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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Message Board

  • what's wrong with me?

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    Old 06-20-2005, 12:02 AM   #1
    wowzers
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    what's wrong with me?

    i think i have ibs. my mother has ibs, and i have stomach problems that are not associated with the type of ibs she has. i am 22, and for the last 6 years i've dealt with something that i've only convinced myself to believe was IBS, although i've never had a professional opinion or read about cases anything like mine.

    i'm not sure how it started - probably a bad situation with a girl - but i basically started having what felt like incomplete bowel movements. the more of them i had, the more i began to fear having them, thinking they were detrimental and harmful to me. being a paranoid and pessimistic person, i assured myself i MUST force myself to not have these "incomplete" cycles of movements.

    of course, bowel movements only became stiffer, more incomplete the more i worried about this, and my life really, really became difficult to live. i went through the suicidal/depressive lifestyle that some people do for a while, and no one ever knew about it, but me. i felt my problem sounded so ludacris that it could be a severe mental disorder that i'd rather not comprehend.

    eventually i began to control my ibs, i started eating bran cereal every day, and over the last 4 years or so i've introduced myself to a habit that keeps this disorder of mine to a minimum. like i said, i don't know what i have - it could be totally unrelated to ibs, but everytime i need to have a movement, if i think about fearing not having a complete bowel movement, the muscles in my stomach will cut off the bowel movement and that will be the end of it. if i relax, i can have a relatively normal movement.

    now, a "relatively normal" bowel movement never feels like it used to before this problem was introduced in my life. but, when i worry about it, my muscles in my stomach or intestines seem to react to my mentality, and therefore my muscles seize up and contract, pinching off my bowel movements.

    sometimes this pinch happens in such a way where i can be thinking to myself, "concentrate on something else, concentrate on something else," and sometimes i can avoid the sensation of my stomach muscles incompleting the movement, and other times (usually when i'm under high loads of stress), the "pinching off" and seizing of my muscle's normal movements happens so fast that i never had a chance to let my mentality and emotions reason the situation out.

    when i do feel incomplete, i walk around for the rest of the day and the end of my anus hurts, just feeling like i couldn't complete the "duty." after a night's sleep, i'm up the next morning and i feel fine usually. i don't know if this is ibs, or if this is even normal. my bran fiber eating routine has deteriorated into eating about a teaspoon of the cereal a day, and although i can usually have relatively normal bowel movements, i wonder if they can be better? i don't know...even talking about this bothers me because i like to get things in a comfort zone and move on in my life. but having an incompeted feeling of a bowel movement is in no one's comfort zone, no matter who you are.

    am i the only person out there with this TYPE of bowel problem? all ibs problems i hear usually have constipation or diahreha, but i've never heard of someone whose mind has more control over their bowel movements than their own muscles...i just wish i could have that normalcy back.

     
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    Old 06-20-2005, 02:12 AM   #2
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    Re: what's wrong with me?

    Truthfully, I don't think it's IBS. I think it're more of a mental thing now. I'm not a doctor, just someones whos been diagnosed with IBS for 5 years now and done loads of research on the disorder.

    I think it's turned into a mental thing for you as you describe, almost as if its an obsessive-compulsive thing, and if not that, some sort of anxiety disorder. I really think you should talk to a doctor and see what they think.

    You really don't meet the ROME CRITERIA for an IBS diagnosis with what you have written... and I think you kinda answered your own question when you asked it by how many times you talked about how it was in your head and how you can control it with your mind.

    I think you should just increase the fiber with a supplement like Metamucil, and work your way up to 25-35 grams per day. 10-15 max from the supplement.. better to get it through the diet.

    I, personally, would say no to IBS. I'd say go to a doctor though like I mentioned, because we're just giving opinions, not diagnosing anyone.

    6th_sense, what do you think?

    Last edited by bulletinboard25; 06-20-2005 at 02:13 AM.

     
    Old 06-20-2005, 11:17 AM   #3
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    Re: what's wrong with me?

    that's interesting. well, i definitely started having this problem BEFORE i even knew that my mother had IBS, so i never was worrying "what if i get IBS" before this problem arose. this is just something that popped out of nowhere and has been present for over 6 years now, and has never receded. do you suppose this disorder has been damaging to my intestinal track in anyway? what type of doctor should i look into seeing?

