I came to this site over and over again looking for answers, looking for support, looking for suggestions & hoping I wasn't the only one suffering. I have my IBS-D totally controlled now & it has been like this for quite some time now. The reason why I am back making a post is because I was suffering so much & I came here to seek the answers, but most all of us were just asking the questions & only a handful had the answers. Maybe I can offer a glimmer of hope or a suggestion that may help you get to where I am today.
My symptoms started in 2005, my gall bladder was removed that year, and I had no relief. I had all the tests (hyda-scan, blood tests for inflammation, xrays with barium, CTscans, endoscopy, & colonoscopy - to name a few). Nothing was clear except the fact that they couldn't find anything, nobody could. I was so frustrated I'd get angry with the doctors & just cry. The symptoms for me included serious bouts of diarrhea, sometimes 12 times a day, with extremely sharp cramping just below my belly button. The only way I ever got relief was when I would force myself to fall asleep during this, I relaxed.
I got to the point where I decided that I'd rather not eat than suffer the pain & I got down to about 93lbs. Who wants to live in Italy where you have to pay to use a public restroom & it's always a dire need? I stopped leaving the house because I'd end up having to leave full grocery carts in the commissary/grocery store to go home & deal with the pain & diarrhea.
I bought the book called The First Year IBS & when I had a bout, I sat on the throne & read that book & it helped to ease my mind & offered some great advice. I see a lot of other books out now, but at the time, that was the best one, so I still would recommend it.
It was explained to me that there is such a network of nerves in our GI systems that they have the ability to do what they want, regardless of what the brain says. For that reason, I was reluctantly put on an antidepressant.... Prozac (fluoxetine). I never wanted to take that route, but I am thinking now that it really saved me. I wasn't crazy, but I was sure able to relax after that & it helped so much. The Prozac worked it's magic on those nerve bundles. I was also put on Bentyl (dicyclomine) 4 times a day & weaned myself off slowly, starting with the bedtime dose because it wasn't affiliated with food. To this day I still take my Citrucel (soluble fiber) pill every day & will for the rest of my life...by choice. It turns the contents of my large intestine into a form of a gel & keep things smooth & regular.
I asked to be weaned off the Prozac 2 months ago & haven't taken a Bentyl in many months. I have not had one symptom of IBS since then. I suffered in pain & humiliation for about 4yrs. I am back amongst the living.
If I can offer any advice to help anyone, it'd be to find your comfort food, the one thing you can eat when you're really down & also, don't stop eating. If you get sick from lack of nutrition, you are definitely not any better off than you already are. I heeded the advice of a fellow IBS sufferer who reminded me to pay attention to what I eat & to not eat anything that is hard to digest, veggie skins, raw veggies, seeds, salads, etc. I also stopped the coffee altogether. I found comfort in baked potatoes - but that's just me. I made the time to exercise & get my body into a routine.
It's hard, it's really hard, but you're not alone. Maybe I can help one person with this post, maybe one bit of advice I have given hits home for you & makes it all work, finally. I weigh a healthier 115lbs now, I eat almost anything, but I still am afraid of salads & super greasy, fried foods - creature of habit.
I wish you all well & I hope you can find the relief you need & deserve. All the best to you!