Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Digestive Health Support Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I just found this forum today through a google search, trying to find out if there were other people who could understand what I am going through, and maybe give advice. I apologize for any typing errors and mistakes that are probably present in the following post, as I am rather emotional right now and its difficult for me to type properly.I started suffering from IBS when I was 15 years old, though at the time I did not know that is what it was. In the early stages it was more embarrassing than painful, the only symptoms I really had were some weird stomach and intestinal grumblings that were very loud, occasionally with cramping. These usually didn't happen more than once or twice a day, one or two days a month, and at one point when I was around 19 the disappeared for awhile. They started coming back much that same way I had experienced them before when I was around 22. I learned to live and tolerate this as again, other than being somewhat embarrassing, I didn't feel hindered by them.I am 24 now, and Earlier this year the grumblings began to come much more frequently and began to hurt much more, especially in my lower right abdomen. They went from once or twice a month, to several days a week, some days lasting all day. This went on for a few months and I tried tolerating it and ignoring it, hoping it would soon passover and move on. Then after one particularly bad day, I began to feel bloated and constipated, and had trouble sleeping through the night. The pain got worse, and was only alleviated if I had a bowel movement. It was effecting my husband as well, as he was worried sick about me, and couldn't sleep because he was terrified of not being there, he sat up with me every night, loosing sleep himself and going to work exhausted so he could try and help me feel more comfortable. This went on for 5 days and at this point I really thought I was dying, I was hysterical, my husband was full of anxiety, and we were both severely lacking several days worth of rest, so finally I went to see a doctor. After going through a series of tests and ruling out any other possible conditions, and getting a 2nd opinion, I was told I had IBS-C. I had never heard of IBS or IBS-C, but both doctors I went to were very helpful in giving me information and references on it.I've tried many things to help rid the pain, but nothing seems to work. My bouts of IBS happen every few weeks, usually lasting 2-3 days, that is until the bout I am having now, which is on day number 7. The cramping has become a dull throbbing pain, but it is aggravating enough that I cannot sleep. I've had maybe a total of 5 or 6 hours of sleep the last 7 days. I've been constipated on and off and was told to take a low dose laxative to help. Everything is compounded when I am on my period as well, because I also have endometriosis, which is painful and uncomfortable in itself. The wear and tear of suffering through this the last several months is really starting show through. I rarely get more than an hour of sleep a night, and its never all at once but usually 10-15 minutes at a time. The lack of sleep has really screwed me up emotionally, as I tend to be easily set off now. Most people think I am a psychotic mess. My husband is in the military and the guys in his shop on base tend to make comments to him about feeling sorry for him for having a wife like me! He ignores them of course, but I hate it that he is suffering because of my problems. Hes been very supportive and has gone out of his way to help me in anyway possible, but I can physically see it taking its toll on him as well. He isn't sleeping well and he is constantly stressed out and worried about me, it makes me feel 1000 times worse and guilty to know what I am putting him through. I get so angry about what I am going through and how people are treating me that I tend to break down and cry at random times. I have trouble going out and doing anything at all anymore because the pain, bloating and constipation make me so uncomfortable its hard to enjoy anything. I keep feeling like my husband will get so frustrated in dealing with me he is going to leave me. This last month has been especially bad for us both because I have had a bladder infection and the flu as well the the last 7 days my IBS symptoms. Sometimes going on with life just doesn't seem worth it anymore. I look at myself in the mirror and I don't recognize myself. My weight is fluctuating, and I've become deathly pale. I just want to feel better and normal again. I want my husband to feel better and be happy again and stop worrying about me. I am at my wits end!I would really love to hear what others have to say. Any kind of feedback, advice, info, anything at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Hi Amy, I'm new here too and your story sounds scarily like mine! So felt I should say hi and see if we can help each other some way.I'm 26 and have just been refered to a gastroentologist as have had acute lower right abdo pain and bowel problems since late August time, after a close friends very boozy hen weekend....too much cider and bread led to a very bunged up Kim...!!!!But when I back track, my issues have been there since I was about 8 years old, when I was in hospital for a week with constipation. I was also diagnosed with polycystic ovaries at the age of 15 then 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with M.E.So it's been lots of fun!
