Hi, my name is Ria and I was diagnosed with IBS three years ago. My guts have never been normal but I have always managed. Until June 2003. That was when things kicked into high gear. On a road trip to boot. I was on my way home from a wedding in Ohio when I had what I recognize now as an attack (bad symptoms). We stopped at every rest stop and back water gas station between Cleveland and Buffalo. This was also when I found out that I can't use Immodium to control my d. I was in the ER three days later because it worked too well. Things were ok for a little while. I've been to the ER twice for severe attacks. I now know what it feels like to be the person being wheeled out of a public place on a stretcher. It was close to ten months of repeated doctor's visits and a vist to a GI specialist before they agreed that I had IBS. Finding a doctor that listens to you is a muct I have found out. Mine just suggests the same things to control it and when I tell her that it's not working she tells me that I am not trying hard enough. Kind of a one size fits all thing. I've already found a few of my triggers that she thinks that are just fine for me( fiber suppliments) and told me not to eat some things that actually make me feel better( kool-aid). I am putting off seeing another specialist about it since the last one just told me to listen to my doctor as what she said was correct. I don't go to the doctor now unless I can't avoid it. So far I can control it by watching what I eat and keeping my portions small. I can't have things that are really acidy, like orange juice, chili and anything really with tomatoes. I don't eat alot of meat as my tummy doesn't always like it. And red meat is a big no-no. If I do have some I get the leanest that I can find and drain it really good. And pizza is a nice treat for me. As long as I only have a slice or two I'm fine. I can't so much to stop the attacks since Immodium works too well and I haven't found anything else that really works. I did find this blue pills( can't remember the name) that worked really well for the cramps but my regular doctor wouldn't give them to me to use on a regular basis. It seems the only time I have been taken seriously was when I went in to the ER. Sometimes my tummy amuses me. Like when I get mildly bloated and it begins to make weird noises. It pops and crackles, and gurgles. I have also heard it crackle and creak. I know that many people have lived with this a lot longer then I have and some have worse symptoms. But I feel that not many non-IBS people really understand what is going on and it makes me feel like maybe this is all in my head. It makes me feel alone( especially when I get ragged on for staying home all the time, canceling plans, that kind of thing). I hate the fact that I can't do much with my boyfriend as I am getting sick what seems like all the time. And bosses and coworkers just don't understand and act like I'm just doing this to a. get out of work, or b. get attention. A few seem to understand my need for a clear path to the ladies room but for the most part I'm on my own. I'm glad that I finally found somewhere where I'm in the norm. I finally don't feel alone.