Dear Gutastrophy, Maybe we're twins. Are you taking anything for the belly aches or did you give up on them.? There are times when I take 1/2 Valium when I really HAVE to go somewhere and that often helps along with Bentyl ( the drug store said you can use both as they are different acting drugs). That helps since IBS GIVES us anxiety. I'll never believe we gave it to ourselves by being hyper. That is doctor speak for I can't cure you therefore it's your fault. This board is so helpful just to know other people are trying to cope in the same way. Merri
Western medicine has failed me utterly. I have taken propulsid (way back in the day), zelnorm, bentyl, levsin, prilosec, zantac, nexium, buspar, xanax, valium, klonopin, librium, zoloft, paxil, prozac, prednisone, enzymes, probiotics, stool softeners, bulk fiber, cleansing products, hydro colontherapy (that one worked!), macrobiotics, vegetarianism, therapy (20 years!), biofeedback, hypnosis, meditation, and probably a few others I am forgetting.
Here are my conclusions. I didn't start this by "storing stress" in my gut. In fact, I was a fairly calm person BEFORE my gut went to war with my brain. Now, 20 years later, the ONLY stress I have in my life IS my gut. That is where my stress originates. Fix my gut - no more stress.
IBS is completely without rhyme or reason for me. I have done EVERYTHING that has been suggested by specialists and naturopaths to help alleviate the symptoms. Some things work for awhile, and then stop working for no apparent reason. Some things don't work at all. I have ridden the roller coaster of high hopes when I thought I had discovered that THING that was going to work, only to be profoundly disappointed when the pain returns. Now, I don't get my hopes up ever, especially where doctors are concerned. And after the Zelnorm "breakthrough" which was touted as the quintessential "cure" for IBS C, I no longer have any hope that medicine will solve this problem in my lifetime. Maybe if trillions of dollars were being spent on research and commercials for IBS appeared on my TV screen every 10 minutes (like erectile dysfunction!), I might feel more optimistic. But I don't think bowel disorders attract money or attention like other physical problems. Heck, even restless leg syndrome gets more air time than IBS!
I took some classes on belly massage. I have found this helpful in relieving gas pain and helping jump start peristalsis. It's awkward though, as I really can't do this if I am out in public or visiting friends. I also find heat helpful so I use a heating pad on my belly. I don't eat most of the day because to do so would render me incapacitated for work and other activities. I wait until I know I will be home for the evening. I've been doing that for 15 years now so my body is used to it. I wouldn't recommend that as a course of treatment. Most folks can't abstain from eating all day without blood sugar problems. I try to focus on the good days rather than the bad. If I do have a good gut day, I really seize the opportunity to cram as much activity as I can into those hours. I have so many things to be grateful for in my life that I try to keep the problem belly in perspective (not always easy!). One positive that has come from all of this is that all my friends come to me when they have gut problems! Gut health has become something of a personal crusade for me!
If I were still able to take the benzo's responsibly, I would - you bet. They really did help with the anxiety associated with IBS.