Post-Infectious IBS

First you get sick, then you get IBS…

Sign showing the many symptoms of a "stomach bug" AKA gastroenteritis

A bad bout of the “stomach bug” AKA gastroenteritis, can lead to ongoing IBS symptoms.
© Can Stock Photo

Many researchers have studied post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome as one of the main ways of getting IBS.

One theory is that having an intense infection causing diarrhea, can damage the bowel or the nerves of the bowel.

One trouble is that it’s hard to remember if you were sick with diarrhea (also known as gastroenteritis) before developing IBS.

The onset of IBS after gastroenteritis (post-viral IBS).

The pattern of post-infectious IBS seems to be that a person gets sick with something like a “stomach bug” (More about parasites below), that causes intense diarrhea. After the diarrhea passes, somehow the functioning of the bowels has changed.

While science has never found the actual damage or physical change, it is thought that there may be damage to the nerves. This may cause what researchers call a “change in gastric motility”.

Escherichia coli bacterium under an electron  microscope

Escherichia coli can cause food poisoning. Another way to get a nasty bout of vomiting and diarrhea.
© Can Stock Photo

Changes in gastric motility (what???).

This just means your bowels don’t move the way they used to.

Your bowels use something called peristalsis to push food and later feces (poop) through your bowels. But after (post) infection, IBS symptoms develop.

Constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, etc., return time after time.

To people who develop IBS-D, the diarrhea type of IBS, it seems like a stomach flu that just never goes away.

It’s a little different for the IBS-C or constipation folks. First they have diarrhea or gastroenteritis, then after a while they notice constipation and abdominal pain that doesn’t seem to go away or keeps coming back.

What about post-infectious IBS and food sensitivities?

Rubber stamp vectors of allergy products such as gluten dairy and sugar free

Damage to your bowels can make it hard to process foods, leading to food sensitivities.
© Can Stock Photo

The way my doctor explained this to me was that during a bad diarrhea attack, the bowels can slough off (lose) certain kinds of cells. These cells make it possible to digest or absorb foods. When you lose them it can lead to having undigested or partially digested foods in your colon.

Bacteria in the colon eat the undigested food and give off chemicals and gasses. This can cause bloating, cramps and spasms which are the hallmark of irritable bowel syndrome.

In other words you’ve developed a food intolerance or sensitivity.

Some people find that they can no longer digest things like milk, soy or wheat after developing post-infectious IBS.

Can a giardia infection cause IBS?

Giardia intestinalis is a parasite that many people get. It causes a couple of weeks of major diarrhea.

There are studies that show people that have had giardia diarrhea can develop post-infectious IBS just like people with viral diarrhea.

I personally believe this is how I got IBS. I used to like to go hiking. Though I didn’t drink the water, I washed with it and got a giardia infection.

After 2 or 3 major bouts with giardia intestinalis, I noticed that something was different. That was over 20 years ago, and my bowels have never been the same.

Is there anything I can do about IBS once I get it?

After talking to your doctor and following his or her advice, your next step is to find out all you can about IBS.

There is information all over this site about things you can do to help IBS symptoms.

There is also information about techniques like hypnosis , certain drugs (like Rifaximin), or natural supplements, (such as enteric peppermint oil), that have helped people with post-infectious IBS.

What about you?

What was your experience with post-infectious IBS? Let people know in the comments section below.


  1. Reply

    I caught Strep throat for the second time this year from my toddler who goes to day care. Only this time my throat didn’t hurt until the third day so I didn’t go to doctor until few days later. Was running fever for two full days and finally got better after ten days of Amoxicillin. Then I noticed I get diarrhea really easily after the antibiotic treatment. At first I was I was getting a stomach bug. Unlike the other stomach bug this mild ache tummy still goes on and it been almost a month now. Seems like stress makes it worst or heavy meal. Today after reading this article I began to wonder if I actually have IBS-PI. I just don’t feel like my gut is the same ever since I finished that ten day of antibiotics. Does Strep throat consider infectious enough to causes IBS ?

    • Reply

      Have you ever read the fine print on these antibiotics that the dr are giving people these days. If you haven’t you should. I’m going to try to find what I’m talking about and will post it.

  2. Reply

    I caught Strep throat for the second time this year from my toddler who goes to day care. Only the second time my throat didn’t hurt until the third day so I didn’t go to doctor until few days later. Was running fever for two full days and finally got better after ten days of Amoxicillin. Then I noticed I get diarrhea really easily after the antibiotic treatment. At first I was I was getting a stomach bug. Unlike the other stomach bug this mild ache tummy still goes on and it been almost a month now. Seems like stress makes it worst or heavy meal. Today after reading this articl eI began to wonder if I actually have IBS-PI. I just don’t feel like my gut is the same ever since I finished that ten day of antibiotics. Does Strep throat consider infectious enough to causes IBS ?

  3. Reply

    Every since I had a bad tummy bug last year I’ve had on and off nausea and diarreah. I also got bad anxiety which causes this too (am on medication). Several trips to the doctors and they found nothing. They suggested IBS but gave me no info or anything. No follow ups. I have just caught another tummy bug where I had the watery diarreah and bad vomiting. Yesterday I went to the toilet and I had what felt like diarreah but after looking (dr suggested looking from now on) it was very very small formed bits (happens quite often after having diarreah). I went to the toilet this morning and had diarreah again with small formed parts. How can I help this.

  4. Reply

    I have had its for 30 years I’m 59 now, iv always been able to control with medication from go, iv recently had gastroenteritis, I was in hospital for 7 days, the pain on my right side I never had before under my ribs up my back,was excruciating, I had tests scans X Ray’s all came back normal, started to ease then I was discharged, they said they were baffled ? Put it down to my ibs as well, iv been home a week, some days are ok but sometimes still in awfull pain , I feel weak, unwell depressed, frustrated as I just want this pain and cramps to go away, iv lost 6ib weight, diareea stress. I’m trying mint tea green tea, honey and Lemmon, cutting dairy out , help please, anyone else out there having same ? Feel as if I’m alone in this.

    • Reply

      Chris have your Dr. check for gallstones/kidney stones/obstructon

    • Reply

      Hi I’ve had IBS for 20 something years, started after my gallbladder was removed. I’ve had other health issues since which have caused me to get Gastroparesis. Not many people know about it but people that get the one called Idiopathic Gastroparesis where the Doctors don’t know what caused it. The people I have talked to on sites some have gotten it from viruses, surgeries, illnesses & like me Diabetes. It’s where the vegus nerve in the stomach that helps the digestion slows down or stops working. The symptoms are bloating, nausea, pain, diahrrea, constipation. The only way to diagnose this is doing an stomach emptying test. You don’t need to have all the symptom, I don’t vomit all the time I have a milder case. It’s very close to IBS & other health issues.

    • Reply

      I have had IBS for over 4 months. I mean very seriously my doctor has tried everything help.

  5. Reply

    Went through a terrible bout of viral stomach infection just after Thanksgiving. Had to take off work for a week! All the usual flu symptoms plus diarrhea and abdominal pain and pressure but no nausea. I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life except food poisoning many years ago. Lost 6lbs though! Anyhow now I feel like there’s a Stephen King monster in my gut. It’s the day after Christmas and I still have terrible IBS with associated diarrhea and abdominal pressure and some cramping. I’m always tired because I have to go every two hours, day and night. Sometimes it’s like, “That’s it?” and other times it’s the real deal, although some days are better than others. To my detriment I haven’t really done anything diet-wise except cut back on dairy. You see I’ve always been able to eat whatever I chose without any digestive push-back. My wife used to say that I had an iron stomach. Now it almost seems like I’m paying the price. Karma’s a bitch! Not on any other meds except Cymbalta for mild depression. I do take high dose probiotics though and at first I think it was helping but then I went and ate all manner of holiday food and of course that didn’t help, I’m sure. I don’t like the way the A-D meds make me feel and it doesn’t seem to do anything about the abdominal pressure. Anyway I’m seeing my GP tomorrow to see what he might want me to do. I can more or less deal with the frequent toilet trips during the day but it’s a real PIA at night, especially the way it disturbs my sleep.

    • Reply

      Try charcoal pills. I used to take one every night and my symptoms went away. You might find the eventually you are constipated but for me it took 3 months until I could finally discontinue the charcoal pills and was having normal bm’s.

  6. Reply

    Had diarreah for 8 years, last year had energancy gallbladder surgery,it was attached to my liver abd other organs. Then,i had normal bm for a wahile. Then 2 weeks a i went to the bathroom and blood poured out. Now i am having scopes done to see where the bleed was at, the ct scan and other tests couldnt find it. Now, im on 7 different medications.ugh.

  7. Reply

    I was diagnosed with IBS just after my son was born in 1988. Over the years I’ve learned to manage it and recently I discovered an intolerance to tyramine, which has made a big change to my life. However, three weeks ago I got the flu. Not stomach flu, regular flu. Towards the end of the infection I had some diarrhea, which I put down to a flare up. Since then I have not been able to get my digestion back on track, no matter what I do. It’s as if everything’s gone out of whack. It’s hugely depressing and I really don’t think I can cope with my IBS any more. Yesterday, for the first time in 25 years I had a major panic attack. Back in the day I used to have five or six panic attacks every day, so to have one out of the blue like that was very frustrating and depressing. Increasingly, I’m coming to think that there’s no point in going on.

    • Reply

      Just saw your post. How are you doing now? Any better?

    • Reply

      I had a nasty bout of flu August/September this year that ended with massive diarrhoea. Now my digestive system doesn’t seem to be working – just blocked up. I’ve tried laxatives without success. Now will try probiotics and fibre supplement. As for panic attacks – what I have noticed is that the sensation in the belly arising from all of this is just like anxiety. So, I feel anxious but I’m not but could easily become so because of this constant sensation of being scared

    • Reply

      Angela, I can relate to both panic attacks and ibs diarrhea. I can do only half of what I used to. Don’t give up, medical science is on the brink of finding out many new things. Be deliberate about what you do each day. You are worth more than you give yourself credit!

