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    Old 08-21-2005, 10:35 AM   #1
    Rog
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    Does this sound like IBS ?

    Hi everyone

    This is my first time on the boards and I'm just writing in for a bit of info,
    I'd like to know if anyone has had experience of IBS.

    I went to my doctor two weeks ago because i`ve had diarrhoea / loose stools on and off for about three months with mild stomach cramps, full of wind and feeling bloated.
    Sometimes my toilet visits reached double digits a day!! even though I feel I need to go, sometimes I don't actually have a BM.
    After several questions from my doctor including family problems with bowel conditions (which there has been none as far as I know) she asked me if I ever passed blood. To be honest I usually have traces of fresh blood and have for years, but as I have suffered piles in the past, have thought nothing of it. I explained all this to her and she asked to do a digital rectal exam.

    Well after she had done the business ,she said I had a polyp just inside the anus. I'd never heard of a polyp and had to look it up to see what it was.! She has referred me to a consultant and said I would probably have a colonoscopy / polypectomy. I've just had my letter from the hospital and I won't get into see the consultant for at least 13 weeks. So I would imagine the colonoscopy will be in the beginning of next year. (Maybe someone could tell me the usual waiting times in the UK, as I have no idea)

    I would just like to know from anyone who has had IBS, if the symptoms I've got sound familiar (to do with the stomach cramps/diarrhoea/ loose stools). I'm obviously hoping my problem has something to do IBS and nothing to do with the polyp and bleeding. It's probably just an unfortunate set of coincidences, but you can't help worry a little. By the way I'm 36.

    Thanks in advance

    Roger

     
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    Old 08-21-2005, 12:12 PM   #2
    Vickie306
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    Re: Does this sound like IBS ?

    yes Roger, I have IBS-C. But if I get particularly stressed, it can change to the big D very quickly. For me basically that means within 30 minutes of a meal....I am heading for the potty, and it can mean several trips! My lower ab area will swell or (distend), until the episode is over. Once you get into one of these cycles....your IBS symptoms can last for several weeks. And if you happen to have external or internal hemmorhoids...that just makes matters even worse, as the internal ones can start to bleed from irritation, and swell, burn, itch, etc. They may be what your Dr felt during the rectal exam. But, if a colonoscopy is suggested....then by all means...go for the test, if for no other reason, peace of mind.

     
    Old 08-22-2005, 07:57 AM   #3
    Rog
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    Re: Does this sound like IBS ?

    Thanks for getting back Vickie,From what you say it does sound like thats what Ive got.Just after a meal-swelling & cramps.I did query the Doc at the time, and asked if the polyp could be a hemmoroid but she said no.So I'll still have to have the colonoscopy.

    Thanks again

    Rog...

     
    Old 08-22-2005, 08:45 AM   #4
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    Re: Does this sound like IBS ?

    Dear Roger

    PLEASE GO BACK TO YOUR DOCTOR. My husband was in a similar position to you. Age 44, bleeding probs attributed to hemmroids, went to GP, used the cream, got a bit better, got worse , went back, talked about IBS, got worse, big weight loss, GP finally referred him to consultant, waited 13 weeks for appointment, 2 weeks later he was being operated on for ADVANCED STAGE 4 BOWEL CANCER. IT CANNOT GET ANY WORSE. If we had known then waht we know now and pushed for a consultant to see him when symptoms first persisted it might have saved him liver surgery.

    I know GPs will use the wait and watch tactic which is based on clinical observation, they will use the referral system too BUT they can also use the 2 week fast track system if symptoms warrant it. In your case, you have many symptoms which could be cancer.

    Cramps
    bloating
    Frequent loose bowels
    Bleeding episodes going back months/years
    AND A POLYP

    This is why you need to pester your GP into putting you onto that fast track system.

    Polyps can turn malignant all be it slowly but she only felt one digit's length into your bottom, it is very possible to get multiple polyps a long long way up your colon.If you wait 13 weeks for your appointment (and it may be alot longer) , at best your consultant will only perform a sigmoidoscopy which is a tool for looking at the lower section of your bowel. He/she may need to then organise further tests including a colonscopy which means another wait, then a CT scan which means another wait.

    If you get no luck with your GP and if you can afford it, go privately for the first consult. It will cost you about 350 inlcuding the sigmoidoscopy. If the consultant then thinks you have a high risk of cancer they will put you on the fast track system themselves (if they dont, contact your local MP and get them to take it up with the hospital).

    Sorry to have rambled so much but I get anxious when I hear the words anal polyp and wait 13 weeks.

    Dont let the NHS let you down

    good luck
    ktee

     
    Old 08-22-2005, 08:49 AM   #5
    ktee_uk
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    Re: Does this sound like IBS ?

    Just had to post again that I am so angry that your GP felt a polyp and did not put you on fast track system.

     
    Old 08-22-2005, 09:19 AM   #6
    WannaBeFreeToRoam
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    Re: Does this sound like IBS ?

