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I am currently in my bathroom as I type this from my phone. 

I’ll be 35 in a couple months and I’m pretty sure I’ve had IBS since I was younger then 10. Or at the very least, I had the beginning symptoms. 
I would complain of ‘tummy aches’ and spent long hours in the bathroom as a kid wondering why it felt like I was dying. 
it wasn’t an everyday thing though and only seemed to really flare up whenever I was nervous or anxious. 
I wanna say it calmed down as I got older, though I would have these weird times where my stomach would hurt so bad that I would entirely give up on eating because it seemed that I was always getting sick after a meal. These would normally last a few weeks and then go away with the help of some OTC nausea medications and Pepto. 
I assumed I was developing a good allergy or something in my teens and early 20s. I didn’t have any kind of health insurance so I managed with OTC stuff for a while. Eventually the flare ups stopped, with an occasional episode here and there. 
Until I guess about a year or two ago. I recognized the symptoms and sort of just shrugged it off as “Oh it’s that thing my body does sometimes. Guess I’ll stop eating for a few days till it goes away.” Except it didn’t go away. I didn’t need to make myself stop eating, I had gotten so scared of food that my appetite was entirely gone. I started to lose weight all too quickly and I was spending so much time in the bathroom that it was affecting my job. Getting ready in the morning and getting to work on time was nearly impossible because I had to sit down every ten minutes and stay there for an hour. I started getting nauseous and whatever little bit of food I managed to eat would just come right back up. 
I assumed I must have had some bad flu or maybe food poisoning... that lasted a couple weeks longer then it should. 
By this time though, I had a job that offered health insurance and so I finally decided to go to a doctor. Especially since we had a couple cases of colon cancer in my immediate family— I was scared. 
I go, explain my history of what’s been going on and how it’s been acting up. How I was losing weight and just couldn’t bring myself to eat anything due to lack of appetite and the fear of it coming back out in some form or another. So they scheduled me for an endoscopy and a colonoscopy, just to make sure there wasn’t any bigger issues we should worry about. So yeah, needles to say I was a complete nervous wreck. I had never had any kind of procedure done like that before. Hell I never even had my tonsils removed as a kid. The craziness surgery done on me was when I had my wisdom teeth removed. I had never gone under anesthesia before so naturally I wasn’t very excited. 
I was even less thrilled about taking the Prep the night before the procedure. 
But at the end of it all, there wasn’t anything signaling cancer. They took a few samples and removed a couple polyps. However they did discover that I had some kind of infection, though they couldn’t say for how long I’ve had it. 
So basically I was put into a schedule of medications over the span of 2 weeks to help get rid of whatever that was living in my gut. 
It was a rough couple weeks. I never was good at making medications and these hit my stomach pretty hard. I would feel nauseous after taking them, no matter if I took them with or without food. Though I was told it might have that side effect as these were a pretty high dose so I didn’t think too much of it. As far as I was concerned, 2 more weeks of this would be nothing and soon I’d be normal again. 
If you think this story has a happy ending— you’re wrong. 
A couple weeks ago, maybe about 3 or 4 months after my procedure, I get a call from my pharmacist. Turns out that one of my medications during that time was from an expired batch. I guess that would explain why I felt sick then and why I still feel sick now. 
Though I will say, it isn’t quite as bad as it was. I still have yet to return to my doctor for a follow up, since I just learned that my company will be letting me go soon. I’ll lose my insurance and with the global pandemic going on, I don’t know if I’ll be able to find another job with benefits. 

I’ve gone back to square one again. Being sick every morning and hoping to sleep it off the best I can. I take OTC medications like Pepto, Imodium, and GasX. I have noticed that when my IBS wakes me up at an ungodly hour of the morning, that taking a walk around the block a few times is enough to calm it down to a manageable level. Sometimes even laying with a heating pad will help in the short term. 

So here I am. Locked away in the bathroom on what should be a lovely Monday morning... yet I’m doubled over with a sickness that had no cure. 
I’m just looking to find some kind of hope through all this and I happened across this community. I know it’s not much, but I thank you all for being so outspoken with your own stories and I hope we can all find relief together. 