  8. Reply

    I developed a ‘tummy bug’ while on holiday in China 2007. I had been given antibiotics for that episode. The infection & sickness stopped / the diarrhoea eased, but never stopped. So for 10 years now I have been dealing with it EVERY DAY by taking fibre capsules [used to be 5 a day, now 2] and I take Imodium {Loperamide] 2 to 4 capsules a day [used to be 6] just to have an OK day. I have researched my own diet to see if any common food makes it worse, and a dietitian has also overseen that. I have had all medical tests necessary [colonoscopy included] and nothing has been found wrong with me.
    So, what little I read at the beginning of this page makes a lot of sense… The infection I had may have damaged my bowel by the removal of some nerve tissue and/or surface of the bowel at the time of the infection 10 years ago.
    That has given me an indication of a possible answer to my problem. Thanks.

  9. Reply

    Was diagnosed with influenza B in April 2017, after 2 weeks of terrible bouts of diarrhea, and just not feeling well, one trip to ER, 3 trips to MD,was told I had viral gastroenteritis and was told it would run it’s course. Was told to take a probiotic,drink lots of water& rest. The severity of the diarrhea subsided, but continued to have digestive issues. MD put me on a 6 day 4mg of the steroid Medrol,which didn’t really help, and I am still dealing with side effects 3 weeks later. Finally saw a gastroenteritis this morning, and she seems to feel I have post infection IBS. Well know more after bloodwork& stool sample coming back. If they don’t show anything then the next step will be a colonoscopy& a endoscopy. It has truly eased my mind to read so many of the experiences the rest of you are having or had. This illness effects you physically and mentally. Its very hard for me to explain to my family how it has changed me. They hear the word “flu”and don’t understand why I’m still feeling so bad 2 months later. I think I may ask them to read this forum. Prayers for all to regain your health.

    • Reply


      I had the same thing in December 2015-Jan 2016 and now almost two years later I’m still dealing with IBS-C. I have eliminated all gluten, wheat, sugar, dairy and other things from my diet. Basically eat a paleo diet. Still have pain , gas and bloat with abdominal pain. Had colonoscopy and endoscopy with negative results. I’m now on xifaxin (last day) and I’m still having the gas and bloat but pain has subsided substantially. Not sure where to go from here. I’ve recently added HCL with pepsin and it does help with the gas and bloat and also eases the pain and I have also began to have regular normal bowel movements. Still playing with the dosages but it does help so far and also eliminates my heartburn which also started immediately with the flu!! Anyone else have experience with this?

      • Reply

        Hi david,
        I feel like i am reading about myself here. Very similar symptoms to yours. Have been for endoscopy and bloods showing clear, have been to gastro dr who has suggested colonoscopy and if they comes back clear we are looking at postinfectious ibs. Ive just started dairy free and in 3 weeks dr has advised gluten free. So far not seeing major benefits. Also been on probiotics and again not much change. Mentally it is challenging and my anxiety levels are so high. Ive become a complete germophobe and dread picking up another stomach bug incase it sets me back. Ive also lost 2 stone since dec when this all kicked off

      • Reply

        My gastroenterologist put my on cyclic courses of the rifaximin and probiotics, as well as taking Iberogast to manage the symptoms like gas, bloating, stomach cramps etc. I also made changes to my diet by avoiding known triggers for symptoms (FODMAP’s). I was seeing great improvements and feeling really well until a recent bout of gastroenteritist about 6 weeks ago now – my stomach is the worst it’s been in a really long time. I highly recommend trialling the Iberogast – I won’t like it tastes pretty awful but it has worked wonders for me. Also consider FODMAP’s diet to see if food is a trigger.

  10. Reply

    My story started after I ate a poutine (at least what I thought). My stomach felt nautious but I didn’t throw up. I went to sleep and basically felt fine the next morning. I then had an afternoon nap the next day and woke up with swollen glands in my neck but I pretty much felt OK and the swelling went away in a mere couple of hours. A few days later I started to realize something was not right. I then came down with what I thought at the time was enfluenza (fatigue, cold sweats general malaise and some diarrhea) since it was the flu season. It lingered for 2 weeks before I felt better. But after a few days I began having abdominal pain, not sharp but dull and achey. My stool turned green and was loose and I had some bouts of diarrhea again. I decided to go to the doctor, they ordered an ultra sound and some blood tests. I then felt suddenly much much better, basically I was fine and had missed too much work that I decided to skip the tests thinking it had passed. A week or so went by and I started to have more abdominal pain, same as before. My stool returned to a more normal colour but was still light brown and loosish. The texture looked terrible like my body had a bacteria or virus in it. I started researching and discovered I may have IBS. I also speculated it could be lactose intolerance but that didn’t fully add up since it seemed to be very random with what i ate. I thought I was on the mend for a while, I was eating healthier foods and excersizing which seemed to help. Then after some time I had a bagel with cream cheese and my nerves were twitching in my stomach. The next day I was fine but had a slice of pizza and immediately became nautious. I started speculating it was the lactose again and cut it out and started feeling better. I decided to go back to the doctor to get tests and will go through this time. Still scheduled for next week. My bouts come after eating almost any food except very plain meals like bananas and bread etc. My face feels hot but is not red. I can basically function but it’s taking its toll on me not being able to eat what I could before and getting random abdominal pain that I never experienced before. This has been going on for 3 months now.

    To those suffering similar symptoms I recommend a couple of things. Excersizing, sleeping well and eating bananas in morning and night has eleviated some of the symptoms. I also suggest Marijuana, it helps make me feel basically normal after I’ve started feeling hot in the face and can feel my insides churning. Another side note, although the lymph nodes are not swollen I do have bizarre pains (dull and not strong) randomly in my body seemingly anywhere that lymph nodes are found. Especially in and around the tongue and neck. Almost like nerve damage or something but it’s not very painful and is very random and infrequent.

    Hoping it goes away soon but now I’m not sure if it ever will. I’ll try and update after I get some test results in.

    Hope everyone here starts feeling better soon.

    • Reply

      Emilio, you need to get those tests at the doctor right away. Also request a comprehensive stool analysis. I also highly recommend finding a naturopathic doctor, because they dig for answers, reasons & solutions long past when other doctors give up. I know because I have seen many primary care physicians, allergists and gastroenterologists. The naturopathic doctor was smarter and more thorough than all of them. Many years went by and I finally got a billion diagnoses. Go get some answers! Now is the time since it’s still in your recent past.
      Make sure to mention what symptoms you got at the beginning too, because there’s a great deal of diseases that can result from flu-like symptoms. Make sure to also mention all symptoms in general, including that weird tongue neck thing and ANYTHING else that you think other people may not feel normally. I advise you to make a list ahead of time so you can remember everything.
      I tell you this because my diagnosis was based on various long seemingly just odd or unrelated symptoms, and I greatly wish that I had told someone. Because now I have been blogging with a chronic antibiotic resistant disease from a bug bite that I never even saw!
      So go! Learn from my mistakes, please.

    • Reply

      I experice the lymph node problem, all down my left leg and groin and right side of neck and around ear.. very worrying, does feel like nerve damage. It’s so strange. Read up about lectins containing foods, i had a point were I couldn’t eat any wheat at all, then it was milk, then night shade vegatibles.. then soy products, I got very ill very fast. I ended up on hostipal they couldn’t find nothing, out of nowhere now I can eat all of them apart from nuts which is bizzar and dairy as it makes me externally gassy and stomach pains are unpleasant. This all started after taking antibiotics and anti acids from a bad bout of campylobacter last year, I had a colonoscopy and everything came back normal, but got a small bowel Mri next month so rule out damage or any other nasty things. Somthing that helps my belly is stwed apples and cinnamon, strange but worth a go.

    • Reply

      I too am a IBS sufferer.I developed it back in 1998. After experiencing a severe case of food poisoning in which, I had to be hospitalized behind.It went into remission for about 16 yrs only to resurface in 2014. It returned and has never left. I wouldn’t wish this on no one. The severe abdominal pain. frequent bowel movements. thank god,I do not have diarrhea just more than usual toilet trips. frequent nausea in which I had to go on medication to alleviate the symptom of nauseousness. Major food allergies. I stopped eating out. I wait to eat when I get home in case something mess with me. i am home to be all miserable . This is the worse condition ever and for doctors to still have no cure for it or the real reason as to what causes it is a damn shame. they need to put more research and money into finding a cure for this shit

  11. Reply

    I have been dealing with stomach issues since I’ve had my last kid of 5. It has been a battle of learning what agrees with me and doesn’t. A month ago I just had the flu and it sent my stomach into a whirl wind of fun. Not really. Any suggestions in stuff that can help put stomach back to what I now consider normal. Which it really isn’t but I got it to feel normal before my flu. Or am I back to find what triggers it again? One major thing that I can’t eat is processed foods or soda. I would suggest to anyone that is figuring out what triggers it is to look at that part of your diet.

