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Hi. I've been suffering now from what I believe to be IBS-A for three years. I've tried to bring it up with my regular doctor but every time I begin to mention it he cuts me off and claims that it's all a dietary issue (without hearing what my usual diet consists of, or what the full list of my symptoms are, or suggesting what changes I should make if "it's all just a dietary issue"). Fortunately I'm going over his head and have an appointment with another doctor in two days. However I'd like to hear what advice some IBS sufferers might have on these issues I'm dealing with.My main problems are: irregularity in bowel movements, bloating/excessive gas, feeling a gnawing/hungry feeling even when I've just had a meal, and extermely loud bodily noises. The irregularity goes in cycles to a certain degree (as much as that might sound contradictory). I'll have several days a week when I seem to be doing fine with one or two bowel movements a day, then I'll have a day or two when I cannot have a bowel movement at all (or not without a lot of effort), then I'll have a day or two when I have far too many bowel movements. I'll end up having a bowel movement sometimes up to 8 times in a day on those bad days, yet it's not diarrhea since all my bowel movments are solid enough. On those days I tend to have bowel movements in quick succession, i.e. one every 20 or 30 minutes until my body finally calms down. I don't even know how I could have so many bowel movements since it doesn't seem like I should have that much inside of me.The bloating and excessive gas is pretty self-explanitory. Some days I'll have very little gas, others I have to spend isolated from everyone because I just can't stop passing gas for hours and hours. What I eat does affect this to a certain degree, but many times I'll have these problems even if I haven't eaten a "problem food". The gnawing/hungry feeling I get makes me wonder if I might have an ulcer since my symptoms in that regard line up rather well with the symptoms of having a stomach ulcer. I get gnawing pain from my belly button up to my breast bone. It doesn't matter how much I eat, and sometimes eating seems to make it worse. And the problem I have the MOST trouble with is the bodily noises. I've read some other threads on this forum about this problem, and most people seem to think that these noises aren't as loud as the individual with them believes them to be, but I know mine are loud enough for everyone to hear. I've had numerous instances when my intestines will make noises so loud that people in a large classroom will turn around to see where the noise is coming from. Other times I've had people actually ask me if I'm ok after hearing my gut make noises. Sometimes I can pass it off as hunger noises, but most of the time these noises sound much more gross (almost like I'm passing gas, even though I'm not). I really am at a loss at what to do. I eat well. I avoid classic trouble foods (I don't eat any dairy products, I don't drink coffee, I don't eat chocolate, I don't eat beans, etc., etc., etc.) I also am a healthy weight (I'm 5'6" and weigh 135lbs, which is just how much I should weigh according to the standard BMI charts). I also am quite active. I walk regularly for hours at a time, I bike in the Spring/Summer/Fall, etc. These problems are really ruining much of my life. I have trouble spending time with people, especially in quiet environments. I have to skip classes and church when I don't want to skip either just because my body decides it randomly wants to have a bad day. I've even begun considering changing majors and looking for one that would lead to a career in which I wouldn't be around anyone (even though I like being around people) just so I don't have to risk all the embarassment. Any advice would be appreciated. Sorry for the length of this post.
 

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Regarding the social aspects, a lot of people with IBSsimply choose to tell people around them. I know a personwho tells everyone about the issue and when he goes outto dinner, they are aware he may need to run home andgo to the bathroom. We do not make fun of him. We empathise with him and understand the problem. An estimated 20 to 35 million people have this problem.Some people have it so bad they poop in their pantswhile driving in a car. Some have it so bad they havediarrhea and abdominal pain every day for years, sobad its difficult for them to hold a job. Others have mildto moderate form where the diarrhea is frequent buts only once ortwice a day and it is controllable. You can't let this problem make you a hermit. I personally have neverheard anyone's body make so much noise that I was puzzled or laughedor anything.
 

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Everyone, everywhere has had digestive problems at sometime in their life. I think that if you just tell people when it happens that you have some disorder then, for the most part they will be understanding and sympathetic. Anyone who isn't is not worth your attention anyway. Of course you need to develop a thick skin to sit in a classroom and audibly rumble away in the back but that's not a bad thing. Your sense of self worth shouldn't be based on whether your gut grumbles or not.Reducing gas is all about not feeding the bugs that produce it. I suppose that just about any food could cause problems though if it's not well digested though. Try the low flatus diet and possibly even start limiting resistant starches. I eat a very low starch diet and have very little gas now.
 
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