a GI infection? I've never had diarrhea like this before or with visible blood. The fatigue has been killer. I guess because I've been going to the bathroom now for so long mixed with my IBS I'm freaking out that it will never stop. Ahhhh, anxiety!Magnet, every time I meet someone who suffers like I do I feel like more of the massive weight is lifted off my shoulders. I wish they could have a community of people with IBS or at least people who are capable of being sympathetic. I wish I could find a doctor that is more aggressive with trying to figure out what's going on or at least maybe a better way to cope. My social life is shot (thank goodness for the internet-most of my socializing is done here) and work/school is an anxiety attack waiting to happen. It's hard to explain what's wrong and it's embarrassing. Thanks so much for responding<3
 

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GI infections happen to pretty much everyone sooner or later.There are a bunch of different viruses and some bacteria that cause them (like the Salmonella they recalled a bunch of eggs for recently).Usually the hallmark of a GI infection is really severe diarrhea, and some of the viruses and bacteria tend to cause some bleeding in the lining with the infection. That is why they had you do the stool sample. To look for an infection.Usually how you get them is either some food is contaminated with them and either isn't cooked enough (or in a few cases can't be cooked enough) to kill of the bacteria. Viruses tend to be more person to person like someone didn't wash their hands and then used a door knob and you got the virus in your mouth, nose or eyes before you washed your hands (why you should wash up before you eat every time you eat).The viruses often can live on surfaces for awhile. That is why they can be a problem on something like a cruise ship and they can sometimes have to spend a lot of time disinfecting it once they get the boatload of sick people off of it.
 

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Thanks a lot for the info Kathleen. Excuse my lack of medical knowledge, but do you know what causes a GI infection? I've never had diarrhea like this before or with visible blood. The fatigue has been killer. I guess because I've been going to the bathroom now for so long mixed with my IBS I'm freaking out that it will never stop. Ahhhh, anxiety!Magnet, every time I meet someone who suffers like I do I feel like more of the massive weight is lifted off my shoulders. I wish they could have a community of people with IBS or at least people who are capable of being sympathetic. I wish I could find a doctor that is more aggressive with trying to figure out what's going on or at least maybe a better way to cope. My social life is shot (thank goodness for the internet-most of my socializing is done here) and work/school is an anxiety attack waiting to happen. It's hard to explain what's wrong and it's embarrassing. Thanks so much for responding<3
It does help to know there are persons in the same situation. Before I thought I was the only person having difficulties. I would still like tosee another doctor to see if mine will improve. Thank goodness I have a husband that understands. He has been through this with me. And onmany occasions we have left an event, or outing because of my IBS. He is wonderful and I truly hope you find the help that you need. And perhapsyours is something that can be cured at best.When I first got sick with mine. I went to 5 doctors before someone really helped me. (23years ago). I have now had a real bad relapse but lookingto find another doctor that will listen and not blow me off as just live with it.I wish you much luck and health. Let us know how things work out for you. There are persons that care. Even though we don't know you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Kathleen for the information
Magnet, I am so with you. My boyfriend, fortunately, is extremely understanding when we need to leave places early, cancel plans, or getting me home in the knick of time before I get sick. After these past two weeks, I am definitely going back to my gastro doctor. I'm just so afraid of getting blown off again. Maybe this time he will actually run some tests. He didn't want to do anything invasive the two times I've seen him. To be completely honest, at this point I would let him turn my body inside out if that meant figuring out what's causing this. Thanks so much for the support.
 

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Thanks Kathleen for the information
Magnet, I am so with you. My boyfriend, fortunately, is extremely understanding when we need to leave places early, cancel plans, or getting me home in the knick of time before I get sick. After these past two weeks, I am definitely going back to my gastro doctor. I'm just so afraid of getting blown off again. Maybe this time he will actually run some tests. He didn't want to do anything invasive the two times I've seen him. To be completely honest, at this point I would let him turn my body inside out if that meant figuring out what's causing this. Thanks so much for the support.
Some people don't have a clue what we go through daily! Let me know what happens.
 

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Magnet, we usually suggest people don't post their email address (you can edit it out) and let people either PM them or turn on the ability for people to email you through the board.Spammers have bots that sift through the public parts of message boards looking for email addresses and it sounds like you get enough spam as it is. LacyG, usually if you have bleeding they will run more tests (although if it stops and the blood work is clean they may not as looking in there after an infection clears won't tell you anything new), but for the most part no matter how many scopes they run up or down you or how many different scanners they stick you in with IBS none of the tests give any answers beyond you have IBS.If this turns out to be a short term illness you may need to consider regular immodium use or check out the calcium thread to look at doing routine control for diarrhea from the IBS. Even if it turns out to be the first flare up of an inflammatory bowel disease you probably will have to take something like Imodium for diarrhea control a lot of the time. Even though they can suppress the immune system often there isn't complete control all the time and they end up doing a lot of the same medications IBSers use to keep diarrhea under control
 

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Lacy,Based on your current symptoms and the fact that you've never had anything like an endoscope or a colonoscopy I'd go back to your doctor. IBS should not be diagnosed simply based on symptoms. IBS should be Dx'd only after all appropriate testing has been done to rule out all other possible causes for your problems. And the only way to diagnose IBD - Crohn's or colitis - is via tests like blood tests, stool tests, a colonoscopy with biopsies, etc. I agree with Kathleen that this is most likely something self-limiting like a viral or bacterial infection. But it bugs me when people are just "given" an IBS Dx without proper testing and follow-through by the doctor. It might be time to find a new doctor.Best,Elizabeth
 

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Lacy,Based on your current symptoms and the fact that you've never had anything like an endoscope or a colonoscopy I'd go back to your doctor. IBS should not be diagnosed simply based on symptoms. IBS should be Dx'd only after all appropriate testing has been done to rule out all other possible causes for your problems. And the only way to diagnose IBD - Crohn's or colitis - is via tests like blood tests, stool tests, a colonoscopy with biopsies, etc. I agree with Kathleen that this is most likely something self-limiting like a viral or bacterial infection. But it bugs me when people are just "given" an IBS Dx without proper testing and follow-through by the doctor. It might be time to find a new doctor.Best,Elizabeth
Hey Elizabeth,Your post was a relief to read. Both my parents have used this gastroenterologist for their colonoscopies when they turned 50 and were highly pleased with him. My mom is urging me to go back to him. I definitely feel it's a must to go to a specialist again, but my gut is telling me that maybe another doctor is needed. The two times (once in high school and once in college) that I saw this gastroenterologist he stressed not wanting to do anything invasive. Because of my age and embarrassment of just discussing it, I was relieved but the symptoms didn't go away. At this point, I would think the gastro would want to do more testing besides blood work. The crippling pain and sweating I experience during my regular episodes scare me. Whether it's IBS or something else, I just want to feel confident of my diagnosis so I can take the proper steps in trying to improve my situation. Thanks so much for your comment.
 
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