    • Reply

      I cant stress how important the fodmap diet is! This helps so much! While you are healing stick to gluten free bread, brown rice and tamari, bananas, potatos, zuccini steamed and small ammounts of carrot. Dont eat any fats. Dont take multi vitimins. It takes round 3-6 months to heal. Eat the same food for 2 days before re introducing anything. Keep a food diary- add other foods very slowly!
      I was very very ill 3 months ago and still healing using the above! As you get better poached chicken and scrambled eggs are great. Take a freeze dried probiotic in a capsule form…break open the capsule and start off with a quarter of powder from tbe capsule each day and slowly build up to a whole. Trust me on this… makes a huge difference. In terms of the fodmap diet the monash university has an app you can download to make it much easier. Well worth it. Good luck and any questions just ask. :) emma

      • Reply

        Hello Emma,
        I’ve had IBS-D since a food poisoning in January. Really annoying, and I tried some probiotics which did not help me (some even made it worse!) I’ve started with the fodmap diet but will soon go to a nutritionist to help me with the diet. Could you tell me why I shouldn’t take multivitamins and which probiotic you use? Thanks in advance! Ingeborg

        • Reply

          Same situation as myself. Back in Feb I caught a bacteria/bug in Bali then a doctor perscribed me 2 diffrent antibiotics which destroyed my insides! You can take probiotics. You have to go back to basics with your diet first. Eat brown rice/bananas/gf bread/potatoes for a week and see if stools become firmer. I personally did this for 3 weeks ( doctor had told me to) first step is repair, second is replace which is where probiotics come in.
          Once you are in a better place with your poo- buy a freeze died probiotic in the billions. This is basicly one you can buy at the chemist which is on the shelf- NOT in the fridge. Make sure it is capsule form. Break open a capsule and start with a quarter with food of a morning. You need to build up to a whole very slowly as your body is very very sensitive! I have been taking Wagner’s probiotics 50 billion for 11 days and only yesterday was my first half!
          In terms of vitamins your body is more than capable of surviving for 3-6 months with what is has. All vitamins are absorbed through the wall of the stomach. As your stomach is damaged/sensitive if it cant absorb it- it will poo it out! No help whatsoever.
          The doctor i see who is amazing in Australia in Perth advised me every 3 months get full blood work done to keep a check on folate, B vitamins and iron. If you are dargerously low in any- if your guts are still healing genrally you would get an infusion- done at most pathology clinics. That way it is absorbed. Hope this helps :) emma

          • Hi Emma,

            It’s very important to have a good doctor that knows what he’s doing I think. Unfortunately, here in Belgium, IBS is still something that they don’t know a lot about. This Friday I’m going to the specialist in the hospital for the first time, especially because I feel I’m being the doctor myself at the moment. I also would like to know if there’s a possibility that I have a bacterial overgrowth, because I did not take any antibiotics after the food poisoning and I react quite bad to probiotics. I do still believe that they can help me, but I have the refrigerated one now (Symprove) and I’m a bit scared to start it. Did your doctor say that you would be better in 6 months? I have some good days now and then, which is an improvement because in the beginning it was very bad. But I’m still suffering almost every day. Thanks for your reaction! Ingeborg

          • Best thing you can do is listen to your gut- literally. I tried teo doctors before finfing my female GP. Personally I beleive a doctor with a holistic approach is tge way to go.
            I would reccomend blood tests for infection, paracite stool samples ( do several) and if you can a test for Sibo.
            Have you ever had issues with food prior?

          • Emma, I also got the e. histolytic parasite in Bali in November and am still suffering. I’m starting the FODMAP diet tomorrow. Did you ever fully recover?

  12. Reply

    It started with incredible cramping in my upper/mid stomach. Next day continued, lead to fever and diarrhea for 2 weeks. Fever, headache muscle aches were gone within 3 days, but the loose stools stuck around. Doctor did stool sample, all negative, follow up with a Gastroenterologist who said it was post infectious ibs. Went on a diet of toast, pasta, breaded chicken tenders then added eggs. Diarrhea slowly went away. The gas and cramping is still lingering, but I am sort of returning to a normal diet. I have been taking align and will soon attempt to start eating yogurt again. I’ve been avoiding dairy during this three week period. I make it and made it a point to hydrate as much as possible, find an electrolyte powder with low sugar (Gatorade made my diarrhea worse). Drink lots of water, toast was my best friend during the bad times. I could go on for days, but one thing I’ve noticed is my anxiety has been elevated throughout my sickness. The loose stools cause anxiety and then the anxiety causes loose stools. Trying to stay calm is very important during this time. It’s extremely difficult, but I’ve noticed that keeping my mind occupied has eased the diarrhea. Hopefully the gas, bloating and cramping will go back to normal sooner than later. I found a doctor who will analyze gut bacteria and prescribe the proper probiotics based on test results. I’ll check back and let you know how that goes.

  13. Reply

    I’m happy I came across this post. I’ve been struggling with terrible diarrhea for 18 months. I’ve seen my doctor three times, have been tested for parasites (none) and celiacs (negative) and hepatitis (negative). My diagnosis is IBS. At my last doctor visit a week ago I brought this up: “I know I got extremely sick 19 months ago with severe diarrhea. I know basically when and where it happened. And the GI symptoms were truly terrible. My gut has never been the same since. Since getting sick my gut is on a pattern of weird mushy poop followed by debilitating diarrhea that becomes toxic and watery for two days, and total change of color to light light brown. Then a slow and often painful return to some semblance of normal poop for a few weeks, then a return to the same painful and disgusting cycle all over again. Is it possible that the illness I can point to 19 months ago did this to me?” Blank stare from doctor. *sigh*. I know it was that illness and I’m so happy I read this article. I also know what triggers and exacerbates the bouts of diarrhea – alcohol is the absolute ABSOLUTE worst. Two glasses of wine will send my body into a situation that takes several days to recover from. And god forbid a true night of tying one on with friends. I’ve also noticed coffee, chocolate and oily or fried foods are super bad for me. On the brighter side, I know that practicing yoga several times a week is a huge help at keeping IBS symptoms at bay, as is an adherence to “clean” foods: organic whenever possible: sweet potato, greens, lean meats (not often), vegetables, whole grains (in moderation). Anyway, rambling to on no one. I am just happy to know others have pinpointed their IBS to an initial illness.

    • Reply

      Perhaps not rambling on to no one. Someone may come and read your story and feel like their circumstances are validated. Thanks for the Yoga tip. I used to do it, and always felt better for it. Time to get off my lazy butt and get back to it. It’s only been 15 years :).

      All the best.

  14. Reply

    Could you tell me what tyoe and order of tests a doctor should follow to diagnose this condition?
    I have similar symptoms and have had daily pain after meals for almost four weeks now. Doctor only recommended a colonoscopy, which wont be for another 6 weeks. No other recommendations or medications in the meantime. I had a routine fecal immunochemical test 2 years ago which was fine so not in a big hurry to have a colonoscopy. Surely there are other tests that can be done prior to doing the colonoscopy?
    Thanks so much.

  15. Reply

    Hi All
    these stories sound very familiar to me, I had a nasty bout of campylobacter in June 2016 and my life was never the same since.
    I’ve had a flexisygmoidoscopy and a colonoscopy to rule out anything really nasty, thankfully other than needing to cut out an adeneous polyp and diverticulosis they’ve found nothing sinister of which I am very pleased.
    But my problem still stood I was getting worried to go out as I would get a ten second warning pre very explosive diarrhoea and had to go right there and then.
    I was getting exhausted and very down about this, I wasn’t absorbing my thyroid tablets or any nutrients so I was getting really run down too and my hair was falling out at a rapid rate.
    One of my husbands friends mentioned that food intolerance testing may help (not sure if I can mention their name) I ordered some food intolerance testing from a reputable company thinking it can’t hurt I was desperate to get better and at £300 it was pricey but oh wow the best thing I could have ever done within 3 weeks I had my results.
    So my test came back that I was intolerant to egg white, yeast, egg yolk, wheat, millet and gluten
    I was shocked but this made sense as I was eating eggs daily! I immediately cut out eggs and wheat, yeast was a lot harder as this is in everything I mean everything!
    So week one – no explosive episodes I was delighted the effect was immediate I still had diarrhoea but at least I could make it to the bathroom in time
    I got to the stage where I was about 75% better but still had diarrhoea and if I slipped and ate something off the list by accident all the awfulness came right back immediately.
    So this December after some research I decided to try to give up refined sugar I have a very very sweet tooth, it’s been difficult I won’t lie but 2 weeks in I have had a normal persons bowel movement I cannot believe it I feel like celebrating, 6 months of hell and I have some hope now to be normal again
    I won’t lie my diet is now very restricted and it is taking a while to get used to but I could not go back to that feeling of utter terror in the middle of a shop not knowing if I’m going to make it to the bathroom or not!
    I’m not sure of the science but I’ve read that any trauma to your intestines can cause IBS for much longer than your original episode of illness and change your tolerance to many foods you previously tolerated no problems.
    I hope this post may help someone suffering as I did, you can keep trying to guess all day long what exactly it is causing it but being armed with the test helped me to eliminate the culprits immediately and start to get better quicker than if I was trying to figure it out in my own. I’m hoping that now I will be back to normal but I will never eat these foods again xxx

    • Reply

      I’ve just recovered from this and 3 month on I’m still 2 stone under weight my insides will never be the same again

  16. Reply

    My PIIBS started in August 2015. Although it has not fully cleared, I would like to leave a comment to say how much better it is. A year ago I was depressed, had anxiety, had to work from home, was terrified to go and visit friends and didn’t see the point in trying to date.
    A year later and I have only take 1.5 sick days in the past 3 months and only occasionally notice the symptoms. My advice would be:
    (1) find a doctor that takes you serious – the gut biome is a tricky one and not a lot of doctors really know a whole lot about post infectious IBS
    (2) be patient – it is hard to believe but the symptoms do ease up
    (3) you will have to adjust your lifestyle for a while, Accept that there are some things you will need to give up for a while (mine was long distance running) and focus on things that you can do (I started weight training)

    Wishing everyone a very speedy recovery and a flare free Christmas :-)

    • Reply

      Hi Molly- are you able to share your journey to near recovery? Very intrested to hear what you ate and your introduction of foods. Thanks so much

  17. Reply

    James From CANADA: I wish everyone a speedy recovery and the knowledge to make wise decisions. My situation started 6 years ago in the Dominican which I thought was bad food and since then it has happened 4 more times. I am lying in bed and around midnight I get this strange feeling over my body and them extreme cramping in my bowels. Then I feel like I am going to throw-up and run to the washroom. there I sit on the toilet with the waste basket in front of me. I only gag, but have watery diarrhea….alot. Then I break out in a heavy sweat which drips to the floor. Not knowing how long this will last, I find comfort on the cool floor or with a cold wash cloth on my forehead. Within 20 minutes I feel better and go back to bed with only a little discomfort in my abdomen.
    This is what I don’t understand….for the next 6 weeks I have terrible gas pains (cramps), bloating and not much of an appetite. My bowel movement are pretty well normal throughout this time with a slight variance. This time around I had more sharp pains under my rib cage and lower abdomen which scared me a little , so I had an ultra sound done to see if I had gall stones….negative. Every year our doctors have said it was a virus and I have to wait it through. Then why do I get one every year???
    Thing have changed in the last week where alot more gas is being expelled and alot more gurgling with my appetite coming back slowly. It is strange that after I eat I feel full most of the day except when I lay down I get hungry. Over this time I have lost 12 Lbs but hope that the weight will come back on like last time.
    Now a few years ago I was told that I had diverticulois starting, but I don’t know if this causes these attacks and time of symptoms.
    I think now the pain under my rib cages has been gas that settles high when I am standing and disperses more when lying down. Since I started to take Gas-X(simithicone) it seems to have settled the gas alot. I wonder if I now have this post infection that many are taking about.

