IBS and Problem in Digesting Fat
Q: I have had fibromyalgia and IBS for 6 years. Lately, I have been having more trouble with my IBS along with pain in my middle back and stomach. The doctors don’t seem to find anything. They checked my gallbladder and said it was fine. But I have noticed that I have white spots, more like seeds in my stool. I am a vegetarian, so I could not have got worms from meat. But I don’t know what is going on. Do you have any thoughts?
It is more likely that your symptoms are due to IBS.
About Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is a disorder of the large intestine (colon). The affected part of the colon is irritable, so the digestion is affected.
Normally, our gut produces cycles of contractions and relaxation movements, which propel the food ahead throughout the gut. These rhythmic movements are called peristalsis.
In cases of IBS, these movements are affected. Either they are too rapid, resulting in very fast movement of food, or very slow.
If the movement is fast, the patient has diarrhea. If slow, the patient is constipated. Bloating and gas accompany in both cases.
The digestion of food is not proper, especially fat. The white specks may be due to undigested fat in your gut.
You may go for a stools culture to investigate those white specks.
Differentiating Gall Bladder Problems With IBS
Symptoms of common gall bladder disorders do appear similar to IBS. However, there are certain differences too.
- Location of pain- Patients of gall bladder problem often complain of pain somewhere in the upper right abdomen. This pain may be behind the breast bones, or a little lower. Sometimes this pain radiates to the back. IBS gives abdominal pain, which is crampy in nature.
- Some degree of nausea or vomiting are usually present in gall bladder problems. Fever with chills may also accompany.
- Gall bladder patients typically complain about a fullness feel after meals.
However, many symptoms like bloating, gas and disturbed digestion are common.
If in any doubt, an ultrasound or other imaging technique can be done for the gall bladder.
Though medicines are prescribed, it would be helpful to manage your symptoms by regulating your diet.
Watch your diet, what food give you problems. Maintaining a food diary works well for most.
Some Tips That May Help
- Drink lots of fluids.
- Let your meals be rich in fibers. These are naturally present in fruits and vegetables. Consume plenty of them.
- You may consider adding some fiber supplement in your diet.
- Light exercises on a regular basis are beneficial.
- Patients with IBS have often been found to lack a healthy flora in their gut. It would be good to take fresh home-made curd on a regular basis to overcome this deficiency.
- If you have any degree of lactose intolerance, restrict having milk and cheese. Read more about dietary measures.