First Visit To The Doctor

Why is it so embarrassing going to a doctor and talking about your bowels?  I felt like I was about to participate in the program “Embarrassing Illnesses”. Anyway the doctor took blood tests and that was it.
When the results came back it showed that my haemoglobin (iron) level was low and the ferritin level really low.  Apparently your ferritin level shows how well your body stores iron – so my low level showed that my body wasn’t storing it and so there was little available to make haemoglobin. The doctor put me on iron tablets and took some more blood tests.

During this time I had started reading books on IBS and came across a brilliant one No More IBS. It goes into details of the various types of IBS and has a day by day elimination diet to follow.  I decided to go ahead and start the diet as I was desperate to feel better. First of all I had to eliminate all wheat, dairy, oats, barley, rye, citrus fruit, yeast, potato and corn from my diet for 2 weeks. In the book they provided a menu for the 2 weeks which helped. Then I had to introduce foods back in the following order for a week at a time;
1. potato and corn
2. citrus
3.dairy
4. yeast
5. oats, barley and rye
6. white flour
7. wholewheat

For each week there were recipes and menus to help.

The results of this diet were;
Dairy – stomach pains and loose stools (is there pain relief for IBS?)
Wheat – if I ate too much it caused bloating and increase in stool frequency

The most interesting discovery was a violent reaction to vegetable oil – I was pretty sure it must be rapeseed oil. I found this out by accident when adding corn. I was fine with corn and then one particular meal I had caused a terrible reaction. Since I’d kept a diary of absolutely everything I’d eaten I pinned it down to vegetable oil. I tested it again a few times and each time had a reaction to varying degrees. Nowhere on the internet could I find anything about reactions to rapeseed oil although it is in fact toxic and I can’t understand why it is allowed in the food chain. Is there anyone else out there who has also found this?

Things did improve. Instead of needing the loo 6 times a day it was now 2 or 3 times!

Anyway back to the doctor. The iron tablets sorted out the anaemia. I had a test for celiac disease as this is known to cause anaemia and IBS like symptoms. The result came back negative.

I then had to wait for an ultra scan – you have to fast and then drink loads of water beforehand. It is a very straight forward procedure and didn’t show up anything to be concerned about. However they did notice an area on the lower right hand side that was full of gas and would probably cause tenderness and discomfort. This is one of the places I do get pain so maybe that explained why!

I discussed my findings from the elimination diet with the doctor and I was then referred to a consultant in gastroenterology. I began to feel that I was on my way to getting relief for IBS.

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