    • Reply

      Maybe you should try the monash university FODMAP diet. There is even an app available! Sounds like you may have developed IBS. Good luck!

    • Reply

      I have ha the same gas under my ribs up my back for 2 weeks now after being in hospital with gastrointesitus and ibs Chris

  18. Reply

    im only 23, i’ve had it for 2 weeks now and if it keeps up my life is over

  19. Reply

    Hello ! My name is Stephanie, 3 weeks ago I awoke in the middle of the night to explosive diarrhea and nausea to the extent I have never felt before , I did have gastroenteritis in 2012 which took a 6 week recovery, this time was a lot different , doctor said I had the stomach flu and gastritis , ok so I take a week to recover from that when I start having horrible abdominal pains , they would wake me up at 3 or 4 and I would have to have a bowel movement, not diarrhea but stools very loose and lots of mucus or maybe fat , and then the stomach pains start,as well as a bit of anxiety, I normally have 3 bowel movements a day and now it’s 5 or more , I lost 10lbs and now weigh in at 115 so I feel pretty weAK, had to force feed myself a lot of food and probiotics, then this is the best part ,my intestines decide they don’t want to absorb my medication that I take for endometriosis so now I am having a flare up , oh did i mention that I also have a kidney stone ! I feel SO FRUSTRATED !!!and that my bowels have other returned to normal and that they’re not absorbing my medication so I’m thinking this may be a case of post infectius ibs any suggestions are more than welcome and thanks for listening

  20. Reply

    Is this website still operating?

    • Reply

      Mostly. :) I get to it when I have time.

      • Reply

        Hi Shawn, Its great to know it is operating and thanks heaps for replying me back

      • Reply

        Hi Shawn

        Have you had any new blogs to update? really would like to read please :)

  21. Reply

    In Jan 2016 my husband became ill with acute gastroenteritis (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, stomach pain) and also was diagnosed with an acute kidney injury (probably due to dehydration). After the acute Ill period was over ( fever and vomiting passed), his stomach and intestines never seemed to get any better. He still had daily stomach pain (which he describes as varying from pain to an uncomfortable pressure) and nausea. We were referred to a gastroenterologist, had labs, blood work, stool studies & a CT with & without contrast (finding nothing) then had a colonoscopy( also finding nothing) Since the Drs didn’t find anything, they seem to be treating him as someone just trying to get pain medication (which is the last thing he wants, it upsets his stomach even more) and have basically shrugged their shoulders and had no more suggestions or treatment options for him. From Jan to May he has lost 36 pounds, the symptoms did calm down a bit, but then flare back up, calm down, then flare up. From our own research it seems to me that he has IBS, I have tried IBgard and another peppermint/ginger oil and both have seemed to help when it flares. So, my question, how can we get the DRs to consider that he has IBS and talk to us about medications that may be effective for this?

  22. Reply

    I came accross this site by accident when trying to find out more about my problems. My problems started 5 years ago following a bout of Salmonella ( not nice ) . My bowels have never returned to normal, i have a very unpredictable system and diarrhoea can strike at any time. I had a flexisig done 2 years ago, the doctor saw nothing, and rather off handedly told me i have IBS, and that was that. i was really just left to get on with it. I have cut out many foods that i feel make it worse, i take loperamide to get me through work days, i stress about it all the time, because of this problem my life is ruled by this, i am forever stressing about wether or not my bowels will be ok.

    3 weeks ago i had very bad diarrhoea ( 20-30 times a day) with headache, body aches etc this lasted badly for 3 days, followed by diarrhoea every day but less episodes, i still have diarrhoea but less often, i am now living on biscuits and toast as every food i have tried to introduce has caused severe diarrhoea, so ive now had 3 weeks with diarrhoea every day, eating the blandest diet and have lost 8 lb in weight ( due to hardly eating i think) i have had a stool test, and bloods done, nothing has shown up, i am back to the doctors tomorrow, it sounds like post infectious IBS but i already have been told i have IBS any ideas?

    Its great to know im not alone with these problems

    • Reply

      hi i also had semonella 6 months ago – my bowel habits never normal – i can’t do one solid stool – its like small lots and pencil shapes more on the loose side.. I’m now absolutely scared if it’s colon cancer. I just hope its the PI IBS. I am a wreck. I’m on anti depressants and everyday fear the urgency of the toilet. Were yours ever pencil shapes? Thanks. And how are you going today?

      • Reply

        Hello things. Yes to the pencil shapes. Obviously you know I’m going to recommend going to see a doctor if you have any fears, but if you have what people call IBS, there no real statistical evidence linking IBS to cancer.

      • Reply

        Try drinking a fiber mix twice a day. That’s what my Gastro Dr suggested to me.

  23. Reply

    Hi all and Shawn,

    I’m glad to have found this little place in the virtualness.

    I developed Viral Gastrointertirtus and within about 3 hours things got pretty serious. I lost consciousness twice and my poor husband took care of me while I sat on the loo and holding a bucket to be sick in. I’ve never felt quite as ill as I did that night. I ended up in hospital on an IV drip.

    3 weeks post gastroenteritis and I’m still ill. Cramping pretty much every waking moment, diarrhea to constipation and the most god awful nausea. I feel dizzy and generally unwell. Can’t eat anything without making it worse. I go to my docs on Thursday. The constant cramping is tiring. I have had a few years of ill health after always being a healthy person, and so I’m feeling sad that something else has come along.

    Hoping I get some answers. Glad to be able to read other people’s stories and what they’ve found useful.

    Thank you.

  24. Reply

    I had a Malaria attack in feb 2016 and after taking medicine i developed an anormal bowel movement where semi fluid motion would come a few hours after every meal. with passage it got stronger and now i started feeling heat in urine and body overall. O have unprecendented dandruff which makes me scratch my head all day. Although i don’t have gas or pain in my stomach.

  25. Reply

    Hi, Shawn, Thanks so much for your very helpful and informative website. I know I developed IBS in after a long bout with Giardia lamblia which started in December 2014, (took 5 weeks of intense diarrhea and cramping before it was diagnosed). (i believe I got the Giardia from the wild turkeys roaming around my land in the country, and at least one instance of not washing my hands before removing my outdoor shoes). Once diagnosed, I was treated with Flagyl which made me terribly sick before the doctors changed the medication and finally knocked out the parasite with tinizadole. However, I’ve had IBS ever since (now more than 1 year). I have various symptoms: e.g. diarrhea (many stools per day, not loose but many), abdominal pain a lot of the time, lots of gas, anal leakage, urge to defecate but nothing comes out, some days can’t go at all. Sometimes waking at night and forcing myself to go to feel better. In short, bowels have never been the same since and I don’t think they ever will be. On good side, have a good appetite and stopped losing weight after the initial infection (I lost 20 lb. then). I eat my normal diet but seem to be allergic now to some cheeses (e.g. blue cheese).

  26. Reply

    6 months since a week long spat of constant diarrhea. I went from 220lbs to 195lbs. I’m 6’4″ and feel perfectly normal… But I eat everything in sight yet still can’t gain a pound. Actually it seems that I’m losing like a pound a month still. Any thoughts on this? Concern is beginning to turn into something else.

  27. Reply

    Can you have IBS with only Pain and no problem with bowel movements?

    • Reply

      While I’m not a doctor, I will say that is not what is usually called IBS.

  28. Reply

    A lot of this I can relate to. My problems started June 2015 when I woke up from a normal sleep at 4am with pain. I initially thought that it could be heart-burn since the pain was semi-mild but deep and I had an urge to burp, but as the minutes passed the pain began to transform into what felt like a ball of fire sitting deep but just under my diaphragm and I’ve literally had heart-burn only one other time in my life so I still thought that’s what it was. It wasn’t until I felt a strong need to vomit and have a bowel movement (of which I did neither) combined with chills, shaking and causing my asthma to flare up that I began considering I might have the flu. As it continued to progress to the point that I was lying on the floor in my Dad’s hallway forcing me to crawl to the kitchen and scream for my dad that I finally got to the hospital. Dad was concerned that my appendix was the problem or food poisoning. The hospital finally (after an hour of asking me questions I was in too much pain to answer, I was shaking so bad dad thought I was gonna have a seizure it was so violent) they began doing blood work, MRI and stool samples came to tell me I had gastroenteritis and a potassium defiency, and I could go home. Eat a bland diet and it should pass in 5-11 days, he didn’t mention needing a follow up with my regular doctor or any medication and he certainly didn’t tell me what type it was (as I’ve now learend there are several types that can be caused or treated in different ways). So I did what he said and it passed. A month later and I had a relapse of the same exact thing only it lasted 3 days. A week later same thing but for 6 hours. Two weeks later a 4 hour relapse. A month later 2 day relapse. I was in constant hell, didn’t matter what I ate (even if I had eaten the same a week prior or the day before) I relapsed. So of course I did what most do and started to do my own research (taking it all with a grain of salt) and came to understand that I might be stuck with this or it might just go away. I’ve had minor relief drinking La Croix mineral water, my Dad had bought me a small case to try (not because of my illness, but because he thought it looked interesting) and it knocked out a flare up I was having, and after an internet search (keywords: mineral water and gastroenteritis) I discovered that this honestly helped people manage some of the pain, its no cure but it was something. For me this doesn’t always work but it helps me stay hydrated during flare ups. I was actually having a mild flare up while I was reading this article which caused me to start looking around for new information which eventually lead me to this article and the idea that maybe PI-IBS after gastroenteritis could be a probable cause for my recurring symptoms (though I still don’t get diarrhea, but I do have a need to poop but its ALWAYS normal, even during the first flare up that sent me to the hospital was normal. Though I have vomitted occasionally). Nothing like the spirit of Christmas followed by a flare up… But my Uncle did tell me that his daughter has gastroenteritis and she’s been managing her flare ups by eating vegan instead of eating meats, and she’s been having fewer problems. So I’m considering a diet change now (though the thought of going vegan makes me a bit sad lol); I’m already taking multivitamins, fish oil (cause I heard the fatty oil was a potential good thing for people with digestive issues, and I know from personal experience its good for women with heavy period), ‘Fortify’ a women’s probiotic and a teaspoon of honey with cinnamon sprinkled on top because some say these two things are also good for digestion. I’m also gonna start drinking more peppermint tea, though I’ll need to find a caffeine free version. Some people on this site have also mentioned a FODMAP I’ll have to look into that but it sounds promising.

