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Hey everyone. I'm new to the forums and want to dive right into this because I think it'll help me out. I'm 22 now, a college student, and in general your average 22 year old guy. I eat just like anyone else my age I would say, I do avoid fast food and red meat and eat home cooked meals as much as possible. Being in school and working full time makes this difficult. When I'm on the go I usually eat the microwavable LeanQuesine or Smart Ones meals. I don't keep odd hours. I don't smoke or do drugs and I have maybe one drink a month. In general, it's a really normal college guy's lifestyle.

I've had some stomach issues most of my life. I was a very finicky and slow eater as a child and I've come to think it was because I was in some form of pain then but didn't have the knowledge to understand what was happening. As I got older I began having some abdominal cramping at night but this was negligible because it wasn't severe and a change in posture generally resolved the issue. About 2 years I got a sinus infection that completely changed my life. I was prescribed antibiotics and within a few days of taking I began getting violently ill. The nausea was unreasonably painful and it kept me from moving. I didn't understand what was going on and assumed it was part of the bug I had caught. As the weeks progressed the pain dulled but every morning I was woke up severe nausea and I felt the need to go but I could not. I was late to school and work all the time as a result and it was positively infuriating. My mother told me to take probiotics which got me through about the next year of my life. I still had the morning cramps and nausea but nowhere near as bad and much less consistent. The beginning of last summer I got sick again and was prescribed antibiotics. The effect it had on me was similar to the previous dose, but was more severe. The probiotics stopped working for me I had no idea what to do. I went that whole summer in almost constant pain and was unable to do a lot of things. In October of 2013 I finally had enough and saw a gastroenterologist. We ran all the standard tests, stool, urine, blood, the works. Everything came back normal, I was basically the picture of health based on these test results. He told me I had IBS and prescribed me Bentyl. I was ecstatic that I finally would be taking something that would help me. I took this medicine several times a day as he had told me and continued with probiotic. It wasn't perfect, but I was much more comfortable than I had been in years. I began to actually enjoy eating again, had the energy to start working out, and was generally much happier. Around February of this year the symptoms returned otherwise unprompted. It was the worst on days I had 8 AM classes. I would get to class and around 8:30 every class, without fail, would be hit with the worst cramps I had ever had. I felt the urge to go, but could not and the urge lasted all day. I could hardly eat anything on these days because it added nausea to the mix. I can't explain how hard it is to go through a day at college only being able to consume water and feeling like your stomach is about to explode. This persisted the whole semester and the doctor insisted it would turn around. As the semester ended I stopped needing to go to class at 8 and the symptoms went away again. However I once again got sick Mid-May and was given more antibiotics, which completely scared me. There is a whole galaxy of things I would do besides take antibiotics at this point. I went through the treatment and sure enough my body changed again. I've become extremely constipated, I have the urge to go but when I do very small amounts come out and I know there's more. I'm nauseous all the time. It's painful to eat, in fact just thinking about food makes me queezy. I do my best to maintain a good diet but it's hard when your body wants nothing to do with food. I went to gastro this passed week and told him all of this and he recommended taking fiber. I'm about 3 days into taking this and I'm less nauseous now but still haven't had many complete bowel movements. I'm really just at my wits end with this. If anyone has tips or similar stories I'd love to hear them. Thanks Everyone.

-Steve
 

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Hey. I am 19 and I was diagnosed with IBS-A during my first year at college. I say first year because it literally took a year for the doctors to run tests to see if I was ill in any way. I went to a college that was about 3 hours away from were I live (I transferred to one a bit closer) and I of course lived on campus in a dorm with a roommate and a communal bathroom (i was so embarrassed that I would go to my dorms ground floor and use the guest bathroom. One toilet. Locking door. Just the way I like it.)That "freshman 15" for me happened in a freshman -25 because thats how much I lost while not eating (I was entirely too afraid to eat because of the excruciating abdominal cramps and pain) when Not eating was no longer an option I began to keep track of trigger foods; some breads, some dairy,carbonated drinks( however lightly carbonated flavored water was fine for some reason), snack food had to be eaten very sparingly, pizza! :( and coffee. at first I read that probiotics might help so that was what I tried first. Taking them did seem to help and make my episodes a little less often but that only lasted a couple of months. I was first put on a low, as needed dose of bentyl however after a few episodes where it didn't work fast enough they changed the dose to an every 4 hour kind. Still didn't work. So then they doubled my dosage. I was also prescribed anti-anxiety and anti-depression medication and I thought that I was going to have to drop out of college. I did start to get better however now I take my heavy dose of bentyl as needed and have a continuous dose of levsin that lasts 12 hours. I didn't get to make many friends at college because I'd always be too afraid that I wouldn't have a game plan to go if I needed to. I also can not eat at a restaurant. At all. Even little things (had a small cup of soup) and within 15 minutes I was in pain and needed a bathroom. Other than my meds I use other methods one main one being that I massage my lower stomach. When you're in pain you might think that the last thing you want to do is go pushing around where it hurts but I've found that just putting pressure and moving in small circles really help with the pain. I really hope this helps
 

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I can relate to your experience. I was on 6 rounds of antibiotics and my digestive system went crazy with pain and bloating. Doctors don't seem to connect the two or really understand the impact of antibiotics but I believe it's HUGE. I do think you should be looking into better probiotics. For instance, metagenics, culturella or Jarrow. If you need to take some Magnesium to 'soften' things up a bit when taking these, then I would do that. Also look into goats milk.

It sounds like your stomach is going into spasm. Mine does this too. Bentyl also helps me but maybe you need to start trying some muscle relaxers like Baclofen or Valium. I would also use alternating heat and ice on your stomach at night. Take as many baths as you can and start doing Yoga to 'stretch' and relax the pelvic floor and abdomen. Self massage is a great idea!

You could also have a slow stomach and a GI Transit study would confirm this. This in itself can cause constipation though you could also be dealing with pelvic floor dyssynergia (like me). Wish the best of luck to you! A waist trimmer can also help.

Good article on bloating (I imagine you're dealing with that as well):

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.gastroenterology/2012/721820/
 
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