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Have Had All Tests - Nothing left but IBS as Diagnosis


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For 2 decades I've struggled with lower abdominal pain.  I've had Ultrasounds, MRI's, CT scans, colonoscopies.  If IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion, then it would appear this is what I have. BUT I don't have the constipation or diarrhea symptoms.  If I follow the IBS diet, I'm pretty much symptom-free, but I've lost 30 lbs. and now I'm underweight by 10 lbs.  I'm concerned when this weight loss will stop.  Can you have IBS without the bowel issues, and have suffers who follow the IBS diet, lose weight rapidly too?

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Jeffrey Roberts

Hello Yorkiegirl,

You have had a lot of tests; however, like you have said you do not have constipation or diarrhea. IBS is not considered a diagnosis of exclusion and I don't think you meet the criteria without diarrhea or constipation or a combination of them both. There are guidelines issued by the various gastroenterology associations that define its diagnosis. We have learned over the last 10 years that there are many other conditions that mimic the symptoms of IBS. Additionally, there is something called Functional Abdominal Pain that is separate from IBS.

I assume you are referring to the low FODMAP diet when you say an "IBS diet". The low FODMAP diet is not a permanent diet, but rather you reduce the overall amount of FODMAP related foods, but you don't have to eliminate them altogether. If diet is helping you then I strongly suggest you meet with a Registered Dietitian who is familiar with the low FODMAP diet who can help you develop a more balanced diet so that you do not have weight loss.

In general, I do wonder why diet is able to manage your pain. It's great that you have found something, but I do wonder why it helps you.



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