Hi everyone,Firstly, I'll start to say that it's a relief to know that I may not be alone in my journey. I am not presently diagnosed with IBS (I have basic health insurance through work but I don't make enough money to pay off the costly medical bills) but I always felt an aching fear that I have it. It's really not an aching fear because at least there's a technical term for symptoms that I always viewed as "embarrassing", "frustrating" and sometimes downright "disgusting." Sometimes, I would ask myself: "Why is this happening to me?" I've always been very polite and petite in bone structure before I shot up in height a bit after high school. My symptoms would occur on and off - usually and only when I'm on my period or when I ate bad food (laden with MSG, artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup) otherwise I would feel relatively normal and able to live my life again.It's especially frustrating in my field. At school, I sat down with the dean who sympathized before she suggested I changed majors. This is what I always wanted to do... to help others and help them feel at their optimal best. I am a certified massage therapist. However, whenever I get a flare-up, yeah...it's pretty much the least place to be and one of the reasons why I have been procrastinating on my studies. I rarely get sick. When I do, it's because I'm feeling like this. My symptoms: Usually occurs before and after my period or whenever I ate bad food.Diarrhea (oh man, I am more than familiar with this. extended bathroom breaks, the loose stools, slipping immodian tablets ugh)Gas (prior to a faint odor. The embarrassing part for a woman, I'll admit.)Constipation (usually occurs before diarrhea)I don't get ab pain. My lifestyle:My best days are when I am mindful of what I eat and when I only drink water and green tea to stay hydrated. When I go out to eat, I found my stomach can handle a glass of wine or sangria but certainly no strong cocktails, of course. I try to exercise three times a week. I favor yoga and running. Running is tough when I get a flare-up because it calls for a bathroom break. A collegiate of mine (who is also a massage therapist) actually has been diagnosed with IBS. It's nice to talk with someone who understands to share insight. Basically, I have been trying to do all that I can in my power. Ultimately, I would like to learn how to cope with my symptoms, discuss and share ideas for how to cope with my symptoms with others here and be a successful therapist someday. Also...my symptoms have made me nervous when it comes to dating. I am single even though I often get mistaken for being attached or married. It's quite a compliment - but I'm not there yet. I could be (I'm 25) but my symptoms have always made me nervous. Where can we go to eat on a first date? How can I get him to understand? and most of all, how do those diagnosed with IBS have sex? especially if it's IBS-D? Needless to say, I'm a virgin.Thanks for your insight. It is much appreciated to know that there are others out there just like me who know what "extended bathroom breaks" mean.