Question: Developing IBD after years with IBS? (And how to survive until seeing a specialist)

Hi, I was wondering how common it is to develop IBD after years of what's been assumed to be IBS. I've had IBS-like symptoms since childhood, never had an extensive workup until my mid-20's when I had a colonoscopy that was clear. Now in my mid-30's for the past two years, I've had much more severe flares with excruciating pain, complete fiber intolerance, and also the past 6 months symptoms of another autoimmune disease, Sjogren's syndrome (severe mucus membrane dryness, and severe joint pain especially in my hands), as well as worsening of fatigue and other issues.

It seems clear to me that something new and more severe is going on, but it took me a very long time to get a GI referral and it's still 2 months off, and my GP isn't providing any real help. Meanwhile, my symptoms became unbearable last week, with my worst flare ever and now a week of diarrhea that is not relenting. I went to the ER and was rehydrated and discharged, and am wondering how to survive the next two months until my GI specialist appointment when I can't keep any solids in me and am down to 85 lbs (5'1").

Thanks for any advice.



this is the new normal


IBD can certainly develop in patients who have previously been diagnosed with IBS. It's important to ensure the gastroenterologist's office is aware of the severity of symptoms and about recent hospitalizations. That information may affect the urgency of the appointment. We hope help arrives soon for you.


Dr. Brian Bressler


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