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Hi - sorry if this looks like an essay - I've just included absolutely everything I feel is relevant,I'm 19 this weekend and have had diagnosed ibs (didn't say which type- my best guess is A) for almost 6 months now and it's becoming an unbearable problem. Prior to university I went to a public school on the immediate outskirts of the city centre where I was in many of the schools sports teams and a leading figure in one of its largest extra curricular activities (the cadets). My group of friends lived all across the city and without thought I would find myself venturing miles out to go clubbing, play or use the gym at the rugby club, and spend hours in parks or on the golf course.Since moving to university over 100 miles away I've gone through many considerable lifestyle changes. I've been in catered accommodation where the food has been "substandard" although I never would expect the university doctor to admit that. Also I've spent most of my time in my room (a city centre apartment block) with little to do. I had a job as an RAF(VR) where I played rugby on a Sunday and attended a training night once a week, and joined the university rugby club - although strayed from that because I wanted to play rugby, not pick up an £80 drunk and disorderly fine.Approximately 8 weeks before Christmas I sprained my elbow and came down with a heavy cold. This was when I stared getting midweek bouts of D and recovering over the weekend. Convinced by my mum to see the doctor a week later I had given "samples", over Christmas I had a colonoscopy and at Easter I had a barium meal. Of all these tests the only substantial information was that I had a 15 minute passage of time for my digestive tract and Loperamide should help this. There is no real discernible result and I've been getting steadily worse ever since.I've been back at home a week and have stopped taking Loperamide to see if a healthy meal can help. (I'm keeping a food diary). I'm slowly becoming more regular but when I go to the toilet I get the sense of not having passed completely. "Like ribbons" is the medical simile I've found. Also I suffer incredible anxiety from simple things like picking up a prescription from the town centre or exams (I had to ask to leave a 2 hour business exam). I'm also unable to make the half hour journey to the gym or do anything on a definite basis.With so much contradictory information on the internet and such an incredible variety of treatments - how do I tell which is right? I've lost my job and all the effort I put into physical training - 1stone is a lot to lose when you only weigh 10 and still can't understand how i can just go from 18-21 hour days in military training to struggling my way though a 7 hour day. Are there any suggestions you have that might help?Thanks.
 

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Whoa, sorry for the cut off post... I hit some wrong key...Anyway, what I was trying to say is that I was in a similar situation a few months ago, and I understand how horrible it is. When it seems like you've lost everything you worked for, the pain is so bad, and your doctor really can't tell you even what's going on... I totally sympathize with you. I can't pretend I'm an expert on treatment, but here's a summary of what's seemed to work for me and/or others on the board.Diet: Diet may or may not affect your IBS, but probably does to some degree if you say it got better when you ate healthier. Unfortunately, everybody reacts to different foods. Some people do really well with low fat, some do well with low carb, or have to eliminate specific types of carbs. Some need fiber, some need to eliminate fiber. Some people find that eliminating one food, such as dairy or wheat, helps. You'll just have to experiment, although you may have an idea by now of what triggers you most. If you already know salad is a problem, try lowering all fiber. If beef, pizza, and fries are issues, go very low fat. Also, many people are affected more by how much they eat, so try eating small amounts more frequently.Exercise: While exercises in general is good for your health, make sure you're not exercising at the times when you're stomach tends to rebel (certain times of day or after meals), as even in healthy people running can cause d.Stress: Stress DOES NOT cause ibs. But it can exacerbate it, and I know from experience that it is impossible not to be stressed when your health is so bad. Try to find ways to deal with it. Consider hypnotherapy or yoga. Needing to control stress does not mean that your issues are in your head, it means you are dealing with awful stuff and will be better off if you can deal with it.Medicine: For the pain, people have done low-dose tryciclic antidepressants (even who aren't depressed), or antispasmodics. You can find out more about these drugs on the board. For the diarrhea, my first step would be to try taking calcium carbonate daily, with or instead of the loperamide. There is a drug called lotronex that is *very* effective, but it also has shut down several women's intestines, so it probably should be a last resort. Personally, I've benefitted a lot from some prescription pancreatic enzymes, but there are plenty of otc enzymes you could try to see if they help. Some people find probiotics help, too.Good luck, and I hope at least something I said helps!
 

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