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Suffering from stomach ache and irritable bowel movement. What is causing this and the cure?

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Practicing since : 1962
Answered : 693 Questions
Since April, I have been getting stomach pains on the left side, usually under my rib cage. The severity and duration of the pains vary but it is usually worse and last longer at night. Along with this, the consistency of my stools have changed: sometimes they are normal, sometimes they are small and hard. There is usually yellow/orange mucus on the paper afterwards which smells of an infection. My stomach has also been making more noises than usual which are louder than usual.

The symptoms were a lot worse from April-June. During XXXXXXX I went to a festival for 5 days and for each day I was there, I took an immodium. Since then, it has got better but because it is still happening, it is worrying me because it has lasted for so long. I have went to the doctors twice about this and they both said that changing my diet should clear things up. I have changed my diet since this has been happening but nothing seems to make it better or worse. I am worried that it could be something serious and that it is doing damage to my body because it has been going on for 6 months. What could this be?

Thank you
Posted Sat, 3 Nov 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Charles S Narasi 3 hours later
I hope you have had some basic testing done including
stool for ova and parasites and also for blood. You also
need blood tests including a complete blood count, sed.rate,
and complete profile that includes kidney,liver,electrolytes,
protein levels. If you have a family history of colitis, whether
ulcerative colitis or Crohn's colitis, you need to have tests
for that as well. They have IBD-panel blood tests that can
help. If you are lactose intolerant, ther is a breth test for that
to confirm.
If you have gluten sensitivity (Celiac Disease) agin there are
blood tests to see if you are positive.
If all these are eliminated then you can be assured that you
have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
Recent studies have shown that IBS can follow an intestinal
infection such as food poisoning. We also think about a condition
called C.Difficile colitis if you were recently treated for any infection
with antibiotics. There is a stool test for Toxins A & B to diagnose
this condition. If positive you need another specific treatment for that.
As for Irritable Bowel, you have to add bulking agents such as
metamucil powder supplements 2-3 tablespoons a day.
Eat healthy whole grain cereals and fruits to add fiber.
Drink enough fluids. Try to avoid excess caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.
Maintain your weight and regular excercises three times a week
would also help.
Hope this help you to discuss further with your own doctor.
Wish you the very best.
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