Hi, I'm fairly new to the board.... I just came back from a doctors exam this week, and he diagnosed me as having IBS. I am SOO relieved! Well, I'm not happy or jumping up and down, but I'm at least happy that this stomach pain I've been having for 2 years isn't due to cancer, or some non-curable fatal disease! I thought I was going crazy!!
Here's my story...( you all can be the judge as to whether or not my symptoms sound like IBS or not)
I'm a fairly healthy young 23 year old college student, and it wasn't until about 2 years ago that I started experiencing MAJOR stomach pains! Now, I must tell you that I am not usually one to suffer from stomach pain unless it's due to the flu, a stomach virus, or food poisoning. However, it seems like just one day out of the blue, I started having these really weird stomach pains with horrible horrible diarrhea. I'll never forget that awful day I was on campus after a class and had to run to the bathroom and was stricken with awful diarrhea. I must have been on the toilet for what seemed like 30 minutes! I felt so sick. Part of me wanted to throw up...but I never did.
Ever since that day I have had bouts of off and on stomach cramping and pain mixed with loose stool and diarrhea. Some days I'll be perfectly fine. I think the longest I went was about a month with being TOTALLY fine. NO stomach pain, no diarrhea or weird bowels for a month. But then BAM!! All of a sudden, I'll get stomach pain again. It has gotten to the point where sometimes I'll down Pepto Bismol like it's a drink. It's sad really. I have to carry antacids and Pepto wherever I go because I NEVER know when "it" will strike. Pepto doesn't really do much for me. But Immodium AD...now THAT's my friend! hahah...It's crazy though! I feel like some medicine-downing FREAK! I mean, this has gotten to be really irritating! At first I thought to myself: "Oh, maybe it's just a flu going around". Or, "Oh, maybe it was something I ate". Or, "Oh, maybe it was some medication I took". Ha!!! Yeah right. After a while I started to realize that there's only so many "stomach flu viruses" going around and only so much "food poisoning" one can get in a single year.
Even my mom and sister would get tired of my complaining about my stomach. Almost to the point where my mom would think I would be "faking" my stomach pain. TRUST ME...I can't "fake" pain this bad!
As far as symptoms go...
*I've experienced the "stomach gurgling" that some of you have mentioned. It doesn't hurt when my stomach gurgles though. It just sounds weird.
*I've also noticed that some mornings I wake up to a bloated stomach. I didn't know what that was until I read that this could be a symptom of IBS.
*Off and on diarrhea. NEVER constipation really. Just diarrhea and stomach pain. I've often felt like I would probably throw up, but never have. IT just scares me when I go in public, and get that "feeling" and have to rush to the bathroom...NOTHING happens, but it's just nervewracking!
*I'm not getting any back pain (at least not any significant back pain) that I can think of at the moment.
*I notice that my stomach pain/bowels will get worse with added stress and anxiety.
I tend to suffer from mild anxiety and get stressed out easily. I haven't really gotten diagnosed with anxiety disorder or seen a therapist or anything, but I'm a Psych major, so I know all the symptoms of things like that. About 2 years I transfered from a smaller college to a big University, and the fall of 2002 is when I started to experience these symptoms, so I think that the two go hand in hand.
I'm glad that I finally saw the doctor and got some prescribed medication. I'm so glad/relieved that my symptoms seem to be caused by IBS and not some scary disease as I had previously thought. Although, the doctor DID do a blood test just to MAKE SURE that everything looks normal, and that there isn't another reason why I'm suffering from stomach pains.
I'm just so FRUSTRATED though because there isn't a CURE for this!! I'm a YOUNG 23 year old for goodness sakes, and I FEEL like I've aged 30-40 years! I actually envy those who can eat anything and never get stomach pains. I used to be VERY healthy, and would NEVER get stomach aches. Never hardly if ever get diarrhea unless I was sick, or ate something bad. But now days...it's like a catch 22. I don't know when or WHERE it will strike next.
Please...tell me...HOW on earth do you all DEAL with this?? It's so frustrating to me. I never used to think my stomach pain was due to stress, but now that I'm back for fall semester I notice myself getting anxious again. And of course, my stomach pains are coming back. Do you all take any anti-depressants or anti anxiety medication?? I mean, I'm not a nervous wreck sitting down shaking in the corner or something. No. I hold a part-time job, and go to school normally, but I think I seriously have a problem with anxiety. Sometimes I just don't feel RELAXED. I feel jittery or anxious inside, even though on the outside I don't show it. :-(
Aside from IBS, I'm a fairly healthy young woman, with a fairly "normal" life. lol*
ANY advice would be great. :-)
Thanks guys for listening...