I was doing pretty well up til start of this year, when I had a stressful time at work which lasted up til the summer (and the hen do!) then when the pressure was off, my system has just kinda collapsed. I, like you, have had bladder infections along with yeast infections and everything winter brings. Obviously, this has made my tummy worse and have been in contant pain and discomfort, which makes my M.E worse and I'm exhausted and emotional all the time.....it's a vicious circle at the moment!My poor boyfriend has been running me back and forth to doctors and A&E over these 2 months and generally being my rock over the past 6 years. He's seen me go from happy and healthy to ill and an emotional wreck twice now and there are times when I think he'll get fed up of it all one day! But what I remember is that I got through the dark days once before, so I know I can do it again.It's difficult to stay positive all the time and it may take a while, but we'll get there. We just have to be nice to our selves and give our bodies a chance to heal. Be thankful that we have fantastic men sticking by us, wanting to help us. And think if the tables were turned, we'd stick by our men, wouldn't we?!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Definitely true, I would do anything for my husband, he has been amazing since all this happened and it has obviously been a huge reminder of why he was the one. I just feel so sorry for him. He has a very witty sense of humor and tries to make me smile and cheer me up, and I just feel so bad because I end up crying because sometimes the pain from laughing is just too much! I think is anything DOES help me through this, it will be my husband. Hes really the only person who is trying to understand what is going on with me. He even woke up at 3am this morning and went out in 8 degree(f) weather to get me some medication I had ran out of and needed.It is at least comforting to know I am not as alone as I truly feel and that there are people out there having similar problems, and that what I am going through isn't all made up! I've had people tell me I am overreacting and exaggerating my issues so many times it makes me want to scream. I've done everything possible to not focus on it and it doesn't go away, I wish it were only an exaggeration! One of my aunts even told me "Oh believe me, I've had much worse, you'll get over it!" As if my pain and agony were not as important because she thinks she may have had worse (how would she know really? she cant feel what I am feeling!)Hopefully I can be positive like you and tell myself I will get through it, but after this last month my thoughts have for sure been much darker than that, and that in itself is quite scary. Sometimes I don't think I can make it, and can't see myself going on for years like this or putting my husband through it anymore, and tell myself it would be better off if I just were not around. I always quickly catch myself and remind myself that its a crazy thing to think, but it really is how I start to feel sometimes, and before IBS I would have never thought of something like that. Its very hard being the person I am now, because it isn't me. I used to be very strong willed, confident and positive. I was the person everyone came to for advice and for a shoulder to cry on, and now everyone is afraid of me because of how easily I fall apart, sometimes for no reason!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Hi Amy and Kim, I'm 23 and have a similar story. I suffered terribly with constipation as a child and was in and out of hospital until the age of 7/8, at which time I found something that considerably improved my condition (linseeds, if anyone's interested, although they don't seem to help me now I'm an adult). I always had bowel problems but I was able to live a relatively normal life, until 3 years ago when the symptoms came back with a vengeance and I was diagnosed with IBS. Since then I've watched my life disappear before my eyes - lost my job, my partner and countless friends. Unlike you two my boyfriend of seven years couldn't cope with my illness as it got worse, so you are very lucky! I totally empathise with you Amy about looking in the mirror and not recognising yourself - I've lost almost a stone in weight over the past year (and I only weighed 7 stone to start with), my skin is grey, I get spots and I have huge dark circles under my eyes. I realise this post isn't sounding as particularly positive, but I just wanted you both to know you aren't alone!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Much the same story as you only i am 54 with 2 grown children hubby diagnosed with PTSD approx 8 years ago due to military very stressful job myself working with special needs children, coped fine until approx 3 years ago then started taking panic attacks and diagnosed with GAD. Had probs as a child with stomach issues only ever weighed 7 stone went down to 5 stone 8 at 1 point cant eat to much fatty food rushed into hospital at 7 with gastro enteritis severely dehydrated some days could eat forever other days feel sick and in constant pain all day mine alternates between D and C mostly C. Have not found anything that helps really just herbal tea when it gets really bad and hot baths good patch at moment cant stop eating. Army docs are #### take 2 aspirin and go away hope yours are a bit more understanding. Know mine was brought on by stress worried about hubby and the job now retired on ill health but am looking to return to a less stressful position with children. Try fennel tea and chamomile tea may help a bit i also see a counsellor and am in a support group sometimes its nice just to have a good moan. Take care and lots of hugs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
