Originally Posted by STUCKED
I'm a new member and hopefully I will find answers here. I would like to know what the lifestyle of other sufferers are? How do you establish (without seeing a doctor later on) what is wrong where?
First of all IBS has to be diagnosed by a doctor to rule out any other serious conditions or diseases ! Any sudden changes in your normal bowel habits that has lasted at least two weeks or more need to be checked out by a doctor. I was diagnosed in June of 1996 with IBS but only after extensive tests to rule out anything serious. It took me 3 months of tests before it was diagnosed by having a barium enema(lower G.I.) Not a pleasant prep or test to have to endure but that's what found the problem because the X-ray technican could see my colon going into a spasm(severe abdominal cramps.) I was put on Bentyl four times a day to help the spasms to slow down. I also take probiotics like acidophilus 2-3 times a day ( keeps the good bacteria in the intestines in balance), Citrucel in the morning after breakfast and in the evening after work because it helps keeps your bowels moving on a regular basis and it adds bulk to your bowel movements and keeps them soft and formed. Because my IBS alternates between explosive diarrhea and severe constipation I have to sit on the toilet for 30 minutes every day at the same time to have a bowel movement. I have had chronic constipation problems all my life before the IBS diagnosis so I tend to have more constipation problems most of the time. I started this morning routine of sitting on the toilet for 30 minutes every day in early March of this year after reading an article on the internet about bowel retraining for constipation. For me, this bowel retraining is a lifesaver because it keeps me from being in so much pain just trying to have a bowel movement. I also had to increase my dietary fiber intake to 25-35 grams a day and drink 64 oz. of water a day. I have watch how much cheese I eat and chocolate because they make the constipation worse. I can't even deviate from one day without having a bowel movement or it's so painful the next time I have to go. I feels like a searing knife inside my rectum cutting me . IBS symptoms can vary from day to day and hour to hour. The most common symptoms are severe abdominal cramping,lots of trapped gas,bloating,explosive diarrhea,may have severe constipation of not having a bowel movement for sometimes as long as 2 weeks( never let it go more than 3 days because you're setting yourself up for a bowel impaction or bowel obstruction which can perforate the bowel !) Alternating between diarrhea and constipation. It can very painful at times to the point of rolling in pain on the floor from the severe cramps and gas that gets trapped and you can't expel or not being able to pass a very large hard dry stool after not going for more than 3 days. If you have had the awful experience of severe constipation you know how painful it can be. I use glycerin suppositories instead if stimulant laxatives because they are not habit forming and a lot less harsh on your colon and rectum. I hope this give you an idea what IBS is like to live with every day.