    Last edited by wowzers; 06-20-2005 at 11:17 AM.

     
    Old 06-20-2005, 12:16 PM   #4
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    Re: what's wrong with me?

    The mind and the gut are very very connected... like you yourself already know. I would suggest seeing just a general practice doctor(family doc) and letting him decide who you need to see after that. I would get a few tests done, maybe a blood test and a fecal test which would test for all sorts of things. If things continue you could ask for a referall to a gastroenterologist.


    I would definitely start intaking a fiber supplement now though... Start slow, and work your way up.

     
    Old 06-20-2005, 12:49 PM   #5
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    Re: what's wrong with me?

    yeah, i guess this is a big test for me. i had always been under the assumption i had IBS, and even a year ago i posted on this very board and was told by others that i did have IBS. however, i don't think i explained my situation as detailed as i have now. the only reason i believed i didn't have IBS was because i never heard of cases this irregular, and it bothered me to think that i may have a problem that no one knows how to fix. i have this idea that a doctor would stare at me with a blank look, "i have no idea what your problem is." besides, i don't have enough money to see a doctor currently, but when i do, hopefully i'll find the courage to see one.

     
    Old 06-20-2005, 01:15 PM   #6
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    Re: what's wrong with me?

    Hi Bulletin, Hi wowzers,

    BulletinBoard has made some pretty good suggestions.

    I might have a slightly different opinion though. I believe what you have is related to IBS. IBS is a mind-gut related disorder - just as you describe your situation. However, there may not be as much of a character connection with bowel movements in the case of an "ordinary" IBS patient. The anxiety is more common. It used to be that we called IBS the I'm basically stumped syndrome, whereby doctors classified anything that they couldn't put their finger on as IBS. Now, it seems that there are a couple of different classifications depending on the symptoms, but it may not have improved or changed any treatment options.

    As for meeting the ROME criteria - you can assess yourself somewhat according to that, but constipation is not something that is easily discernible. Just having trouble going to the washroom can be classified as constipation - even though you may not have hard stools.

    Just as bulletin board has suggested - talk to a doctor - they may or may not classify your symptoms in a different manner, and they may or may not have a means by which you can reduce your suffering. Either way you won't know until you go, and we can't give you a medical opinion - we certainly can't assess whether there is something missing or not either.

    A couple of other tips you might want to follow are:
    Try some plain white yogourt - it generally soothes the stomach (in my experience) in addition to re-populating the intestines with helpful bacteria.
    You may try switching from supplementing with bran fibre to supplementing with a soluble fibre source - (like metamucil) - bran fibres can be very harsh on the intestines and can cause pain to sensitive intestines.
    Make sure you drink enough fluids if you take fibre supplements (fluids are also generally advised even for normal people), since fibre absorbs a lot of water.

    Well, I hope that things work out for you in the end. While I don't think you've permanently damaged anything by forcing the issues - you may not be doing yourself much good by remaining uninformed as to what you have (doctor). A general practitioner may diagnose your situation, and may be a good judge as to whether you should see a specialist such as a GI (gastro-enterologist).

    Cheers, Raju.

     
    Old 06-20-2005, 02:20 PM   #7
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    Re: what's wrong with me?

    Good suggestions 6th.. thats why i asked ya what you thought


    i think that, like he said, you should stop with the bran fiber(breakfast cereal) because insoluble fiber by itself can cause a lot of problems if your problems are IBS related. It's better to get a soluble fiber source with each and every meal. Actually a lot of information out there will tell you to start EVERY meal with a soluble fiber source, and to base your diet around soluble fiber. Actually, it's quite good advice for anyone, not just people with IBS or IBS related symptoms.

    I didn't really think that you may have IBS related symptoms, but I think that the way you described it doesn't really fit an IBS diagnosis... but that's probably what you'd get if the doctors couldn't find anything physically wrong, because doctors still aren't as educated on this disorder as we who suffer would like them to be.

    We all personally suffer in different ways.

    For example, I have to strictly monitor my diet, because my diet has great influence over my symptoms. 6th_sense says he doesn't really have a problem with diet. However, it does benefit everyone to eat healthy, some of us just have to pay a little more attention to it!

