Long time IBS sufferer here

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mountain_hare
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 10/31/2005 10:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all!
 
I've noticed that the large proportion of the IBS sufferers here are female, which I found rather surprising. I'm an 18 year old male, and I've been suffering from IBS for about 6 years.
 
The first 5 years weren't TOO bad, because it was just diaherra. about 3 or 4 times a week, I'd have an uncontrollable need to go to the toilet with 'projectile' runs. Usually I'll have to go 2 to 4 times, which isn't so bad, although during the first 'movement' I could spend 20+ minutes on the toilet.
 
However, this problem wasn't huge. It was something I just managed. The 30 minutes bus rides every morning (when my bowels were at their worst) were torture, but I got by. Quite often I had to make a mad dash for the school toilets (ICK!), but I always got there on time. And I performed excellently in my last year of high school.
 
All that changed when I had a nasty stomach bug/virus in January this year. Projectile vomiting, bad diaherra, fever. Even after I recovered from the bug/virus, it took months from my stomach to revert back to 'normality'. During those months, I suffered constant nausea, and some stomach pain. Even once it was back to normality, I still had the occasional problem. Happily enough, my bowels seemed to settle down as well.
 
Happy with the way things were going, on got another stomach bug in June. No vomiting, very little diaherra, but extremely bad nausea + stomach discomfort, which while it has 'faded', is still with me constantly, and driving me insane. Sometimes it flares up, and other times it dies down, but is still in the background. The diaherra is also back. The specialists say 'post-infectious irritable bowel', and give me the same lame pills which haven't worked in the past.
 
Anyway, early this morning (4am) I woke up, and I am quite sure that I have another stomach bug! (Not has bad as the first two, though, thank god. I should be able to kick it in a day or two, although I hate to think of the 'aftershock'). How can I tell the difference between my normal problem, and a bug? Well, I have a fever, more severe nausea, and my diaherra WAS very bad, and has turned to almost clear fluid, something which never happens normally, even when I have those 'telltale' severe cramps. Thankfully it's stopped about about 12 hours. In fact, it reminds me of when I took that horrible 'FLEET' stuff for a colonoscopy. *shudders*. The FLEET packet specifically said it gives you the runs for 3 hours, but I had them for 15 hours. Talk about false advertising!!!
 
I noticed that quite a few IBS sufferers here suffer from constant nausea. Have you done anything to help treat it?
 
Also, how many stomach bugs a year do people here get? Three attacks of a gastro bug/virus in a year is quite high in my history. The last time I had a severe attack of gastro before this year was when I was about 7.
 
These problems have been so frustrating. I'm nervous about what I eat (is it contaminated? OMG, have I heated that up enough to kill the bacteria!?) People show very little understanding, especially specialists. They just give me pills which don't work, and then brush me off saying "You've just got a bit of IBS". I've taken intermission from university after performing well up until June (I stuck my mid-year exams out, and got excellent results). I'm back home now, and feel defeated. My mother is very patient with me, and is one of the few who really seems to empathize and understand what I am going through. I feel like I am a burden on her.
 
Then I am angry when some people say, "Oh, just a stomach ache is the reason you gave up?"  Yeah, just a stomache ache, which is with me 24 hours a day, every day. 
or
"Oh look, there's a paraplegic. And you think that you're sick!" Yeah, wouldn't a paraplegic be flattered if someone pointed at a patient suffering bone cancer and proclaimed in their pious, holier-than-thou voice "And you think you have it bad!". How understanding...
 
I definitely appreciate that there are people worse off than me, but that shouldn't be used to belittle my problems. They may not be the biggest problems in the world, but they are MY problems, which sort of makes them #1 priority. When I'm crapting my guts out, I'm not thinking about paraplegics!
 
BTW, intermission does not = giving up, I hope to go back to uni next year.
 
I have read many posts here, and I really have noticed that many just don't understand what we go through, whether they are the average layperson, or worse, a doctor. We are not talking about one episode of diaherra and nausea. We are talking about day after day, month after month, with no end in sight. It affects your quality of life, and really restricts your freedom (how many IBS sufferers here have gone a long trip? It's just not worth the trouble!) I've had to take a break from uni and leave friends who I will probably never see again (many are overseas students). I'm planning on going back to uni next year, but I just don't know how I'll cope.
 
