Posted 11/7/2011 9:59 AM (GMT -6)
I feel your pain. I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease when I was 25 and that was probably the worst year of my life to that point.
I agree with kazbern that diet is a huge part of controlling IBS. You need to learn what your "trigger" foods are. For me, it's anything with a high fat content--cream, butter, fried food, etc., along with some other things. It might be a good idea to keep a food journal and note every day what you are eating, any symptoms you experience, and any medications you take. In general, but especially for constipation, it's really important that you drink a lot of water and avoid the more sugary drinks like sodas. For some people, increasing fiber is a good idea, but for others fiber causes problems, so it'll be a bit of trial and error.
You should also talk to your doctor about potential medications (over-the-counter or prescriptions) that can help you control your symptoms. For example, I never leave the house without Immodium, just in case. I also take an anti-spasmodic drug (Bentyl) and probiotics. And if your doctor isn't helping you, you may want to find a new one who will try to help you.
I'm sorry you have to go through this, but know you're not alone. A lot of people suffer with gastrointestinal problems, although many of too ashamed/nervous/scared to talk about it. That's what is so great about sites like this!