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Jeffrey Roberts

Dear Gwyn,

Thank you for sharing your story. You are definitely not alone when it comes to chronic stomach issues. Mine started when I was 7-8 years old. I'm quite a bit older now and I do have a better routine and have a whole bunch of coping skills.

First of all, you typed this on a phone. Wow! I'm impressed.

Second, I'm not sure that an expired antibiotic would be that much of a problem. I may be wrong, but it just may not be as effective, but shouldn't do any harm.

Third, you would likely benefit from looking into the low FODMAP diet as you likely have some foods that are aggravating you more than others. If you are able to figure that out, you might not have to go through periods of not eating.

Losing weight is never a good sign, so it's really good that you got it looked after while you had insurance.

You will get "better". You don't have to assume that this is normal and you have to live like this.



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Hello Jeffery

As of this morning I had a quick conversation with my doctor via their online patient portal. He’s expressed the same insight, saying that an expired medication wouldn’t be affecting me in the long run. However it could be reason enough as to why my symptoms have been slowly coming back, since it seems that whatever infection I had may not have been properly taken care of. 
Unfortunately due to everything going on and my likelihood for easily getting sick, I’m terrified to even go near a doctors office let alone a hospital. So he’s agreed to have a virtual appoint with me next week so we can go over what’s been going on. 

I will definitely mention FODMAP thing, as I have been trying to be more careful with what I eat and how much. Perhaps he can recommend a nutritionist I can consult with. 

I’ll be sure to post an update after my appointment, in case anyone else is experiencing something similar. 

I appreciate the support. 

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Well I had my appointment yesterday. 

My doctor has requested that I come in for testing, just to make sure the infection hasn’t come back. From there, it seems that I have two options. 
Depending on the result, I may need to go back in for another procedure or they may very well give me another dose of antibiotics. 
In the mean time, he suggested that I try to steer away from dairy and other lactose products to see if that has any effect on how I’m feeling. 

I also mentioned to him, that I notice my symptoms get worse whenever I am nervous or stressed. I basically told him that I have untreated anxiety and so he did prescribe a low dose medication to take during the day as needed as well another medication to take at night to help me sleep. 

So it seems we aren’t any closer to figuring out what’s wrong with me, but I figured I would update anyway. 

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Jeffrey Roberts

The low dose antidepressant/anti-anxiety medication might help you more than you think. You'll certainly sleep better. 9_9

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a small update. 

I have started drinking more lactose free milk. I don’t drink a lot of milk on any normal day, I mostly only ever have a little bit of cream in my tea. The most milk I have at any one time would be the occasional bowl of cereal but that’s pretty rare. 

Though I will say I have noticed some improvement. I’m still careful of how much I eat and try not to eat too much before bed. 

The anxiety medication has put me somewhat at ease and I’ve noticed that I don’t wake up with such urgency anymore. 

Unfortubatelly though, it’s been a while since I have had a period and mine had finally decide to show itself for the first time in months and now my symptoms are all over the place again. 
I never considered the possibility of what menstruation could do with IBS. 

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Jeffrey Roberts

Menstruation brings IBS symptoms for a lot of women. It's just before at the time it starts. For some, it's the only time they have IBS symptoms.

On the positive side, a period is a healthy situation.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Me again. 

I had yet another online video call with my doctor about a week ago, mainly because I had been on my cycle for over a month and my symptoms were making me miserable. 
Between my stomach cramps and whatever my IBS is doing, on top of blood loss and just generally feeling weak and tired, I was at my wits end and desperate for some kind of help. 
So now I have yet another medication to add to my daily routine. My doctor put me on birthcontrol to help level out my hormones and make my periods more regular. 