I have read people here with similiar conditions on this boards, especially wives who have to go to work, look after the children, the husband, the house, the dog, etc. etc., and I just don't know how they do. I guess if you have to do it, you will, no matter what state you are in. Although I find that men tend to be physically stronger, women tend to be tougher both physically and emotionally. My mother is the dictionary definition of tough!
 
Sorry if I sound like I'm ranting. I've actually been mulling over this for a while, and just needed to tell someone, even if it is anonymous gals on a forum! In fact, I feel pretty close to you all since quite a few of us suffer from the same symptoms, and are forced to deal with insensitivity, over and over again. The same ineptness from doctors. The same inconveniences.
 
Oh well, in the end, what can you do? Just stick it out. Suffering is a part of the human condition.
 
 

Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 11/1/2005 2:49 AM (GMT -7)   

Welcome, Mountain!  We always like to welcome friendly newcomers...you've come to the right place.  Yes, mostly women, but that makes you a very lucky man.  : ) We are all in this boat together.

Interesting, what you say about the stomach "bugs" you keep contracting.  I've had something like three over the past year as well, all with projectile vomiting, insane diarrhea, high fevers.  Just got over one last week that landed me in the ER for bag after bag of fluids and anti-vomiting medicine.  In between "bugs," it's diarrhea usually 50x/week, low-grade fevers, occasional nausea and abdominal cramping.  My GI and PCP don't think it's IBS (for a number of reasons), but they haven't figured it out yet, so I am just hanging in there until someone has an epiphany.

Have you traveled around a lot?  Have you been thoroughly, thoroughly checked for parasites?  That is the next step for me; sending my little samples to a lab in Arizona that tests for something like 40 different parasites, much different than the typical, nonstandardized, 10-15 in most hospital labs.  I've traveled in innumerable developing countries and so it's quite likely I have a persistent parasite, but they haven't found it yet.  I wonder if you've got the same thing.  Have you ever been to see a doc in the midst of one of these "bug" episodes?  I wonder what they would say!

As for the nausea...hear ya there, buddy...has your doctor given you anything like phenegrin or Zofran for that?  Have you tried the all-natural route of ginger or peppermint tea?  That is one of the worst symptoms, I think.  At least when you're having diarrhea you can usually hang out and read a magazine and try to pamper yourself.  When you're nauseated, you can't do anything except feel miserable and wretched.

How high are your fevers getting?

The other girls will be along in the morning, I'm sure, to give you their warm welcomes.  What an awesome bunch they are.  They will have lots of sympathy and advice.  Hope you keep posting!


dbab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 11/1/2005 6:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mountain,
You have gotten some really good information from Sarita and I just wanted to add my welcome to you to the forum.

I have to agree with the ginger for nausea... I also have an endless rx for phenergan when I'm really feeling awful however I use it sparingly because it makes me very drowsy. You asked how can you tell if its a bug or IBS? IBS will never give you fevers so I'm not sure if that points to a bug or something else however if you are getting a fever its not just IBS happening. Are you taking any vitamins? I found that my immune system was just weakened by my IBS and other stuff and the vitamins really help in keeping your body strong to fight these bugs.

As far as people saying that its just a stomachache. I would say to them, "IBS is like a case of food poisoning that won't go away"... I know everyone has had food poisoning and can relate and maybe a little more sympathetic. I really don't have anything else to add that hasn't been said. :)

Take Care
Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
 
"Sometimes I'm afraid, and I don't feel that tough...But I'll stand back up" - Sugarland
 
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bunnybabe
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 11/1/2005 6:33 AM (GMT -7)   
hi, welcome!
before my recent diagnosis of ibs i was told i had food poisoning-- for some reason i got it a lot! (i was told ibs two other times before, but written off and given a pill) and yup, this doctor has blown me off too, i am going to my pcp to switch tomorrow morning...
it is a nasty nasty thing, this ibs. and i heard the "at least it isn't cancer", "at least your not in a wheelchair". during this bout that i am in now i told my mom, "you know i wish i was in a wheel chair-- cause at least you could see my pain and be a little more understanding". since then my mom has been researching everything on digestive disorders and medications--even seminars. (she is an RN) it is yucky, gross, painful and a plain old pain in the butt! but this forum is awesome...
oh and i am presently working part time because of this... and yeah, i feel dumb about it, but when i was forcing myself to work full time i would crash, and get worst--take care of yourself!! (but do go back to school)
take care and all the best,
--bunny
what would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?


Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 11/1/2005 8:00 AM (GMT -7)   
"At least it's not cancer."
"If it was cancer, at least the doctors would do something for me and I would have a chance at a cure. As it is, this is a lifelong, incurable disease with no real treatment options. I'll be sick most every day for the rest of my life." *Give hard, mean glare*

Mountain Hare (curious, what part of the UK do you live in that you took to "mountain?") have you been tested for IBD? UC and Crohn's both cause nausea and fevers and they flare up and then go away again. From the symptoms, it's hard a lot of times to seperate the two. And I think it can go undetected for a while even if you've been "scoped." You may want to talk to some people over on the Crohn's forum as well to see if their problems resemble yours. When I first started having my problems, I did both forums (Crohn's runs in my family, so I was worried it might could be that), but I finally decided I wasn't nearly bad enough off to have Crohn's; there are people on THIS board worse off than me.

I know what it's like to be in school and sick; I had a bad gall bladder all through my college career. And I lived alone, 400 miles from home. I wanted to take some time off because I was burned out on school and beyond financially poor and being sick just made me even more depressed on top of all of that, but my mother wouldn't let me. I managed to scrape through, but 1) my grades were pretty bad 2) I was miserable. College is supposed to be a fun time for people, but mine was mostly just miserable; I wouldn't want to relive it. I think you are wise to take some time off to focus on healing your body (or learning to manage it if full healing isn't an option).

There's been some good advice on here from probiotics to calcium supplements to diet to anti-depressants. Calcium has helped me tremendously, but it doesn't help everyone. The anti-depressants work for some, but not all. Take some notes from here and go back to your doctor and tell him you want to try X. Keep plugging away at it until you find something that at least helps, if not makes you mostly normal again. Unfortunately, in the case of IBS, you have to be your own doctor and do all of the research and experiment on yourself and be very proactive in order to accomplish anything. I've given up on doctors except when I need a prescription for something.

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 11/1/2005 9:44 AM (GMT -7)   
I've found that FRESH mint tea does wonders on the stomach AND tastes great. I planted mint in my yard and it grows like weeds... I am never out.
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
 
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bunnybabe
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 11/1/2005 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   
sorry, that is just too funny-- i for some reason can grow jungles of things in my 'city garden' but mint WILL NOT grow for me!!! basil... plenty, squash...tons,... mint... zip!! even aloe, i have this gianourmous aloe plant that i have had to split and repot, i even forgot about one and left it out all winter--still green!!!
sorry--i just had to interject....

back to topic:
mountain, acidophilus rocks. and i agree with keriamon (the god of keri, right?) you gotta be your own doctor, i am now reading more about the digestive system then ever just so that i can ask for the right tests!!! it is nice to have control over something!

--bunny
what would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?


7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 11/1/2005 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   
LOL Bunny, do you have a dog that pees only on your mint?
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mountain_hare
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/2/2005 10:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Sarita:
"Have you traveled around a lot?"

Hah, no, I hate travelling!


"Have you been thoroughly, thoroughly checked for parasites?"

Hmm, I might have to try that.


"Have you ever been to see a doc in the midst of one of these "bug" episodes? I wonder what they would say!"

Yeah, they just think I have a gastro virus.

And I'll say 'Yeah, but doctor, I've been feeling terrible for days, and have been missing sleep."
To which they will print a pre-prepared prescription for pill which don't work, and then wave me away.

"How high are your fevers getting?"

They are low grade fevers, but enough to make me feel rather uncomfortable. But my temperature could also be due to dehydration, not a stomach bug. I'm starting to wonder whether I indeed did have a stomach bug, or whether my IBS took a turn for the worst.