Last edited by sweet_chic; 09-10-2004 at 01:38 PM.
Hi SC, I don't know if I can be much help, but I have the same, identical situation in having IBS as you do. Mine was diagnoised about four and a half years ago. I had all the tests from a colonoscopy (actually two of them) to CT scans, plus several others. None showed anything significantly wrong, but you can't deny the symptoms. Mine has gotten so bad at times that I have on several occasions had "accidents" when I was unable to get to a bathroom in time. About a month ago, I had my first one in public, but I did have a small one a couple years ago at work. The others (maybe a half dozen) I've had at home. I don't work any more and I'm in my 50's, so I guess I'm pretty much reitred. I am on Social Security Disability.
My doctor has been great through all of my trouble and frustrations. He has sent me to all of the specialists and arranged for all the tests to be done. Now he prescribes medications to help me be as comfortable as possible. I'm on several different meds, but the main ones to help my IBS is I take Methadone for the pain. I also have Lomotil to help slow down the bowels and diarehea, and if that doesn't do it, I have a powder that comes in a packet called Cholestyramine. You mix it with a juice or something (I use Gatorade) and this will usually do the trick when nothing else will.
If there are any specific questions you have that I might be able to answer for you, just let me know. As I said, I'm not able to work, so I'm usually around the house most of the time.
Wow...thanks so much Director for your help and support! It's so good to find someone else who is suffering from the same thing. I thought I was going CRAZY!! I'm so sorry to hear all of what you've gone through. I'm hoping that the medication is working to help alleviate at least some of the discomfort and pain.
Did you find that yours was related to stress too? Or...what did the doctor say caused your IBS? Mine seemed to just come "out of the blue". Like, one day I was perfectly fine, the next day I was doubled over with stomach pain and *seemingly* glued to the toilet seat due to diarrhea. :-/
It would be good to hear from you again, and anyone else who suffers from this.
Hi SC...Yes, the meds do help, but I'm on a ton of them. I'm on a high dose of Methadone for the pain and I have several others too. Some are the normal ones, like for hypertension, GERD, etc and I do take meds at night to help sleep. The main one though is the Meth. If I didn't have that, I don't know what I would do. The high dose comes from tolerance and the fact I've had stomach surgery where they removed about 60-70% of my stomach and some of the small intestine due to a perforated ulcer. This changed my metabolism, so I don't get what most normal people get from their meds. This is why I have to take higher doses.
Mine was brought on from stress at work. The doctor thinks I've had it for some time and it was the stress at work that really made it come to the surface. I worked in television and there can be a lot of stressful situations. It's my understanding that most cases of IBS are at least partially caused by stress of one kind or another. Also, most people that have it are women. Something like 80%.
You said in your earlier post you saw your doctor and he put you on some medication. What type do you have to take for your IBS. I've tried several that didn't help and some that seemed to do more harm than good. I'm always looking for something that can help more than what I'm currently taking.
If there's any other questions you might have about IBS, I'd be happy to help you out, if I can.
i havn't been dignoised with IBS but I know i have it i read everything on this sight and another sight and all the symptons r there I don't get insurance until Oct and i am hoping to get this problem fixed....or as close to fixed as i can get..i have had mine for 4 yrs and i am 25 now...everything u discribed fit me to a tea....isn't it weird when things r takin away u relised how good u had it...i remember being able to get up and go to work and not give my stomach a sec thought how i wish i was able to be like that again even if i don't get it, it is always on my mind i am always worring about it if i am out and i feel a rummble i don't know weather i should take my immodium or save it cuz it cost alot... i really don't know what causes mine I keep food diary but sometimes the food can cause it other times that same food won't...i hardly get it at home where i am confortable but i get it as soon as i get in a car for a long car ride or when i am out of my elimante COMBAM i get it...i am glad u got on some meds...i am scared when i go to the dr.s cuz i hear there r many different meds and u got to find the right one for u.....
I suffer from IBS too and it can get pretty bad at times for me. All this, even though I know of mind-based techniques for dealing with my troubles - the trouble just never seems to want to go away permanently.
Well, I'm glad you guys are finding meds to help you. I don't use any meds at all, but I believe that I can't get any better with meds.
I've reduced about 95% of my troubles through mind techniques. But I can't wait till I'm completely rid of IBS. Its not just IBS - there are other things like allergies and unexplainable heart rate changes and fatigue. (Of course I have an explanation of my own that allows me to eventually overcome the troubles - but I'd rather not have to do anything to deal with this wretched condition).
