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IBS'ers: How do you tell when its an attack or you are just sick?

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Old 07-10-2003, 03:17 PM   #1
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andyM HB User
Post IBS'ers: How do you tell when its an attack or you are just sick?

I have sort of an odd question. As an IBS-Sufferer for 10 years, I always have abdominal pain. I am mostly an IBS-C or Pain Predominant sufferer. Because I live with this daily pain, I tend to never think anything stomach related I feel could be other than IBS. Let me explain my predicament and maybe others can relate or give advice.

I rarely get diarrhea with my IBS. (Maybe 2-3x a year). My main complaint is pain, but it is a dull chronic ache, some cramping, bloating, etc.

The other night, we went to dinner with some friends, usually not a problem for me. About an hour after we ate, I started having twinges of cramping that are usually associated with diarrhea. About an hour later, they hit BIG time, and I was in the bathroom, doubled over. The cramps were horrendous, and I had intense diarrhea. At the same time I had to have a garbage can in front of me b/c I was salivating with nauseau at the same time. It was like I didnt know which way to go first. After that long bout of diarrhea, I had cramping the rest of the night, and into yesterday. I tried to have a BM yesterday and basically just a little bit of loose stool. I still had cramping, nothing urgent. Today I still have cramping and soreness but had a solid BM.

My question is this: How do I know if this is a new IBS symptom for me, or if it is actually maybe something I ate bad or a bug.

I think with IBS I tend to think I cant get sick and everything must be IBS related. What opinions do anyone have on this?

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Old 07-10-2003, 05:14 PM   #2
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andy --- It sounds like a virus!!!
My wife and sister had simalar symptoms several weeks ago.
Also, that has not been your symptoms up until then--- I think you were one sick person!!!


Old 07-10-2003, 05:20 PM   #3
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6th_sense HB User

Hi andy,

I am under the belief that since it is sooooo hard to get diagnosed as an IBS patient, it might be even harder to tell if something that happened to you was not IBS related. My personal experience is that a mixed combo of diarrhea and constipation, is not unusual for an IBS sufferer.

The only other way you can tell if the food was bad, is to watch other "normal" people's reactions to the food.

Also, I believe that when your gall bladder dumps a lot of bile, the feeling is nauseating, which might explain why you had diarrhea and Nausea and pain all at the same time. (Bile helps retain water in stool, while causing pain in the large intestine, if there is too much - since it is supposed to be absorbed before it reaches the large intestine).

Well, you may very well have had an IBS "attack".

Cheers, Raju.

Old 07-10-2003, 11:12 PM   #4
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adso HB User

Sounds like a normal IBS attack. The old 'which end first' seems far too familiar.

Plus the diarroeah seemed to happen so quickly after eating. Id say thats too much of a coincidence for the virus and too quick for food poisoning. Maybe see if you have more attacks like this in the future (although obviously you would be perfectly happy if you didnt

Old 07-11-2003, 05:56 AM   #5
Katie G
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It may be either one - I usually know if it's just a bad flare-up if I'm NOT running a fever, don't feel lethargy/body aches, etc. If I do have the additional symptoms, it's usually due to a virus. Something you ate may have set off the "dumping" reaction that can occur due to IBS.

Katie G

Old 07-11-2003, 06:41 AM   #6
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Well, I have had some of the same "dumping" scenarios you just discussed.
Same situation out with company eating normally and watched everything that I had ingested. A hour into the conversation that familiar twinge came over me. Everything else you described happened to me to the letter.

After some more investigation, I found out it might have been a combination of alcohol, and an agitant. My theroy is the agitant caused my system to go into spasm and the alcohol relaxed my system to allow the dumping to occur. Please note the alcohol was not
beer, it was an alcohol derived from corn

Old 07-11-2003, 07:57 AM   #7
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andyM HB User

Thank you everyone for your replies. I am just really confused. Like I said, I have had IBS for years, and the only time I get diarrhea is in a situation like I explained happened on Tuesday. And while my typical IBS pain is bad, this pain was unbearable until all the diarrhea had passed. It felt like something in my system wanted out.

I have not had the diarrhea again since that one incident. My stomach still feels weak, and not "normal" (whatever that is). But now I am worried from reading all these posts that after all these years I am verging on dealing with a new set of symptoms. I was thinking maybe it was actually something I ate at some point or a bacteria. But now I am concerned.

I have no way to gauge for me what is an "attack" and what is sick, because diarrhea attacks are not part of my illness. After reading these posts, Maybe now they are going to now be a new part of my IBS??? I guess now I have yet another thing to worry about.

Thanks again for all the replies.

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