    But I just wanted to say thank you to all the people and their stories and to Shawn for the insightful article, you guys have given me possible avenues to explore in managing my condition, because I get anxious over how I’m a 26 year old female who was mostly healthy with plans to finish college and start a career that may now be on hold or ruined because of a stupid stomach bug and now has to live full time with her Dad because my flare ups are becoming frequent enough that I’ve lost a job and now school is in jeopardy. But I am bound and determined to live everyday that I don’t have a flare up to its absolute fullest, I do things that make me emotionally and mentally happier and so should you. Don’t waste a good day with no or minor flare ups worrying if the next one will be worse, get outside and jog, walk the dog, read a book in the fresh air, listen to music, catch up with friends or TV or gaming. If the stress is really bad I take it out on my Dad’s kick-boxing stand, a pillow or just scream and rage when your alone, cry if you have to but just do what makes the stress a little better than snapping at the people who love you but dont know how to help or relate.

    • Reply

      Sara, we sound like we have similar stories. Although I did also have diarrhea with the gastroenteritis. I’m mad the hospital never told me to see my own doctor. I go to see her this coming Thursday. I’ve just gone back to school after ill-health knocked me out a few years ago, and I’ve probably only spent half of my time at school due to being sick. I hear you.

      3 weeks later and I’m still unable to eat without cramps, really so painful that I practise deep breathing to help deal with the discomfort, diarrhea to constipation, nausea and fatigue. I started on probiotic capsules about 2 weeks ago and they were initially helping.

      I’m determined to reset my body and get healthy and like you make the most of the moments when you feel well. I’d be interested to hear about your progress and things you’ve tried.

      Wishing you a happy day today.

  29. Reply

    Starting in August , I had some sort of quick stomach bug. One day, I had intense “burning” pain in my abdomen and an episode of intense diarrhea. After that, I felt better, but within a week, the IBS symptoms (constant cramping, frequent and loose bowel movements) started. Stool cultures came back negative for bacterial infection, so the doctor assumed it was a viral infection. The symptoms continued on. After 5 weeks of not getting better, I finally went to the ER: an abdominal CT scan and liver and pancreas enzyme assays all came back normal). By then, I finally got in to see a GI doctor; he suggested PI-IBS was likely cause at this point. He recommended avoiding dairy, gluten, caffeine, and alcohol as long as I was feeling badly, and that I should just try to not stress out about it. After about another 3-4 weeks (a total of about 2 months), I could finally say that I felt normal again.

    However, my wife and I just had a flu-like illness this week. We each had a day or so of muscle pains, fever, chills, and headaches. Then, she also had a day of bad, watery diarrhea, while I just had some less serious abdominal discomfort (mild “burning-like” sensations) accompanied by frequent, soft bowel movements. Suffice to say, I’ve had the abdominal issues for two days and counting now. The good news is they don’t seem as bad as before. It’s probably too soon to know, but I hope I’m not headed for another longer-term bout.

    • Reply

      Update: It’s more than two weeks since my post about my latest bought with a stomach bug, and I’m still not back to normal. In fact, I’d say that the PI-IBS is returning (or has returned). Hopefully it will recede again, as last time. My wife, who was sick at the same time, is mostly recovered (although she has some lingering abnormalities). Also, our daughter came down with a severe bought of loose stools (7 in a day!) right after we thought we were over it. So, it seems very likely to have been a viral infection (norovirus is common).

      I read a research paper covering a case of a group of people who all got norovirus at a conference. Somewhere near 25% of them had some form of PI-IBS for at least three months (the control group had <5% occurrence of IBS develop). Despite numerous sources that say that PI-IBS comes predominantly from bacterial gastroenteritis, it seems that a viral infection is just as much a cause. Another paper I found Disruption of the Human Gut Microbiota following Norovirus Infection, Nelson et. al.) also shows evidence that norovirus disrupts the normal gut bacteria. I'm taking probiotics, in the chance that this will help on that angle. The good news is that those who get PI-IBS from viral infections appear to recover on average faster than those who get PI-IBS from bacterial infections. I'm hoping I do.

    • Reply

      Update #2: So, I eventually had a colonoscopy done when after 2 months the ibs symptoms still persisted. The procedure went normally and nothing was found. After that, I just decided that I wasn’t seriously ill and quit worrying about it. A week or so later, most of the ibs symptoms were gone or nearly gone. I’m sure that relieving the stress for me had a big part in letting me get back towards normal.

  30. Reply

    Well… it’s like this: This is the story of my life! Even as possible as one myself — or indeed being direct descendants of extraterrestrials (much to be debated in its own right) I do know one thing for sure if I were to be one, then this would prove that even humanoid ‘Nordic Aliens’ (those benevolent tall Scandinavian looking blond types i.e such as myself) can experience this sort of thing called giardiasis and IBS-D.

    Now, the former is again questionable, but the latter (diarrhoea) is real. During my adolescence, I had giardiasis myself with severe diarrhoea (non-bloody) that was so bad that I was eventually being taken to ER! I was diagnosed with having giardiasis that being the root cause of my many trips to the loo — day and night!

    Well, in about a fortnight or so, I did manage to get over with the giardia parasite, but I began to get diarrhoea, bloating, intestinal noises, gas, and well diarrhoea all over again! I initially thought that I was experiencing relapse. No I was fine in regard to experiencing any relapse to giardiasis. No. This was unexplained. Why was I still experiencing GI symptoms if indeed I was over with giardiasis? This simply did not make any sense!

    Well, after visiting NHS and getting a few visits with various physicians, someone suspected could I now be sustaining Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Colonoscopy at NHS clinic, along with other tests proved nothing! Something was causing this new diarrhoea stuff!

    Finally I found this one doctor, this one gastroenterologist who seemed to know what he was up against and diagnosed me with having IBS-D. I have been experiencing this ever since.

    It is no fun. especially as indeed I have had more than my fair share of well… public spectacles! Embarrassing diarrhoea accidents! (En particulier un expérience très spectaculaire — et très embarrassant — à la Gare de Lyon à Paris)!

  31. Reply

    Even if this article is quite old by now, I feel like sharing my own experience.
    I had an acute gastroenteritis 4 years ago, not really any diarrhea but mainly vomiting (sorry for the details). I felt better after a few days, but it came back. My liver was in a bad state, i had nausea, constipation, and even worse, I was not able to just stand up for 5 minutes. It all went away except for the nausea, and basically all symptoms of a gastritis (so a bit different from IBS, I am not having any constipation or diarrhea). I have seen many doctors, did many tests, but there is still no way to improve it and it is affecting my life in many ways.

    So why am I sharing it? Just to give advice, try to find a good consultant, someone who cares and don’t hesitate to be pro-active in trying to find a solution (don’t read too much internet though….). And also, it is a problem that healthy people don’t understand, just be aware you are not alone in this.

    Take care

    • Reply

      Thank you Loic. The article is old, but the information is still the same. People still read this article and its comments. your story will help others.

    • Reply

      Gastroenteritis is what set me off too Loic! I couldn’t stop being sick either for a while, even drinking water would make me sick so I received some form of injection which gradually made it stop. I was then given tablets to help with the nausea but rarely use them now
      I have tried all sorts of medications and magic tricks but what has helped me the most was relaxing; accepting that my body is not at it’s best and to try to avoid all stressful situations (extra work, arguments etc… )
      When I get flare ups I stick to a very clean diet (no caffeine, alcohol, gluten, dairy) and try to get some extra sleep.
      I think the best thing is a positive attitude and good health.
      Best of luck

      • Reply

        This echos my story in many ways. Thanks for sharing Molly Jane.

  32. Reply

    I went to Thailand mid July 2015 and on the first day of the trip experienced what I assumed to be typical traveler’s belly (Thai curry for breakfast seemed like such a good idea at the time?!) Anyway, it lasted for the entire trip and within two days of being home found myself in hospital for severe dehydration as I would vomit or have diarrhea if I ate or drank (even water). I guess it was some bacteria such as shingella or Campylobacter that caused gastroenteritis. Anyway 3 months on and I still suffer from severe abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, depression and either over/under active bowel movements, which has disrupted life…. (Has anyone else tried to run a marathon with IBS?! I don’t recommend it ;-))

    This has been interesting to see what has affected other people and possible treatments. It is great not to feel alone and I must say I feel a bit of a wuss after reading some real traumas and horror stories that people have been through.

    Any advice on PI-IBS, especially with maintain physical activity and avoiding depressive moods is really appreciated.

    • Reply

      Sorry that you’re suffering Molly Jane. Not much of a vacation! Please don’t feel like a wuss. Your suffering is still real, whether it’s the same as others or not. Heat helps with abdominal pain sometimes. My wife makes these microwaveable corn bags that I use. A heating pad could work. It all depends on the person. Personally, I take Ibuprofen when my bowels are really hurting, but you should check with your doc to see if that’s alright. Painful bowels REALLY affect my mood!!!!!!!!! Here are a couple of links that may help:

      • Reply

        Molly Jane,
        This past spring my symptoms were out of control(as I have recently posted). I was afraid to eat anything because it would come out two or three hours later as diarrhea. The pain was the worse part. The pain would go away after bowel movement but I would wake up every morning around 4-6am with bad stomach pains and cramps that would last for a couple hours off and on. My gastro Doctor put me on xifaxan for two weeks. It really helped out. It seemed to clean out my digestive system. While on it I continued taking my probiotic, which I have been taking everyday for the past two years. After I finished the xifaxan I was having solid bowels but I’d still have stomach pains. He prescribed me bentyl which does help, but I’m a commercial pilot and I can’t take it and go to work. He prescribed me enteragam. It’s a protein based food prescription which has done wonders for me. I no longer have stomach pains. All these medicines have worked for me with my daily probiotic. I suggest asking your gastro about the xifaxan and also enteragam. Good luck.
        Chris K

        • Reply

          Thank you! Unfortunately I live in the UK, my doctor is a little fed up with me I think and cannot prescribe any of these. I’ve been given colofac which I have no benefit from and buscopan which sometimes helps.
          Thanks for comments

  33. Reply

    Is this site still operational?

