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Is that it?

Posted by NeverLearned2Swin , 14 October 2018 · 1606 views

Never thought I'd be in this situation. 
I can't eat what I want anymore.
More specifically, I barely can eat anything.
It's frightening. 
Food always has been a joy for me. The taste of pasta with rich tomato sauce. A slice of chocolate cake while watching Masterpiece Theatre on a quiet Sunday night. Going to breakfast with a good friend and chatting over Eggs Benedict.
All gone. 
I've had digestive issues since I was child. My earliest memories are of me straining on the toilet, my mother dispensing suppositories to me to unblock my poop. Enemas, those I had as well as a child. 
However, I never knew that constipation wasn't normal. It wasn't until I became a teenager that I realized that other people didn't struggle with their bowels. 
Fast forward to me as a young adult. In my mid-20's, I developed horrific acid reflux which still afflicts me today. My chronic constipation is diagnosed as something called Irritable Bowel System. The relfux and IBS seem to flare up together. 
From then through my 30s and 40s, I still ate whatever I wanted. I suffered the consequences, but they weren't so bad back then.
That changed in my 50s. My stomach pain was getting worse. And my irritable bowel got out of control.
About a year ago, I started having pain around my belly button. And I started to get chest pains. I went to the ER several times for it. Each time, the doctor looked at me, smiled and said, "It's GERD and IBS. Here's a GI cocktail and a Bentyl. Are you under stress?"
A few months ago, my reflux got worse. I started to having bouts where I would choke, mostly happening at night. I had one bout where I choked and a little bit of food flew out of my mouth. The acid that washed up my throat felt like pure fire. 
On the IBS side, instead of my usual constipation, I was having frequent, painful bowel movements. I also started to have a small bit of bowel leakage.
I thought, "What the heck is this?"
It got worse. Three weeks ago, my stomach pain became unbearable. I felt like I had a balloon in my abdomen that kept expanding and deflating that hurt my guts. At the same time, I had horrible lower back pain. 
I went to my current doctor. She pushed on my lower and upper abdomen. I told her that it all hurt. She said, "Hmmm, did you eat something that didn't agree with you?" I told her about all of my symptoms and she said, "Keep taking your Pepcid."
Huh? Is that it?
I've been back to the doctor three or four times since then. I had a CT scan of my abdomen with contrast. Result -- "nothing remarkable."  
My doctor also recommended that I go to psychiatry. Doctors often do this with women like me, women of a certain age who have IBS and GERD.
I went to my appointment last week. Nice guy. We talked. It didn't do much for my stomach pain. That said, out of desperation I started doing mindfulness meditation.
I'd drink toilet water if I thought it would stop the pain (sorry to be gross).
My painful bowels and out of control acid reflux have forced me to cut out practically everything that I previously ate. I have lost the desire actually consume them.
I've lost 10 lbs. in two weeks. Not good, although I actually needed to lose weight. This isn't the way that I wanted to do it. I'd rather struggle with food cravings than be repulsed.
I barely eat 500 calories, if that, these days. It feels like food has become my enemy. 
I asked my doctor again to get me a consult to a GI doc. I'm scheduled for an endoscopy in a few days.
I'm scared but I want to find out why this is happening to me.

  • Vherle5 and Laci3279 like this

Dec 13 2018 03:50 PM
I take probotics, L-glutamine , slippery elm, peppermint tea/capsules and Essential Enzymes. Also, you probably go on a low food map diet. There's some good recipes out there.
    • NeverLearned2Swin and KS77 like this
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I eat the same five foods everyday, very boring, but I try to keep the calorie intake as close as possible to maintaining my current weight, after losing 15 pounds to IBS-c and depression last year. Let’s us not look at the food as limited! I do crave some of the foods I can’t eat, but very occasionally. Now I look at it as ”I eat to live” and not ”I live to eat”. I make sure I have some protein, vegetables and a little carb (I am also diabetic). So neverlearned2swin/, look at food as ‘nourishment’ rather than as ‘enjoyment’ and eat whatever you can tolerate.
    • NeverLearned2Swin likes this
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Feb 26 2019 07:41 PM

Thank you both for your words of encouragement, and for your advice. 


I've cut dairy out of my diet completely on my doctor's advice. That has helped a bit. I never realized that I was lactose intolerant. Even when I tried Lactaid, it didn't sit well with my IBS -- so no milk products whatsoever for me. 


