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college student with ibs


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hi all i’m just using this to rant because i can’t sleep from these ibs pains :/ but yeah i got these extremely bad stabbing pains in my stomach two weeks after my 18th birthday that were so bad i had to be taken to the er and put on morphine. did ekg, chest x-ray, and ct scan but saw i had nothing wrong with me on paper. they handed me a form saying “pain without a cause” that said to not kill myself and do yoga😂and sent me home with no pain meds. after about two weeks the pains got better and honestly disappeared for the most part. although during that time the only way for me to get through the pain was self medicating with weed(i was CA). so after a couple months of no ibs symptoms i went to college and thought i was fine. feel like the dining hall food and the lack of exercise just from me being tired all the time and not being able to sleep, probably from the ibs, made my ibs way worse. by second semester i’ve spent more days in my bed just staying in it because of the pain. it’s affecting my classes, my social life(this was my first year of uni and now i feel like i have to play catch up because i have no friends here from being sick all the time), and just quality of life in general. alsothis as a whole has really affected my mental health, stress, and anxiety. i’m also very sad because my whole life i worked very hard to get to this top university and prepare myself to have a successful career but i can’t see how this is possible with my current level of ibs. all this work for nothing would be a slap in the face. i was a pretty happy guy before this. i can’t even party anymore :/ i would’ve definitely taken a gap year or dropped out but i already paid for this year and housing. I saw a doctor like a couple weeks ago and my blood work is stellar, no signs of inflammation, i can tolerate gluten, and i have no parasites. they referred me to a gastro but i have to wait litterally until the semester ends before my first appointment. i mean i haven’t been officially diagnosed with ibs but i’m pretty sure it’s that due to its “flare-up” pattern. the abdominal pains can get pretty severe sometimes and i often think if i got pain meds it would be better but i also don’t want to be drugged up on opiods. idk but does anyone want to give their two cents?  

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Jeffrey Roberts

Hey vxg,

I can tell you that I went through the same thing at the beginning of college. Definitely the lack of sleep, changed eating pattern and partying takes a toll on people who have an underlying issue with the gut. In your case - it could be a nasty bug that triggered everything for you. Who knows? Treating the pain doesn't unfortunately solve the underlying problem.

I noticed that you didn't mention diarrhea or constipation in your description. IBS is more than just pain. It is associated with D or C, a combination of both. It usually changes during a flare.

I completely understand how this is affecting your mental health. Many of us are with you on that.

You will definitely get through this and live a fully productive life. You need to find a doctor that will work with you to find the cause and not one that just wants to treat the pain.

I hope this is helpful.

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