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IBS versus Gastroparesis!

Francelle

Senior Member
Messages
444
Location
Victoria, Australia
As a person with M.E./FMS and accompanying Gastroparesis I get slightly touchy about most references to gut problems in M.E. being referred to as IBS! I dont consider what I have is IBS.

Anybody have any thoughts as to why GI issues in M.E. are not more specifically defined for what they are, or is it because IBS is the most common issue therefore all gut problems get tarred with the one brush.....or am I missing something regarding the definition for IBS?
 

Enid

Senior Member
Messages
3,309
Location
UK
Wish I could think of any difference in GI problems whilst everybody wants to tag names for this or that. It's all the same - gut function (normal) is totally compromised.
 

ukxmrv

Senior Member
Messages
4,413
Location
London
No, I feel the same sometimes. When I last looked up IBS it was both constipation and diarohrea. I generally know why I have the later (speficic reactiosn to food or when I have picked up a bug) but classifying constipation as Gastroparesis has been a problem before now for me when I have seen doctors.

Once when I was seen at a London NHS hospital by a Gastro speciailist he was teaching students at the time and they were sitting in on the consulation. He spent time actually explaining to them the differences and what his thoughts were on them. Very refeshing to see that some docs care enough to research new trends and not to dump all gastro problems into IBS for ME patients.
 

Francelle

Senior Member
Messages
444
Location
Victoria, Australia
The problem as I see it with the term IBS, it seems so nebulous (albeit very distressing) with no real defining tests, therefore in some senses it can and does on occasion get brushed aside as psychological. Whereas Gastroparesis and Oesophageal Dysmotility are able to be tested and quantitatively measured.

I'm sure if more M.E. people, whom doctors otherwise suggest with a wave of the hand have IBS, had the gastric emptying study and oesophageal manometry tests done, GI dysmotility in a subset of this patient group would be more frequently diagnosed and therefore better treated.

I disagree that it is not useful to obtain and attach a correct diagnosis or name for specific collective symptoms and issues, as many parts make up the whole in M.E. For each separate 'mini diagnosis' (and often not so mini may I add), better management can be implemented and a better quality of life can ensue.

I often wonder when I hear of very ill M.E patients who are confined to bed, very thin and have a feeding tube, have they actually ever been tested for upper GI Dysmotility? In these cases a feeding tube into the stomach for instance will do little good if a patient has significant Gastroparesis with slowed liquid transit time. They need to have a jejunostomy (a feeding tube into the jejunum - upper bowel) because essentially the stomach is not doing its job of digesting the liquid food and moving it along for further digestion of nutrients. The patient feels sicker with nausea and possibly vomiting as the food just sits there. Also there are very effective medications which can be prescribed in conjunction with such a diagnosis.

The same goes for other diagnoses co-existing with and part of the M.E. package - like Orthostatic Intolerance or POTS. This is another frequent accompaniment of M.E. however correct diagnosis and treatment management can greatly improve QOL. Sleep disorders. Pain. Balance problems. Headaches. Food allergies. These (and many others) are part of documented symptoms frequently experienced in M.E. and for many, some measure of relief can be achieved with correct identification and a treatment strategy.

Some of these stand alone diagnoses in themselves are considered quite monumental as a sole problem in non-M.E. people, leave alone in us who seem to have so many co-existing conditions.
 

Sushi

Moderation Resource Albuquerque
Messages
19,933
Location
Albuquerque
I think some doctors who know the differences put IBS for coding reasons--so that insurance will pay.

Sushi
 

Angela Kennedy

Senior Member
Messages
1,026
Location
Essex, UK
In the UK, IBS can still be dismissed as 'stress' or other psychogenic explanation. To actually quantify gut dysfunction would have to admit organic physiological dynsfunction. Hence why the most they'll do for a 'chronic fatigue syndrome suffer are 'oscopoies' that show nothing. That GI 'specialists' will do this is disgusting, but this is what a CFS diagnosis causes in doctors: rampant stupidity.
 

Glynis Steele

Senior Member
Messages
404
Location
Newcastle upon Tyne UK
Totally agree with you here, Angela. My daughter has complex special needs, and the GI's are the only professionals that have let us down, very badly in my eyes. The term willful ignorance could have been coined especially for these people. Very narrow field of expertise in my mind.

Glynis