I am a 22 year old male and I have had a nausea/bloating in my stomach for 5 weeks now. I have seen 2 doctors but haven't had any luck finding a cause/cure for being sick so, like many others here, I'm researching the internet and attempting to 'self-diagnose'. From what I've read IBS is diagnosed after 12 wks or more of IBS symptoms, so I haven't put myself in the IBS category. However, I can imagine how frustrating it would be to suffer IBS symptoms for years without any kind of treatable disease being identified as the culprit.
It seems like medical knowledge of gastrointestinal diseases is pretty limited -- 1 of 10 people have IBS, and no one knows what causes it? Does anyone know of medical research that is being done to determine the cause of IBS? My guess is that there are one or more viruses responsible that have not yet been identified. So, anyone with a chronic stomach illness that isn't associated with a known disease is lumped into the IBS 'syndrome' category in a "here-there-be-monsters" kind of way.
A common thread linking IBS sufferers, though, seems to be that a lot of people with IBS also suffer from anxiety or depression. That may be the reason why, in the past, so many doctors wrote IBS symptoms off as a purely psychosomatic (read: you're imagining it) disorder. I am sure that is a laughable/incredibly frustrating conclusion to any one who's experiencing real, painful IBS symptoms. I don't believe either that IBS-related depression is simply a response to the circumstances of being sick. More likely, depression is one effect of the change in body chemistry that the disease(s) causes. Has anyone here tracked the relation between their IBS symptoms and bouts of depression?
Nevertheless, you can't really blame today's doctors for failing to identify a currently unidentifiable disease. However, there seems to be a prevalent attitude among doctors that a diagnosis must be made in the five minutes the patient is present, from the top-of-one's head. My sister once complained to me that her doctor was flipping through the Merck manual to diagnose her illness while he was with her. That shook my sisters confidence, but personally I would prefer having a doctor who was willing to do a little research to ensure an accurate diagnosis. Of course, its a time issue; doctors have many, many patients to see in a day.
Anyways, it would be interesting to hear what your personal experiences were in the beginning stages of IBS, in terms of symptoms, seeking medical help etc. My next step is 5-day long strawberry yogurt binge.
For many years, my son would have symptoms the same as yours. Someone told us to try papaya enzyme, and at our wits end, we finally bought some. Well, that was 6 years ago, and I wouldn't be without it!! It really relieved the pains and bloating, we called it the miracle drug. The best I have found is at GNC and it comes in a huge bottle. It is just called "papaya enzyme". It seems pricey at first, but with all of our options exhausted, I sprung for it, and I am so glad I did - in our case it was more than worth the price! I'd be interested in seeing if anyone else used anything like this and what their experience has been.
What you are talking about with IBS is the mind/gut link. Chemicals from the brain are released that have a direct effect on the gut when you become anxious and this is what causes the IBS symptoms.
No, I agree that IBS is not all in the mind and you experience physical symptoms, however, the mind and the body are linked and cannot be separated so what affects one will affect the other, so that is why, when you become anxious or depressed, it can also affect your stomach/bowels and also lack of enzymes, hormones or chemical imbalances generally, can also have a direct effect on the brain.
The thing with IBS is there isnt 1 common symptom or cause. And we really dont understand it properly.
However although stress can be a trigger, its not 'always' present during an episode. My most recent and most horrifying attack was on my last holiday. It was a sunday afternoon and I was staying in this gorgeous house on the beach. And I could not have been less stressed if I tried! The attack though did not relent for over 14 hours, I was exhausted by the time I was finally able to leave the bathroom floor. I put the attack down to probably avacado. Which is becoming a common cause.
I guess my point is that sometimes its stress, sometimes its a food type and sometimes it comes from nowhere. Sometimes I wonder whether the IBS builds up over time, even when you avoid the 'bad' triggers. Other foods contain little triggers, that perhaps eventually become enough to trigger the attack.
I went to 6 different doctors before i finally beleived I had what they said, IBS. I could not beleive I could have hte type of pain I did and nothing could be done about it. That was 15 years ago and still I am suffering.
Even if youre not tough enough to completely change your diet (like me!). You can atleast find the really nasty triggers and reduce the pain frequency.