He also has asked me how my stomach pains have been and I think I may have found a good mix of medication to help get me through my day to day. 
Right now I take Florastor, which is a probiotic that I take with a GasX to alleviate the bubblies it causes. 
I take an Imodium daily just as a preventative, but sometimes I find myself taking another one in the moment as I need it. 
Same with Pepto, though I don’t take this daily. It’s mostly my emergency go-to. 
In addition to these, I also take Gabapentin at night, typically 2 before I go to bed because it helps me sleep and I find that I wake up more rested the next morning. This was prescribed for my anxiety and insomnia but I think it’s actually for seizures..?

Theres another anxiety medication that I have which he prescribed, and I take this as needed. I forget the name but I think it’s initially meant for blood pressure. 

Its a whole cocktail of pills and I feel there’s been some improvement. I’ve been more careful with what I eat, though I do cheat sometimes and I tend to regret it the next day. Though other times I don’t and I feel fine, so I’m not really sure what’s going on there.

My main concern at the moment is that I keep losing weight. I find it difficult to stay over 120 pounds and I know it’s because I’ve cut back on eating. I still feel hungry sometimes, but unless I smoke weed... I can’t bring myself to eat. I’m just scared of how it’ll tear me apart the next day. 
I tend to experiment with my diet, meaning that I’ll try to stick to small snacks throughout the day instead of just stuffing myself with one big meal. I’m still staying away from lactose in my milk and I think I should maybe cut back on cheese now too just to be safe. 
I feel if I keep going at this rate I’ll never be able to eat my favorite snacks again but I’m also not getting any younger and should really start taking better care of myself. 

I am hoping that I can get over my paranoia if the pandemic and actually get down to the hospital later today to finally do a stool test or at the very least pick one up to do at home so they can see if that stomach infection is trying to come back or not. I’m curious to know if that’s even still a possibility or if there’s something else going on. 

I do want to say thank you to everyone who keeps this forum alive. I find that whenever I’m stuck in the bathroom, I keep coming back here to find some hope that maybe this might not be forever. I try a little bit of everything that I see others recommend and it does tend to put me at some ease. I know bathroom issues are never fun to talk about but at least we’re all stuck in the bathroom together

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@Gwyn I am sorry you have all these issues to put up with. It's no fun.

I think they'll be able to tell quite a lot from a good stool test, so it is worth doing. Wear a mask, you'll be fine. It's typical for hormones to affect IBS and gut function. I remember when I had periods, they always made me "go" and I didn't have IBS or any gut issues in those days. That, for one or two days a month, was something I was used to, and just went with the territory.

Endometriosis can also cause painful symptoms and gut dysfunction, closely related to the menstrual cycle.

No you are not alone. My belly  isn't always my best friend either! And it does seem to be related to something going on deep down emotionally with me, rather than any diet I eat/don't eat, though when it flares I have to watch how much fibre I eat, and daren't eat much of those things for a few days.

I hope you will start to feel at least a little bit better soon, and will be able to eat okay. More frequent small meals/healthy snacks may help, as the stomach isn't overloaded


Edited by Esjie
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Hi there 👋

My trip to the hospital was a quick in and out thankfully. All I ended up doing was picking up the test which I’ll try to use this weekend, since they ask to have it returned to the lab within 2 hours (or keep refrigerated and return within 24). 

But yes, you’re absolutely right. When I had more regular periods, that whole week was usually spent in the bathroom. It’s pretty common so I never thought much of it. It typically passed after the cycle ended. 
Though with my combined symptoms, on top of all that— ughh. 😞 The worst. 

I do find that when I get a decent sleep that my symptoms aren’t as bad the next day so I’ve really been trying to go to sleep at a decent time but my work schedule tend to keep me busy late into the day and I end up staying up later then I should just to get a couple hours of me time before bed. 

I do have some good new though. 
I managed to gain a whole two pounds. Not the best. It it’s something. 

Im trying to look into ways to gain more weight that aren’t like those weird whey proteins that body builders use. I want to find something that is easy on my stomach and won’t send me running to the bathroom. So I’m going to peek around the forums for a bit and see if we have any nutritionists lurking around around with advice. 

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Hey Gwyn. I just want to let you know I am so impressed by everything you’re going through. In a sense you seem to be keeping it together and that’s one list of meds wow.


