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Diarrhea, flatulence, stomach cramps. Diagnosed with IBS. Had sigmoidoscopy. Need to go for colonoscopy?

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Hi, I have had extreme cramping, wakes me up in middle of the night. Very, very smelly diarrhea for weeks. Also burping and flatulence...It's been this way before but I am tired of it. My stool is so runny @ times it dribbles before I can get to bathroom. Whatever I eat or drink goes right through me. 4 to 6 times a day maybe more. I am bloated and very uncomfortable. Back in early 2002 I was dx/w IBS. But I really haven't had problems until lately. I am a travel ER nurse who recently spent a few months in STT, USVI and Guam. What can I do to help this. I am 45, prob need a colonoscopy, but have had a sigmoidoscopy. My diet is terrible, hence eating whatever and whenever I can considering my job. Any advise is greatly appreciated.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 3 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The reason of having frequent watery bowel movements with flatulence could be-
1.Infectious diarrhea - while travelling, after eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water or unpasteurized milk.
You need to get blood, stool, urine tests and stool culture which may find the infection causing diarrhea.
2.Irritable bowel syndrome- IBS can be helped by eating a proper diet and taking medication.
3.Crohn's Disease or UC- These are autoimmune gut disorders. This causes sores in your intestines, stomach, and/or throat which causes long standing change in bowel habits.
Other causes include- Lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity, intestinal polyp or gastritis. Investigations like X-rays or procedures such as colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy will help in proper diagnosis.
Please visit your gastroenterologist to undergo physical check up and also to undergo relevant investigations required in your case so that proper treatment can be initiated early.
Till that time, you may try the following
1. Take over the counter lactobacillus preparation and yoghurt with your meals.
2. Drink plenty of fluids, eat light, do not stay hungry but eat simple things like toast, porridge, cereals, crackers, banana, rice, etc.
3. Avoid dairy products, which can worsen diarrhea (due to a temporary state of lactose intolerance).
4. Drink more fluid (except milk or caffeinated beverages) to replace fluids lost by diarrhea.
5.For temporary relief start eating low fiber (no more then 2 grams), and a low resin diet. That means that you should avoid nuts, popcorn, anything with seeds, or caffeine.

Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Rakhi Tayal.
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