Hello IBS group, this is me, thus far..
Posted 08 September 2018 - 12:57 AM
I've had IBS for less than 3 months now, but already it has changed my life significantly.
In June of this year, I underwent an emergency surgery to repair a strangulated ventral hernia. The hernia was a couple inches above my belly button. A loop of intestine had poked through a weakness in the abdominal wall and gotten stuck there (this is called an incarcerated hernia). The muscle it had poked through was holding the loop of intestine so tightly that it cut off its blood supply (strangulated hernia). This all happened over the course of a few hours. The pain was so intense I could barely think. I called 911, opened the front door of my house, and laid down on the floor. It was all I could manage to do. The ambulance arrived shortly and off we went. The paramedics gave me a shot of Diluadid, and I don't remember much else until I woke up in recovery with a belly full of staples. I was in the hospital on IV antibiotics for 7 days.
I'm someone who always enjoyed good digestion. I never even thought about it. With no food allergies or sensitivities, and regular bowel habits, I ate whatever and whenever I wanted to. I admit that I (privately) kind of scoffed at people who were picky about what they ate, who went on about their gluten sensitivities, or who looked at high fructose corn syrup like it was poison. Having never had any problems around food or digestion, I just didn't get it.
But I got IBS. Somehow, somewhere between the hernia and the surgery, I went from cast iron stomach to full-on, every day IBS. Now I'm on a liquid and soft foods diet. I've lost almost 30 pounds, which I didn't want to lose, because eating almost anything causes pain. And pain is a great deterrent. My hernia surgery went well, no infection, and the incision is nicely healed and without pain. But my gut has gone nuts. I'm constantly constipated, unless I'm having diarrhea. I deal with painful cramps in my gut every day and night, and the nights- wow- the trapped gas and liquid in my gut is off the charts! I'm sure there are seisomographs somewhere recording my borborygmi. I didn't know I was capable of making such a symphonic variety of noises. It would be hilarious, except for the discomfort. Blood tests and imaging come back "normal", but I know there is nothing normal about this at all.
I've cut out lactose from my diet, gluten too, and I avoid those high FODMAPs (I got the app!) but really, anything I eat can potentially set me off. I haven't found any "safe" foods yet. Consuming only liquids and soft foods keeps the constipation under control. Then every few days, I'm like, to hell with it! and I eat a salad or a sandwich, and I pay for it with gut distress, spending half the night in the bathtub, keeping the water nice and hot. Hot baths and Bentyl are what keeps me from defenestrating myself.
So when I read online someone saying that certain foods or allergies cause IBS, I just think nope - I got IBS somewhere between that hernia and the surgery to fix it. Somewhere in there, my gut just went crazy. I'm glad I recovered well from the surgery, but it sucks that I'm stuck with this Major (I)BS.
Posted 08 September 2018 - 09:30 AM
Try probiotics. Might help.
Also might be worth checking if they loaded you with antibiotics in surgery (pretty typical) and gave you a roaring case of SIBO/SIFO.
Posted 08 September 2018 - 04:16 PM
Posted 09 September 2018 - 07:53 AM
Have you tried to talk to your doctor about taking motility medication? And what about anti-depressants with a lower dosage?
These could help to normalize gut motility and control.
Finally I would just like to point out that if it's been less than 3 months, then you can't be diagnosed with IBS.
You need to have the pain and all the symptoms for more than 3 months.
In your specific case since you had abdominal surgery it's likely it may have caused some alteration to the nervous enteric system and it's still quite not all right.
Just give it some time and with some of the medication above you may be able to slowly start getting better. Using probiotics in your case could also help too as someone above also mentioned.