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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm 28. I've had IBS for my whole life -- it was relatively mild until about a year or so ago when stress / anxiety / etc. (and who knows what else) caused it to get noticeably worse. Before this, it didn't interfere too much with my life ... I could still hang out with friends or go play outdoors or eat out without worrying. Now since things have changed, I can't do much of anything. I wake up each day not knowing whether I'll be having constipation / discomfort problems that day, or whether it will be a day of bathroom trip after bathroom trip.The diet that works for my IBS one day upsets it the next. The things I take for constipation then cause diarrhea and vice versa and I can't get things evened out.I had to take a lot of antibiotics around Christmas for a UTI that wouldn't go away, and developed what my GP and my GI thought was C Diff. Was on Flagyl and then Vanco, neither of which helped the horrible diarrhea, so they decided it would be best to do an upper endoscopy and a colonoscopy to check to see if I had some form of IBD.No Crohn's, no colitis, no C Diff, no UC ..... just a polyp. Unfortunately the polyp was an adenoma, but a "low risk" one.A big deal was made about how I'm "too young" to be having a colon polyp.That didn't help the situation because I also suffer from health anxiety (my dad went out to run one night, was perfectly healthy, and died of sudden cardiac arrest at 50 ... my grandmother thought she had the flu for two days, went to the doctor, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, almost immediately had a stroke and died soon after .... my mom got dizzy after surgery once, turned out to be a pulmonary embolism but thank God she's still alive and well) .... anyway. Health anxiety rules my life much more than I'd like.So here I have IBS that rules my life, some lasting apprehension about having had a polyp at "such a young age", and several other issues.Lately my back had been hurting, so my urologist sent me for a CT to make sure everything was okay with my kidneys.Everything with my kidneys was fine.However, the report mentioned a large ovarian cyst (fine, I've had them before) and DIVERTICULA.This after just having had a colonoscopy in January! So I read all I could on the internet about diverticulosis and diverticulitis and, as someone with health anxiety, that turned out to be a horrible idea because all I could focus on were the horror stories and the fact that I do have a bit of pain in my lower left quadrant which could be the IBS, the ovarian cyst, or the diverticula.Again, the nurse made a huge deal about how I'm "too young" for diverticulosis, and how I should be very concerned. THANKS, lady. :\Finally got in to see my GI this week and he did his best to reassure me that my diverticulosis shouldn't cause any problems because they were small enough that they couldn't even be seen during the colonoscopy. He tried his best to reassure me about eating seeds and nuts. He tried his best to reassure me that even if I DO ever develop diverticulitis that it can almost always be treated easily.But I'm here now just kind of discouraged and hopeless feeling. The internet says that when young people have diverticulosis, it tends to be aggressive. That surgery is usually necessary. ...I guess I'm kind of feeling alone, lost, scared, defeated, terrified. I'm in the midst of trying (for the past year) to find an antidepressant that will work, but so far my anxiety and depression have been treatment resistant.I'm just scared that all of these things mean I'm doomed to some catastrophic event in the future. I notice every tiny feeling in my lower left quadrant (where the diverticulosis is) and each sensation has me starting to prepare for the worst ... or has me fearing that I already have an infection. This is a long post, I know, and maybe no one will get all the way through it - that's okay. I just wanted to write it because I didn't know if maybe anyone else could understand feeling so discouraged with all of these GI issues that we have. How do you continue to function and not let it ruin / rule your thoughts and your activities?
 

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Do you have a therapist as well as trying medications. A lot of people do need both and if you aren't getting any therapy finding someone, especially if they do Cog. Behav. Therapy can often do a lot to help you find ways to get out of the negative thought patterns and into something that makes you a lot more functional.While some people do well with diet a lot of people find it makes no difference and if you alternate you may need to find a more moderate diet rather that going to far to try to do a diarrhea or a constipation diet to try to match. I might play with fiber levels (and do one fiber amount for 2 weeks straight rather than try to match the day) and see if there is a certain amount that seems to even you out.From what I understand tiny feelings don't go along with infection. IBS causes lots of left quadrant sensations. If you get a high fever especially with severe pain go to the doctor immediately but all the worry doesn't help (which you know and easier to say than do)
 

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Well let me say I understand what you are saying. I am 20 and went thru the same kind of deal last year. My mother says the same thing, "your too young to have these issues". The important thing to remember is that you are not alone and there are people who have the same issues as you do. How do I not let it ruin my life? I just have to remind myself that I am still very blessed to be alive(I know tht may not sound comforting) but more importantly I just try to find activities that I can do on my own. I do alot right near the house and dont travel. I spend alot of time in the woods by myself, as if a bathroom is needed there you are(that also may not sound as pleasant) but I find I get very anxious when I am not near a restroom. I can only encourage you to try and make lemonade out the lemons youve been handed. Over time I am sure you will cope just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for your replies! Kathleen:Yes, I have a therapist. Actually, I've been seeing a psychiatrist for over a year who does my meds and "talk" therapy .... but she doesn't do any cognitive behavioral stuff, so I've started seeing a psychologist whom I hope will be able to help me more with the cognitive behavioral aspect. I know it will be slow-going; I've struggled with depression for 14 years so I know none of this comes easy or quickly. I do hope (so much) that the cognitive behavioral approach will be able to help.Cb-ibsa:It's wonderful that you live near the woods and can spend time out in them! I used to live in Colorado and could hang out all day outside hiking or kicking a soccer ball or watching storms come in or skiing or just playing out there in general. Now I live in a big city and there aren't a lot of outdoor things to do. Sometimes I try to take walks around my apartment complex, but definitely not the same as actually being out in nature. And you're right, we're blessed to be alive and I know this .... though sometimes feeling the "blessed" part is near impossible. I'm still trying to find an activity to help me keep my mind off of every tiny gut sensation. Haven't had much luck yet, and it seems that every time I make some progress my stupid IBS hits with a vengeance and makes me curl back up on the couch, convinced I'm sick and won't ever feel better. Horrible cycle!
 

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I actually started having IBS after taking a bunch of antibiotics for a UTI it turned out I didn't have. I wonder if maybe that's what set it off worse for you? I do know how you feel depression-wise. I have lost touch with friends who weren't very understanding of my situation. My problem is that I was quite the sociable person, and IBS hit me right at the end of college, so friends that I knew before IBS have unrealistic expectations for me. I've never really felt comfortable explaining the whole thing to a lot of them, and they just think I have some mysterious stomach problems that have turned me into an antisocial b*tch :/ I felt so bad for having to cancel plans or make up excuses, and finally I just decided enough was enough. So I try to surround myself with people I can talk to, and that would understand if I need to run to the bathroom or have to bail on plans. That takes a ton of stress out of social situations. The other thing too that I always remember is that no matter how awful I feel, my parents feel that much worse for having to watch this go on and on and not being able to help me. So I try to stay upbeat for them.
 
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