- This is a disorder in which the
colon does not function properly. There is no known
underlying medical cause. This condition usually begins in
the late teens or early 20s.
- Abdominal pain -- crampy lower abdomen
- Abdominal pain relieved by bowel movements
- Increased stool when abdominal pain starts
- Diarrhea or Constipation or fluctuation between both of these
- Abdominal Bloating
- Anxiety may be present
- Depression may be
- May have abdominal
- Exclude other causes (ulcerative Colitis or Ovarian Cancer). Blood tests and sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy are often performed. Pelvic Ultrasound may be
performed in women.
- Trial of lactose-free diet
- Sorbitol, a common sweetener used in sugar-free dietetic foods, often causes Bloating and Diarrhea. Foods containing Sorbitol should be eliminated.
- Fructose, a sugar used in some health foods, can cause abdominal discomfort.
- Avoid flatulence ("gas") producing foods (beans, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, raw onions, plums, grapes, raisins, red wine, beer, and coffee).
- Eliminate caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, sodas, and tea.
- A trial of psyllium hulls
(Metamucil) helps some individuals.
- Use of antiDiarrheal agents
before stressful situations (e.g., social events) -- Lomotil or Imodium commonly used
- Lotronex is a new medication that helps with abdominal pain and Diarrhea in women
- Anticholinergic agents such as hyoscyamine or dicyclomine
- Lotronex for female patients
- Trial of Metamucil as described above. A Trial of other
fiber products such as bran or
- Antidepressants such as Amitriptyline (Elavil) help and may also help with Diarrhea symptoms (avoid in individuals with chronic Constipation as it
may make worse).
- Behavioral techniques and psychological evaluation and
treatment may help some
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