Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Worried after colonoscopy


I am seventeen years of age and since November I have been experiencing several digestive system issues. In November, I started having constipation and began taking stool softners for it, which helped to pass it easier when I finally could have a bowel movement. However, then it began to alter once again and I was straining over soft stool that came out in pieces, sometimes they are very small pieces and sometimes they are larger pieces, but also occasionally have a flatness to them, and even at times have experienced these bowel movements coming out soft almost in small ball or pellet like form. During this time, I've also been experiencing crampy abdominal pain that at times act as muscle spasms which come and go in short intervals, but I've come to notice the pain and spasms act up the most at night, or just after meals. I had seen a regular family doctor and she told me to just watch it for a little while and to return to the doctor if it didn't get better, in the mean time the pain still continued as well as the abnormality in bowel movements and thus, I was refered to a GI specialist who I saw in January. He was fairly certain of my diagnosis being IBS, however just to be sure we scheduled a colonoscopy which was done yesterday. I went into the procedure rather confident, and came out terrified. During the colonoscopy the doctor told me there was some irritation that he had seen, and that he had taken a stool culture and he had taken a biopsy of the irritation. However, I am TERRIBLY worried about it now! I can't call in for biopsy results until next Monday and even at that it may take as long as 72 hours for him to get back to me. PLEASE, I NEED SOMETHING TO PUT MY MIND AT EASE! I read online that IBS does not cause visible irritation, but PLEASE, give me some advice on what else it could be! I'm praying so hard that it isn't cancer, crohns, or something serious of that nature. I'm in desperate need of some information, please help!!

Hi Jean, It won’t be cancer I can assure you of that at the age of 17 years! If it was anything to worry about, you would have been told so relax! An irritation, an interesting word that I wouldn’t normally use with my patients. I guess they found some inflammation which is why the advised a stool culture as it didn’t have the typical features of IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Sometimes you can see some pinkness to the lining due to the bowel prep so it may be nothing at all. However, it could be a form of inflammatory bowel disease, so you will need to await the biopsy and stool results. Even if it turns out to be IBD there are lots of treatment options for this, so its not the end of the world!

I have to say that your symptoms do sound like IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms and you can read more about these on my web site, IBS Help Online. You might find the IBS diet section. Regardless of what bowel condition this turns out to be, diet is very important and an IBS diet can help with most conditions.

Good luck.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Dr Peter Thatcher MBBS, MRCPI. IBS Physician & Gastroenterologist


I can answer questions on all aspects of IBS or the Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Medicine and Gastroenterology. This would include aspects of diagnosis, investigation and management of IBS and other gastroenterology or medical conditions.


I am a Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist in the United Kingdom. I qualified as a physician in 1993 and have been practicing Medicine and Gastroenterology ever since. I regularly run gastroenterology clinics and 1:4 patients have IBS. I am also the web master of IBS Help Online, an Irritable Bowel Syndrome help site.

British Society of Gastroenterology Member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, Cornwall. UK

Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist, Fully UK Trained Medical Degree at Kings College School of Medicine & Dentistry 1993 Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Examinations 1997

Awards and Honors
MBBS 1993 MRCPI 1997

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