Anyone Have IBS?

Updated on May 28, 2011
A.S. asks from Broken Arrow, OK
21 answers

Sorry if this is TMI, but I have had stomach aches for the past year or so... almost every day. Sometimes it's to the point of throwing up. I have heard of IBS, but I'm not sure how to tell if I have it. I also have tried cutting out gluten to see if that helps and I'm thinking I may have a sensitivity to it. I have already been tested for Celiacs and it was negative. So now I'm just trying to cut out things from my diet to see if things help but obviously I can't cut out everything. Anyone have any ideas? I've already seen a doctor and they are not sure. I'm trying to go a more natural/holistic route to figuring it out.

Thanks for the help :)

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answers from Sacramento on

I have IBS. If it's just stomach aches, that's not it. With IBS, you'll either have problems with chronic diarrhea or chronic constipation.

When I was being evaluated, the doctor recommended cutting out dairy first. If you haven't tried that, that might be worth a shot.

You could always try eating more fiber and foods with probiotics. Both help with digestion and could ease the stomach aches if it's a digestive issue.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I don't know much... but try to drink a LOT of water and have foods with fiber. Don't just "cut-out" foods, but replace them with lots of veggies and good stuff.

My husband has IBS, for him it means he's a little more sensitive to some foods (esp. pork products), and well, visits the "powder room" frequently.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Shreveport on

I had the same problem,, pains worse than labor. It was my gallbladder. It is now gone, and I am able to eat normally. Have you checked it out?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I would suggest getting a thorough physical if you haven't already done so, and perhaps keeping track of your stomach aches in a journal (time of day, food/drink consumed prior to feeling ill, etc.) to see if you notice any patterns. Is it possible that you have an ulcer or you that you are taking some kind of medicine that causes an upset stomach? One time I was putting off a dentist's visit because I knew I would need root canal for a deep cavity that had just been filled. I was taking lots of ibuprofen for pain. I started waking up every night with a knawing, uncomfortable feeling in my upper abdomen. Sometimes I had nauseous moments during the day. My husband said I was describing some of the symptoms of peptic ulcer, but when I stopped taking a ton of ibuprofen and got the root canal done, the stomach problems went away. I also used to have a lot of problems with certain birth control pills, and most recently, now that I am in perimenopause, do experience some nausea from time to time due to hormonal changes. Don't know if any of these apply to you. Hope you are feeling better soon.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Hi Audrey,

Whether it is IBS or not, you have a problem that needs to be fixed. Getting an IBS diagnosis only gets you drugs and that will not help it. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, which is one of the worst digestive conditions there is, at eleven and lived with the doctors giving me meds and telling me to do the WRONG things for most of my life. I was in and out of hospitals more than the doctors were. I don't have UC anymore because I decided to take control of my health.

Your digestive system is pivotal to good health. Your stomach should be acidic to digest food. If it's not, you need to add acid. If you take antacids, please stop. They do more harm than good. You can buy HCl supplements or you can simply eat a dill pickle with each meal (for the vinegar) or put a lot of lemon juice in your water. That will add the acidity most need.

You also need probiotics/prebiotics and probably digestive enzymes. The key is to jumpstart your digestive system to do what it was supposed to do in the first place. This may be TMI but if you aren't having a bowel movement about an hour after EVERY meal then you are retaining toxicities. You need to remove the waste that is left in your intestinal tract. You simply will continue to absorb the toxicities left there and nothing will get better. Fiber is absolutely neccessary. I can recommend a good supplement if you need me to. (I don't recommend a colonic because of the possible irritation you have.) Please eat foods high in fiber. The low residue diet that doctors had me on simply made my condition worse. It helps to toxify the colon and causes you not to eliminate enough to stay healthy. That will lead to diverticulitis as well as polyps and cancers.

