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I have suffered from IBS for over 20 years. During that time I have consulted several doctors but have so far been unable to find a solution to this problem. Often I will be constipated and sometimes I have diarrhea. I have tried mebiverine but it didn't seem to have any effect. I often take colpermin which helps slightly. However, by far the worst symptom is the excessive gas I have to handle every day. The doctor advised to limit things like beans and vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli from my diet. However, if I cut out fibre contained in fruit and vegetables I become even more constipated and that makes me produce more gas. If I eat more fibre and vegetables that gives me diarrhea and makes me produce gas - so I can't win either way. I have noticed recently that the gas problem seems to be getting worse. I seem to have no control over it - without warning I will notice a smell then be really embarrased when I realise it is in fact me! Sometimes it will just come out when I am on public transport or in the office. I know my colleagues have noticed it (as I work in an open plan office) and some made comments that were very unsympathetic and quite nasty. The problem with gas usually gets worse throughout the day. By the afternoon I am often just so bloated. Because of this excessive gas usually I only eat my breakfast and then eat nothing until my evening meal when I get home at 8pm. Sometimes I am feeling faint and exhausted from lack of food but I cannot take the risk of eating during the day because that will make the problem even worse - there would be no way I could function in an open plan office where I cannot keep rushing to the toilet.Apart from IBS I have no other health problems. I am slim and keep myself fit through regular exercise. I think one good thing about IBS is that in fact it has made exercise more important in my life than it would have been if I had not had IBS as I know that exercise helps to relax me. However, the gas is so socially embarrasing! I am now in my 40s and single. I haven't had a partner for years. I still hope that one day I will have a partner but I am worried about explaining this problem and if they will be sympathetic or not. I have kept my problem secret from everyone but my close family. Occasionally I have mentioned IBS briefly to friends to test their reaction and they do not seem sympathetic so I don't own up to having the problem. I really want to make the most of my life but despite trying to keep positive I feel that this holds me back in many ways. For example, I cannot holiday with friends because I cannot share a room because of this problem as I am worried they will notice it - so I have turned down holidays. I cannot stay over night at a friend's house for the same reason - so I have declined lots of social invitations. If I go out for a meal I cannot relax as I am worried about the effect of the food on my body. I still force my self to go out socially but it is hard to relax even though I love meeting people as I am aware that they may notice my problem.If anyone can offer any advice I would really appreciate it.
 

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I can definitely empathize with you. Especially about keeping it from your family and friends. I did that for 13 years until IBS forced me to quit my job and I finally just told everyone why cause I was sick of keeping it a secret. It was hard to get validation at first--got a lot of "it's in your head." Yeah? Tell my snickering co-workers that. I heard them talking about me. Anyway, I've come upon something that seems to be helping me stay more regular and digest my food better. It's called Hypo-gest by Priority One. It's a stomach acid supplement. Could be that you don't have enough stomach acid to digest your food. Also, I've been keeping a food journal (spreadsheet actually) the last few months to see what's causing me problems and I've gone on an elimination diet, adding things back in slowly, and counting how many times I pass wind. Here's what I've learned so far. 1) Rice and the local health food store are my friends. They sell rice cakes, rice pasta (good with tomato sauce), delicious rice crackers, rice krispies, etc.. Applesauce, pearsauce (babyfood) and potatos seem fine. Olive Oil, chicken, salsa, ground turkey, beef in moderation...all okay. When I eat these I keep my gas to about 3-17 times a day. Definitely no fruit juice, no food colorings, not much beans. Well I'm still working on what I can eat. you should too. Keep a spreadsheet. I'm going to get this figured out this year--if it takes all year I'm going to find my safe foods and good supplements. I went to GI specialists who sucked but now I have a naturopathic doctor who's great and got me on the stomach acid. As a side note, my mom said the other day, "Oh, grandpa took stomach acid every meal while I was growing up." That information would have been useful a long time ago. Also, take Beano with your veggies. It's a proven enzyme to help you digest vegetables. Or, alternatively, I was once on a protein diet where I ate eggs, bacon, and grapefruit juice for breakfast; meat, veggies or salad and grapefruit juice for lunch and the same for dinner. Graperfuit juice is a diuretic and would clear me out daily with D but I didn't have bad gas cause there wasn't fermenting food in my colon either. Just for a laugh--I ate a whole can of refried beans (about a cup and a half) yesterday and passed gas about 50 times. I've definitely proven beans cause gas. Good luck to us both! I'll keep posting how it goes with the naturopath, stomach acid, and food journal!
 

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Obviously, I didn't put everything on my list. But wanted to add I eat jam with my rice cakes (no added sugar from the health food store) or guacamole. Wheat didn't work out well for me. I had terrible D the day after eating it (even though I don't have Celiac) and felt like I was expelling poison from my body and it smelled foul. Having elimiated it, my gas, though still somewhat excessive, isn't foul anymore.
 

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Thanks for your advice. Actually I think I will start to record what I eat and the effects of the foods more carefully. The trouble is that practically everything seems to cause problems. Foods/drinks that seem to cause the worst effects so far are dairy produce, eggs, coffee and alcohol. One doctor I saw recommended fasting for one day then gradually reintroducing a different food type each day and recording the effects on your body over a 2 week period. Has anyone tried this? I am also thinking of trying a hypnotherapy recording to see if that helps me to feel more positive dealing with the symptoms and maybe provides some relief.I really wish employers/the general population had more sympathy for anyone suffering from IBS. Other afflictions such as hayfever, migraine etc gets loads of sympathy from but with IBS people don't seem to take it seriously or think it's that bad.
 
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