    • Reply

      Yep. Mostly. I’ve not written in a while though. Watcha need???

  34. Reply

    Hello. I was diagnosed with PI-IBS on 12/2013. I had it somewhat managed for about 8 months using probiotics. By managed I mean I didn’t have diarrhea all the time. However I still had bloating and powerful gas(have to sit on toilet to rid of it, because mucus would come out). And constantly have mucus in stool. Well recently I have had flare ups. But the past two or three weeks have been out of control. I had diarrhea after every meal for five straight days and cramping at night. I’ve had to call in to work multiple times this month. I’m an airline pilot and can’t have a flare up at work because I can’t leave cockpit to sit on toilet for an extended period of time. This causes slot of anxiety. Some days while working I will pop a couple Imodium just to be safe and not eat the whole day. I’ve gone 14 hours without eating. Well self medicating with Imodium finally caught up to me and I severely constipated myself as well as dehydrated myself. So now I’m nervous to use Imodium. My GI doctor has recommended Bentyl, but I’m not allowed to take it while flying. Has anyone had success with bentyl? I know stress is the main cause of this and building up anxiety about going into work and having a flare up doesn’t help the situation. I’m so frustrated and not sure what to do. I’m very close to throwing in the towel on my career that I’ve invested so much time and money into. The worst part is not many people understand IBS. Very hard to relate to people about this. I just wanted to share my story and ask if anyone has success with bentyl.

    • Reply

      Hi Chris K,

      I’ve had PI-IBS for years now and have done research\saw many doctors. There was one doctor who know what he was doing. He put me on a diet called low FODMAP. Its a very tough diet to be on because you basically have to cook your own food as it is hard to find food that you can eat from restaurants. You should look into it….That is the one thing that helps me not feel awful everyday. That and apple cider vinegar…. in particular I used the bragg’s with the mother one.

      I was a naive kid who received inadequate health care from a university doctor in training for a bout of food poisoning that lasted 2 weeks. Did not receive any anti-biotics even it was proven that would have fixed me (family member got the same sickness and cured by anti-biotics).

      I believe in one theory that explains my post infectious IBS. The infectious bacteria that caused my illness merged with the healthy gut flora. When I say merged I mean that the infectious bacteria have joined the biomatrix of bacteria. A biomatrix is basically self-forming shelter… a sort of colony development phase. This matrix is tough to penetrate with anti-biotics. It is made of carbohydrates and metals.

      A lot of bacteria form these types of substances for shelter, communication, defense, and gene mixing.

      I also took anti-biotics a couple of times in the last year…… I don’t know if that has anything to do with me getting better but I can tell you I have had all the symptoms and it is tough to deal with it. But I am getting better and I hope everyone else does. 5.5 years sick now…..started in 2010.

  35. Reply

    Hello, I’m 63 (female) and have just been diagnosed with post infectious ibs. After reading the previous posts I’m discouraged to think that I might be at the beginning of a long road. I had never had any issues with digestive or gastro problems until three months ago. I had what I thought was a stomach bug with terrible diarrhea that smelled like something was dead. It lasted three days then got better but reoccurred again after two or three days of feeling almost normal. Once again it cleared up but when it returned the third time I went to the doctor. He said I probably just had a Viral stomach bug and that it would be okay in a few days. This pattern of diarrhea and then clearing up has continued but for the last month I have also been bloated and having terrible cramps. Along with all of this my stool has changed to be pencil thin and feel like I cannot empty my colon. I told my doctor all of these symptoms two weeks ago when I went to him with a bladder infection. He told me these were all signs of colon cancer and that I needed to have a colonoscopy right away. Last week I had a colonoscopy, an upper G.I. endoscopy and a barium enema. The colon looks fine but the doctor found five polyps on the inside of my stomach which he biopsied. I should get the results of those biopsies in the next day or two. I started today taking 10 mg of dicyclomine and will take it four times a day. After reading as much as I can find about post infectious IBS I have some questions:
    1- what type test could be run now to see if my original sickness was caused by a bacterial or parasitic infection from eating contaminated food? Could this be the cause of all my problems? ( Last fall I left some stew beef in the hot car for 2 hours before I remembered to put it in the refrigerator. I cooked it that day and put it in the freezer while I decided if I should throw it out or if it would be safe to eat. I thawed it out and used it in vegetable soup about three weeks before I initially became sick.)

    2 – are there doctors that specialize in bacterial or parasitic infections?

    3- could the stomach polyps be tied in with my symptoms?

    • Reply

      Hi Ruth
      I have almost similar story as yours. What is your status now. Can you please let me know .. I can share my story as well. I too never had gastric issues. My symptoms started with gas, bloating and cramping and fever. The fever went away but the gas and bloating never went away. The Doc tested me for SIBO and I was positive but after the treatment of SIBO, my bacteria went away. But my gas/bloating were improved but not fully gone. The doc thinks that I have post infectious IBS. I did the colonoscopy and upper endoscopy. The colonscopy was fine but endoscopy found multiple gastric pol yps. I am waiting for the biopsy results. Please let me know what’s your update Not sure my symptoms are due to polyps too.

  36. Reply

    Hi Shawn.
    I’m 25. When I was 7 I suffered a very bad food poisoning attack from a ***** **** in Florida. I was hospitalized for 4 days. I’ve never been the same and my ibs d makes me so stressed and anxious that I now have psychological issues about not being near a bathroom. Or being far from my house in case of an attack. Getting into someone’s car is horrible and I’ve developed a fear of letting people down because I don’t like plans to rely on me in case I have to cancel because I got sick.
    It’s owning my life. I’m terrified I’m not going to perform well at work (I just got a job at a magazine in France and I have to leave the office or travel often for work, lunch mertings, location tours etc. ) I’m very scared. I guess it helps me to know there’s people out there who cope. But I’m terrified to get married (what if I have diarrhea at the church on my wedding day?!) And I’m not even engaged. Or having kids is terrifying!!! What if I have to emergency stop and my kids rely on me to get somewhere or how will I cope with this problem if I have to carry a baby around. These are all terrifying.

    If you have any tips or things you can tell me to hell with this. I would appreciate it. Like you’re a dad, how did you do it?!


    • Reply

      Hello Aly, FIRST. I used to have a lot of the anxieties that you have. Counselling and medication helped. A LOT. Your mental state and your bowels are so very interconnected.

      Getting help for your worries can make a huge difference in how your body responds.

      For my part, until I got help, I didn’t do a lot of things. No trains. No boats. I avoided long trips or travelling with others. No way to live.

      BUT! There are medications that can help with worry, and they can help. There are medications just for IBS D that can help. DIET CHANGES like I wrote about in (se, can make a HUGE difference for some people.

      Get professional help. Please. A naturopath, an osteopath are my favorite kinds of doctors, and a gastroenterologist may have something to add.

      Then there is the mental health issue. Big stigma. Go. IT HELPS. Even if it doesn’t help your IBS, living in terror is not the best way, in my opinion.
      Sorry you’re suffering.

  37. Reply

    I been suffering from recurrent severe campylobacter colitis for many months. Only started antibiotics 13 days ago from proper diagnoses from colonoscopy biopsy(visually colon looked ok) and stool culture. Diarrhea has stopped, but still feeling pain and cramps. Is this normal? How long does it take for the colon to full recover and heal from severe colitis from this bacteria?

    I have also been on PPIs for many months for LPR silent reflux which I assume is from the colitis. Not sure if taking PPIs for so long kept the bacteria thriving.

    I am suffering from slight reactive arthritis as well.

    This whole thing has left me in major depression.

    • Reply

      I wouldn’t be surprised if you had pain and cramps under those circumstances, but if you have a concern like that, your doctor is the best resource. Especially since he or she may be able to tweak the medication to make a difference.

      I’ve read that inflammation and depression can OFTEN go together.

  38. Reply

    I got campylobacter and giardia whilst travelling in india in dec 2013. Campylobacter took until mid January to clear up, and then by march I was still un well and subsequently was diagnosed with giardia. I had metronidazole and it eventually got better. But since then I have had several ‘flare ups’ whereby I am in agonizing abdominal pain, explosive diarrhoea and nausea. After being tested for coeliac and other IBD using biochemical testing it came back negative and my previously raised CRP was back down to normal indicating no inflammation (tested at a time of remission) so was diagnosed as post-infectious IBS. Can anyone give any advice as to how to control/prevent these random flare ups. They get in the way of day to day life and completely drain me of all my energy. Thanks for reading!!


  39. Reply

    I had viral gastroenteritis back in August, and my bowel function has not been the same since. I am taking peppermint oil, soluble fiber, prescription antispasmodics, and just started Prozac last week. This is hell, folks. The pain, gas and cramping are a nightmare. My employer quickly stopped being sympathetic to my situation, and I recently resigned. I have colostrum, but have not used it consistently (nasty tasting stuff).
    I purchased an IBS diet book that states sourdough and french bread are safe to eat. I miss bread like crazy, but am afraid to try it. I’ve given up dairy and wheat, and most other trigger foods.
    Feeling frustrated, exhausted, and confused.

  40. Reply

    i had a stomach flu about 6 months ago. and i never went to the doctor with it. was just hoping it would go away on its own. i had severe diarrhea and a high temperature which i took Tylenol to get rid of the temperature. and eventually after about a week and a half the diarrhea and temperature went away. Bit i never felt normal again now i seem to get chronic constipation, stomach pain bad bloating which usually happen at night, and the worst symptom is sometimes i feel like i have to rush to the bathroom so i dont poop my pants and bad pain before pooping which usually goes away after i pooped. I noticed this usually gets worse when i eat fat and greasy foods so i try to avoid them. im thinking of going to the doctor soon with it. But im only 18 years old and im already having stomach issues. I actually did some research on my symptoms and ibs. and i learned that ibs can be caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the guts but the research is still limited. on some websites it says that probiotics and a drug called Xifaxin can help and some antifungal medication. Do you think that the stomach flu could of caused an overgrowth of bacteria in the guts? i really hope some day i will return back to normal again. im already worried about my future know and coping with this disease.

