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Scared of the Diagnosis!

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I am 21 and have just been told that I may have IBS after enduring years of pain and suffering that has affected my social and work likfe. Oddly enough I have been wishing that it was something acute and serious that they can cure. IBS just seems like a cop-out diagnosis when they can't think of anything else to test you for, I don't even know what causes it in the first place I go for a few GI exams in a few weeks to rule out Chrons ect but am extremely nervous about the prep and feeling ill. I work as an EMT which is a stressful job by nature and really couldn't bear the thought of leaving the profession because I have a condition aggrevated by stress....If anyone can offer me any words of wisdom and tell me of any educational resources so that I can educate myself. Or for those of you who have had to go through the testing process if you could let me know how you dealt with it and what to expect...pain, sideeffects, time to recover. That would be greatly appreciated.
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Testings not so bad. The prep is always the worse part. You have take a laxative for a colonoscopy so that kind of sucks, but before you know it's over. All the other tests are a breeze.Work with your doctor and with what you read on this site here to find treatments for your symptoms. Most people with IBS lead productive, happy lives with making a few adjustments to diet, meds, and stress relieving excercises. Check out the posts here and you'll learn alot.You're not alone. We're all right here with you and everything will be fine. Goodluck and keep us posted!
Consider looking at some of the recommended books about IBS. My favorites are: I can relate to you wishing there was something more tangible at work whether it is more serious or not. All I can say to that is: don't let it be an indictment against your personality or karma or whatever you want to call it.
EMT, First off, Welcome
Secondly, thanks for what you do for a living.
Thirdly, hey you KNOW there are way worse things than IBS.
Have no fear, cause symptoms can be managed and so can stress. You are soooo right wanting to educate yourself. That was the key for me in learning how to manage my symptoms. I would say, for most, symptom management is obtained with combined treatments from several modalities.Here is a link to a great GI site with a easy to understand description of IBS.Be sure to click on their "Related Diets" link on the bottom of the page. (Loads of good info here) You didn't say what your symptoms are but if you go to the bottom of the page here, you will see our "Hop To:" navigator. Just click on the down arrow and scroll down to find the appropriate Forum(s) for you.IBS is diagnosed via ruling out other GI nasties. It is considered a functional disorder, in that, nothing "appears" wrong.The colonoscopy is often used as a tool to rule out other gi problems. Make sure to request that your Doc obtains biopsies to rule out any parasites etc. if you are going to have that procedure. The prep can vary from Doc to Doc but I would plan on taking off at least a half a day the day b/4 the test (depending on when you are scheduled) and the whole day of the test. The worst part of this is the prep, which gratefully we can do in the privacy of our own bathroom.
Typically, versed and something like valium are administered right before the test so most folks don't even recall the procedure itself. Plan on someone being available to drive you there & back. Here is a link to a general description of a colonoscopy: Here is a good article on Stress and IBS: This is a post from this Bulletin Bd. about the behavioral treatments for IBS:;f=1;t=030825 Take your time absorbing all of this info and please post any questions you may have. Hope this helps.
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Oooops, Forgot a great link to a discussion here on foods and IBS:;f=1;t=030876
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