@claire_louise Sorry to hear about your break up, can imagine that was quite rough! But hope you are improving at least in that department. And yea, I hate looking in the mirror now, but sometimes I can't help but to stare. Along with the pale skin and fluctuating weight I also have large black and red bags developing under my eyes because of a severe lack of sleep. One thing that really gets to me is I used to get compliments on my hair a lot. I've never done anything special to care for it or fix it or anything, but everyone always used to tell me I had pretty hair. Now its looks so lifeless and dull and thin. My eyes don't look blue anymore but more gray, I've been calling myself the gray lady! [email protected] the docs here on the base are not too bad, we are on an Air Force base. But I also went to a civilian doctor off base for a 2nd opinion. I will try the Fennel and Chamomile tea, I haven't tried those yet. Right now I am having severe constipation with some pretty severe bloating and stomach swelling and nothing I do seems to be helping me. I am trying to walk around and move as much as possible but its rather uncomfortable. Luckily I actually have some Chamomile tea and honey so I will give it a try and hope it helps.Appreciate your responses so far guys
It helps hearing from others who are in a similar situation like myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Manuka honey is meant to be really good strength 10 i think i am being tested for cealiacs at mo no results as yet have to see consultant after christmas also going to see dietician soon so you never know. Dont know where you live but army docs in uk while my hubby was serving were just there for decorative purposes i think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am in the U.S. In the Army branch the doctors, etc, are kind of the same way as you have experienced, or so the ones i've met and know have been. Our experience with the Air Force here so far has shown they are much more supportive of their members and the families more so than other branches of the military. Hes been very happy with his choice to join them and its got him prepared for a great career after. Now only if he didn't have a sick wife to worry about!The Chamomile tea didn't really work for my pain. :(Right now the muscles in my abdomen, all of them, are sore and hurting and having spasms, its pretty horrible and painful on top of the bloating and constipation. I am afraid to move at all and have been trying to move myself around with my computer chair when I need to. I finally was able to use the bathroom and found myself unable to wipe because the pains in my abdomen muscles were so bad I couldn't position myself right. It took me over 10 minutes to finally do it, I was crying and swearing the whole time. I am not really sure what to do with myself at the moment for these kind of pains or for abdomen muscle spasm, I am just trying to wait it out and doing my best to be calm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,955 Posts
Have you tried peppermint tea. Chamomile can be overall soothing, but peppermint is a more specific antispasmodic.I usually keep a tin of Altoid in my purse as a couple of those have enough peppermint oil to take the edge off the pain.Sometimes a low dose antidepressant can help with pain. Zoloft, in particular, tends to loosen up the stools as well and sometimes will help with the anxiety. The nerves in the gut use the same chemicals as the ones in your head and to the drug it works on any nerve it can find. It can't go to different ones depending on why they prescribed it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Hi Amy,I'm so sorry you're going through all that, not only the illness but the reactions from people. I am 43 and had reflux all my life, and was treated that way. RIght now I am only "believed" by people because I had bile peritonitis and almost died in the OR.I recently had an IBS bout and I was going out of my mind with constipation, pain and bloating. I felt that 3 things helped, peppermint oil capsules (taken about 1/2 hour before meals, I took one called peptogest), Align (a pretty expensive probiotic) and digestive enzymes. ALso dietary changes. FOr me it's hard to figure out what to eat or not to eat, it seems that what helps with constipation makes the other symptoms worse. It also helped me during the worst times to eat everything pureed, stay away from wheat and dairy. And another very important thing is to exercise, even a 20 minute walk helps. Unless your symptoms make it impossible for you to walk, even if it hurts a bit, many times after a 20 minute walk I feel much better. I hope you start feeling much better soon.And if you feel you're being misunderstood or your problem minimized, try for a while not to discuss. Don't feel you have to justify yourself. If you get angry, your symptoms may get better. If it's possible for you, having a counselor to talk about it could be very good.Many hugs to you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I will look into getting some peppermint tea then, I had not tried that either, hopefully my husband will be able to find me some today. Are the peppermint oil capsules OTC? Might look into that as well.The doctor did mention about antidepressants if things got bad enough but seemed hesitant to give them to me right away. I should ask again, I could probably use them in a lot of ways right now, heh.For food i've been eating mostly rice and mushrooms, I haven't been able to find out exactly what triggers my problems either and its been frustratig, but those two things seem ok. I've stuck to drinking cranberry/blueberry/grape/cherry juices and lots of water and nothing else as well.Thank you guys for the advice and kind words =)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,955 Posts