    • Reply


      I had a very similar situation but I went to a stupid doctor in training. He was really stupid because I told him my father got cured with antibiotics (my father and I got sick eatting the same dish on vacation and went back to separate areas of my home state) and didn’t believe that could be the cure. I was also naive to take his direction.

      I think if you are still having problems then the cause of your food poisoning was bacteria and not virus.

      You need to see a good GI and get on a low FODMAP diet. Its the only thing that has helped me.

  41. Reply

    My IBS-C started with a horrid bout of norovirus in December 2012. I’ve never been so sick in my life, but for some reason I couldn’t throw up even though there was food in my stomach! (Only profuse diarrhea and hours of dry heaving). It was a truly disturbing and painful event.

    However, I can’t tell if the IBS was caused by anxiety or the actual infection. I’ve suffered from severe emetophobia (fear of vomiting) all my life, so getting sick was a huge stressor. I now live in fear of catching the virus again. Any time someone mentions not feeling well, I panic. My intestines go into overdrive and I immediately get gas, cramps and diarrhea. It’s like a vicious cycle.

    The brain/gut connection is very strong and mysterious.

  42. Reply

    Hi there,

    Three years ago I suffered campylobacter which I got from my granddaughter after she’d eaten raw pork. The Dr never told us she was highly infectious. I had the terrible stomach cramps, sulphur smelling gas and diarrohea. It slowly eased off, and after taking probiotics for IBS it seemed to disappear for quite a few months. Now I find I have reoccurring episodes, they start with the cramp, the gas which gets worse and smellier, then I have to rush to the toilet with diarrohea type motions. My stomach then settles over the next half an hour. Sometimes I will be a little constipated in the morning before the attack happens. It used to be a day long event with pains beginning about midday, a bowel motion about 3p.m. and my stomach would settle about 9p.m. so it is better from that aspect.

    I have worried I may have bowel cancer, but tell myself the symptoms wouldn’t go away for weeks and months on end, then make an appearance again. I spoke to my Dr and she said campylobacter doesn’t reoccur like that and there was something else it might be. I will discuss it with her again when I got back in a few months and talk about post infection ibs.

    Might be time for another course of probiotics I think. Good to find others with similar problems.

    Thanks for your help

  43. Reply

    I have found this article informative and somewhat of a relief. I’ve had IBS-D for almost 13 years now, without knowing what was causing the seemingly random spouts of abdominal pain and diarrhea. I have found that around age 2, I had a terrible case of the stomach flu. After reading this article, I think it is safe to say that this is what has caused my IBS. I hope you continue to compile information on IBS with this amazing website, and inform the public of IBS.

    • Reply

      Thank you for your kind comment, Sheldon. I’ll be getting off my lazy butt to compile more info SOON!

  44. Reply

    Shawn, I’m doing MUCH better now. I stopped taking the probiotics for a few days and I have been really focusing on completely relaxing my belly and it really seems to help. After a few days my belly wasn’t bloated anymore and quite relaxed. I think it’s really working for me. I think holding in your belly will compress your intestines because of your stomach muscles, our intestines seem to be very sensitive. Doesn’t seem like a weird idea to me that this could influence it. I’m also on a slow carb diet for my breakfast and I started taking the probiotics again and it’s feels MUCH better. Ok I changed 3 things at once so it’s hard to really point out which one of these is doing the trick. It’s working quite well right now. My poo also looks pretty good. MUCH more solid now. Hope it will last!

    • Reply

      Thanks for the update Rene.

      I am SO glad you’re feeling better! – Shawn

      • Reply

        Hi everybody.
        My husband has IBS for years, and we alway talk about genetics and how he inherited it from his mother. But last year we got stomack bug that last couple weeks and in Greece one more time (diarrhea, fatigue…) that last couple weeks again… That totally ruined our holiday. OMG, we were very fatigue for soooo long. We didn’t have energy to walk to the beach. Since than, it looks like I never recovered completely. It is literally like I have a stomach bug every couple days, and in between I have constipation.
        Sometimes I am thinking I might got some bad flora from my husband. I was always eating a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits, I just love it, and now I am finding myself not being able to eat it anymore, like my husband.
        There is also that recognizable sour-sweet smell of stool (sorry for details) that I never had it before, and some other symptoms we have, like fatigue, skin issues, eyes issues… He got meniere disease as well.
        It is interesting how that affect our lifes, sometimes we feel soo fatigue that almost seems like we are depresed and not being able to do everydays tasks.
        I wish there is a magic pils somewhere.
        We are still trying to figure out what is going on with our stomacks. So far doctors did’t help much.
        Probiotics helping me a little, but not my husband… or we still didn’t find it right kind of probiotic for him.
        Potato, carrots, rice, plain pasta, cornmeal, bananas, chicken brest… And other light food cooked in water seems to work in days of diarrhea.
        I miss my old days fullfiled with energy, and I miss salads, fresh fruits and other healthy foods like legumes, seeds and nuts.
        Oooo and I miss my old husband sometimes, I miss his energy… I am sure he miss old me as well… we feel like old people, and we didn’t turn 40 yet.

  45. Reply

    Hi Shawn, I did have an infection so antibiotics was necessary for me. It is making me quite miserable yeah, sometimes more. It’s pretty bad now. I have been reading a lot about it for the last couple of weeks. I’m taking probiotics for the first time now but they don’t seem to help, in fact they seem to make it worse for me. I’m having the worst attack ever right now. Extreme bloating, my belly is 2/3 the size as it should be. Stress is a major factor for me, which is also probably why i’m having such trouble now (applying for schools) so it’s hard to say if the probiotics are the cause or it’s stress.

    Also interesting maybe, I was wondering if holding in your stomach or flexing your abs could influence symptoms as it seems that is the case with me. I also found a few people on some Dutch forum who had the same experience (that’s the only time ever I have seen somebody else suggesting this) As i’m quite ashamed of my belly because I’m a bit overweight this causes me to hold in my belly, and that seems to increases my symptoms.

    Something else I found in my search on the web which I couldn’t find on this website yet. It’s about fecal transplants which are sometimes done with more severe intestinal diseases like Clostridium difficile infection. But it seems to indicate it can also help or cure IBS!

    • Reply

      That sounds awful, Rene. I don’t know if holding in your abs could cause anything like that. I wouldn’t think so.

      Stress can be a huge factor in IBS. But so can lots of other things. Have you let your doctor know about the trouble your having since taking the antibiotics???

      The fecal transplant is a surprising idea, which I’ve read about for c. dificile. I’ve only recently heard about it for IBS. Thanks for the reminder about that.

      I’ve never had trouble with probiotics, but everyone is a bit different. If it really seems to be making things worse, maybe you should stop for a few days to see if things get better.

      I hope they do.

      Good luck with the school applications!


  46. Reply

    Hi im not sure how i aquired my IBS illness, but ive had it for 13 years and it doesnt quite fit with any clear symptom diagnostic set that ive discovered yet. It has a cyclical pattern at least once either in a week/fortnight/month ill get sick with pain and can have it for a day/s or a week, and also a feature of it is that the very day before i get all the abdominal pain symptoms ill be in a state of frustrating anger and intense irritability all day which signals like clockwork an upcoming abdoninal event start the next day. Its annoying for those around me because im quite unbearable when im in my irritable mode but i know what it is and try to control it. I guess it shares some features with cyclical vomiting syndrome but i dont vomit and theres a definate mood element to my condition. so its more like IBS than anything else i can find. Ive tried everything seen lots of Docs in the early days but nothing seems to work so i just live with it. Best thing i found works is mintec and painkillers.

    • Reply

      Hey there Steve, according to doctors I’ve talked to, and things I’ve read, there is a definite link between the brain and the bowels. anxiety, stress, anger, all that can trigger bowel troubles.

      Now this next part can be hard to hear. Some people living in some cultures have a real fear of having the kind of thing I’m about to describe. It may have NOTHING AT ALL to do with you. But it could be very important to you, or someone with symptoms like yours that comes here, so I’m going to mention it anyway. I’ll talk about it because it could change your life, or someone else’s.

      So NO OFFENSE, okay?

      There is something called bipolar disorder. It used to be called manic depression. There are all kinds of patterns to it, and I’m no expert.

      But I do know of at least 2 people with bipolar type 2 (it’s not as uncommon as people think). Each of these people (at different times) used to get VERY, VERY irritable. It would happen every few weeks or sometimes every few days. I mean REALLY angry. And they’d often have IBS symptoms right after. Other times they’d be in GREAT mood. Nothing could hold them back. Not necessarily wild, just “elevated” as I’ve heard it described. Other times they’d feel pretty down and hopeless. There are all kinds of different ways this bipolar thing can affect a person.

      Once they started treatment, both their lives and their IBS got much better!

      A lot of people won’t admit things like this to themselves. If anyone that reads this comment thinks that it describes they’re life (with or without IBS) I urge that person to talk to a medical professional, and get an appointment to see a psychiatrist. It can REALLY CHANGE A PERSON’S LIFE! I know it changed my friends lives.

