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sad tales: women with ibs-d page twenty-five

The tale of...Jessica (10 January 2010)

I am 22 and I was only recently diagnosed with IBS after too long with agonizing cramps, extreme diarrhea and losing a job because of it. This is not to mention all the other lovely little things you get with IBS. In comparison with other sufferers I am a mere beginner in what feels like the never-ending story.

It all started last February, three months after I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. I was excited about getting myself back to who I used to be physically, but I kept bloating and going from one extreme to the other. One minute I wouldn't go to the toilet for a week or so then before I could blink I often found myself running to the loo and setting up camp for hours, not being able to leave as I was always running back having near misses!

I saw my doctor (who was no help whatsoever) and she told me to lay down, felt my abdomen and told me that the pains were in my reproductive organs! She was basically saying that because I had just had my daughter it was everything shrinking back. I told her I knew the difference between a period cramp and the agonizing gut-shredding feeling like someone has just turned on an electronic whisk in your stomach and is ripping your insides apart!

She asked me to provide a stool sample and told me to take some paracetamol for the pain. How ludicrous considering I told her I was taking three or four of the bloody things for the pain but still no relief!

Anyway it came back that there was no infection detected and other tests showed that I didn't suffer from any allergies to wheat or gluten. After a few months I was then diagnosed as an IBS sufferer! I looked online for alternative pain relief other then peppermint capsules, which seemed to be rather stingingly refreshing on the other end, and found what seemed to be not much.

Now in the past year I have been hospitalized, lost a job (as I was always late needing the toilet, or too exhausted to get up as I had spent the night on the loo!) and seem to be like a balloon nine times out of 10! I just decided I had to live with it and tried to make the best of everything.

Some days I would think 'Well it can't be the worst thing in the world, at least I have a roof over my head, heating, electric blah blah blah' and then the belly ache would creep across my tummy filling me with dread and pain and making me feel so sick, and then the previous thought would mean nothing. It does feel like the worst thing in the world. I would sit and cry in pain, sometimes not being able to look after my daughter as I would like to as a simple park outing would be cut short because mummy needs the loo...again! Or sitting indoors watching a film would turn in to me sitting in the toilet and my partner watching a film!

Anyways, I was passing my local Holland and Barrett store and decided to have a peek at what they had. I got speaking to the manager who also had IBS. What a relief! Someone who I could relate to. After sharing stories he advised me to try acidophilus capsules, vitamin B and magnesium, along with a change of diet in which I am still finding triggers!

So to round things off I will end this by saying wish me luck! Trial and error seems to be the path and I'm remaining optimistic and hoping I will find the way to an easier life...I wouldn't say pain-free, as life isn't that even for people without IBS is it?

Anyway I will stop carping on about it and wish anyone else with it luck. I am just glad to have found this site as now I don't feel like such a freak who needs to poop every minute of the day! I will keep you updated with how the change of diet and new pills goes.

E-mail Jessica: [email protected]

The tale of...Sylvia (27 February 2010)

After my first laparoscopy for fibroids I developed symptoms which were very similar to IBS. A colonoscopy revealed adhesions in my intestines. A second laparoscopy (five years after first) cured the symptoms only for a month, after which the bloating/pain/spasms returned. The surgeon diagnosed me with a congested pelvis and IBS. It is a daily struggle. But I have noticed that the following things help me:

  • daily exercise involving lots of jumping/running
  • certain yoga asanas, especially ones which involve abdominal stretching and raising the feet higher than chest level
  • avoiding dairy, rice, alcohol and spices (every day I discover more things to be avoided)
  • a good eight or nine hour sleep.

My social life is severely restricted. Evenings are the worst with bloating and discomfort. I have heard lots of people put down my symptoms to psychological problems because of my desire to be left alone and not socialize.

E-mail Sylvia: [email protected]

The tale of...Melanie (26 April 2010)

I'm a 32 year-old female suffering with IBS-diarrhea. It started about six years ago when I started a stressful degree course, although I do remember having some one-off cases before that. I've tried absolutely everything: homeopathy, reflexology, I've been to a nutritionist and I've just had a second set of scopes and abdomen scans which showed up nothing.

It is holding me back in every aspect of my life: work, social life, relationships. I had a stressful and traumatic home life growing up but I have been to counseling and it hasn't helped. I'm naturally a bubbly, spontaneous and outgoing person but IBS isn't allowing me to be myself. I'm taking a fiber supplement, aloe vera juice, peppermint tea and probiotics on a daily basis which along with a limited diet keeps it under control.

I hate smoking but rely on cigarettes to empty my bowel before I go anywhere and Imodium when I'm out. I'm not really living, just going between toilets. The only time I have no symptoms is when I'm active so I'm currently training for a triathlon. All I want is to find love and have a family which doesn't seem possible to me at the moment. As there's nothing else to try all I can do is pray that I'll have good digestion one day.

E-mail Melanie: [email protected]

The tale of...Nikki (26 April 2010)

I have had IBS for about seven years and it was always IBS-D. I was taking seven Imodium a day to get to work. I then found a doctor who wanted to help me. I have had all the tests and once it was confirmed as IBS the specialist no longer wanted to see me, in fact I felt like I had wasted his time. He sent me off with amytriptyline and Colofac and told me I would be fixed in six months. The medications made me worse with panic attacks all the time, even when I was just at home. I had been told that I could take no more Imodium as it was making me ill.

I went back to the doctors and I am now on venlafaxine. I no longer have panic attacks but the depression is so severe I dread every day. I have started to get bouts of constipation and for someone who used to go 10 times a day on a good day I find the pain unbearable. I am waiting to see someone from a depression and anxiety service (I have had to wait three months so far - how can the NHS think this is acceptable when you are having thoughts of suicide!) and I am hoping to have a Reiki massage tomorrow but I am currently cramped up having not been to the loo all day.

Please, if anyone knows how to cope with the depression please help me. I am 27, my parents live abroad and I have not been to see them in five years, my partner has not had me join him on a night out for three years. I get to work most days although I don't want to leave the house and I live in constant fear of being away from a toilet or the dreaded cramps starting. I just want to sit and cry all the time as I can't cope with having no life anymore. I only eat one meal a day and I dread eating that as I don't know what will happen the next day. I would love to hear from people who can relate and send me positive vibes. Thank you.

E-mail Nikki: [email protected]

The tale of...Amy (26 April 2010)

My Mom used to have bouts of IBS and celiac sprue until diagnosed in her 60s. A blood test confirmed her illness. I have inherited my Mom's sensitive stomach and have had IBS on/off for many years. I have had my gallbladder out for 15 years, and had IBS from that also. I asked my GI to put me on Donnatal which works like a charm. I also have a small hiatal hernia and lots of stomach inflammation.

I'm under lots of stress and worry all the time which doesn't help. Donnatal helped me, whereas Bentyl was terrible. Donnatal has been around for 50 years. I think it is a safe drug because it is older. It helps with my acid reflux but I can't pee very well. It is helpful with my tummy and I am 54. I also take Pepcid Twos daily. I do not drink or smoke or eat spicy food. Good luck to all with IBS, it is terrible to live with.

E-mail Amy: [email protected]

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