"As for the nausea...hear ya there, buddy...has your doctor given you anything like phenegrin or Zofran for that? Have you tried the all-natural route of ginger or peppermint tea? That is one of the worst symptoms, I think"

Nausea is definitely the worst symptom. The doc has never ever thought of giving me Phenegrin or Zofran, although they did give me pills which seem to stop vomiting, but don't stop the nausea (metacloparamide, I think). And I've never tried ginger/peppermint. I might have to ask about that.

Have you seen any improvements while using them?

-----------------------------------------------------
dbab:
"Are you taking any vitamins?"
Haha, yes, although I sometimes forget my dose. I'm starting to think that IBS does weaken our stomach and intestines, which makes it easier for mean bugs to take over.

----------------------

Kenamon:

"Mountain Hare (curious, what part of the UK do you live in that you took to "mountain?")"
I live in Australia...

"have you been tested for IBD?"
Yeah, I had a colonoscopy. No ulcers or inflammation.

Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm feeling quite a bit better from a few days ago, but still far from 100%. Then again, IBS sufferers are never 100%. :(

BTW, does anyone here know how to use the quote tags properly? On other forums, I'm used to typing [quote] "Whatever I want to say"
. That format doesn't seem to work here!

Post Edited (mountain_hare) : 11/2/2005 10:28:51 PM (GMT-7)


dbab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 11/3/2005 6:06 AM (GMT -7)   
If you go to control panel and then edit profile... you can change your signature... that would be where you can insert your quote. I hope thats what your asking :)
Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
 
"Sometimes I'm afraid, and I don't feel that tough...But I'll stand back up" - Sugarland
 
Please help Healing Well continue to help others by donating  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 
 


7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 11/3/2005 8:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Before you write your post you click on the little box with the "!" at the top right corner of the person's post that you want to quote. From there it will take you to the posting screen with that person's post inside of a box (that you can edit). I don't believe you can quote more than 1 person's post at a time (I don't know though, I haven't tried).
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dbab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 11/3/2005 9:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Oops... sorry about that... I should have read your question a little slower... thanks Lil LOL.  I guess I skipped over the word tags redface
Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
 
"Sometimes I'm afraid, and I don't feel that tough...But I'll stand back up" - Sugarland
 
Please help Healing Well continue to help others by donating  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 
 


7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 11/3/2005 10:03 AM (GMT -7)   
I just tried and the system will only let you quote 1 post. When you hit the 2nd "!" it just replaces the 1st quote with the new quote. (I hope I'm making sense.)
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wa5ekh
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 11/7/2005 11:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I had been diagnosed at 30 with IBDfor about 20+ years. I still could not find a doctor that could help....but I'd have to admit my eating habits were bad!!! and I was gaining few pounds a year ....and by 53-54 years and a total of 370-80 #(scales weren't too accurate up here), I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Scared the crap out of me and I went on an extremely careful and limited diet. I was too heavy and still too plagued with IBS to exercise (and pretty danged miserable!!). I started keeping a log/diary of what I ate and my weight, and other stuff that I could find measurements for (resting heart rate, Blood sugar, wt, blood pressure, waits size,...but after a while I didn't need this...I knew it). I used a couple of glucometers and kept my pre- and post- meal(2 hour) blood glucose levels below 160 or lower, weighed every day, dramatically lowered my intake volume...etc….. and a tough year later I had lost 60-80 #....but still 300-310# at 6'2". There were several troublesome weight loss plateaus in there too. Had to by new clothes 2 -3 sizes smaller.(oh yeah I sit all day in front of a computer at work(?)) Also quit eating after 6:30pm!!(this was a big!! issue). I was completely doing all the wrong stuff!

The amazing thing was though///IBS disappeared!! In about the first 3 months.....but I had also quit eating fried foods, pizza!!!, pastas, Mexican food, Chinese food...most of these in large quantities before...and i only drink water....three years now. Feel much better! NO IBS!...thought that was impossible after 20 years of this. (also I had leg swelling-edema, dry feet, snored badly, sleep apnea, stomach ulcers, Bad! Reflux at night Still very worried about this extra 100, but I think those particular foods and the volumes!(embarrassingly) may have been the problem...if my blood glucose levels went too high after eating I eliminated that particular food. Seems all that is left are small amounts of very health foods...big surprise!

