I am a new user of this forum, and skimmed through many postings before deciding to ask for help. I didn't find any postings that answered my questions or that I could completely identify with, thought it seems that the symptoms of IBS are so diverse that it would be hard to find someone with the exact same symptoms.
I am feeling very frustrated. I have had IBS since I was 19 or 20, about 7 or 8 years ago. It used to be so bad that I would panic anytime I had to go or be anywhere where there was not a bathroom nearby, since I knew that at any minute I could get stressed or anxious for a number of reasons and my body's immediate response would be telling me I was going to have diarrhea. It was not a fun way to live. In the past couple of years, I have gotten better (probably because I am more aware of what I eat and what causes me to have problems, i.e. I can't drink coffee, eat rich fatty foods, etc, eat ice cream or drink milk, etc.) but I still have symptoms depending on my diet and anxiety/stress level, and the symptoms were severe enough that I sought help from a general practicioner.
about a year and a half ago this doctor put me on a low dose of amitriptyline, a old anti-depressant that is also supposed to help re-direct the nerves in your stomach (or something like that!). It seemed to help with day to day symptoms, although I still take Immodium once or twice every one to two weeks when I know I will be in a situation where bathrooms are not readily available. However, in the past year I have had three "attacks" at random times that I am not sure whether or not they are related to my IBS or not. The first attack started at about 3 in the afternoon. All I could do for the rest of that day and the next was lie in bed, doubled over in excrutiating pain (in my lower middle abdomen, right underneath my belly button). The only thing that helped was a heating pad. I also had vomiting and diarhhea. The second time was similar. The third time was just a couple days ago, it wasn't as bad as the first two times and I only had slight diarhhea but violent vomiting. It went away in one day and I was fine. Also, for the past three weeks I have felt mildy nauseous on most days, which is a new symptom. My doctor said that vomiting is not a symptom of IBS and she referred me to a gastronologist. I have an appt in 3 weeks and supposedly they will do an endoscopy, but I don't have much hope that they will find anything that will help figure out what is going on, and I really don't want to go through the procedure if it will be pointless. Has anyone else experienced anything like this, does anyone have any recommendations or suggestions? Would anyone recommend going through with the endoscopy? Also, does anyone know if nausea is a symptom of IBS? Thanks so much for your help, I feel very alone, scared, and frustrated!