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I just recently had to visit the emergency room for bleeding and cramping. Two days later after many tests the doctors said they could not find anything wrong with me. They said it might be IBS. I have had problems my whole life, but not so bad as last week. What are the symptoms of IBS, and what can you do for it?
 

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Bleeding is not a symptom of IBS, but IBS flare ups may make hemaroids or other anus problems flare up and bleed.Symptoms of IBS (Rome Criteria) need 2 of these for 6 months.1. Pain or discomfort that is relieved when you have a BM2. Pain or discomfort that is associated with a change in stool consistancy.3. Pain or discomfort that is associated with a change in stool frequency.This may mean you have loose stools, or constipation. Pain may be daily, or can be only occasionally.The degree to which the pain is felt and how bad the stool issue are vary widely. Some have mostly stool issues with mild discomfort, other have a lot of pain, but less stool problems (may be somewhat normal, but different from when there were no problems).If the only thing is pain, with normal stools it may still be a "functional bowel" disorder usually called Chronic Functional Abdominal Pain.You can also have functional problems with stool consistancy and no pain.Pain with IBS most typically, but not always, subsides when you are sleeping.Some common times to have problems areAfter mealsAfter you get up in the morning(colon is more active at these times in everyone)During stressful timesIBS can wax and wane so you may be fairly consistan or have good days and bad days.Some people find certain diets or foods bother them. (like some people need low fat, or low starch diets, or it may be a specific food that sets you off, rather than a whole category).There are lots of things to do, but just what really depends on what symptoms you have. Check out the Drugs link in the blue bar above.I also recommend checking out the Living with IBS forum on this site (use the Hop to) you may need to change the setting to "display all topics"Generally the treatment is aimed at which symptoms you have. So anti-diarrheals for diarrhea, osmotic laxatives for constipation as well as balancing fiber and water for your system. Antispasmodics for pain. Antidepressants can balance out the nerves that control the gut so it functions better.Signs that need to be investigated that are rare/uncommon in IBS.Bloody stools (small amounts of bright blood are typically hemaroids)Pain that wakes you up from a sound sleepInexplicable weight loss (you eat more than enough and lose weight like you are in a famine situation)Abnormal results on blood tests (particularly an elevated sedimentation rate, anemia).Symptoms of autoimmune diseases other than GI related ones. (it is common if you have one to have others....so Inflamatory bowel problems need to be tested for if you have Lupus or MS or certain types of arthritis)K.
 
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