My daughter has been experiencing occasional intense and severe cramping - similar to IBS symptoms. She will feel cramping/gurggling in her gut for an hour prior to episodes of diarreah, which lasts 3-4 hours. These episodes are not everyday or regular. She will sometimes have episodes once a month, or sometimes once a week. Recently, the episodes are closer together. Note that recently, she has had some stress to deal with, too.
She is 20 years old, and has episodes of severe cramping with diarreah since she was 16. The episodes are increasing in severity and duration as she gets older.
The cramping is such that it leaves her shaking, dizzy and exhausted. Typical diarreah OTC meds don't help much. She has also tried peppermint tea - but is not convinced that it helps. We cannot seem to narrow a food trigger. She exercises regularly, and eats a fairly well balanced diet. Constipation is not a problem for her.
Is occasional bouts of diarreah/cramping typical of IBS?
Well I would not settle for that. Has she been to a gastro. specialist for this? I was told I had IBS and then come to find out after going to one that I did not. I would get a second opinion and keep pressuring the doctors for the right answer and the right fix, not just the cover up until the next episode. I had been dealing with my trouble when I was 17. I am now 31 and still searching. Not to discourage you at all. I only started really pushing this issue for the last few months since it got so bad. She is much to young and I would hate to see her have to struggle the way I did. Keep the faith until you find the right doctor that will not stop til she is cured, not just with out pain.
I agree with bj, I wouldn't settle on IBS without a very thorough investigation. Something causes IBS and it's now used as a catch-diagnosis. This also sounds pretty extreme for IBS, which is usually this bad when other symptoms are present (such as symptoms of CFS/Fibromyalgia).
Has she been tested for parasites? Have you tried live probiotics? How did it start - any antibiotics at the time?
On the food triggers (sometimes I've used on myself), what ones have you tried? It's critical when testing to remove all aspects of the food being tested at once, for instance with milk to include caseine, and with wheat to do all gluten foods. Also, I've found the rather odd experience that I get IBS symptoms similar to those with two brands of bread (any breads by that manufacturer) and one particular chinese buffet (even when I ate only white rice and one piece of steamed broccolli. There's another buffet in town that's no problem.) I have CFS so I'm used to odd symptoms and combinations popping up. My point being that with the food it can be that odd. For something like msg, it can be hard to get it out of the diet reading the labels, and only cooking home from scratch for a week can test it sometimes. Also, if it's several foods causing it getting rid of them serially might not help... Also, my friend gets a rash from several foods for which there is nothing in common in the ingredient list and other of the same food from other companies are fine. It has to be somethign added in the manufacturing process itself. You've probably explorered all this, but I thought I'd mention it.
If nothing else works, an even more unusual idea - is it location specific? Does it happen in your home, but not out of town? ie. something environmental setting off a body imbalance? (I don't know why this came to mind for such an unrelated problem, but again thought I'd mention it.)
I get bad cramps and some diarreah pre-menstrally and always have. Could this be gyno-related? Or at least one of the new meds for PMS stuff be helpful? Althought it's not happening monthly, hormonal imbalances can cause stomach IBS type problems because hormones and the HPA-axis regulate the movement of the system.
One other idea, try cutting out sugars including milk sugars and fruit for several months, to let the good bacteria grown back. It worked for me (was a doctor's suggestion) after a bad stomach bug that left me with months and months of diarreah that seemed to not be clearing up at all. (Interestingly, with the new research coming out recently, it's even possible that bug was the underlying setup for the CFS for me. I've always wondered.)
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