I’m also going through some same stuff but a bit reversed. I’m in my mid 30s and I also experience poop problems during my period. The drs suggested going back on the pill and I had a horrible time. I was sweating, vomiting, and had the worst heartburn ever. The reason I’m telling you this is because it sounds like you just went on it so if you have any crazy new symptoms it could be that. I think I could have survived had it not been for the vomiting so I went off of it. For me since I have constipation during mine it seems a few days of Miralax does the trick.


Silly how most of the times I’m on here I’m either having an episode or I’m in the bathroom too



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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@Gwyn  Yes sometimes I get worse symptoms from sleep deprivation too. But I never know if some gut disturbance is disturbing my sleep, of if it's the other way around!  (I wake too early when my gut is not so good) then that runs for a few days before balancing out somewhat.

It's hard to tell what is setting off what.


And those precious "me time" evening hours are important to you because they are relaxation time. I wonder if stress (like work stress?) may be making you feel worse?

Its great you manage to gain a couple of pounds. I hear you because I am way too skinny too. Built that way basically, but I cannot afford to lose any weight.

I always loved wholemeal seed bread but haven't been able to eat much of that especially in flare-ups. But instead I find my digestion can happily handle ciabatta bread toasted (yum!) with some butter. Sadly I have to peel potatoes now but mashed potatoes with a little butter, and maybe a couple of poached eggs on top. That's all food that will help to gain weight. If I'm lucky I can eat some lettuce or watercress with that and get away with it.


39 minutes ago, Sai said:

The drs suggested going back on the pill and I had a horrible time. I was sweating, vomiting, and had the worst heartburn ever.


I remember the pill did make me feel well queasy for a week or two when I took it (in my glorious younger days! haha) Just like that queasy morning-sickness feeling in early pregnancy (that "just please don't talk about hamburgers and ketchup"-feeling) But your reaction was a bit worse. so it's maybe good you stopped it.

48 minutes ago, Sai said:

Silly how most of the times I’m on here I’m either having an episode or I’m in the bathroom too emoji23.png



So true...lol😒 blahhhh!

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Hi there! Thanks so much, I appreciate the support. ☺️
And yeah, I have a pretty weird mix of meds that seem to be working for the most part. 
That is... when I remember to take everything that I should. 
So far though I haven’t had any issues with my birth control. This is a new brand for me but it’s a fairly low dose I think. Though I will say I have been getting sort of ‘hot flashes’ I guess? Though I can’t say if I’ve noticed any new symptoms but I will definitely try to watch out for them. 


oh my gosh! That’s me all the time!

I notice the days that I feel the worst are the morning where I wake up because if the urgency to go and no matter how hard to try to just roll over and try to sleep it off for a little bit long we, it always fails and I am in the bathroom at like 6 in the morning. 
This tends to happen more often then not, though my one medication does help me to sleep better and kinda sleep longer through the morning, so when I do wake up to my work alarm, it’s because I decided to wake up and not because my body is betraying me. 

Like... this morning lol 🙃

Yesterday was going great, no tummy problems, we decided to treat ourselves and order out from our favorite Indian place. 
And since I have that stool test sitting on standby, I decided to not take any of my Imodium or Pepto because I wanted be able to do the test and bring it in...

Shock and surprise, I wake up at 6am and shuffle off to the bathroom. I’ve been feeling miserable ever since. 
Though now it’s a bit later in the morning, so maybe I shouldn’t waste all this... waste. 

ugh. Such a gross topic lol

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6 hours ago, Gwyn said:

Yesterday was going great, no tummy problems, we decided to treat ourselves and order out from our favorite Indian place.

I'm glad you had a day without tummy problems !

But....Indian? Really? OMG I wish! I LOVE Indian food, spicy dahl....etc etc. And....I daren't go anywhere near it. The best thing is for me to not smell it at all because it is so nice, but my belly seriously disagrees with that. For me it is the perfect recipe for a really dramatic morning toilet routine, sadly 😢

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