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sad tales: men with ibs-c page one

The tale of...Colin (March 2004)

I am 21 years old and have always suffered from stomach aches, constipation etc. About two years ago my stomach aches seemed to be getting worse so I went to the doctor and he diagnosed me with IBS.

I feel that at this point I have to say that IBS causes me the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. After several trips to the doctor and various tablets he prescribed mebeverine tablets which worked miracles until about six months one year ago.

So last September I booked myself and a mate to go to Spain for a week, I thought this would help me to have a break, relieve stress etc. It did not help at all, I was in agony for most of the holiday and on several occasions nearly fainted whilst in the toilet.

Went back to the doctor and he said stop taking the tablets, only have them when I am really desperate, so I did and I was fine until about two weeks ago and the pain is getting really bad again and sometimes it feels like someone has just kicked me in the stomach.

One of the worst symptoms with IBS is when no matter how many times you go to the toilet, you still think you need to go. I have tried exercise and various diets and none of it seems to help. However I know that coffee, fizzy drinks, tea and hot weather starts my stomach off.

The tale of...John (July 2004)

Started when I was a teenager. At the age of 18 the doctor prescribed these green pills for what he called a 'Nervous stomach'. The pills did nothing for me except make the discomfort worse.

I am now 36 and seems that I suffer mostly from constipation and this constant feeling of not being empty. When it seems to affect me, I have a very uncomfortable feeling (at times I have to go home from work and lie down). Most times I seem to have a lot of gas, bloating, and once in awhile (depending on what I eat), you can hear my stomach make strange noises for miles.

I have noticed that certain foods I cannot eat (always the foods we enjoy the most it seems). Corn, sprouts, popcorn, garlic, onions, coffee, and cheese seem to cause me the most discomfort.

I come from a family with a history of stomach problems (two of my sisters suffer from IBS) and speaking to them they seem to be very familiar with what I am going through. Someday I might be able to regulate this problem. Being a nervous type of person to begin with seems to make it harder.

E-mail John: [email protected]

The tale of...Grey (December 2004)

Like many others I am glad to see other stories about what I am going through. I'm 24 and have had this since I was 12. Some years it's there and sometimes it's not. I cannot even start to explain the unbelievable pain I go through. No-one should have it. Sometimes I feel as though I am going to pass out.

It starts by my stomach making a weird noise, then I get this bloated feeling in my abdomen area, constipation is next, cold sweats, and then the nasty D word. Just recently this happened to me in a public place. It was my turn to open the office, can you guess what happened next? Bathroom in and out. Would I do this time or not. Anyway I had to wait 45 minutes for my replacement to come in. Not a fun day. Just recently some family members are actually starting to believe me. It's about time!

The tale of...Michael (May 2006)

I am a 23 year old college student, newly married, and studying art. I suffer from hypoglycemia, depression, and chronic anxiety. No doubt how thrilled I was to add another ailment to my list of afflictions. I am grateful to run into support sites such as these to help me not feel alone. It is nice to hear other men's stories also. I think that it is important to know that you are not alone. Isolation occurs to often for all of us, and it tends to aggravate IBS, especially because it often comes from fear and anxiety.

I have had IBS for about 16 months. At first, doing sit-ups or crunches would work the air through my intestine and relief would come in about 10 minutes. But now it has become so bad that that doesn't even work. I am dieting right (I think), but nothing seems to help.

I grew up on a farm where if calves bloated from eating fresh alfalfa, they cram a tube down their throat or, if it became potentially lethal, they would puncture the stomach of the calf and the air would be able to escape. I sat in constipation mode today, on the toilet, after two hours of severe pain, wishing I had one of my uncle's puncturing devices.

I looked at my bloated belly and could picture the air only centimeters away from my skin, and thinking how relieving it would feel to just 'poke' and let the air fizzle out kind of like a nail popping a tire. I even took a couple of 'test pokes' at my stomach to get a better idea of the pain involved. The pain of IBS drives you crazy! I was not just joking about the poking! I would not recommend it to anyone else though.

Right now Pepsi and coke seem to be able to help. I am going to look into medication and all that stuff (and maybe a catheter to be installed into my intestine!) That would be nice! Whenever the pain is bad, just reach underneath the shirt and turn a little 'release' valve if you know what I am saying. Let all the air out. Instant relief. I may look into that. I'll call it GIERV: Gastrointestinal Emergency Relief Valve. I may look into a patent as well so that no one steals my idea.

E-mail Michael: [email protected]

The tale of...DG (December 2006)

I'm a 31 year-old man, and I began having symptoms of IBS in my early 20s. It has, quite literally, ruined my life. Despite being very physically fit, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising daily, developing a bathroom 'routine', and avoiding all unhealthy habits, I still find myself grappling with it on a weekly, or sometimes daily, basis.

I've done everything I've been told to do by physicians, and regardless, still find myself a prisoner of my own body. Every meal is like playing a game of Russian roulette. Am I going to digest my food? Or am I going to bloat, become constipated, nauseous, cramp, and have to fight the urge to stick my fingers down my throat?

As a result, I now limit myself to one meal per day. Which, unfortunately, quite often includes a 'side order' of laxatives. To make matters worse, some of the foods that aid in the digestive process (ie: bran), I can't eat, as I have a serious allergy to them.

Almost every facet of my existence has been altered by this, in some form or another. I'm afraid to eat out at a restaurant with my friends, because I don't know how I'll react to the food. I'm afraid to make plans with anyone, as I have no way to gauge how my stomach will be that day. And because of its embarrassing nature, I can't exactly explain why to them.

Having many times to rely on laxatives often means I'm essentially confined to the house for a spell, until relief arrives. Simply put, it's a lousy existence I live.

E-mail address: [email protected]

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