Peppermint capsules you can usually find at any health food store. I've just always used the Altoids because I tried them in a pinch and they have enough real peppermint oil in them that 2-3 will at least do a good job of taking the edge off the pain. They are also cheap and at least around here if I need some I can get them just about anyplace that sells gum and mints.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Amy, I know it's difficult, but try to keep eating regular meals. As my mum always tells me, there's no way you're going to poo if there's nothing inside you to come out! You could try a gluten/dairy free diet as that seems to help a lot of people, although personally I found that my symptoms improved for a short period and then came back just as bad. Are you on any anti-spasmodics for the pain? If not get your doctor to prescribe some, they're fairly standard for IBS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
I take a huge dose of laxatives just to go everyday. Can't seem to take anything that doesnt make me more constipated. Just tried some lexapro, but it made me more constipated. Even though it helped me mentally feel a lot better.My stools are almost always total diarriah now, from the large doses of laxative everday. I have trouble breathing also, especially when I lay on my back, rather then my sidesI never have any pain though oddly. I'm depressed out of my mind, keep telling my mom, I shouldn't have been born, and I'm sorry for the burden I am to her. My dad keeps telling me all my problems are in my head and hollering at me.Have had skin problems as long as I can remember, dermotologist just diagnosed me with dermititus and staph infection. Have to bathe everday now with special shampoo cleaner, and put medication on my back side after bath. And use alophenic lotion all over my body.I use to never talk to anyone about my problems, I was a complete rock. Now I'm a total psycho mess, and all I do is talk about my problems to anyone that will listen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Amy, Totally understand what you are going through. Been there, gone through it, and now improving. It's amazing to have your life back. Some ideas spring to mind what can be done in your case:You might also want to try fennel and / or dill tea (anti-bloating) and an an anti-spasmodic like here in the UK, there is something called Colofac. It used to help me a bit. There are also a group of meds from the domperidone family, your doctor might know one that is prescribed in the US. I used to take that alongside peppermint tables 20 mins before all meals and that helped a bit with cramps, bloating and constipation.Have you tried probiotics - "good bacteria" supplements? There is loads of info on this forum, especially from a chap called Ian. Maybe you want to investigate whether you have overgrowth of bad bacretia in your gut. Have a read about "candida". If that is the case, then I think mushrooms are not a good idea, even though you think they are OK for you. Is there nothing else you eat apart from rice and mushrooms? Have you tried oats, like in porridge, cooked with water? Apples and pears, baked - not raw? Avocados, baked sweet potatoes? Baked chicken? These tend to be "safer" foods. You need your nutrients if you are on such a restricted diet, so have a look at a good multivitamin. Maybe magnesium will help with your constipation?I would, from my own positive experience, advise that you go and see a nutritionist, who specialises in IBS, to help you work through your problems. I was close to topping myself earlier this year May 09 (honestly!!!) when I was in constant agony and despair and now I know several culprits that I successfully avoid - wheat and sugar. Am not in pain anymore, hardly any bloating and BMs almost every day now. It is bliss. Best of luck and if you want to read my story, it is here under the same forum, about the "exclusion diet and sherry brescia diets being tried". If you've got questions I am v happy to help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the information Kes. I've been absent from the computer for a bit because I haven't felt like doing much lately and came back and saw your response today. I've been feeling a bit better the last few days, finally having a break from the misery during Christmas, thank goodness!I have started on a probiotic and I am starting to wonder if maybe that is the reason I have begun to feel better the last few days. I've been trying to adjust my diet a bit as well and have been testing out more food that people have suggested. I do actually eat oats a bit in oatmeal in the morning for breakfast, and as for meat I've been sticking to chicken and trying to avoid beef and pork. I actually ate a great meal last night that had some baked chicken and stuffing and I had no problems at all with my IBS, which was a great relief since I had not had a "decent" meal in awhile. I will take your advice and look into finding a nutritionist that can maybe help me sort out my diet a bit more. I have to admit I get so afraid of having the symptoms come back that I do restrict myself too much, and thankfully my husband is around to try and push me away from that, otherwise I end up very weak and not feeling well for obvious reasons!Thanks again to all the people who have responded and the advice you guys have given, I appreciate it a great deal and I am taking a lot of it into consideration and working on hopefully improving my situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Dear Kathleen. I've been reading your input for years. Thank you very much. I'd like to confirm that antidepressants help a lot. I take doxepin the only one that doesn't cause rash. With Zoloft I balooned with extra weight. But generally antidepressants are the great invention of the last century.
And Amy, yes bladder infection comes with IBS flare up. This is for everybody: Two not one bentyl as doctors prescribe stop pain magically. LOVE to everybody. May this new year be PAINLESS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Sorry your ill. I've had severe IBS since I was 17 and now I'll be 27 soon and my IBS is still severe. I only have one symtom that I can get under control most of the time and that's it. It's a nightmare. So I know how awful it is.There's some good tips at .. Some things help me a little at that site.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top