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I am a first time poster but a life long IBS sufferer. Like many of you out there, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. And today I just need an outlet because I hate feeling so alone.I am a 30 year old woman who on paper is very healthy. My doctor tells me so every time I go see her. So then I ask her, why do I feel crappy all the time? Is this just the way that I am "wired", as she puts it? Or can I cling to the hope that someday in the not too distant future I will know what true wellness feels like?So what causes me to not feel well pretty much all the time? A number of symptoms beginning with a multitude of digestive ones including chronic constipation that sometimes alternates with diarrhea (although at the moment the constipation is under control), excess gas, non stop bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, indigestion, reflux, cramping, excess fullness. These symptoms are with me all day, every day, even when I wake up in the middle of the night.In addition to those things, my blood sugar does not stay well regulated. I get moderate to extreme lows almost on a daily basis despite eating frequently. I've had my blood glucose tested and it's all within the normal ranges. But low blood sugar is extremely unpleasant. Most people know it as irritability and maybe a little shakiness or light headedness. Multiply those symptoms by 10 and add disorientation, intense nausea, panic, dizziness, and you have me. My doctor says I am thin so I seem to be extra sensitive to changes in my body, which might explain why low blood sugar feels worse to me despite having reasonable blood glucose levels. I recently figured out I am also getting migraine headaches, about once every 4-8 weeks. I don't get excruciating pain, but I get a pounding headache preceded by extreme exhaustion, weakness, dizziness, and nausea. Nothing helps the headache except sleep. These episodes last at least one entire day, sometimes two.I also suffer from anxiety and depression for which I am in therapy and also taking Zoloft. The anxiety really ramped up when I was in a crazy stressful job for two years to the point where I started having panic attacks. And as many of you know, anxiety develops around our IBS as well. The depression has been on and off since I graduated college, which was 7 years ago, but it got really bad when all of my health issues got worse, again, when i was working at the really stressful job. Therapy has helped me bring to the surface some of the deeply buried issues I have with my parents, a lot of which explains why I am the person I am today. And finally, I am just tired and downright exhausted a lot of the time. Who wouldn't be with all of this going on? Last summer, after getting let go from aforementioned stressful job (a blessing in disguise), I decided to get serious about my health. I did my research and decided to really devote myself to the Eating for IBS diet. I stuck to it strictly for 4 months but I had no results, so I went back to eating more normally again, which was a huge relief. I got all the tests under the sun to make sure I have IBS and not something more serious, saw a naturopath who put me on lots of supplements, again with no real results. Tried my second round of hypnotherapy (the IBS audio program), but only made it to day 60 this time because my anxiety was too much. Started seeing a therapist, started doing yoga, exercising, doing meditation. And then I started with an anti-depressant, first celexa (didn't work out well for me), now Zoloft. Read a book called the Divided Mind by Dr. John Sarno, all about psychosomatic illnesses, followed his treatment plan to address all of my unconscious rage. Still not feeling better.I just started acupuncture two weeks ago. I don't feel different yet, but I've only had two treatments so far. My acupuncturist also started me on 500mg daily of magnesium because she believes I have a severe magnesium deficiency. This is new to me and I am willing to give it a try. Magnesium helps me have daily BMs, so that's a positive thing. But I still feel crappy otherwise.So here I am. I've tried every thing I can think of. And the quality of my life sucks. I try to keep it in perspective - many people are worse off than me. I have so much to be grateful for: an amazing husband and home, wonderful pets, a close family. But I don't feel like this is the best I can do. This isn't me. If I can finally feel better, young and healthy and consistently well, I am ready to set the world on fire. Meanwhile, I am trying to do things, but it's tough. Some days I just need to stay in bed and sometimes I don't want to leave my house. I think I have made some improvements over the last year since I really decided to take charge of my health, but having been sick for so many years is taking it's toll so I find I have less tolerance now for my bad days (or hours). I get more easily depressed and frustrated.Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. It feels good to put all of my thoughts down instead of letting them rattle around in my head. I guess I am left wondering: are all of my health problems related? I personally think so, but I don't know what to do about them. Anyone out there know what I am talking about?
 

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I had most of your symptoms plus a few others when first diagnosed with IBS. I also tried the Eating for IBS diet for a month with no results. I've had much better results with a low starch, paleolithic type of diet. My energy levels are much more even as a result - no highs from carbs but not so many lows either. If you want to try it, you may find that your blood sugar stays more even as it gets used to burning fat rather than carbs for energy but you need to ease yourself into it.I also use a supplement from Metagenics called "EnergyX" which I find very good for boosting energy levels. It is a magnesium supplement with a few other things. Yes, you are not as bad as many others but you know that you're not as well as you could be, regardless of your "wiring". Don't stop looking for answers.
 

