Sorry to hear of your predicament -- I can understand your embarrassment and frustration. You should address both the possible IBS and odor. One issue you'll simply have to get over is your fear of approaching a doctor for clinical tests. Try approaching them with the IBS complaints first if you feel more comfortable with same (IBS is fairly common), then maybe mentioning the odor issue in passing. Here's some concrete steps to look into:
1. READ UP ON IBS
Both website articles and entire books on IBS are available. The IBS section of the book "Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine" ("ENM") by Michael Murray has some good, concise info on treating this. Also run an "irritable bowel syndrome" search on Google -- there's some boards/groups which specialize in same.
5. ALTER DIET IF NECESSARY
If you haven't already, you should go healthy with your diet, going with "100% whole grain" or "stone ground" grains, avoiding refined flours, avoiding sugars, reducing fat intake, lowering caffeine intake, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (although fruits can sometimes be problematic in IBS), etc. Take a high-potency multivitamin/mineral supplement each day -- less expensive drug store brands are perfectly fine and reputable. http://www.mayoclinic.com/findinformation/conditioncenters/centers.cfm?object...
6. TAKE A SIBO TEST
Most definitely take a "Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth Test," a simple breath test. The University of Virginia reports that 83% of IBS patients test positive for SIBO. About $105 without insurance. Make sure to wait at least 2 weeks after taking herbal or prescription antibacterials (including peppermint or oregano oils) before taking an SIBO test -- you want your small bowel to be in its "natural" bacterial state, be it healthy or unhealthy, while taking the test. Get this test performed first so that peppermint (or other antibacterials) don't mess up the test results. THIS IS A MUST DO. http://www.gsdl.com/home/assessments/bacterial_overgrowth/appguide/index.html
8. EXPERIMENT WITH SOLUBLE FIBER
Soluble fiber (as opposed to insoluble fiber, such as wheat bran) can sometimes help with IBS symptoms according to ENM. In general, insoluble fiber should be avoided. Good sources of insoluble would be supplements of guar gum (such as "Benefiber") and pectin. Psyllium and oat bran would be second-best choices. Per ENM, take 3-5 grams (1 tablespoon) per day. http://www.helpforibs.com/supplements/sol_fiber1.asp
9. TRY AN ANTIGENIC DIET
The connection between food sensitivities and IBS is well established according to ENM. An "antigenic" diet, or one which excludes the most common reaction-causing foods, should be experimented with for at least one week. A typical antigenic diet would include variations of lamb, chicken, potatoes, rice, banana, apple, and one brassica family vegetable (cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, turnip) per ENM. More info on antigenic diet experimentation can be found in that book and on the Net.
10. HAVE A food allergy PANEL PERFORMED food sensitivities (meaning they provoke a reaction in a given person) are NOT necessarily the same as food allergies . You can be non-allergic to a given food, yet it causes you gastrointestinal distress (such as apple juice for me). Nonetheless, you might investigate ALLERGIES to a host of foods. Make sure they also check for Celiac Disease, the allergy to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. Labs such as Immuno Laboratories in Florida can perform allergy tests on a panel of about 115 common foods with a sample of your blood serum (I had 22 positives!). About $350 without insurance. http://www.betterhealthusa.com/
12. CONSIDER CROHN'S DISEASE AND ULCERATIVE COLITIS
These intestinal ailments have symptoms that overlap with IBS. A doctor familiar with gastrointestinal matters can offer insight into these, and ENM has good info as well, as does the Net.
13. TRY PEPPERMINT AND OREGANO OILS
Enteric coated (protected from stomach acid) peppermint oil capsules are a proven remedy for some people with IBS. Follow instructions on the bottle (personally I eventually try doubling the recommended dose for the safer herbs such as this one, just to see what effect/effectiveness will come about). Oregano oil capsules, either enteric or non-enteric, have been proven effective against both candida yeast and pathogenic bacteria (I've used it as well), and I'd suggest giving it a try in conjunction with the peppermint oil. http://www.iherb.com/peppermint7.html http://www.iherb.com/oreganooil3.html
14. TRY AN ANTISPASMOTIC HERBAL FORMULA
In addition to the oils above, you might try an intestinal antispasmodic herbal formula, such as one which contains some mixture of ginger, chamomile, valerian, rosemary, balm, and peppermint. (Such peppermint would NOT replace the much higher dose you'd get in the peppermint capsules.) This could be in tea, tincture, or capsule form. All of the herbs mentioned in this post are available at larger health food shops and some stores such as Whole Foods Market. http://www.iherb.com/gastritix.html http://www.wholehealthmd.com/refshelf/substances_view/1,1525,10104,00.html
You should locate a reputable, combination conventional/alternative medicine doctor in your city, one who is familiar with both IBS and the testing procedures for the premier gastrointestinal labs such as Great Smokies Lab and Great Plains Lab. Such labs have referral services to physicians in your area. This should be your starting point. If by chance you live near Los Angeles, New York, or Phoenix, I know of good doctors in those areas. Best wishes on your successful treatment!