A good absorbable multivitamin is also a good idea, especially while you are trying to heal. Don't buy anything at Walmart, GNC or a low grade store. Vitamin Shoppe is a nationwide chain that sells pharmaceutical grade supplements. I get my vitamin online and trust it not to add free radicals.

Please know that these conditions are not hereditary but only occur in families because of similar eating routines. You CAN get rid of whatever this is. If you would like to talk, I'll be glad too. This was a life long battlle for me. I'd love to help you avoid that!

God bless,


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

When I was diagnosed with IBS there was no definitive way to diagnose it. IBS was diagnosed based on symptoms and ruling out other conditions. IBS always involves bowel movement issues. Either diarrhea or constipation or having both.

IBS presents in many different ways and is believed to be cause by different things. My symptoms increase the most with stress tho food also irritates my intestines. Often there is no obvious cause for symptoms. You have to experiment to find what helps you feel better or worse.

Keep a journal listing what is going on in your life when you have spell. Try out different foods and write down results. Include date, time, events, symptoms.

I also suggest that you read up on IBS. You can find info on the Internet as well as in books.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsfield on

Yes, I suffered with IBS from when I was about 19 until about a year ago (I'm 40). Usually people with IBS have problems with frequent diarrhea (or for some, constipation)... If all you have is nausea I wouldn't think it would be IBS.

I had problems with frequent stomach aches a year ago or so. I was starting to feel nausea every day- [email protected] turned out to be gastritis. If that's what you have, you need to get medication before you have more serious problems. Have you seen a gastroenterologist? If not, you may want to consider it.

Here's some information about gastritis:

Hope you feel better soon :)

Added: Things I had to avoid included: spicy or acidic foods, ibuprofin, and soda.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Well first you need to calm your stomach down so I would stick to the BRAT diet till that gets better! Then start off slow and try different foods its like being a baby all over seeing what you can and can't have. I do have IBS and internal hemorrhoids that they found when doing a colonoscopy. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I have a few ideas I have done that have helped me tremendously. I have had stomach aches for many years, and was told I might have IBS. Well IBS is just a name for digestion problems that they don't know what it is!!! So with that in mind, I never had tests or diagnosis done with a doctor. Years later my chiropractor told me that I have too much yeast in my stomach. So I started taking a supplement made my nutriwest called Total Yeast Redux. You can do this by medication, but it can come back worse after you think it is gone, so I opted for the slow but effective way. It took a while, and not eating ANYTHING with yeast. That was the hard part...NO BREAD! I miss it, but there are other things that I have found replace it. Anyway, it took probably 3-6 months before I started to see a big difference, but it was worth it, because I am doing sooo very much better. But I did find out later that I also have a bacteria in my stomach, so after a round of antibiotics, more pain has dissapeared to the point that I am now pain free. After all of this, I don't know if this is your problem, but there is always a solution and I have gone the natural way as much as possible. I did have the bacteria come back a year later only to find out that it could do this, but instead of antibiotics this time, I took a natural medicine before I got bad to try to get rid of it and it worked. Please feel free to ask me any questions if there is anthing I can do to help, I don't mind. It has been such a relief not to be in pain anymore!!! Good Luck.

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answers from Portland on

I haven't been diagnosed as yet with IBS, but get to have my first colonoscopy (oh, yeah!) at forty, ten years earlier than the rest of the crew. And my dad has had it for years. sigh.

What you have described sounds pretty similar to what I've been experiencing for the past few months. Been hell, huh? I did the celiac blood test too, and am now zeroing in on corn as a culprit. You might want to talk to a GE to get some more help. Sorry. I know it sucks.

Added: and Cin C had a lot of good suggestions. Oils and fats are a huge culprit for me. Too bad, too, because I love french fries.:( I also cut out dairy.

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answers from Louisville on

I was once told that I had it. This was after several months of episodes involving severe stomach cramps that were often accompanied by diarrhea. One episode landed me in the hospital due to the pain of the cramping (that's when they informed me that it was IBS). It was horrible. I never had anything further done about it, but I made some changes. I cut way back on my caffeine and dairy consumption, for one thing. This decreased the severity of the pain and cramping as well as the bathroom issues.

