Posted by: Zoe | 2010-01-10

IBS - yet again

Hi Doc - Please help
My IBS was diagnosed 22 years ago, at age 30, and Colofac did not help. I' ve tried dieticians, naturopaths and psychotherapy over the years, with limited results. I suffer from migraines more when I am very stressed at work, fatigued and hungry. I usually have a migraine every 2 months, but have had 11 in about 10 weeks lately, as I have been under severe pressure. I' ve been on Effexor XR 75g continuously since Jan 2006, and have used Movicol every day since September 2008, with great success, for IBS-C.

The IBS kicked in rather badly around New Year, after being not bad for about the same length of time I was having so many migraines. I sometimes find that as my anxiety and stress are expressed in one way - and I cannot control which way it will be - so the other ways are not bad. But right now the gas from the IBS (as when it is very bad), is horrific - like bad eggs and bad onions, or like one of the trucks that one overtakes on highways. I am so ashamed of myself and try to keep away from people, for obvious reasons. I spend my time at work trying to stay in my own office (difficult), and do certain tasks early in the day after a bowel movement when there is not as much gas for a couple of hours. While shopping I make sure to move along quickly past other shoppers the minute I feel gas coming. My life is not my own when the IBS is bad because of its revolting odour. The odour is not always this bad, usually when I' m having a bad episode although the episodes can unfortunately last for months.

In 2007 my GP referred me to a gastroenterologist to request a colonoscopy. I was in his office fewer than 15 minutes, and he was more interested in the fact I had not yet had a mammogram at age 50, and indicated he would not be inclined to do a colonoscopy on a person who was using an antidepressant because the medication was known to interfere with the digestive system in any case. I was extremely disappointed.

Please could you offer me some advise? What can I possibly do about this gas, even if I live with the IBS?

Thank you very much for your time.

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Our expert says:
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You will have to consult a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy. This is very important, as IBS is a diagnosis made by excluding other causes. Ask your GP to refer you to a more sympathic gastroenterologist or abdominal surgeon.

I have no suggestions on how to treat your flatulence. Please refer to the following link:

Ask your doctor to consider Cipramil instead of the Venlor XR. This is very good for the treatment of anxiety and can have a lessor effect on your bowel.


Dr Anrich Burger

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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