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What are the symptoms of Irritable bowl syndrome ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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Hi I noticed a change in my bowel habits about 6 weeks ago. Everytime I would u the bathroom I would have watery stools and just in the past week I suddenly stopped having the urge to move my bowels. My abdomen is puffy and my lower back hurts. I thought maybe I was getting my period which I got today but, I still dont understand why I havent felt the need to go to the bathroom. I havent been real hungry lately so, I thought maybe since I wasnt eating much the need to have a bm wasnt there. While I was in the shower today I stuck my finger up in there to see what I could feel and, all I felt was something squishy but, no fecal matter. what could be going on?
Posted Wed, 18 Apr 2012 in IBS(Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 20 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

From your symptoms the possibility of irritable bowel syndrome is important to be ruled out. It is characterized by mild to severe abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating and alteration of bowel habits like alternate constipation and loose stools.

For ruling out the possibility of irritable bowel syndrome, you have to consult a gastroenterologist as it can be a very difficult diagnosis to make. IBS is called a diagnosis of exclusion, which means that your doctor has to rule out other possibilities first.

Ultrasound abdomen or CT scan abdomen should be done to rule out the cause of the symptoms. Other causes may include fecal impaction, constipation due to less intake of water, intestinal pseudo-obstruction and colon inertia (nerves and/or muscles of the colon do not work normally).

For the mass that you have felt with your finger, it is important to rule out any rectal polyps or rectal benign mass which can be diagnosed by rectal examination and a lower GI tract colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy.

So better is to get an examination done from a gastroenterologist.

Till that time, make some lifestyle changes. Alterations in diet, like gradual addition of more fibre in your diet like whole grain breads, XXXXXXX leafy vegetables & fruits can ease your symptoms. Avoid taking cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, beans and lentils, caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee) aerated drinks, fried and spicy foods.

Also drink plenty of fluids and water and try to stop smoking or alcohol if there is history of intake of any such substance. Also start doing daily exercises, brisk walks, XXXXXXX breathing exercises which help in preventing constipation.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

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