However, the problems have since gone away completely, and I still eat dairy and drink caffeine, but not like I used to. I believe in my case most of the problems were stress induced. At the time it was worst, I was in college, working the night shift at a very high stress, fast paced job, working a second job in the evenings, going through an extremely rough patch in my relationships with family and significant other, had just lost a family member, and was, generally speaking, an emotional wreck. It's very possible mine was not "real" IBS, just looked like it. But I can't help thinking that a lot of the physical symptoms we deal with are signs of emotional stress and upheaval. Hope this helps and that you get relief very soon!

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answers from Redding on

I know how you feel. I have colitis and have stomach upset a lot after I eat. I have found Im lactose intollerant and cant have chocolate.
My colonoscopy wasnt bad at all Hazel,,it really helps them find the problems.

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answers from Miami on

You may want to use probiotics and enzymes and some aloe vera juice to help heal your digestive tract. Also acupuncture/acupressure and reiki/energy healing therapies to balance the energy flow so that your body can restore its normal function. It is useful to identify any foods or food combinations that trigger the digestive upset (dairy and wheat are common problems) but if it's happened that frequently there's probably more to it than just one or two problem foods. There's also likely an emotional component, something in your life that's hard to process/digest or that you feel powerless to control. Addressing emotions can also help heal things.

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answers from Hartford on

I would start with a liquid diet to settle things down. That would be clear liquids like brewed low-caffeine or caffeine-free teas (green tea is great for settling your stomach and you can get it decaf), broth, water, Gatorade, and stuff with very little sugar. Do that for a few days and rest. Your digestive system needs time to heal, especially if it's something with your colon.

Then move on to a low-residue diet. You can look up to see what that is, but it will still include clear liquids. It's low in fiber, no fats, no dairy, and is very easy on your digestive system. You can have Cream of Wheat, white rice, pasta, refined crackers, refined breads, refined cereals, refined pancakes and waffles, all with up to .5 grams of fiber per serving. You can have well cooked canned vegetables that don't have skin or seeds. Vegetable or fruit juice without pulp or seeds. Apple sauce, ripe fruits without skin (but not pineapple), yogurt, legumes, any kind of beans.

You would have to stay away from anything with seeds in them such as sauces with tomato seeds, fruits with seeds like raspberries and strawberries, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, dried peas, dried beans, nuts, peanut butter, salad dressings with seeds, bagels with seeds. No coconut, nothing made with whole grains where you can see the grains because they're like seeds. No dried fruit. No popcorn, no pickles, no meat. Absolutely NO CORN.

Do the low-residue for a week... 7 days. See if your digestive system feels better. After that, add in roughage... that would be things like carrots and broccoli and salads. Add in more fibers like shredded wheat, bran, oatmeal.

Keep a food diary so that when you add new foods back into your diet you'll be able to tell if a particular food triggered the reaction. For me, we discovered that foods with seeds were a huge problem and I can't digest them. It was one way we discovered that I have diverticulitis.

Get a good Gastroenterologist. They should do an upper GI on you and a colonoscopy. They should also check for acid problems in your stomach. They can help you with getting you in touch with a dietician to help you figure out a proper diet once they figure out what the problem is, and target a better low-residue diet for you. I know it's donkey balls to go through this. I went through it for almost six years as it gradually got worse before seeing a doctor. Don't wait as long as I did.

Diverticulitis, Diverticulosis run in my family so we were able to narrow it down to those. We also tested for Crohn's disease and Celiac, but going gluten free (for me) was colossal waste of time. And also for me, the Diverticulitis/osis was early onset because of my Fibromyalgia. Fibro is a chronic pain disease that affects nerve endings as well as joints and muscles, but it also affects the digestive system and makes one immunocompromised. If you happen to have chronic pain issues, consider that this could be connected. Improvements in my diet such as cutting out fats, sodas, junk foods, HFCS, food dyes, Splenda, fake sweeteners, trigger foods have helped as well yoga.

