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It could be ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, two inflammatory bowel disorders which can cause similar symptoms to IBS but need different treatments.
If you have celiac disease you will be suffering because you are eating gluten in bread, cakes and pasta (among other foods), and all you need to do to feel better will be to cut out gluten from your diet.
You may have picked up an intestinal parasite such as giardia from foreign travel, or you could have fibromyalgia, a condition that can cause bowel symptoms but can also cause problems such as ‘brain fog’ and muscle pain.
If you find that your symptoms are worse after drinking milk you may have lactose intolerance. And, of course, in a small number of cases it could be bowel cancer.
If your doctor has already diagnosed you with IBS, and you are happy with that diagnosis, then you can concentrate on relieving your IBS symptoms and not worry about these other conditions.
But if you have never been properly diagnosed, now is time to go to your doctor and explain your symptoms clearly, because you will only receive help you need if you know exactly what is wrong with your body.
Sophie Lee has had IBS for 15 years. She runs the website IBS Treatment http://www.irritable-bowel-syndrome.ws where you can find reviews of all the different treatments available for IBS.