This is a message of hope for those bothered by IBS symptoms. I am 57 years old and have had a relatively normal digestive system for most of my life (except for some food allergies). This past spring I had to endure some extreme stress related to my work. I was physically and mentally exhausted. I was losing sleep (anxiety) and down most of the time so my doctor prescribed some anti-anxiety medications and an antidepressant. These helped somewhat, but then I began having serious digestion problems. I could not sleep at night because of bloating and excessive gas. Nothing felt right and I could not enjoy eating. With both eating and sleeping affected the quality of life is terrible. I became even more depressed. My GI specialist did an endoscopy and found nothing major wrong with my gut (just reflux). It was his opinion that I had IBS. I resisted this diagnosis and did some research â€“ including reading this forum. I could not stand the idea that I would have to just live with this discomfort (gas, bloating, constipation, etc.). However, to his credit, my doctor did recommend that I read Mark Pimentelâ€™s book (thank God!). Of course, Dr. Pimentelâ€™s theory made sense to me, and I immediately requested a referral to Cedars-Sinai Medical center here in L.A. for the lactulose breath test.The breath test showed that I did, indeed, have a bad case of bacterial overgrowth. The next day my doctor started me on the treatment protocol recommended at the Cedars GI Motility clinic. Now, two-weeks later, I am symptom free, eating normally and sleeping normally. I have regained the quality of life I enjoyed prior to this episode. I am meditating and using other stress reducing techniques (e.g. the Sedona Method of releasing harmful emotions). I am also continuing to take some meds (Cymbalta and Xanax XR) because my job is still excessively stressful. But, I am working on a long term solution to the job stress and will work my way off of the meds. The key message that I wish to share is one of hope- especially for those newly diagnosed. I still do not believe that I had a genuine case of IBS. Rather, I think I got a case of bacterial overgrowth (which may have been related to a stressful life style). If my doctor had not recommended Mark Pimentelâ€™s book I may still be miserable and believing I had a chronic disease that is not well understood and for which there is no real cure. I am so thankful for Dr. Pimentelâ€™s efforts to convince the medical community that at least some forms of IBS may be due to bacterial overgrowth. I hope more doctors learn about this idea and refer their patients for the breath test. If your doctor has not considered it please get Dr. Pimentelâ€™s book â€œA New IBS Solutionâ€ inform him or her.My very best to all of you.