Hi, I am new to this board. Iíve had bowel movement problems in the past few years (I am 22 now), and someone told me that this is what I might have (ibs, that is). I never went to a doctor to be tested however. Anyway, my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother all had this, and so naturally my mother and I assumed I had it too because of my constipation problems. But, my symptoms seem slightly different than that of my motherís. So thatís why I am posting, to see if anyone might could tell me if my problems seem unusual, or if they seem like ibs. And I am a male, and suffer from the constipation form, and I donít suffer much from abdominal pains that many with ibs form C do.
When this first began, the disorder was very uncomfortable, and very painful. I have since taken fiber supplements to ease my bowels, and things have been much smoother since. However, every time I go to the bathroom, I feel as if I havenít cleared out all of my bowels (constipation, I guess), and I feel as if I *could* go more. That feeling of *could* going more never lasts very long after the bowel movement itself. Thatís become the norm of my disorder to me, and like I said, after the fiber supplements, that also became much easier to deal with. I assume that this ďnormĒ will never be any different, and never become more ďnormal,Ē but I really donít know. The real problem that worries me has to do with the mind/gut link, and how my emotions ABOUT my bowels affect my bowels negatively.
All of my life, I have had serious problems retaining uncomfortable thoughts within my head. I have never taken medications, but Iíve always been one to dwell on worries, problems, possible problems, and etc. Well, when this ibs first began, I didnít know what was wrong with meóI thought I had some real problems. And the more it happened, the more I worried about it. And the more I worried about it, the worse it seemed to get. It got so bad that it seemed that every time I tried to have a bowel movement, I could only go so much, until my body *seemed* to be purposely rejecting my urge to go moreóthis was far different than the ďnormĒ I mentioned above. It was like my thoughts overwhelmed my gut reaction, placed a mental barrier, and just would not allow my body to evacuate any more waste. Iíd spend the rest of the day feeling as if I had bowels that still needed to be moved. The problem seemed so much like it was all my own fault, and that caused even more emotional distress than I had prior to this; in turn, the problem persisted; it seemed to be a never ending, un-remedial process. I was scared to go INTO the bathroom. That painful period lasted for 8 months, until I learned of this disorder and I was then able to calm my mind down. Ever since that problem though, I still battle with the same worry from time to timeówhich heightens my constipation occasionally to much the same degree that I mentioned, or something close, even though I deal with the disorder, overall, much better these days.
The reason I didnít know if I had ibs or not is because I didnít know if worrying about your disorder could actually make it seem that your body would purposely refuse to clear itself, and become constipated to a worse degree than the ďnormĒ I spoke of earlier? I know that there IS a mind/gut link, but I didnít know if it was able to affect bowels to this extent? And sometimes worrying about other things leads to this same painful result, but mostly it is just due to the worrying of the problem itself. Everything else besides this one thing, including genetic makeup, leads me to believe that this is ibsójust possibly to a worse degree than some? Iím just concerned that I may have something much worse than ibs, and would like to clear that up with myself so that I donít worry about it in the future, causing more emotional, and more digestion problems. Please tell me what you think. Thanks for any help.
Is there no one, not even a doctor or psychiatrist, that might have an idea as to what I am talking about? Anyone with similar problems? SHOULD I go to a doctor or psychiastrist? Which one? I'd just like some sort of an idea with what I am battling here. I THINK it's ibs, but really I don't know, and would like some help...any thing...
There really isn't a true test to give you to tell you if you have IBS but there are a lot of tests to rule out bigger problems. What exactly are your other physical symptoms? I found out that I had IBS from a gastroenterologist. That would probably be your best bet just to make sure it wasn't something more serious. A psychiatrist couldn't rule out other problems.
Well, I'm nearly positive I don't have a worse digestive problem. I'm just concerned with the mind/gut link, and the drastic effects that my sometimes weak mind can sometimes cause my gut to react very negatively. I guess I was just curious as to whether or not any others had the same problem. i guess that was my reassurance. I'm not sure that a gastroentoligist (or whatever) could tell me that. Thank you for your reply. Any other opinions?
A) Rule out the serious complications. Speak to your doctor, run the colonoscopy/endoscopy etc & associated blood tests etc.
B) If they all come up clean, then you can start becoming accustomed to 'cause & remedy' for IBS. Trying to avoid it in the first place and how to relax during an attack. I wouldn never have considered relaxation a serious approach when I began the IBS adventure a few years back; but I sure do now!
C) If you read the forums here, you will see we all suffer from IBS in different ways. Whether its diarroah or constipation, the duration varies. The incomplete evacuation you experience is quite common (and extremely annoying!) and the pain varies between us all. I dont get my attacks too often; I consider myself someone who can put up with almost any threshold of pain, whatever test a doctor can do to me, ill grin and bear it.... But the hours of IBS suffering has pushed me to my brink on several occasions... I think its the pain intensity combined with the incredibly long duration.
I know it seems lonely (especially those long hours spent in the bathroom!), but whatever you are experiencing, you are not alone in youre suffering....
Do yourself a favour and get the tests out of the way, because once that worry is gone, you can focus on getting better, and you need too, because anxiety just amplifies your symptoms! Good luck, let us know how the tests go
I have IBS C and D, and I know the feeling of not being able to empty your bowels completely, and, aggravating your symptoms psychologically. I don't know if you have IBS, and it is possible that you have something more serious. If you don't find relief, you should probably have a doctor check it out.
