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Hi! My name is Sam, I am 24, female, and my life is completely ruled by my gastrointestinal issues.

My tummy history...

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease (gluten/wheat intolerance) when I was 2 years old. As I was growing up my stomach was fine as long as I stuck to my strict gluten free diet. During my teenage years (15-20) I developed eating disorders. Anorexia for the first few years and then bulimia into my early 20s. Once I recovered I started college and everything seemed to be going well until I started getting diarrhea suddenly and often. After 2 years of searching for answers I now know that I am not only Celiac but I also have fructose malabsorption, lactose intolerance, and IBS (can't have caffeine or any fatty foods). My doctor says my eating disorders are most likely the cause.

I use to live off of Imodium, pepto bismol, and tums but now I am on dicyclomine 4 times a day. The pills are working with my food issues, but anytime I get anxiety its like I'm not on any medication. Anxiety about everything and anything equals instant diarrhea multiple times about 20 minutes apart. I feel like my life is over.

Ive always had anxiety growing up. Doctors have told me that my anxiety most likely caused my eating disorders. I have tried Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, and kolonopin. But all of them had negative side effects. They increases depression, made me sleepy to the point where i was just a zombie. I just haven't had positive results.

I have failed tests because I need to use the bathroom and my teachers do not allow bathroom breaks (avoid cheating), so I have left early to keep myself from having an accident. My relationship with my boyfriend is suffering because I avoid everything social. I cant get excited about going anywhere or doing anything because my first thought is "what if I have to use the bathroom?" "What if I have no privacy?" "What if I have an accident?". My IBS is driven by my anxiety. So 9/10 I do have diharrea when I go out because I am so nervous about getting sick that I do actually physically get sick.

I have dreams of going to Medical School and becoming a surgeon and having a family. But I cant because my IBS. I cant sit through tests, or do clinical hours, and forget about standing through a 7 hour long surgery. If I have kids i wont be able to sit though sport games or take them to the park or do anything social without having diarrhea. My boyfriend was with me before all my issues started and hes waiting for me to go back to "normal". If we don't work out how will I ever date again? With my symptoms I just dont know how im supposed to live anymore. I am stuck in the small space that is my apartment. The only place I feel comfortable, because I have a private bathroom nearby whenever i need it.
 

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I'm sorry for your troubles. I don't know if I have any words of wisdom, except that these things do seem to swing up and then down, over and over. I am currently in a downswing as well, and I usually find that happens when the season changes. Intellectually that makes no sense, but that's what happens to me. I hope that even writing it all out for others to read makes you feel better.
 
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