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Hi jlfc Yes, i do know what you are talking about.Similar to you, it is not constant D or C that is my main problem - but instead a regularly bloated colon and periods of fatigue, light headedness, irritability etc + the anxiety that comes with always feeling ill !Like you I seem to have major issues with my blood sugar (or is it my electrolyte balance, or both - I am trying to work it out) - yet blood tests show all is fine. The only possible difference is that I often feel dehydrated which is something you don't mention.Anyway, my main aim at the moment is to 1) try to improve my sleep - as things are better if I've slept well, but days can be difficult if I don't (the fatigue/light headedness etc) 2) reduce my anxious thoughts - I had a bad spell for a month recently when i felt things were getting worse - until I realised that most of the worsening symptoms were due to the anxiety of thinking that! now I am trying to avoid such secondary negative thinking - not easy but I think it is something I have to keep focusing on (i.e. focus more day to day rather than panic about the future) 3) focus more on trying to understand and deal with the tiredness/light headedness issues. My feeling is if I can get the tiredness issues more in control then I can put up with the bloating etc.And what's more the last few weeks have definitely been an improvement for me.So are all the symptoms related? I think yes to a degree. Eating some things that disagree with me can set off a whole chain of problems - wind and bloating then maybe poorer sleep causing fatigue and some dizzyness the following day which adds to anxiety etc which can add to the symptoms etc. However, as it is unlikely we will find a magic cure that solves everything in one go then I also think it is worth examining and working on each symptom individually to make life more manageable. So for example if you are sure that some of your symptoms are due to spells of low blood sugar - then maybe you can make sure you always have something to eat with you to ease that symptom when it occurs etc or follow the advice of Jillywindy below etc. It probably won't solve everything but just getting one of your symptoms a bit more under control may help improve your confidence etcOne final thing - you mention the fact you feel you could set the world on fire if only you were ok. I know what you mean but we have to be a bit careful with such thoughts. It's a difficult balance to strike here but to some degree that feeling probably adds to your anxiety because by comparing your current self to what you were/could be you just get more depressed every time you have a bad day. We need that idea to remain in the back of our minds as an incentive to keep seeking to feel better - but in the short term probably need to accept it won't happen overnight and set slightly lower targets and aims and just try to build up graduallyAnyway, stay positive. I think the way out of this (and I struggle also) is a mix of treating those physical symptoms that you can whilst trying to becoming more accepting of the fact that you may have to continue to cope with some level of discomfort. It's not always easy but as you mention you have plenty of positive things in your life so it is well worth making the effort. All the best.
 

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I think your problems are both physical and spiritual. Anxiety/fear is a spirit--not an emotion. You sound like so many other people on here that say they tried everything, but nothing worked. Make your priority getting rid of the anxiety/fear and improving your relationships with your parents. You will be able to tolerate the physical problems so much better when those problems are resolved. Then go back to working on the physical, and even if the phyiscal problems in your bowels never go completely away, you will be much better equipped to deal with it in a good way. Your description of the accumulation of your problems doesn't sound too far off from my own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much for your responses. It helps just to know that I am not alone with these symptoms. Jill - thanks for the recommendation on the diet. I've heard quite a bit about a low carb diet for IBS. I guess I wonder about the lack of fiber, isn't that a problem for C? Endzone & OneFineDay, thanks for your thoughts about anxiety. I am definitely working on the anxiety and the relationship with my parents. In fact, I've been able to let go of a lot of residual anger about my childhood through the help of therapy, and I've been able to open up to my mom about my health problems, which has been so fantastic. I'd say we are closer than we have been in many years as a result. I do agree that changing my attitude will help me cope with the physical symptoms. This is maybe the hardest thing I have to do to deal with IBS. My therapist talks alot about acceptance - that things are as they should be - this is key to helping me cope. But sometimes I am just at the end of my rope, you know?
 

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A paleo diet isn't necessarily low fiber. You eat veggies but low starch ones and generally raw. The thing to watch out for is soluble fiber - make a conscious effort to get enough soluble fiber from non starchy sources like avocado, carrots (may be a bit starchy) and even soluble fiber supplements.
 
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