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To start off with, i'm an 18 year old girl who has suffered with stomach problems her whole life. The beginning of my huge problems happened around 8th grade. My parents were going through a nasty divorce, always yelling and home life was hard. I would often go to the mall by myself because being around all the yelling gave me bad anxiety. Since it was 8th grade, we were preparing for graduation. I had such a hard time being comfortable and i always felt like i was gonna puke or need to run to the bathroom when we had practices, but then it became an everyday thing. The day of my graduation i made it about 5 minutes before i left the started crying in the hallway because i thought i was gonna be sick. The thing with me though is once i'm out of the situation it's like all the scary symptoms go away and i'm ashamed i couldn't get through the event. Anyway, i was dreading high school because the thought of being in an unfamiliar place and not knowing where the bathrooms were scared me to death. I'd barely eat so i wouldn't have anything i could throw up or need to go to the bathroom over and i'd survive off pepto. It was a strict catholic school without AC so by the end of the day i'd be dehydrated and exhausted. I never did after school activities etc because i couldn't handle it. Every morning when i first entered the school i would go right to the bathroom and have a watery bm caused by anxiety, and this in itself would make me nervous for the rest of the day. Any twinge or slight noise in my stomach would convince me that i couldn't make it through the day. I had pretty much every test for stomach conditions and they'd find nothing but ibs to diagnose me with. I'd miss a ton of school, and my mom would write "ibs" as the cause on my absentee notes every time. They were SO embarrassing to hand in. I'd get really bad diarrhea around exams and it was awful because i'd focus on not having an accident rather than doing well on the test. Fast forward to junior year, where everything finally took control of me. I was missing tons of school and but school literally just started. I got all the mean and bad teachers, so that was a major anxiety starter. My math teacher would yell and be so obnoxious about everything, and math was my worst subject so it killed me everyday. Then one day i had to ask him for a slip to the nurses office, he annoyedly gave me one and i left. The nurse at this school always seemed to hate me because i was there so much. She got frustrated that i was always there and never actually threw up so she forced me back to class. About 2 minutes back in the class, i knew for sure i was gonna puke and asked the teacher if i could go back, and boy did he flip, saying i shouldnt have even come back blah blah. After that i was terrified to come back to school and i found out that teacher would make comments about me not being there when attendance was taken. After being out for so long, the school was supposed to gather my work for me but they never did nor returned our calls when we asked about it. I had to transfer to an online school and i felt like a failure. If i had just been able to control my anxiety and ibs i could have had a chance at a real highschool experience. I felt even worse when i left cause so many people would say things like "i'm sure if you were an athlete the school would have put more effort into keeping you here." I lost all my friends and social media was my only connection to their world. I would see them post pics having fun and i'd get so depressed. As the year went by i started to get a bit better. Fast forward to now, everyone is moving on to college but i still can't seem to shake the feeling of failure. I'm not going to school right away cuz i'm unsure of what i want to do. I worry if i can handle a traditional school again after the bad high school experience. I revolve every career i'm interested in around my problems, like for example i'd like to look into teaching but my anxiety tells me no since i can't leave a classroom unattended for multiple bathroom trips. I need to get a part time job but i'm terrified. While i did online school i would just be home, but the thought of having to go get a job and having a schedule gives me anxiety again, making me wonder if i ever actually improved my anxiety or if i just hid from my problems. Things that should be fun aren't fun to me. on the rare occasion that i get invited out i find an excuse because of my stomach and anxiety. Even when i go on vacation with family, my anxiety rules over and i feel like i ruin a lot of things. I wish i could become one of those people who don't have a care in the world, but it seems impossible when my anxiety makes me extremely nauseous and gives me the runs. I'm even starting to have trouble getting in cars with others. I think i need medication, but i'm afraid it won't work or itll make it worse. My parents have no idea this is happening to me again, and i don't wanna bring it up to get meds bc they'll ask me 10000 questions.
 

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It's strange, I felt like I was reading my own story; the only difference being you are one year younger than me and I have also had a chronic pain in both hands for 3 years. Also, I would not suggest medication in the slightest. Every time I visited a doctor or gastroenterologist for my IBS I was prescribed various medications; all of which I would purchase and then never use. The problem with medicine is it treats the symptoms and does nothing towards treating the cause. Personally I would recommend psychotherapy, something that I need myself. Also I suggest you Google and research Tension Mitosis Syndrome; it could bare relevance to the issues you are having. I'd also like to ask if these problems started after you took antibiotics for one reason or another, or if it was your parents divorce alone that caused the problem.

Honestly our stories are almost identical. I also was unable to handle how difficult school was with IBS and had to make a transfer to online education; my parents fought and eventually separated; the school nurse hated me as well and assumed I was faking my condition. Although, I have to say I don't see how transferring to online education due to a medical condition is failure in any way; it's completely respectful and honestly the right decision. Having gone through online school I don't feel it was much different than public school aside from the fact that I wasn't sick all the time. If you want to talk more feel free to message me; I'm working on undergoing a procedure on the 22nd which may be a "cure," though we will see.
 

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I am a school administrator and have IBS. I agree that being in the classroom on bad days would be horrendous! Especially the first couple days of school which causes anxiety in even veteran teachers.

You need to look at 504 Accommodations for both work and school. 504 falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act. They have to make accommodations for you just like they would for a deaf person or a person in a wheelchair. Accommodations you might request would be a classroom/office near the restroom, flex time to finish work at home or on weekends, extended time to complete homework/class work, etc. School administrators and nurses would be involved in writing a plan for school and HR would be involved at work. (Maybe you could ask for a classroom aid as an accommodation so you can leave as needed.)

I think it is important to tell people what is going on. Most people want to help, but they don't know what IBS is. If you can deal with IBS day in and day out, you can handle talking about poop!

Check out the resources on this forum for the FODMAP diet. Everyone is different, but I control my symptoms pretty well by religiously avoiding dairy, gluten, and caffeine. Stress dies still get me and I can have the mucus problem for many days before it stops. I just keep eating my regular foods, avoid Ned's like Pepto because then I'm in a roller coaster cycle, and reduce emotional and physical stress.

As for the sore hands, this is the exact symptom that started my Fibromyalgia. Many people with Fibromyalgia also have IBS. They have other similar symptoms like brain fog and anxiety.

You can do this! Finding help, eating well, and monitoring your stress will all help you to have a more normal life.
 

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Hey anxiety and IBS SUCKS!!! I am Completely convinced i have cancer haha. Being 21 the odds are low but my friend recently paased at 24 and was diagnosed at 21. It doesnt help my anxiety. I had a simular situation in school also.
Im trying to find people with simular issues to help ease my mind if anyone wants extra support also. [email protected]
 
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