HealthDoctor Karen

I was diagnosed with IBS two years, now I'm getting abdominal cramps

I was diagnosed with IBS two years, now I'm getting abdominal cramps

Dear Karen,

I was diagnosed with Irritable bowel two years ago and now I am getting abdominal cramps. Is this the irritable bowel back again?
 
Karen says: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gut disorder. The cause is not known. Symptoms can be quite variable and include tummy (abdominal) pain, bloating, and sometimes bouts of diarrhoea and/or constipation.  
 
Symptoms tend to come and go.  There is no cure for IBS, but symptoms can often be eased with treatment.
 
It is hard to know reader, if your symptoms are due to your irritable bowel or some other problem.  My advice is if there is any unexplained weight loss, rectal bleeding or if you are up at night with diarrhoea then go to your GP.  
 
The key message is that these symptoms probably are related to your irritable bowel condition, but we need to keep an open mind and follow up on any worrisome symptoms.  Your GP will do blood tests and organise further investigations as appropriate.
 
Just remember, in most people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the condition tends to persist long-term.  However, the severity of symptoms tends to wax and wane.  You may have long spells without any symptoms, or with only mild symptoms.  
 
Treatment can often help to ease symptoms when they flare up. In some cases, symptoms clear for good at some stage.  This is more likely if your IBS started after an infection (gastroenteritis).
 
You know that IBS does not shorten your expected life span, it does not lead to cancer of the bowel, and does not cause blockages of the gut, or other serious conditions.