    Hi Rog,

    First, I want to say, I agree with Ktee UK, you need to get the colonoscopy earlier than 13 or more weeks from now. If the doc. knows it is not a hemmorhoid and is a polyp, you need one soon. A polyp can be non cancerous, pre cancerous, or cancer. We do not want to scare you too much, but, wouldn't you rather get it over and done and the answers sooner (and the better)?

    It could also be IBS. I have/had IBS. Was diagnosed more than 20 yrs ago. I had diahrea, stomach cramps and or course anxiety about that. No hemmorhoids, back then, but that could have helped cause the ones I have now. I mainly got the diahrea when I was traveling or going on a trip/anxiety cause #1. I do think IBS and anxiety are related. Are you the least bit anxious or stressed? Also, alcohol can give you diahrea! If that applies to you. It did to me. I was about 30 yrs. old when diagnosed with IBS, and even back then, the Gastroenterologist, made me have a colonoscopy to rule out other things. Try and get it pushed up by a month or two!

    Take care and good luck getting an earlier date! Wannabe

     
    Old 08-22-2005, 02:54 PM   #7
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    Re: Does this sound like IBS ?

    Is this a UK thing...in regards to taking so very long for tests?

    I'm dumb founded at how long it takes you. I know here in the US, a colo screening can be done within as little as a few days to basically no longer than 10 days.

    As far as my IBS-C, I was diagnosed with it about 15 years ago. I was mostly constipated, with occasional bouts of D with awful cramping. The diarrhea would happen out of no where, but the episode would only happen after a meal.

    My gastro had given me bentyl for the occasional episodes of cramping and D. Then on one visit he told me about a natural tea that several of his patients were on, and reporting how drastically it had changed their lives for the better. That was 9 years ago. I've been on it nightly ever since. And it basically stopped my chronic C. And I don't get those horrific out of the blue spastic colon episodes anymore either.

    Last edited by Vickie306; 08-22-2005 at 03:02 PM. Reason: left paragraph out

     
    Old 08-22-2005, 09:39 PM   #8
    WannaBeFreeToRoam
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    Re: Does this sound like IBS ?

    Hi Vickie306,

    Is it against the rules to tell us the name of the tea? I would like to know, if not.

    Thanks, Wannabe

     
    Old 08-22-2005, 11:57 PM   #9
    ktee_uk
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    Re: Does this sound like IBS ?

    Hi Vickie

    Yes its a UK thing

    Yes it is our wonderful National Health Service (NHS). To see a consultant or one of their minions you have to get a referral from your General Practitioner (GP) and the average wait for a consult is about 13 weeks but this varies from one Local Authority area to another and also which ailment you have. It is often described as a "post code lottery" (zip code in USA?) because if you live on the wrong side of the street you might belong in a totally useless authority area. Once you get to see your consultant they can dither about what treatment to give you or what tests and waste so much time.

    Here in UK we are supposed to be able to get an appointment with a GP within 48 hours. This is a government set target. My local doctor has an average waiting list of 10 days. When i had my hysterectormy earlier this year, the process I went through was to wait 3 months to see my consultant. When I finally got to see him, he wanted me to see another one who specialises in another less invasive treatment which meant I would have another 3 months wait to see him. In the end, I paid privately and saw the same guy within 2 weeks. The irony was that he told me to go back to gyno number one and have the hysterectomy. (that cost me 250). After some bargaining with his secretary I only had to wait 6 or 7 weeks for the operation.

    The NHS is famous for being free which is not quite the truth as we do have to pay contributions from our wages before taxation (about 8% of salary which is a big chunk of money) and you cannot opt out. That means our employers pay the contribution on our behalf but out of our salary. Employers also make a contribution. And of course only earners pay contributions!!!!!

    I have to say that my mum and husband did have great care and treatment once they got to see the right people and no expense was spared in the treatment that was offered on the NHS.

    In order to get a colonoscopy you have to persuade your GP that you are a high risk candidate for cancer, or that you have a wide spectrum of symptoms like Roger.
    If you just want to be screened (say because you have a close family history) then the GP should refer you to the consultant in the normal way and you would expect to wait 3 months to see them and then wait for the colonoscopy to be schedulled which is currently 3 to 6 months). Once you are a regular for screening the hospital will organise the appointments for you.

    If you are presenting the variety of symptoms for cancer then your GP should refer you via the fast track system which the government put in place a couple of years ago. This means that you should see someone within 2 weeks. Unfortunately not all GPs are fully aware of how to use this system, or are not assertive enough to use it. Unfortunately there are also some who abuse the system which clogs it up for those who really need it.

    The NHS is a huge rambling organsisation and having had the experience of it over the last few years, I am very canny in dealing with them. I feel v.sorry for those who have to deal with it on their own or for the first time. It is so easy to get lost in their systems.

    There are many here in the UK which advocate private health insurance but having read some of the stories on the boards of people trying to get various treatments "authorised" by their ins.companys, I am not so sure.

    anyhow
    hope that clears it up for you Vicky

    regards to all
    ktee

     
    Old 08-23-2005, 03:25 AM   #10
    Rog
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    Re: Does this sound like IBS ?

