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Hello all,I felt that I needed to share a success story in hopes that at least one of my suggestions could help someone else. As a young person with severe IBS-D, the idea of living a "normal" life seemed impossibly out of reach. I think back and realize that I've always suffered from digestive upset and high stress levels, but since this was my "norm," I never thought to try and fix the problems. Once I got to college, I was officially diagnosed with IBS and lactose intolerance. When fiber supplements didn't work (surprise, surprise, it made all my symptoms worse!), I went on citalopram (gross) and moved to sertraline.The combination of a low-dose SSRI and a dairy-free diet proved successful, at least for the next couple of years.By the time I entered my senior year, my IBS had chained to my bathroom. I was missing work and classes, losing weight, and couldn't keep any food in my body for more than half an hour. The pain was becoming intolerable and I'd started bleeding. I finally realized I couldn't continue to live like this and scheduled an appointment with a GI, praying that I didn't have colon cancer or Crohn's disease.Seeing a GI was one of the best decisions I could have made. After 4 grueling months that involved bloodwork, a colonscopy, and a barium test that ruled out cancer and IBD, a brief hospitalization, one month on a gluten-free/low fiber diet, countless anti-spasmodics, and useless OTCs, my GI put me on Lotronex. Now, it's a very risky drug. Very, very risky. Signing-your-life-away-in-blood risky. But after a month on it (and only one scare in which I thought my colon was shutting down -- luckily just a false alarm) and carefully monitoring my symptoms with my GI, I realized that I WAS BECOMING A NORMAL PERSON AGAIN. Maybe even for the first time in my life!Lotronex has truly given me my life back. I just graduated from college magna cum laude and currently hold a full-time job and have a thriving social life, thanks to my dear friends and family that stuck with me through this debacle. Though I'm not 100% symptom free all of the time, I've learned to manage my stress levels and eat a healthy diet that allows me to enjoy food, and enjoy life, without constantly searching for the bathroom, carrying Imodium with me wherever I go, or canceling plans because I can't get off the toilet!If you've tried a restricted diet, OTCs, herbal supplements, other prescriptions, counseling... and you still feel awful... I'd encourage you to ask your GI about Lotronex. I'm not any sort of doctor or medical professional, and only you and your doc can know what's right for you, but I can say it's helped me immensely. My current treatment includes 1 mg of Lotronex daily, 50 mg sertraline daily, and a generally dairy-free diet. I take a probiotic and digestive enzyme with dinner and I practice yoga to keep my stress levels down. I avoid "trigger foods" like coffee and very spicy dishes, limit red meat and processed foods, and choose acetominophen over ibuprofen if I'm in pain. I hope that my story can offer insight to some of you who are suffering. I've finally learned to be honest about my condition, and most importantly, to LAUGH at it. Please, please, please be proactive about your own health. Don't suffer in silence for years like I did!Best wishes,transatlanticist
 
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