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I know that with any medical condition it is all very confusing trying to sort out different doctors, treatments, tests, medications, etc. We all make mistakes and later on wish we knew then what we know now.So what do you know now that would have been helpful to you when you first got sick?I am still pretty new to this myself and am eager for your responses. My own would be to get the best gastroenterologist you can. I like mine but she only sees patients on Mondays so I have to wait 2 months for an appointment with her. If I knew then what I know now I probably would have gone with another doctor. Now I don't want to mess anything up so I am a bit stuck.
 

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When I first got IBS, there was nothing available to help. It wasn't even know as IBS, 40 years ago. It was considered to be an illness of the mind. Now, we are lucky. We have this board, a number of good books to help, and more understanding that IBS is a functional illness of the digestive system and not just an emotional illness.What I have learned from this board and some of the books I have read would have saved me years of feeling like I was an emotional cripple. For me, going to doctors just made me feel worse. I never have found the right doctor for me and I am not much interested in what many of them have to say. I just manage this on my own.I just wish I had known then what I know now.
 

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I feel the same way.I was too embarrassed to do anything about it, so I just dealt with it for 10 years. My husband would just joke about it, and tell me to eat some beans or take some fiber pills. Yeah- lots of help! Ha-ha..I finally went to a GI last week and felt so much better just by talking to him! He is going to do a test in June which I am not too thrilled about doing, but it's better to know in case something else is going on. What I don't like is when they always say I am too young(30) for a colonoscopy-"you're not at risk for colon cancer or anything like that". How do they really know what is possible without checking it out? Good luck to you!Sherry
 

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Well I certainly wish I had known about Caltrate and the effects of hypno and CBT back then. As it turned out, I was lucky to discover the Provex when I did--it had only been on the market for 6 months back in 98. (I remember at the time looking at it like it was going to give me cancer, or something.)All in all, I would suggest that people make a list of the effective therapies talked about and just work through them, one at a time. Even if you find something that partially works, keep trying things until you find something that stops it cold. It probably took you some time to reach this point. Don't be afraid to actively put in the time to get out of it. Mark
 

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quote: So what do you know now that would have been helpful to you when you first got sick?
Here are my "If I had known then..." wishes:1. There is a website called Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Self Help and Support Group that can literally save your life.2. You are not alone.3. See a GI and get that dreaded colonoscopy and let him have his way with you, LOL.4. Check out Heather's site for food info.5. Do NOT be embarrassed about it. It is what it is and it is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. IBS is as valid and serious as any other chronic illness.Oh, and take out stock in Immodium if you are D prominent, LOL. That way you can own some of what you hoard.
 

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Some of the best advice I read was to make a food/emotion/symtom scoring journal for 2 weeks. I was finally able to figure out some triggers which I had been trying to figure out for a year haphazardly. Also, as you figure it out and you start to feel better, write yourself a letter. It's a great thing to have should you flare up again. You'll be able to see exactly what you did to help you get over it the first time.
 
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