I have been able to start exercising for about a year now. and feel even better...when I don’t exercise or binge a little(still occasionally…but now realize immediately that I’m poisoning myself!!...I now can feel it!) .. I notice I feel crappy, like I use to. Probably got use to that and didn’t recognize the tired sluggishness after eating after a while. Also my average (A1c) and daily blood glucose level have been normal for about 2 years now(the doctor was amazed..not me, just relieved...the weights still there though-100+ too much at least. Still struggling…to maintain..always remember the constant suffering….still looking for ways of safe reliable weight loss and control..

Oh I need to mention, I chose to never medicate for Diabetes…I realize I took a big risk though…

Saw the doctor a few times and while he was somewhat impressed(I wasn't ..just relieved) , he said your going to die (someday..in the next 50years probably)....I said, "Doc!! I want a second opinion!! He said. OK! Your old and ugly! (Q: the late Rodney Dangerfield)

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 11/8/2005 8:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Ah, Australia. I swear, I would have known that if I could have heard you talk, but relying solely on grammar, I hazard a guess at UK. Have you any mountains in Australia? All the pictures I see of it are flat, but then all of the pictures tend to come from the same side of the continent.

"he said your going to die someday..." Lol. Life, you know, is a terminal illness. I figure it's best we don't live to live longer, we just live to live well.

Bunny, I wish my aloe plant had survived outside. My granmother gave me a piece and it grew like wild in my apartment in college, but I left it outside one night (I had set it out to get some rain) and it got too cool and it died. So I got another piece from Nanny and it lasted until I took it back home, where it lived on my mother's sun room porch. During the winter my stepfather unplugged the space heater she had out there and all of the plants--including my poor aloe plant--died. Maybe you should grow your mint in your aloe pot--give it some good vibes, lol.

Oh, and it's not "god of Keri" it's something like "Keri belonging to Amon," or "devoted to" or something like that. Based on "Tutanhkamon" which was "beloved of Amon." Given that "Keri" is Irish, it makes an interesting combination with ancient Egyptian, LOL.

dbab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 11/8/2005 8:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome wa5ekh!!! :)
Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
 
"Sometimes I'm afraid, and I don't feel that tough...But I'll stand back up" - Sugarland
 
Please help Healing Well continue to help others by donating  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 
 


wa5ekh
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 11/9/2005 7:04 AM (GMT -7)   
wa5ekh(me) said:

Saw the doctor a few times and while he was somewhat impressed(I wasn't ..just relieved) , he said your going to die (someday..in the next 50years probably)....I said, "Doc!! I want a second opinion!! He said. OK! Your old and ugly! (Q: the late Rodney Dangerfield)


Sorry...this was a quote from a comedian...a joke(?) at the end of a serious stream of thought ...to break the tedium ......well, anyway .....like I always say.....everyday, every second, is a gift....don't throw it away...(I'm perfect....except old. fat, and ugly....but I can still get cuter!?....that's what all my girlfriends say........................OK, old guys brag!..)

Go Bama
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/10/2005 12:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi ya'll! I've been reading your comments about IBS and I am amazed to see the similarities in all the symtoms. I, too, have IBS and was diagnosed many years ago. I am a 48 year old woman and I sympathize with Mountain. I just started college this fall and sometimes when I'm stressed over an exam, I have to leave the class. I hate to see you start this as early as you have. I have been tested for parasites (yuk!) just because I was terrified of having them. I didn't. Nothing seems to work for me. I love Alabama football, but have problems waiting in line at the restroom. I have had to just say please let me go first. Many women suffer from this and are usually understanding. Any way, I hope you feel better. Nice to be on board.

dbab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 11/10/2005 6:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Go Bama,
Welcome to Healing Well :)
We have many great members here that offer a lot of support and we are very happy that you joined us. Are you taking any medication or supplements for your IBS? Please feel free to share anything (even to just vent!) I think its great that you started college. Its a tough step and even tougher with IBS but you are showing that it would keep you down. Read through the posts and if you have any questions, please ask :)
Keep posting and take care
Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
 
"Sometimes I'm afraid, and I don't feel that tough...But I'll stand back up" - Sugarland
 
Please help Healing Well continue to help others by donating  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 
 

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