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IBS C to IBS M/D


ypf
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Hi everyone, 

I’ve struggled with IBS every since I was a little girl but lately it has gotten worse than ever before. That is why I am so glad to have found this support group. Here is my story... (I know it’s long I’m so sorry I really did try to keep it short). 

I’m a 19 year old female and I have struggled with IBS-C for as long as I can remember. My mom has even told me that when I was a baby she would constantly take me to the doctors because I would rarely ever have normal or regular bowel movements. Also ever since I can remember, I would always complain to my parents about my stomach hurting and not being able to go to the bathroom. I would have really bad cramps, bloating, nausea, etc. I actually went to the ER twice for this issue (once when I wad 4 and again when I was 6). When I was 6, they did an XR (I’m pretty sure but honestly I can’t remember that well) and basically told me that my stomach was full of stool and it had built up. They gave me some medicine while I was there to clear it all out and then told me to take miralax daily. I vaguely remember taking miralax everyday for the next couple of years until I was about 12 or 13 (at least I think) and I’m pretty sure this helped me decently because I don’t remember complaining as much about my stomach hurting. However, I also think I just “got used to it” and basically toughed it out, but I do remember that I still was only able to go to the bathroom about two times a week (but that was still better than nothing). Once high school started, I’m pretty sure I stopped taking miralax and tried to just use home remedies for my stomach pain and IBS C. I would eat activia and Raisin Bran every morning and this seemed to help for the most part. I was still only going to the bathroom about 2 or maybe sometimes 3 times a week. Again, I think at this point I was “just used to the pain”. I don’t remember the pains being too severe or occurring on a daily basis but I do want to say that during the first two or three years of high school I was staying home or leaving school early about once or sometimes twice a month because of how much my stomach hurt. But for the most part, it was pretty manageable overall. Senior year did get a little worse and I missed more days of school and I eventually did go to the ER again because the pain I had experienced that day at school was unbearable and my mom was tired of me calling her to pick me up so she took me to the ER. They literally told me nothing except for that my blood work showed I was anemic. After this, I talked with my doctor and she told me to try low FODMAP, try yoga and meditation to de-stress and to try miralax again. I did all of these but the FODMAP didn’t really seem to make a difference and neither did miralax even though I did it for about a month or two. I Eventually just went on with my life. At this point, I was about to start college on a full-ride scholarship and the program I was in required two camping trips before our freshman year. I was terrified because the trips were almost a week long each and I was scared I wouldn’t be able to go to the bathroom. However, I made sure to drink a lot of water and take some fiber one bars and luckily I wad able to go at least once or twice during the trips. I thought I had it all under control. I then started living on campus because my scholarship program required it and it was a little hard to adjust to this change but once I was a little more comfortable I was able to go about 2 or 3 times a week. Everything was fine until coronavirus hit and everything changed. I’m convinced this was due to all the change and stress. I started having REALLY BAD IBS-D and if everything was still in person there’s no way I would have been able to survive. My job closed so I wasn’t working and classes went online so I was able to stay home and not worry about having to go to the bathroom with diarrhea somewhere else. However, the rare times I would be out, I would have to go home instantly because my stomach hurt and I could just feel the diarrhea coming. It would happen every morning and the Begin to calm down through out the day or it would also happen right after eating. I cried about this all the time because I literally could not go anywhere or do anything without these bouts of diarrhea affecting my day to day life. Occasionally, I would be able to have a good stool but then afterwards I’d be constipated for about  a couple days and then immediately followed by diarrhea daily multiply times a day. This cycle continued. I took pepto bismol every time I was leaving my house to ensure I wouldn’t have diarrhea (I know this is probably so bad). Eventually in June/early July I tried “Digestive Advantage Intensive Bowel Support Capsules“. I took these for about a month but it literally made no difference what so ever. After that, in mid July, I tried Metamucil. Immediately this made everything so much better. I started having good normal stools once every morning and I didn’t have cramps, bloating, nausea etc. I even went on another camping trip for about 5 days and took this while being there and it worked perfect. I still take this to this day. However, I did notice that during the first two months there were about 2 days out of the  month where I would have a little diarrhea. I took pepto bismol though and it was usually fine. But ever since September, it has just gotten worse. I will have good normal stools for a day or two, followed by IBS C, followed by IBS D and then that cycle just continues. I have talked to my doctor again and she referred me to a gastroenterologist so I’m just waiting for that appointment in the next two weeks. I just want to get some feedback on best methods or medicines to take for IBS D mostly because I feel like I can pretty much manage the constipations but it’s just the diarrhea that interferes with my day to day life and causes me extreme stress, anxiety, and depression. I’ve also been working and going to school again since august and classes are still online so that’s not an issue but this problem DEFINITELY interferes with work and other social activities outside of my home or dorm. The minute I go anywhere I just worry “what If I have diarrhea” and it’s gotten to the point where I just cry every  morning I wake up with diarrhea because I feel so hopeless and like nothing will ever control this. I really thought Metamucil would do the trick because of how much it helped the first month or two but it rarely seems to help anymore. If you have any recommendations for home remedies or medicines or specific food please let me know thank you so much. (I also drink chamomile tea every night which I heard can help and also it helps me sleep). 



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Jeffrey Roberts

Dear ypf,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm sure you don't go around telling everyone about all these details so thank you because it really helps to get an idea what might be going on.

Your pattern seems similar to mine in that I too complained when I was very young about my stomach hurting. My parents were tired of me complaining too. It wasn't until my early 20's that I started to get to the bottom of it and realize it was IBS. Although when I was a few years older than that I was also diagnosed with Crohn's disease.

So, I'm a little hesitant to suggest treatment options for you before you see a gastroenterologist. What I suggest is to summarize your story. Definitely tell the doctor that you've had stomach problems since you were very little and that you have gone from constipated for 15 years to suddenly diarrhea and now you have mixed diarrhea and constipation.

Talk about your most awful symptom. Is it pain? diarrhea? constipation? bloating? Does it get worse around meals? Is it relieved by going to the bathroom? Do you wake up in the night and have to go to the bathroom? Does anyone else in your family have a "bad" stomach? Is the diarrhea and constipation worse around your period?

All of these clues will help suggest a treatment.

I can try and answer any questions you have.

Jeff

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Jeffrey, 

Thank you for your thoughtful response. It’s nice hearing that someone has a similar story to mine. I’ll make sure to give the doctor all those details you mentioned! After my appointment, I’ll make sure to come back here with an update and follow up questions. 

Thank you so much, 

ypf

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