I just want to say that I just spent an hour reading these stories with tears in my eyes, a knot in my stomach and a pair of lighter shoulders. I cannot believe that I am not alone in every aspect of discomfort and misery! I have known for so long that I have IBS and was quite successful for about two years with a diet change (elimination and limitation of sugar and fat) and I felt good, looked good (was always chubby)...I became a wife and survived my wedding day with just butterflies!
However, now I have been gradually slipping back into the misery of diarrhea, bloating, fullness and misery. However, this time around I seem to have developed a new and horrible addition of anxiety...I thought I was crazy...I thought I was really losing my grip and that something was so wrong with me...I got sick in a supermarket with my husband one Saturday and ever since have been terrified to go back with him.
I now sweat and get nauseous and get almost instant urges for the restroom. I have equated my problems with the store. I felt bad for him and tried to shop on my own. I still have that feeling crawling up my back to make me sweat and down my chest to my stomach bubble and rush to the ladies room. I even shop at a more expensive store now since they have an accessible and public restroom.
It's awful...I have fears of being anywhere where the bathroom is not easily accessible and this is really starting to get to me. I am afraid to
be a passenger in the car and insist on driving nowadays.
The fear and anxiety is getting to me. In fact, I feel that way on my way into work every morning lately! It's almost to the point where I don't
want to come in at all. But then I get to work and feel fine for most of the day. It's a very terrible thing to deal with but I am real glad I found this
site...it's made me feel a lot better! Thanks all and I do hope you all are finding some relief and comfort!
The tale of...Lisa (20 January 2007)
I started suffering from IBS five years ago, brought on by stress from a nasty divorce. I've been to my doctor, well several, and no joy. I was told to take Imodium for the rest of my life. Stomach cramps generally mean get to the loo now and quick. Very embarrassing. Bloating and cramps that hurt like hell. I hate food and basically eat salad, meat, fish and veg. Very boring.
I panic if I go out for a meal. I've just split up with my boyfriend of three years, and I think he found the whole situation tiresome and restrictive at times. Funnily enough it's my boss who advised me to look on the web whilst at work, and see if there was some sort of advice group. My IBS seems to rule my life and it really isn't fun.
The tale of...Helena (18 April 2007)
I've had IBS for about a year now, but it has gotten worse in the last six months. I hate it so much, it's completely ruining my life. I now get
regular panic attacks about being caught short (which hasn't even happened yet, thank God), I spend my whole time worrying if whatever morsel of food I have just eaten is going to trigger an attack.
At the moment I can't eat a thing without it going straight through me. It doesn't help that I have depression as well, although I don't know that the two aren't linked in some way. I am only 21, I used to be a really happy bubbly person, I used to be able to go to parties and festivals and clubs and just have a good time. Now I can't even drink and I hate socializing.
I can't eat in front of people because I get too nervous, I don't go out and the only place I feel comfortable is my bedroom where I can just wall myself away from the world and try to meditate myself back to being calm. I hate IBS, it's so unfair and it's made my life hell. My doctor has not been at all helpful, and the whole thing is too embarrassing to talk about. I have spent the last month completely suicidal.
The tale of...Julie (23 June 2007)
I have been suffering with IBS for seven years now. My IBS symptoms have always been the same, but over the last three months I now have other symptoms, some of which I was not aware could be linked with IBS - the lower back pain especially. My symptoms are running to the loo in the morning, bloating (to the point where I look seven months pregnant), wind, nausea, and back pain. I don't really get many stomach aches bizarrely.
It seems to have got steadily worse and I feel like I am at my wits' end with it all. I was diagnosed by my GP after I went to see him as I thought I had some sort of stomach bug. I told him the symptoms and was told I had IBS and was given Colofac. As the years have gone by it has got worse and worse and I am now at a stage where I feel I can't go out as I have to be near a bathroom!
I have recently been back to my doctor and she has decided that as I have never had any formal tests (other than bloods) she has referred me to the local hospital gastro unit and thinks they will recommend I have an endoscopy (which I am absolutely terrified about). I am also now going for a gluten intolerance blood test to see if that can be ruled out.
I am worried (like a lot of other people are/have been) that there is something else wrong with me (endometriosis is a big concern). I will be honest - I am a complete wimp with medical things - it takes all my courage just to see a doctor so if I make it to the hospital it will be a miracle.
My IBS is completely ruling my life - it is turning me into some sort of nervous wreck. I have tried Reiki which hasn't really done very much apart from making me feel extremely sick during the treatment, but apparently this is normal. I will probably try reflexology as I have heard that can be helpful.
I don't really know what I am asking you for - it is helping a bit reading other people's stories - as I say above I was not aware my back pain was an IBS thing - this has only come on in the last week or so and I was getting panicky that it was related to something else, but as my stomach has been so bad over the last three weeks I can understand it now.
Hopefully I will have a happy tale to tell about this at some point. I am just terrified about what I have to go through first and what I am going to be told is wrong with me and whether I can get any help with it. This is such a degrading, debilitating problem that is hard to both explain and to make people understand.
I spent from 4am to 6:30am on and off the bowl with a real nasty attack of what I have learned is called 'the sherberts'...if you have IBS you know why. Up until recently things were more or less under control, but due to some very heavy stressors coming all together and from different very personal directions, about four or five weeks ago the IBS escalated. I eventually took four Imodium over a period of nearly three hours and finally got some rest.
Today is the toast, ginger ale and depression day. I finally ate turkey on white toast, nursed a beer and tolerated it well...and I have moved on to the bloated, passing gas constantly phase. Of course I am anxious about what to eat for dinner, even though I am feeling a bit hungry, and will worry myself about how the night will go. There are times like last night when I feel like it will never end and I will end up in the ER. Thankfully that has never happened, but it seems like it at that hour of the night when surely you are gushing away.
I have had this all my life as far as I can remember. It has a mind of its own...and seems to be cyclic. Sometimes I can go weeks or even a month just great and then it goes into a downward trend. When I feel good I can eat mostly anything and have only occasional runs. During the worst times, it's just ridiculous. I had to laugh to read that other sufferers know where all the bathrooms are, and carry Imodium all the time etc. I absolutely hate traveling, especially to NYC as there are stretches of road and worse the dreaded traffic jams which send me into a complete panic contemplating what to do if stuck on the bridge in bumper to bumper traffic for 45 minutes and no way out.
I just saw an ad for a new product called Digestive Advantage once daily for IBS, I wonder if it will help. I have tried Fibersure - I used to take it three times a day but the gas was so intense around 6pm I would go outside to hide it and it was crazy. I am down to twice a day. I can't take the calcium supplements as the pills are humongous and I can't swallow them, and most are made with oyster shell and that irritates my gut.
Well, it's horrible to say, but it's nice to know I am not alone in this, it comforted me this morning and encouraged me to actually go out with my grandchildren to the park instead of being afraid. How sad. And if any of you have any suggestions or ideas or stories please send them on.