    That's just one of the things about this disorder, what triggers something for one doesn't necessarily trigger it for the other.

     
    Old 06-20-2005, 06:12 PM   #8
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    Re: what's wrong with me?

    thanks a lot for the suggestions. i'm not sure what the problem i have really is, although it can be extremely inconvinient and troublesome at times.

    as far as fiber goes, isn't metamucil a drink? how much should i start off with, because i don't want to intake much more than i do of my teaspoon of bran cereal every day, mostly because i don't like to experience big changes. like you said, i'd like to start out slow and work my way there. what kind of metamucil should i get, and about how much should i begin taking daily? thanks again.

     
    Old 06-21-2005, 05:24 PM   #9
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    Re: what's wrong with me?

    and also, going to a doctor and having stool and blood tests done, how expensive is that? does not sound cheap...

     
    Old 06-21-2005, 05:43 PM   #10
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    Re: what's wrong with me?

    in addition, this sounds VERY much like what i have.

    parcopresis:

    ( url removed - please follow the rules for posting websites - )

    and also, i've suffered from paruresis, which is the inability to urinate when other people are around.

    as long as i can remember i've had a fear of having a bowel movement when anyone is around. i've always disliked people calling my name or making noises while i'm in the restroom. i think what i may have, although i was certain it was IBS, is this, and i've just complicated it into a more mental disorder so that in addition to not being able to perform when people are around, i'm also incapable of having normal bowel movements by fearing the outcome...if that makes any sense.

    i should also add that when this type of circumstance takes place, i generally WANT to feel very depressed and disheartened because i was unable to "go" normally. i really have to fight that feeling hard, otherwise, i get very sad very quickly. and worse, even writing about it makes me concentrate on the subject more, and thus, makes me fear it will happen worse the next time. there is no telling what a visit to the doctor will do to my stools. it's a very frustrating disorder.

    i'm not so sure any of you guys can give me very good advice regarding this now, can you? are you sure this is something a doctor can help me with, or should i be seeing a psychiatrist?

    Last edited by moderator2; 06-21-2005 at 09:57 PM. Reason: please read and follow the posting rules

     
    Old 06-21-2005, 06:43 PM   #11
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    Re: what's wrong with me?

    it's not cheap if you don't have insurance.

    truthfully, i don't even remember how much those tests were, as it's been awhile since i've had the blood/stool test.

    you could see a psychiatrist. like i said, it sounds to me like it's something mental for you. not saying you're crazy, because obviously a lot of people go through what you are going through, as you have found.

    either way, i'd try and make an appt. with the doctor YOU decide to go see first. my suggestion is to see the psychiatrist, but you may want to see your family doc first...

    either way, i wish you well!

     
    Old 06-21-2005, 06:58 PM   #12
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    Re: what's wrong with me?

    so you suggest just waltzing in on an appointment and talking to a psychiatrist and whipping out these problems? it just seems so unnecessary and unhelpful to me, but now i suppose i sound like my grandfather who just denies any and all possibly health threats.

    my family's doctor is a very good friend of the family. i would almost feel more awkward talking to him about this since the problem is so strange, but i don't think i should. he is also in a different town, so if i were to talk to him, it might make me worry that something extreme was wrong with me and he might feel i need to rush to see him, which is worrying i need to avoid.

    i do have insurance, but i still don't know how much even psychiatrists cost. nothing medical related is ever convinient because of costs - both financial and emotionally. what do you suggest? still just to see a random psychiatrist?

    Last edited by wowzers; 06-21-2005 at 07:04 PM.

     
    Old 06-21-2005, 08:53 PM   #13
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    Re: what's wrong with me?

    you don't go talk to a random psychiatrist... i was just agreeing with what you said, you thought it was more of a mental thing

    if you were to see a psychiatrist.. you wouldn't even be able to talk to him first.

    you see a psychologist/therapist who talks to you about everything before you'd even see anyone who would prescribe a medicine.

    that's what they are there for, and thats what any doctor is there for, to help their patients.


    do whatever you want

     
    Old 06-21-2005, 09:54 PM   #14
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    Re: what's wrong with me?

    oh ok, i got you now. i didn't understand the process of seeing a psychiatrist. thanks for the helpful information.

     
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