Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum
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Avatar universal


I am a 23 year old law student.  Two years ago I was diagnosed with IBS.  My symptoms consist of chronic pain in my lower right abdomen, painful gas, constipation, and painful bowel movements.  My question is in regards to my chances of forming polyps on my intestinal walls, and if it is in any way related to IBS.
  Two of my uncles and one of my cousins have suffered for years with abdominal pain.  About 5 years ago, one of my uncles had surgery to remove large polyps from his intestines.  Not much later, another uncle and cousin had similar operations.  I have discussed my problems with them and find that the pain they suffered in their early 20's to 30's matches mine in intensity.  My pain is always there but I do have better and worse days throughout the months.  Are polyps hereditary and if so what steps should I be taking to prevent them, if possible, or to detect them early?
  I also have another question unrelated to polyps--- My doctor told me to eat a high fiber diet and to take citrecel daily.  I can take the citrecel without bother but a high fiber diet causes more pain.  What do you suggest?
  My last question is in regards to my gallbladder.  I have a familial history of gallbladder problems.  Most of my aunts and uncles and my grandmother have all had theirs removed.  I recently met a woman who had been diagnosed with IBS in her early 20's and then had her gallbladder removed when she was 28.  She is now 30 and has not suffered any symptoms of IBS since the removal of her gallbladder.  Are these related or mere coincidence?  
  I'm sorry to ask so many questions but am trying to get my IBS under control.  Thank you very much for your response!
17 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear Allison,
IBS is not inherited.  There is, however, an increased incidence of colon polyps in those who have multiple family members with polyps.  If your uncles and cousin who had large colon polyps were on the same side of the family, then you should discuss with your gastroenterologist the benefits of coonoscopy to verify that you dio not have polyps.  The reason why this is necessary is th efinding that large colon polyps have th epotential for malignant change.

The high fiber diet can cause abdominal distentiojn, pain and gas.  In my experience, most individuals develop a tolerance to the fiber effects as their stool become soft and easier to pass.

IBS and gall bladder problems are both very common.  It is not unusual for individuals to have both conditionss.  Only your doctor can determine if you rsymptoms represent IBS or gall bladder disease
Avatar universal
You say that you have been diagnosed (2 years ago) with IBS.  May I ask what test you had to determine that?  IBS is usually diagnosed once ALL other conditions have been ruled out.  With the type of symptoms you have it would have been totally appropriate for your doctor to perform either a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy.  Either of these procedures would allow the doctor to see part or all of your colon and rule out if polyps were the cause of your pain.  Personally, I would not be happy with a diagnosis of IBS if all of the proper tests had not be performed.
Avatar universal
I had IBS symptoms after treatment for GERD using Prilosec.   Symptoms included: noises, pain, cloating, gas, and irregular bowel movements.   Even after halting the medication the symptoms continued.   I found relief by taking acidophulus supplements and increasing the fiber in my diet.   Alternative therapies worked for me.   Check Dr. Weils page at www.drweil.com and search for IBS supplements.  Best wishes.
Avatar universal
I also have IBS, and have just recently been diagnosed with AS(Ankylosing Spondylitis), which is a rheumatoid arthritis disease, affecting the spine, and joints,
and have been taking Non Steroid Anti-inflammatories.
I am 33, and had some sort of attack yesterday, severe abdominal
pain, not able to stand, lay or breathe properly. I have had that type of pain before, but never this bad. It did pass after about 30 mins or so, but is still tender today.  Never thought much about it before, but my urine is quite dark usually too.  
My pain is in my upper stomache, lots of gurgling noises too...
is this typical?  Thanks :)
Avatar universal
Hi,  Just thought I'd write since we have some similarities.  I have a form of Colitis called Collagenous Colitis...symptoms are generally the same as with IBS but with a few more added.  I too have Ankylosing Spondylitis which I'm told by my Rhuematologist is associated with forms of Colitis.

I guess I'm writing just so that you make sure you truly have just IBS and  not an underlying Colitis as well.

I am unable to take any nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory medicines for the arthritis pain due to the effects they have on my colitis.  They probably help to flare your IBS as well.  I take Methotrexate in the injection form. I give myself a shot once a week.  It is used commonly among Rheumatoid arthritis patients and with good success.  My treatment is still in the beginning stages with the medication so I can't really make a determination for you as to whether or not it's working for me.  My understanding is that Methotrexate is a Chemotherapy drug used for Cancer but in much higher doses then when used for arthritis pain.  It works in the immune system I think to stop the progression of the disease.

Avatar universal
Hiya Shelley,
If you get a moment..try to check out this Ankylosing Spondylitis
site...www.kickas.org.  There is a forum much the same as this one, with quite a bit of helpful input as well.
Thanks for your reply. :)  Stay well,
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