I am also trying meditation during an attack also, usually reclined in a chair to minimise pain. But last night I meditated in the shower with the warm water sort of soothing me. It worked quite well, but it wasnt a severe attack, so it still needs more testing. At the very least it takes your mind off the pain and its relaxing.
I found for me that showers--not necessarily meditating like adso, just relaxing, helped some of my pain attacks. I still sometimes think I must have some other chronic disease and doubt the diagnosis, but then I eventually realize that the doctors were right, and ibs just sucks =/
Before I had IBS, and even in the beginning years, I never suffered from anxiety or depression. You couldn't keep me down Hubby and I were constantly on the road, going places, doing things.
It was about 4 years into having IBS-D, that when I would get ready to go out of the house, a little nagging voice would pop up and say "oh...you better use the bathroom before you go....just in case." Or "you better not eat that while you're out, just in case".
After a few more years, that nagging little voice turned into real anxiety/panic attacks when I had to leave the house unexpectedly. My heart beats about 200 beats a minute, I break into a cold sweat, and wham, I'm on the toilet, cramps and diarrhea.
Give me a day where I don't 'have' to go anywhere and no anxiety. I know my toilet is just a dash away, its clean, full of toilet paper, and NO LINE!
I guess I can understand that IBS sufferers can experience anxiety and depression, but I think it is not the absolute trigger. In many cases it comes from failed attempts to explain to other persons how one is suffering. Secondly, the pain and isolation that can occur when you do not know what is causing the problem and you do not know when it happens.
In a nutshell, I think the initial symptoms are biological in nature, either from a food or histamine response. Then the anxiety heightens the responses and makes matters worse. Self diagonsis is good, but I would consider making a diary and tracking what you eat, when it is eaten, your state of mind and when symptoms stare to develop. I have found that the response to the biological and/or chemical triggers can affect you at different rates, thus symptoms may appear inconsistent. This diary should be at least a 4 -5 weeks in length and it may shed some light and it is useful when you go to a doctor.
Is it just me or do most people with IBS(D), suffer from extreme stress, I'm talking about the kind of stress created by loved ones or life situations out of their own control, i.e.- raised by an alcholic mother, parents divorced, illness of family members, now older parents needing help, your own children in adolesence and college funds needed by the other two, husbands back surgery, Do most of us have little or no control of our own life, and if we do do we feel guilt???????????
I feel that stress is the only source of IBS for me. I was diagnosed with IBS a year and a half ago, and since then I've been through several different kinds of diets to see what worked - but eventually they all failed for me. I've also done self-taught meditation - and every time I find the source of stress, I am capable of removing any pain I feel.
I've been through stomach cramps, constant colds, dizziness and chronic fatigue, muscle cramps, pain at the joints, severe irritation of the hemmorhoids, anal itching, twitching of my eyes, erratic breathing, heart palpitations, pain in my back, pain under my left and right rib cages, alternation of constipation and diarrhea, nausea after eating many foods, mood swings, gurgling sounds of the stomach, pain in my groin area, headaches and severe depressions. Right now I am suffering from pain in my right shoulder and neck - but am slowly improving. Sorry if that was graphic.
I hope that everyone finds their way out, what ever it may be and I would never wish that anyone should have to suffer from pain like mine.
wow. raju, all of the symptoms you describe i have as well. especially the fatigue/muscle/joint pain.
but the twitching of the eyelids i have too...not all the time...but when it starts it's really aggrivating.
i have tried all kinds of diets(gluten-free, lactose-free, sugar-free...etc.) thanks to my wife who is a dietitian, but to no avail...yet.
i am going to try the papaya-enzyme for sure, ty for the tip.
i have tried nexium(bad sideffects-body sores), levbid-did nothing, now i am on belladonna/phenobarb-nothing noticeable. i have found that fennel seeds work great for immediate relief of bloating, they taste like licorice.
one more thing, i have held extremely stressful jobs/life in the past, and i relayed this info to my docs. they in turn attributed my "ibs" to stress/depression. maybe so, so i took this to heart and quit my stressful career before it killed me.
i have been happily unemployed and stress-free for the past 5 months. (i am still looking though) but my "ibs" at this time is NOT caused by stress.
at first it may have been...but i have had time to heal and the symptoms are still ever present.