Well, one thing I've always believed about doctors and researchers is that there is no motivation or research subject that could be better than being a patient yourself - since I'm a somewhat self-declared researcher (of late)- I find it to be true.
WOW! What you all are describing is EXACTLY what I am going through!
What you're describing Director about stress is SO true. I can't stress enough how much I feel that stress is an underlying issue with IBS sufferers. I don't know about those with IBS-C, but I suffer from IBS-D and I can always tell when my stomach pain is caused by stress and NOT by something I've eaten.
In fact, I posted this really good post about stress/IBS on another post board on here, and I'll just copy and paste it here!
Ever since I just recently got diagnosed with IBS by my doctor, I've kept his words in my mind about how sometimes anxiety and stress can go hand in hand with IBS sufferers. Maybe not ALL the time, but many times this is a factor in many people who have IBS.
I have IBS-D too, and I can ALWAYS tell when I'm really stressed or anxious about something because my stomach starts to gripe and I have spasms. I've had symptoms of IBS-D for two years now (even though I didn't know what it was before...I thought I was going crazy, dying of some fatal illness or virus, or had stomach cancer or something!) , I can always look back to the times when I would have my stomach pain, and always be able to connect it with some kind of stressor or anxiety-inducing event. In fact, when I had my FIRST IBS-D outbreak about 2 years ago, I had JUST started college at a new HUGE university, and although I was doing well, subconsiously it was stressing me out.
Since I now realize that sometimes anxiety can be a cause of the spasms, when I do get a terrible IBS-D outbreak/stomach/bout of diarhea, I always try to calm myself down and ask myself "okay...what's causing you anxiety today?" Usually I do that with some simple breathing techniques to calm myself down. I tend to get anxious sometimes depending on how things in my life (stressors) are going. If I'm under a lot of stress, I'll tend to get anxious more often. I think I'm just a worry-wort sometimes.
But anway, since that bit of "info" the doc told me about stress-IBSD, I have been making strides to try to contain my stress levels. I do relaxation techniques like taking a nice warm bath, breathing deeply, listening to quiet soothing music, lighting candles, and I've even started an exercise regimen since exercise tends to make you feel better.
Let me tell you, this has done WONDERS for me! I dont' know if this will work for everyone, but I notice that since doing these techniques, I don't suffer as often from stomach pain or diarhea. I can go longer now without having a "tummy ache". :-D
I truly believe that there is a mind-body connection in everyone, and that some disorders or health problems may indeed be psychosomatic. I have now found from personal experience that your mind can greatly affect your physical health.
So yes...I definitely think that all those years of stress caused by working in the television industry Director perhaps spurred on these problems with IBS. Stress can definitely cause/aggravate IBS. I haven't put my medication prescription in yet because I currently don't have health insurance anymore, but will soon be having it (hopefully). The medication the doctor prescribed me was something called Bentiyl. Something like that. But even without the meds, I have been able to reduce my symptoms simply by using mind over matter.
I was exactly like you WhoWhat before I got this disorder. I used to wake up with no problems at all! I would NEVER if ever get a stomach ache unless I was severely sick, or had a stomach virus/flu. But now days, it's a catch 22. I don't know when or where it will strike. The fact that you mentioned in your post that you don't get the disorder when you are home relaxing but get the bouts when you are driving in your car or out of your element, proves to me that this disorder does in fact have some kind of mind connection with it. The SAME exact thing would happen to me. In fact, it got to the point where my family would think that I was doing it on purpose or faking my stomach pains because I didn't want to be out in public with them! Can you imagine that? This is so not true. I WOULD notice however, that whenever I would go out to the movies with friends and family (something I LOVE to do!) I would hardly if EVER get a stomach ache! Also...you know how I know that it's not something you are eating?? The fact that you said that sometimes a certain food witll aggravate it, but other times it won't. I'm telling you...it's the SAME thing that would happen to me. Don't get me wrong, some IBS symptoms ARE made worse by the kinds of foods you eat though. I guess keeping a food journal is a good idea.
