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Can it be IBS if there is no pain


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My husband, 79, has had alternating diarrhea and constipation for the last year. He has had a colonoscopy with no problems revealed in the bowel. Everything I read on IBS matches his symptoms except for the pain. He sometimes has stomach pain when he is constipated but none otherwise.  Doctor has kind of given up I think.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Jeffrey Roberts

Hi Jubla,

I'm sorry to read about your husband's difficulty. It is definitely more tricky to diagnose someone above 65 years old. You always worry about another cause. Abdominal pain is really the hallmark symptom of IBS. It is often relieved by a bowel movement. If that's not the case for your husband, I think the doctor needs to look further. Some imaging or stool cultures might help to find the cause. There are also some markers in blood work which could reveal if inflammation is involved. You would hate for something to be missed. If your doctor is truly unwilling to investigate further than I would increase the fibre. That can help both diarrhea and constipation.

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