    Hi everyone

    Thanks so much for getting back to me. You're all wonderfully, knowledgeable people and it's comforting to know there are people you can turn to when you need information or advice. This is a really good message board and it's good to be able to talk with other people and share experiences.

    I will look into having the sigmoidoscopy done privately after what you've said Ktee. The doctor I saw previously was a locum as my doctor was away. If I`d have seen my normal GP I don't think I would even have had a digital rectal exam and probably wouldn't have been referred to a consultant. My wife and I have no faith in our regular GP. I didn't mention on my previous post that I did have a blood test to check liver functions and for Crohn's disease. It was given the all clear.

    Vickie -before I went to see the doctor, I went to a local health food shop and asked what they had for IBS. They gave me charcoal capsules (activated), to absorb any gases I suppose. Acidophillus capsules (contains lactobacillus culture) To restore the natural balance of bacteria in the stomach. And peppermint tea to soothe the entire bowel system. I don't know if this is what your doctor suggested to you, it doesn't taste too bad like some herbal teas ,but I can't say I noticed much difference. I think I expected miracles but because I still felt the same after a week I stopped taking them. I've now dug them back out of the cupboard and will start taking them again at least until I've used them all , and see if that makes any difference. By the way I do get stressed (I have three kids) but no more than usual. I don't really drink either, could never get used to the hangovers!

    I'll let you all know how I get on.

    Take care everyone

    Roger

     
    Old 08-23-2005, 09:59 AM   #11
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    Re: Does this sound like IBS ?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ToBeFreeToRoam
    Hi Vickie306,

    Is it against the rules to tell us the name of the tea? I would like to know, if not.

    Thanks, Wannabe
    I know it isn't against the rules on other IBS boards, so I will post and if it is against the rules...I'm sure the moderator's will delete it.

    Anyway....the product is from a company called Laci LeBeau. It is an herbal tea. For some strange reason the tea is actually called "Super Dieter's Tea".
    I have no idea why, as there are absolutely NO appetite suppresents nor is there any energy stimulants!

    It comes in several flavors. Most people I know prefer the original flavor. But my mother likes the cinammon spice the best. I personally steer clear of the word spicey...as it can give me heartburn.

    Again...this product was recommended by my gastro for his patients that suffer from IBS-C. Not for patients that have IBS-D.

    You start out the first 2 evenings drinking the tea in a weakend form, so your system adjusts to it. Then on the 3rd evening you make the tea in a 6-8oz coffee cup. I put my tea bag in the cup and microwave for about 4 minutes. Then before I remove the tea bag I squeeze the bag alittle into the cup. You can use whatever sweetner or none at all....however you normally drink tea.

    Don't be discouraged if it takes your body a few day to start reacting to the tea. Afterall....this is not a chemical laxative. It took my mother about 5 nites in a row before it started working for her. In all these years, I haven't had anyone tell me it didn't totally change their life for the better! No more straining....or feeling bloated as a hot air balloon!

    You can purchase it any health food store, like a GNC...or you can order it online as I do and pay half as much. I pay 5.99 per box of 30.

     
    Old 08-23-2005, 10:19 AM   #12
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    Re: Does this sound like IBS ?

    Ktee...thanks for explaining your countries healtcare system. Great detailed post.
    As far as private insurance here in the US, and some people saying they were having trouble getting some tests/treatments authorized....yes that can be a real nightmare, if your on an HMO (health maintenance organization) plan. They basically control the doctor and you! I've always said I wouldn't insure my dog with an HMO. But I do realize that some people's employer's only offer that type of plan. And it puts them in a catch 22 position.

    Thank goodness....HMO's are not nearly as big as they were in the late 80's to early 90's. Most people now have plans called PPO's. And with those you go to anyone, specialist or otherwise that is contracted within your network.

    My husband is a physician, and he refuses to network with any HMO organization, because he won't agree to withold more expensive tests if he feels they are warranted.

     
    Old 08-23-2005, 02:11 PM   #13
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    Re: Does this sound like IBS ?

    Hey Rog, I just now read your post, I am 30 years old, and had some of the similar symptoms you explain for several months, bloating, cramping, frequent trips to the bathroom, loose stools, and usually a feeling of having to go, but not being able to go, or feeling like I wasn't finished and also small bits of blood or mucous in the stool. Sometimes it was in close proximity to eating, which made me think I may have IBS. Turns out one night I had a lot of blood, like i had never seen and went to the ER, he did a rectal exam and said there was no blood, but a hemmorhoid, but referred me for colonoscopy, and I actually have a cancerous tumor, (surgery this week).

    I'm finding out that a lot of us "younger folks" are affected by this, and I would push for the testing so if it is something serious it can get addressed in a timely manner.

    For me I tended to brush off what I see now as symptoms and changes in my habits, because at 30 I would have never thought about cancer. Good luck

     
    Old 08-24-2005, 04:36 AM   #14
    Rog
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    Re: Does this sound like IBS ?

    Thanks Sammypt,
    I've got an appointment to see the consultant in 13 weeks, but I am looking into going privately or trying to push the consultation up a bit.

    Good luck with the surgery and take it easy!

    Rog

     
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