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What causes irritable bowel syndrome and abdominal pain?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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I am having digestive problems. I have been dealing with this for at least one year, maybe longer. I have the following symptons: Inconsistent stool, most of the time it's a loose stool, occasionally diarrhea. The last two mornings I woke up with pain in my abdomen and had diarrhea. I think it might be diet related. I had a colonoscopy about 2 years ago. The report said I have a mild case of diverticulitis. I think it said I had some air pockets in my colon. I usually have one bowel movement first thing in the morning and it is usually loose. Sometimes I one first thing and then shortly thereafter I have to go again. Sometimes the first bm is normal and then the second is loose. I occasionally have times, like the last two days where I am getting abdominal pain and the sensation the I have to have a bowel movement. Also, after having a bowel movement I have to go back to the bathroom shortly thereafter to wipe again. I seems the the stool tends to leak for a short time after a bowel movement. Usually after a second wiping the draining stops. I haven't discussed this with my family doctor at this point.
Posted Sun, 29 Dec 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 41 minutes later
Brief Answer: possibly irritable bowel syndrome Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic IT is possible that your symptoms are related to irritable bowel syndrome but since that condition is a diagnosis of exclusion ( other conditions have to be ruled out first) tests would have to be done to rule out other illnesses first. Irritable bowel syndrome is a GI disorder that presents with abdominal pain , bloating and altered bowel habits. The altered bowel habits are different for each person: some persons have constipation, others have frequent stools and an urgency to pass stool, need to go soon after eating. There are actually criteria for diagnosis, called the ROME criteria. These criteria are a list of symptoms that need to be present, based on your history , you may fit the criteria. If a person is less than 50 yrs old, extensive testing is not needed but once a person is over 50 testing is needed to rule out other causes. The tests include a complete blood count looking for anemia (low blood count), inflammation or infection of the bowel.It is also important to look for electrolytes that can cause your symptoms. Stool tests would also need to be done to check for infection. Breath tests can be done to check for lactose or fructose intolerance. Tests for thyroid function may also be considered. Normally a colonoscopy is recommended but since you had one done 2 yrs ago, it may not be necessary. You should consider speaking to your doctor to initiate assessment and treatment. Treatment consists of dietary changes, medications that are prescribed based on the dominant symptoms and psychotherapy to deal with the condition. There are a wide range of medications that can be used by they are normally given based on symptoms and investigation findings. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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