This is what helped me with my constipation: I found out (over the Internet and from this board) that the digestive tract needs good bacteria to help with digestion, remove toxins, and speed things along. The main bacteria needed are acidophilus (small bowel) and bifidus (large bowel). After adding a bacteria-fortified cup of yogurt every day (health food store or Stonyfields), and taking probiotic supplements, combined with adequate fiber through cereal, vegetables and fruits, my bowel movements completely changed, and my constipation is almost gone. Only if I eat something my body can't digest (such as tomatoes or pork, for example), my regularity becomes irregular for a while. The feeling of not being able to empty my bowels is also gone.
You can also improve your digestion by adding digestive spices, such as turmeric, fennel, caraway, anise, ginger to your foods; and eat bitter leafy vegetables, such as dandelions, in order for your body to release sufficient digestive enzymes.
Psychological factors can increase my symptoms, and, after reading that psychological counseling resulted in reduced symptoms for at least 50% of patients, I also started seeing a psychologist. I don't know yet, if it will help. Good luck, I hope, you'll feel better.
(By the way: years of taking medicine didn't help me, but Zelnorm, the newest IBS-C medication, could maybe help you)
I would strongly recommend that rather than seeing a psychiatrist, you go and see a psychotherapist. It really sounds as if you have lots of issues that you need to talk about and sort out and a therapist would be a much better option for helping this.
I've had IBS-C for the longest time now, and I've experienced the obsessive compulsive disorder that you have as well. I've foraged into the mind-gut link and its role in causing me problems... I find that nearly 100% of my problems is caused by the mind-gut link and I've created some very complex methods to deal with it. (using visualisation - at first I thought it was meditation). In either case, it would help you to find out if there is a deeper physical cause that is having side effects - which is a good reason to visit a doctor and possibly subsequently a GI. I am also visiting a psychiatrist (I see no reason why I can't visit a doctor and a psychiatrist as well - the doctor diagnoses the physical part - and once he's found out that its the "I'm Basically Stumped" disorder, I visit the psychiatrist, who will then show me other ideas regarding what can be done
It is important to me to say that I've never come across someone who practiced the same things that I do. (especially not a doctor) I have a friend who practices some visualisation, some meditation, vegetarianism and mostly yoga at the expert level. He says that he too managed to remove all of his problems and sees somewhat a similar perspective that I do. Apart from pure visualisation I haven't practiced anything else which has given me much relief from everything that I suffer from. I've gone from being a vegetable suffering from severe pain in a fetal position on a couch to being able to work in a fast food restaurant similar to McDonalds, doing the most physical work. Still, I find that visualisation is not a perfect cure, in that it does not allow me to free myself from having to constantly use it and be aware of my surroundings at a level that no one else usually is. It does let me escape from pain, constipation, diarrhea, eye twitching, mood disorders... for short periods of time, until the system changes its mode of attack too.
Well, I hope this helps you somewhat. If you'd like to chat more about visualisation techniques - feel free to ask me - although it is very hard to explain the basis of the technique/s over the Internet.
If you find a way to share the information I have over the Internet - let me know - I would basically need to draw stuff, and show you pictures of the brain, explain how the system operates and how to reverse the effects - I'm sure its doable - just not sure how.
Give a man a fish and he will live another day. Teach a man to fish and he will live for the rest of his life.
I have IBS, been diagnosed with it for several years, I also have a "mental block" about my bm's. It started about 10 years ago. It is all psychological .I feel the urge, I go to the bathroom, the anxiety starts. I have a hard time relaxing on the pot and mentally hold back. Don't know why, I just do. I have a BM, but it hardly ever feels complete...sometimes I'll go into a full panic attack, and then when I approach the pot next time my mind and body is conditioned and it happens over and over again. I have good weeks, but "bathroom" time has become a bit of a phobia for me. The IBS doesn't help. SOmetimes I use a laxitive just to get a complete cleaned out feeling.
Your problem is like mine. It is mental. I've had counseling about this. Stems from several areas in my life....my anxiety disorder makes it worse. Often I feel I need to "perform" in the bathroom and get "performance anxiety". It is so weird. This is my little secret and I have hardly EVER talked to anyone about it. Traveling is very hard for me. I can't seem to have BM's in strange places or public toilets due to this problem.
I've worked and managed to overcome this as much as possible, but it still flares up now and then. An anti-depressant helped, but I'm not on one now and I feel my problem creeping back.
Actually I was about to post in the mental forum about this, when I saw your post.
I'm sure we are not alone in this. I can't seem to pinpoint where my fear comes from, or exactly how this started, but I'm pretty sure it's purely psycological.
I've had the digestive tests and all, colonosopy, the whole bit. My body is fine, my mind is not
I'd get some counseling. It helped me a little bit to learn to relax and visualize and stop being so hard on myself with this matter.
My heart goes out to you, because you described my problem exactly, I feel and understand your frustration.
I'm older then you, and let me tell you you WILL get through this. Its hard and annoying and frustrating....and embarrassing. Hardly my hubby knows about this..uh, like how do you explain a BM phobia.