I felt bad about missing out on pizza and other foods containing milk, but I have since found vegan equivalents that seem to sit well with my digestive system, and taste pretty good. I try to avoid meat for the most part as well. I also think there are some herbs and spices that I'm allergic to -- still trying to figure out which ones. 


I take my Pepcid for acid reflux. I got an upper endoscopy (everything was fine thank goodness!). 


I try to take it day by day. And I meditate now every morning. Not sure if it's helping, but I'm willing to give it a try. 


It's a journey. 

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  First, thanks for sharing.  Please don't be scared.  It is best to know what's happening than to wonder.  I suffer from Colitis, IBS, Diverticulosis, and Chronic Gastritis.  My IBS is a combination of constipation and diarrhea both at the same time.  I loose complete control of my body.  My blood pressure drops, I start sweating, feel nauseous and nearly faint. I am also at the point where I really can't eat a lot of things and although it can be frustrating at times, it is getting to the point where I feel disgusted by food.  I also believe that my stomach has been closing, therefore, even eating soup makes me gassy, bloated and nauseous.  I feel your pain and empathize with you.

   In the past I have tried different medications but side effects have been far worst than expected.  I try to change my diet as much as I can but I can't really say that anything in particular makes me feel better.  Sometimes just drinking water makes me go or not drinking enough might get be extremely constipated to the point I feel poop stuck and my bottom feeling like is falling(Sorry, don't like to be graphic but don't know how else to explain it).  My 17 year old daughter has suggested I start a lactose free diet to see if it helps.  I'm willing to do anything at this point to find some comfort and relieve. 

    • NeverLearned2Swin likes this
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It is not just food we need to watch! If you take any supplements, pay attention to the ingredients. I recently took a supplement for UTI where you were supposed to take 7 capsules within two hours and 2 more pills at intervals after that. I had not had IBS for several months but this brought it on with a vengeance. I later realized the capsules had fermentable oligosaccharides (a FODMAP) and that many capsules together must have been too much. Also the capsules had a substance made with Carrageenan which is bad for many people’s gut, especially people with IBS. A lot of capsules these days, made because of increase in vegan lifestyle has a thing called vegetable cellulose that is made from the same thing. Gelatin capsules are harmless.
    • NeverLearned2Swin likes this
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please help me!  I am 62 years old, I have been suffering with this for 40 years.  With a few changes the never learned 2win could be me.  It's just so good to know I am not entirely crazy.  I just need to talk to someone like me to get encouragement and help. I have IBS for what seems like my entire life with the bloating, pain, diarrhea, leakage.  i just recently found a doctor who is taking me seriously.  you would think I would be happy, but it has been so long, all I can do is sit here and cry after reading your stories.  I am so sorry you have to go through this.

    • NeverLearned2Swin likes this
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Sep 20 2019 05:52 PM

I haven't been here for awhile. Thanks again to everyone for your comments. Salud41, I hope that going lactose free has helped. Vherle5, thanks for the tips on watching out for ingredients in supplements. Need help -- I'm glad that you found a doctor to take you seriously. I hope he/she will be able to help you.


When I found this site, I couldn't believe there were others like me who suffered from chronic IBS. I felt like crying as well.


I still have bouts of IBS -- just had one a few days ago. I had started to feel better, so I let my guard down and started eating things that I shouldn't have, and boom, my IBS came back hard. I'm still dealing with the effects.


It seems like foods with vinegar are triggers for my IBS and acid reflux. This in addition to dairy products. Interestingly enough, meat doesn't bother me at all. 


The one dish that I go to when I have a flare up is chicken noodle soup. It sits well with me. It's such a trial and error and I don't know if I'll ever get a definitive answer on what triggers my bouts. But I'm trying to deal with it.

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Thank you all so much for your honesty and tips. It means a lot to know I am not alone.  My doctor has suggested a low FODMAP diet for me. Others of you have referred to FODMAPS also.  I am just trying to get my brain around the diet. FODMAPS are everywhere just like Vherle5 said.  Although before yesterday, it never occurred to me that they might be in supplements too.  Sometimes the diet seems to be working.  Then I have a really bad round of symptoms.  Sometimes I think even if a food is allowed, for me it might not be.  Yes, I do feel like food is the enemy  You are all so kind.  Thank you so much for being here and writing about what you are going through and what you have learned. 

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