Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD)? Celiac disease? Bacterial infection? Food allergy? Sugar intolerance?
When your stomach is causing problems, such as gassiness, abdominal pain, bloating, or diarrhea, you probably do not care what you have as long as it gets better. But what you have does matter because understanding the problem can help direct what medication or therapy you should follow to get relief.
You have tried everything imaginable from prescription medications and over-the-counter medications to herbal remedies. In the beginning, you were hopeful and maybe things got better for a while. But that did not last long. Nothing seems to work, so what do you do now?
The best way to help get stomach relief is to visit your gastroenterologist, a physician specializing in problems of the gut. If you do not have a gastroenterologist, you should find one. Your insurance company or your primary care physician can help.
Because IBS, IBD, Celiac disease, bacterial infections, food allergies, and sugar intolerance have the same types of symptoms, finding the real problem might be challenging. Before you visit your doctor, do your homework. Read about these conditions on line and see where your symptoms fit it.
Since you know your symptoms and what triggers them better than anyone, take notes and be prepared to discuss them with your doctor in detail. Don’t be surprised if the initial diagnosis from your doctor is incorrect and you are getting no relief. But don’t settle for a diagnosis that your condition is hard to treat, and you will just have to learn to live with your problem. Ask your doctor to run more tests to help identify the real problem. Ruling out conditions can be just as important as finding the right diagnosis.
Look for the non-obvious. For example, you should ask your doctor about tests that can help diagnose genetic sucrase-isomaltase deficiency (GSID). Some of these tests actually diagnose GSID and other tests aid in diagnosing GSID, such as the sucrose hydrogen breath test. GSID is sometimes referred to as sucrose intolerance and is thought to be uncommon. However, there is new data to suggest that GSID is more common than previously thought. If you are diagnosed with GSID, there are things you can do that may help with your stomach problems.
Whatever your diagnosis, if you are not getting the stomach relief you need, then it might not be the right diagnosis. Do not stop until you solve this mystery because relief may be in sight and sooner than you think.