I wish you lots of luck.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

It very well could be a sensitivity to gluten. If you were tested for Celiac's when you had already taken gluten out of your diet, the test results are not reliable. Also, you can have gluten sensitivity without being celiac. Also, gluten hides in so many ingredients! Did you know vinegar has gluten? And beer? Ketchup and many broths, too. Also, if you are using the same butter, mayo, etc. as someone is with wheat, you are cross contaminating and can get reactions from that. Also, it can very easily take up to 6 months to get the gluten out of your system. I have a book called The Idiot's Guide to Gluten Free, and it is fantastic. Do you eat fast food? Did you know that even something that should be gluten free often is not because they fry it in the same oil as the breaded things? You have to ask and look at their gf menu. You may be getting more gluten in your diet than you would ever expect. It's not just bread and pasta. Two of my daughters are gf. It amazes me at how much better they do w/o gluten. My one daughter told me her tummy used to hurt all the time, but it doesn't anymore. She loves it, and is so cautious about what she eats. She doesn't want to feel like that again. The only other thing I can think of for you is dairy. Have you tried eliminating dairy? I hope you figure it out soon!

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answers from San Francisco on

Celiac disease is a sensitivity to gluten so if you've already tested negative there's no reason to cut gluten out of your diet.
How about dairy? Have you gone lactose free for at least two weeks? I've noticed as I've gotten older that I can't eat as much cheese, ice cream, etc.without getting a stomach ache :(

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I do have IBS and the major problems are alternating constipation and diarrhea.

Actually, my sister has diverticulitis and your symptoms sound more like that. She has problems when she eats nuts, corn, popcorn, anything with seeds of any sort, has sewer-smelling (her term) burps when a problem is brewing, and has had to be hospitalized when she has been throwing up and having excruciating pain because her colon was infected.

Here's a link to a diverticulitis diet. Check first with your doctor before going on the diet to see if this might be what you have. What is good for some conditions is bad for others.

God bless

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have Celiac and IBS. My IBS is triggered by dairy and artificial sweeteners. When it is really acting up I actually eat alot of salad and it does help. I don't use any salad dressing on my salads though. Also, stress can aggravate IBS. If you are under stress try exercising or yoga and see if it helps.

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answers from Washington DC on

Try acupuncture and stick with it for a few months. I've had chronic severe nausea and pain for over a year that lessened since I began acupuncture back in January. It doesn't work right away, pain is usually the first to go away because it's easier to control and nausea/vomiting takes longer, I'm just recently starting to feel my nausea get less frequent and I no longer have to take my zofran for it as often as I used to. Eat healthier and drink a lot of water! Cut out fats, unhealthy oils, processed foods etc. if you feel that a certain type of food causes you trouble numerous times just stop eating it entirely it's not worth the pain or nausea. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I used to have it. IBS is a worthless diagnosis, by the way, as it doesn't really tell you anything specific about what is wrong with you and what you can do about it. It can manifest itself in so many different ways in different people. Probiotics and digestive enzymes helped my symptoms tremendously. I used to get daily stomach aches, used to throw up a few times a month at the end of the day, used to get bloated to the point where I looked like I was 5 months pregnant, had pretty bad constipation/irregularity, etc. I no longer have any of those problems. If you have seen a GI doc and have already ruled out other problems you might want to look into probiotics and enzymes.



answers from Oklahoma City on

IBS is a condition where the lower GI track doesn't use what it gets right. I drink anything I get diarrhea. I have it nearly everyday, let's face it, I get thirsty sometimes.

IBS is a deep, bring you to your knees, cramping pain where the lower GI is wrenching around and pushing the feces through. If your pain is in the stomach it's not IBS. IBS is much much lower.

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