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My name is Sheffield, and I am 18 years old. I was diagnosed with IBS and lactose intolerance at the age of 6, so I have been living with stomach pain since I can remember.
It has been a rough journey. Growing up with a condition such as this makes life difficult and forces unwanted obstacles in the way. As a little girl if I were invited to a birthday party, my stomach would get in knots and would cause me to have diarrhea because of over-excitement. Or the excitement would cause my stomach to have gas and bloating along with constipation. These fun events would make my stomach hurt so badly that I had to call in sick and miss them. I will never forget those times where I would sit on the toilet doubled-over in pain with tears in my eyes as my mother would contact whomever was hosting the party to tell them I would not be attending.

It started as little mishaps such as these and as time went on, it became even worse. Anxiety was a huge cause of all of this. The summer before 10th grade was probably the worst it had ever been. At the time, I had just broken up with a long-time boyfriend, and it was a really big pill for me to swallow. I began having anxiety attacks that I would see him in public. That anxiety escalated when he found a new girlfriend and he, his friend, and the new girl would go to the lake (his friend's lake house and my lake house were by each other) and the girlfriend continued to circle my house in the golf cart with my ex-boyfriend in the cart, kissing all over him, and making sure that I saw he was no longer mine.

I remember at one point I did not leave my lake house for several weeks. I was too sick to make the drive home, and had to have my doctor send prescription after prescription up to the local pharmacy. At the time I was trying out different medications and probiotics. Around that time I was taking up to 12 pills a day to try and just regulate my system.

10th grade was rough in that I had a huge bullying problem (I swear that I am a strong person, I just kept being victimized at these times) and it would cause me to have diarrhea at school every day because I was so nervous I would run into my bullies' clique. I feared he would bring a gun to school and kill me. He tried to break into my house one night, so those fears were very valid (everything was taken care of, so this is not an issue any longer, just needed to include it to show that stress and anxiety play a huge role in my IBS).

I did theatre all my life and before every show I would have diarrhea because I was so nervous, especially when I got the lead role my senior year.

Now it is the summer before college and my IBS has gotten even worse. My doctor feared that it was turning into Crohn's Disease, but my blood work tested negative. I am very anxious about going off to college and leaving my family behind, especially with the cafeteria and knowing that most of the foods do not fit my diet. I eat lots of chicken, veggies, fruits, and rice and try to stick to that because my body has a hard time digesting anything else.

At the moment I am taking Celexa, Florajen-3 (a probiotic), Digestive Advantage for Lactose Intolerance, and Bentyl as needed. I would really appreciate more suggestions as to some new medication that I could try out now to see how my system reacts while it is still summer and I am home. Any help, guidance, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for reading my story and how IBS has affected my life.
 

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Well, what a story! I'm glad to hear that this situation has been taken care of! Trust me, I know how you feel... I get invited to a party, I get excited and BAM! I don't get it! I'm actually looking forward to those events, yet it makes me sick. I don't know much about the medication you're taking... But have you tried anything for your anxiety? I've learned that we have to change our outlook on life. I'm a very positive person, yet when it comes to my health, i can be really negative. This has to change. Take up Yoga or meditation. Spend time doing things for you and take time to relax, it's really important! Hoping you'll feel better!
 
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