  47. Reply

    I do not know if post-infectious IBS is what I have. It was a suggestion made by my doctor but at this point there is no proof. I was very sick for weeks, took antibiotics, and just remained sick. My GI symptoms got worse, I lost 20 lbs in 2 months, and ended up in the hospital for 4 days on fluids. I have malabsorption so I need to take vitamins sublingually in order to absorb them directly into my bloodstream instead of through the GI tract. I finally figured out the foods that I cannot digest are all carbohydrates and sugars, with the exception of honey and fruit. So I eat meat, veggies, fruit, seeds, nuts, and honey, and that keeps everything moving normally. Unless I eat at a party, or a restaraunt, and then it’s like I’m going to die. It had been like that for a year and a half when I decided that my doctors were not helping me and I needed to take matters in my own hands. I read books about holistic GI, IBS, yeast, thyroid, and hormone connections. I recorded everything I ate and all my reactions in a journal. I took supplements such as L-Glutamine and Folic acid/Bcomplex. I began culturing home-made probiotics. Since I couldn’t have milk, I thought I couldn’t have any probiotics, but there is a world of inexpensive probiotics out there. I started on water kefir 6 months ago, just bought a starter online for $10, and I add sugar water ever other day. The first tablespoon I had made me evacuate everything in my bowels, but then after that I have drunk a cup per day, and it has gradually helped my GI tract re-regulate. Now I can eat any of the foods I used to eat, and the probiotcs have repopulated and healed my GI tract, and help me digest the food. I continue to have malabsorption, so I try to stick to the healing diet containing only organic produce and plenty of mild bone broths. I want to tell you all that there is hope for recovery, but it may not be through Western Medicine. If you’re like me, vitamin deficiency can affect your mood and energy levels. When I was so sick, I was too tired to be proactive about my healing process. Depression doesn’t help you, it just gets you stuck in negativity and pain. Get treatment for your depression, and that will free up your mental and emotional resources to make the effort to heal yourself. Read books, take notes on your food/reactions, do scientific trials on yourself, and find a holistic practitioner and a nutritionist who can help you.

    • Reply

      This is some wonderful information Heather! Thanks so much for letting me and others know about this. I’m looking it up right now. – Shawn

  48. Reply

    I’m pretty sure I got IBS from an infection. I’ve had IBS for about 6 years now. I can’t quite remember when it started at first but I’ve had a intestinal infection twice, for which I had to take antibiotics (there was blood in my stool and had terrible diarrhea). I’m pretty sure it started some time after that. My first docter didn’t take me very seriously, gave me some medicine that would improve bowel movements. Movicolon or something. Didn’t do a damn thing. This doctor retired and was replaced, I went back and started complaining again, I also told her I got the feeling I wasn’t being taken seriously. So she had my poop examined for parasites, they found nothing. So I’m still nothing further. With me it really comes and goes, I don’t have it as bad as some people I have been reading about, I “only” have trapped gas, swollen belly and only rarely abdominal pain which disappears immediately when i go to the bathroom. I think I’m gonna try some probiotics and i’m also curious about hypnosis.

    • Reply

      Hi Rene, Sorry, I don’t know how to make the accent over the e :). A LOT of people have a milder case of trouble like yours that seems to come and go. Some people have it worse. That doesn’t mean it isn’t making YOU miserable. I just read ANOTHER study (Sweden this time) stating that hypnosis should be recommended to people with IBS.

      Here’s a link to that:

      I personally feel that antibiotics play a role in some forms of IBS by wiping out bacteria in the intestines that is difficult or impossible to replace by taking probiotics. I’m going to dig into that soon. I think there are a lot of kinds of bacteria in the gut that may not be found at the drug store.

      I know that antibiotics are very important, and can save lives, but for a while anitbiotics were given out like candy, for anything including viruses which are not helped by antibiotics. I’m wondering if that is what contributes to the widespread IBS epidemic.

  49. Reply

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, everyone. I found reading all of this quite encouraging. I think I’ve had un-diagnosed IBS since I was 13, and it’s always just come and gone and been pretty mild. But early last December, I got a stomach bug that caused about 24 hours of nasty cramps and diarrhoea, and a further couple of days of feeling generally weak and unwell. Ever since then, I’ve found my digestive system to be totally unpredictable. The only thing that sort of helped was following the FODMAP food plan. And then last night, I went and ate a pretty oily risotto with a glass of white wine, and *boom* more diarrhoea and feeling sick again. Mistake on my part!

    What you said in your original post, “To people who develop IBS-D, the diarrhea type of IBS, it seems like a stomach flu that just never goes away,” had me nodding vigorously and thinking, yes! That’s how it’s felt! Is it possible that the bug has caused a significant flare-up in the IBS symptoms? Not strictly post-infectious, seeing as I had symptoms before, but sort of?

    • Reply

      Thanks for YOUR experiences too Diana. It seems to me, that if there is such a thing as post infectious IBS, then there could certainly be an argument that a bad bout of “stomach bug” could cause it get worse. That’s my 2 cents. I’m glad the FODMAP diet has been helping. I wish you continued success! – Shawn

  50. Reply

    I remember when I first got Post Infectious IBS reading these websites and feeling like I would never get better. Depression is actually symptom. I just want to let you know things will get better. I went to a doctor and he put me on a probiotic and called “align”. This worked for me as I only ate easy simple to digest carbs and yogurt. I’m not sure if this would work for you and of course you should consult with a good doctor you trust. But just know that things will get better. Focus on getting well and taking the stress out of your life.

    • Reply

      Hi Mike,
      It is very generous for you to offer your story, and the hope you give. Thanks so much! I keep hearing about “Align”, I admit I haven’t looked into it as of yet. I guess I’d better get cracking! – Shawn

  51. Reply

    Hi, I found your article very informative. I’ve been suffering for three years so far. I was having 5-10 bowel movements every morning. They would start as early as 4 in the morning and wake me out of a sound sleep. My stool is so acidic that I developed prolapsed hemeroids and needed surgery. I also had developed an anal fissure (very painful). Because my diarrhea can not be controlled with any IBS-D medication the fissure would never heal causing me more pain. Now as of Feb.7,2012 I had a colostomy from all of this. I’m not sorry I had it done because I’m no longer in pain and when and if this clears I can have it reversed. The only thing that I have found to work on the diarrhea side of things is vicadin 2 times a day. I’m able to eat a little more and I have put on 8 pounds. I’m 5’3″ and normally weight 118 but I’m currently 96. I was as low as 84 pounds and nocking on deaths door. I’m better today I still have more bad days than good. My energy is low, my strength isn’t there, I’m still depressed from being home bound since August 25, 2009. I found some really promising stuff on bovine colostrum. I’m going to pick up a bottle in a couple of days. It helps rebuild your immune system from within the gut. It’s suppose to thicken the mucosal lining of the intestinal wall. it helps to find a brand that does not have magnesium strearate in it. I’m looking at a brand called symbiotic if anyone is interested. My doctor says with my condition I can take up to 10-20g a day. I think I will start slow. This colostrum is suppose to help heal what pi-ibs does. It’s also wise after your healed for one to take a low maintenance dose.

    I’ve had a long difficult road but to do this for 20 years I feel for you and hope I myself don’t endure the same fate.

    Blessings, Kelly

    • Reply

      Blessings to you Kelly, That’s a long hard road, as you’ve said. My sincerest hopes that you find some relief either with the bovine colostrum, or something else. Soon. May your road be smoother. All the best, Shawn

  52. Reply

    Shawn thanks for responding back to me….something doctors should learn how to do when your explaining the suffering….I bet if they were going through this things would be a little bit different in the way they treat their patients. Tim

    • Reply

      Thank you for you kind words. I agree that experience brings perspective. I’m not determined enough and possibly not smart enough to be a doctor, I admit. But there is that compassion angle. Some doctors handle that well. Others, should have stuck to research, and avoided patients, in my opinion.

  53. Reply

    sorry for some spelling mistakes…..I’m just going through a flare up as I type and my belly sounds like the movie alien………….

    • Reply

      LOL, that’s a funny way to put it even though you must be miserable.

  54. Reply

    I got giardia while living in Brasil and never had it treated because the test always came back negative, and that was 2006 and im still suffering the after effects, I gain weight for awhile then I lose and can’t gain weight then the runs after eating or when I’m stressed its just so frustrating. then I have the bouts of nausea and filling like I need to throw up but don’t…..any advice you can share would really help….thanks Tim

    • Reply

      From what I’ve read, the body’s immune system is supposed to get rid of giardia after a while. That’s probably why the tests came back negative. The trouble seems to be that giardia and other heavy duty bowel inflamations cause some kind of permanent or semi-permanent change in how the bowels function. Then people are stuck with this IBS condition. If you look around the site, you’ll probably find some information that can ease your symptoms. I’ve personally found that using a food diary as part of a food elimination diet has been a huge help. Once I found foods that triggered IBS flare ups, I avoided them (avoided, not eliminated. That takes more willpower :)). Of course I miss those foods, but I DON’T miss the agony. Check out the food elimination diet page. I hope you get some relief!

  55. Reply

    In March 2012 I became ill with what I thought was the flu, after 3 days I went to urgent care to be told I was in renal failure. I was hospitalized for 12 days. I was sent home and less than 48 hrs later (after telling hospital I was still sick) I was readmitted with diverticulitis. Two more trips finally revealed camplybactor. I am still not well. Terrible stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, and severe nausea. All kinds of tests have been done and now they are saying PI IBS and possibly endometriosis. Very frustrating.

    • Reply

      That DOES sound very frustrating Sandy. Western medicine can be great sometimes. At other times it seems like running in circles. Still, they’re one of the best options. I hope you get a REAL answer soon, and I hope you feel better even sooner!

  56. Reply

    I had Giardia after travelling abroad – I suspect I had the parasite for several months but after being clear for over 6 months now, my digestive system and bowels have not returned to what it used to be prior to the parasite. I was told by my doctor that it is likely to be post-infectious IBS, and I was hoping this would just be a case of “takes time to heal”, but reading the fact that 20 years after your Giardia you are not back to normal I find that quite depressing!

    I have not been able to identify what triggers my IBS symptoms. I really hope I do get better, as things were so good before!

    I wish they knew more about IBS, especially post-infectious IBS, too.

    I learned a lot from your writing above, so thank you.

    • Reply

      Your welcome Stephanie. Just because my situation is what it is, doesn’t mean yours will turn out that way. Also, more research is being done. There will be help for you. I hope it’s soon! – Shawn

  57. Reply

    I had campylobacter in November, I still feel almost as bad, the diarrhea has gone but my nerves are in a state and my stomach feels upset every day, my appetite has never been the same and I have lost 1 1/2 stone in weight, I feel I will never be right again. I had a colonoscopy in March and have felt worse since.

    • Reply

      That’s horrible! Keep trying to get help! I hope you feel better soon. – Shawn

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