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Al Favela

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I'm a 77 years old and have been suffering with what I believe is IBS for about 15 years. I say I believe I have IBS because no one has actually diagnosed it. I have read about my problem and sometime before my problems started I had a very bad gastro infection, which I read can cause IBS to take place. I have gastrointestinal discomfort/pain almost on a daily basis. I had daiharrea almost on a daily basis until I was prescribed cholestyramine, which has mostly taken care of the problem. I've seen 8 or 9 doctors and to date do not have a diagnosis. the closest I've come was when my current doctor told me  "I think you have IBS", but didn't suggest a course of action. My fault to a point because I should have  aggressively pushed for that. I've been prescribed 2 medicines, neither of which worked. So this is where I am, I'd appreciate any ideas, suggestions you may have.

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Jeffrey Roberts

Dear Al,

I can appreciate how frustrated you must be even after seeing multiple doctors.

I think the problem with your diagnosis is your age. It immediately raises a red flag and probably worries your doctors that something more sinister is at play. If you feel very confident that you have had good workups and are still not getting any answers, you could suggest some ideas to your doctor for a treatment. Cholestyramine is a good option especially if it is helping with the diarrhea.

You are right that post-infectious IBS (PI-IBS) often develops after a serious bowel infection.

Has anyone suggested antispasmodics for your pain? You generally take them before each meal.

There are basically two medications which you might have tried Xifaxan or Viberzi.

Diet related changes might be achieved by working with a dietitian and the low FODMAP diet to find which foods high in FODMAP might be contributing to your symptoms.

I hope this is helpful info.

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