I will stress however, how much relaxation techniques has helped me. It has helped me TREMENDOUSLY. I now realize that many of my symptoms are due to stress/anxiety, I just practice the relaxation techniques that I mentioned above, and I see that I have been able to lessen many of my symptoms. I don't get them as often either.
sweet_chic yes u got it pin pointed just like mine....it sucks soo bad...just the thought of going out makes things bad...i know it plays alot in my mind my hubby says well don't think about it but a mind is a powerful thing to turn off... I too have isolated myself more from my family since I am scared to go out...and of corse one of my sisters said the other day that I was faking being sick and she was getting sick of it....my younger sister is the only one in my family that knows really what i am going threw cuz we both told each other and she too has it and has been dignoised....i was going to an opera last July and cuz i was sooo scared of getting sick i didn't eat nothing for 4 days...didn't have it at all at home but as soon as i got in the car surprise surprise here it is.....I am also trying new methods of relaxing and not getting sick and thanks to many ppl from here i got alot of great helpful tips....I also find a bit of exercise helps me too...i hate the fact this controls my life I never feel safe....
Hi all. I have been reading your posts.I am a 23 year old female. I have a couple of questions. I have not been told that I have IBS but i think I do. I have been having this go on for about 6 years now. Everyday for six years I go to the bathroom alot. Never been constipated in those 6 years. My stomach hurts too. Could having a baby cause IBS to come on? This is when it all started for me was after I had my child. What type of doctor do you see to find out if I have IBS? Thanks in advance for all of your help.
I'm not positive, but I don't think having a baby could cause IBS. I think in almost all cases, the number one cause is stress. Everything I've read and all the doctors I've had in doing tests seems to confirm that. I'm now on Social Security Disability, but when I was working (I went on SSD in August of '03) there was always a certain amount of stress to deal with each day. My real problems began in 1999, when I found myself in a extremely stressful situation that lasted for about two years. When things returned to normal at work, I found my IBS remained. I have been in pain and been dealing with situations that go along with IBS-C for four and a half years. At this point there doesn't seem to be an end to it. My doctor is great and has prescribed various medications that help with my situation, so at this point that is all I can do for it. You need your doctor to schedule you for some tests. I had a colonoscopy, Sigmoidscopy, Barium Follow Through, and a couple others. Good luck and I hope you're able to find out for sure if you have it. If you do, you'll be able to take some steps to at least ease the symptoms and make them livable.
Last edited by RetiredDirector; 10-08-2004 at 01:56 PM.
actually i got mine (but i have not been dignoised yet) after the birth of my son...like director said "I think in almost all cases, the number one cause is stress" is true. and having a baby is big stress on ur life....it is a great blessing too but it is very stressful...i would go get it checked out as soon as u can i am just waiting for my innsurance papers to go threw then that is the first thing that i am going to go get checked out
Hi and thanks to all of your replys.I did go to an GI doctor. He told me that I may have spastic colon.I think that is the same thing as IBS. He set me up for an appointment to have a flexible Sigmoidoscopy., and a CT on abdomen and pelvis. I do not know if he wants to do that to check for IBS or from where i have been having pain in my right side and in right side of my chest.Could anybody tell me If they have ever had a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy and If it hurts.How did you guys find out if you had it or not? Thanks for your help.
I have had the flexible sigmoidscopy once and the colonoscopy twice. In my case they didn't hurt at all, because I just told the doctor I wanted to be sedated for the test. All of mine were done at the hospital, instead of the doctor's office I have had the sigmoidoscopy once years ago and they just gave me some valium and after that experience I said if I ever have to have it done again, I was going to be asleep. It was not a pleasant experience being awake. When they did my most recent ones, I think they used Demerol (a very large dose that put me out) and it was done at the hospital.
After having several different tests and based on the symtoms and how I felt, they said it was IBS. Mine is in the lower left quadrant and I have pain with it pretty much all the time. That's why I'm on pain medications with it, pluse opiates slow the bowel and that helps with the diarreha.
Please let me know if there's anything else you would like to know.
Hi director, They are going to be doing the sigmoidscopy in the doctors office. Do you know if they have the drugs to knock me out in the doctors office? I would rather be dazed or something cause I don't like feeling all the pain and things thats going on. Was you sore after it?If so did they give you medicine so that you would not feel it so much. Also one more question for you. Do you think that I should take my blood thinners the day of the gismoidoscopy? The doctor did not tell me anything about it. I am just kind of wondering about that because if the sigmoidoscopy makes you bleed or anything then I do not need to take my blood thinners. Thanks for your time and answers.
hey i know i haven't been involved in the replies, but when i had my sig. done.. i was completely sedated... this is just how my doctor did it, they do do these things w/out sedating the patient, i would call and ask your doctor about that, and your blood thinner medication... definitely call about that, because you don't even know how they're doing the procedure, so how are you supposed to know if your medication will be effected by the procedure... call the doc asap b4 the procedure.