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Hi all, I thought I'd introduce myself and tell you my story. I've just recently discovered this forum and have been reading a bit, but not written anything until now. I can see that my case of IBS is pretty mild compared to many of you here, but to me it's, of course, serious enough.I guess my story begins when I was a kid, I've been lactose intolerant since I can remember, even though I did not know what it was. All I knew was that milk and some dairy products made me feel bad and I'd get diarreah from it. Some milk products were fine, like yoghurt. My LI was pretty mild at first, but got worse by age an was not inhibitating for me until my late teens or around the age of 20. All my doctor (GP) told me was if dairy "makes you feel bad, don't eat it." OK! Soon after that I found out I could buy lactaze enzymes to help me digest my dairy and that was a big success for me. I live in the remote island of Iceland (with approx. 300.000 inhabitants), far out in the Atlantic, and here we do not get many of the drugs, prescribtion or over the counter, that you might find in the UK or USA. And if we do, some are very expensive. I was able to live quite happily for a number of years taking my lactaze enzymes and all was well, I never had promblems with my BMs, although I might not go more than 3-4 times a week. Then about two and a half years ago (at the age of 31) things started to turn to the worse. At first the symptoms where the same as my LI and I thought I might not have taken enough pills with my dairy meals. But soon I discovered that it had little to do with dairy, since I would get bloated, cramps and general discomfort from food that had no dairy at all. I had no idea at all and at the same time my BMs started to be less frequent. I started using laxatives weekly until I decided that it was not healthy and saught medical advice. At first my doctor (again GP, but another one) told me to try taking psyllium seeds. That helped my BMs, but not my cramping and bloating. I felt so bad, I thought it would never end I was in agony every day! I took every advice anyone would give me, like "eat more oranges and that kind of fiber, they're good for your digestion" or "coffee has mild laxative effect, try drinking that". Little did I know that all af these advices just made me feel worse. I went to see a homeopathic doctor, and she gave me a list of things in my diet that I should avoid. It sort of worked, but I was reluctant to try it full force.Finally I went to see a GI doctor and after a colonoscopy all he told me was that I had a "lazy colon". He told my to take Magnesia on a daily basis for my constipation and said that it was alright, it would not have any long term side effects. This was about 6-8 months ago, and still I had bad cramping and bloating, although my C was better. I did a little "Googling" and read about IBS and saw so many things that sounded right for me. I started an IBS diet I found online and that helped me a great deal lot. Finally I went to another GI doctor to get a 2nd opinion and he verified that I had IBS and basically told me to keep doing what I had been doing.So now I live pretty happily with my IBS, controlling my diet and taking Magnesia every day. I sometimes have to use somesort of laxative, especially after I've had an episode. I found that Heather's IBS diet helps me (../) I stay away from dairy, coffee (and all caffeine), artificial sweeteners, carbonated drinks and fatty and processed food. I base my diet on soluble fibers such as carrots, potatoes, oats, wheat (white pasta and bread), rice, etc. I see that many of you can't stand gluten products (such as white bread etc.), but that does not seem to bother me, in fact its some of the few types of food I know I can eat without trouble. I drink lots of peppermint tea, but I have not seen peppermint oil capsules here, maybe because I haven't looked for it because I'm so convinced that I wont find it!Well, I just wanted someone to share my story with, I do understand if you did not have the tolerance to read to the end! I realize I'm pretty well off compared to many others, but sometimes I feel like I want to return this body I have. I feel like I'm flawed! Apart from IBS and lactose intolerance, I have allergies and have had problems with yeast infections and very irregular menstrual cycles. Fortunately I have a very supportive husband, but I've gotten very mixed reactions from people, although nobody has been rude about it.I'm looking forward to reading more from you guys and I'm sure you have loads of wisdom for me too!
 
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