Continual pain (even when you're not having a bowel movement) is not abnormal for IBS. Oneday there can tell you all about
continual, excruitating pain and bad bowel movements.
Some people do wake up in the middle of the night with bowel problems, even though that's not supposed to be a symptom. Seems to me that you're probably like those people, in that your guts are not settling down for the night like they should, and that's why you are waking up with the pain; they're still very much (too much) active at night.
A couple of things for you to explore. One, hormones can play a big role in IBS. You're not the first woman to start having problems somewhere around getting pregnant or after having a baby. Did you go back on birth control after you had your baby? That may be part of the problem. Even if you went on the same BC you were on a long time before, your body changes when you have a baby, and that BC may now be causing you problems. You can always switch to a non-hormonal BC (condoms, sponge) for a few weeks and see what happens. Several women on this board have gotten better for going off their BC pills.
That you went on antibiotics and got better, then got worse when you got off, can be a big indicators that you have a problem with bad bacteria, or else something infectious. The problem is, both can be so hard to get rid of, that one week of antibiotics isn't going to do it. Have your doctor do a stool culture on you to check for the nasty sorts of bugs you can pick up in bad water. Also, get a breathalyzer test; that anazlyes the gases you are exhaling and that can indicate if you have too much bad bacteria in your system. In either case, several weeks of antibiotics are prescribed. Some doctors will try a big round of antibiotics like that even if they can't find any evidence because these things can be in there, but escape detection.
Also, your diet is actually quite bad for you. I know that sounds utterly bizarre, but people with IBS generally CANNOT tolerate raw vegetables and fruits very well. One, raw veggies are harder to digest. Do you really want your highly sensitive guts to be working harder? Secondly, acids from fruits and vegetables are harder on the lining of your intestines. Third, they all produce more gas than other foods and that can lead to swelling, nausea and cramps.
Beans are right out: too much gas production. Tomatoes are out because they are full of acid. Apples are way, way out because of acid and the fact that their juice is a natural gas-producing laxative. They're terrible on people with D, but also are bad for people with C because of the gas they produce. In fact, raw apples and apple juice are almost universally not tolerated by people with IBS in any form. Some people can tolerate apples cooked, though. Cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, etc. need to be cooked until very soft. No al dente. No juicing. All other fruits should be avoided as well, as they all have some level of acid in them that's hard to digest. You can try cooking them until soft, but no juicing--that just concentrates the acid. Bananas are pretty much the only thing I can think of that don't have acid in them (although, maybe dates as well?), but they cause constipation. Okay to eat in most cases of D, but not okay if you are C.
You're probably wondering, okay, what can I eat? Fish and chicken, so long as it's not fried, seem to be pretty well tolerated by everyone. Pork and beef are harder to digest and should probably not be eaten more than once a week, and in small, 4-6oz servings. Potatoes are safe, as is rice (with the exception of Chinese fried rice, which is too greasy). In fact, starches and carbohydrates are generally safe, so long as you don't have a gluten intolerance. So corn and corn products (tortilla chips, for example), and flour, bread, tortillas, etc. are okay. People with IBS eat a lot of sandwiches. I can tolerate turkey bacon when cooked in the microwave; it's lean and without grease, so I make bacon sandwiches with it, or crumble it up on salads. Salads can be a bit iffy; some people can do them, some cannot. I only eat iceburg lettuce from a head; don't eat any pre-cut bagged salad, as it has chemicals on it (at least the stuff they make in the US), which causes D in a lot of people. Broth-based soups are generally okay as well. Also, some people can do dairy and some cannot. If you can tolerate milk, then you can eat cereal as well.
One thing that will be helpful for you and your doctor is to start making a food diary. Write down everything you eat, and when, and write down when you feel bad and give yourself a scale of 1 to 10 on how much you hurt, and any other words to describe your problem. Some foods that cause problems, which you might try eliminating for a week or two to see if you get any better:
Dairy (this can be divided into being okay with lactose-free products to not being able to tolerate any product with even a hint of dairy in it)
Gluten (from corn and wheat and a few other things)
Artifical Sugars (two types: sugar alcohols, found in diabetic candy--these should ALWAYS be avoided because they're very bad for you!; and saccarin, aspartame, etc.--Sweet N' Low, Equal, Splenda, Twin)
Sugar (table sugar, honey)
Alcohol (hard liquor actually seems tolerated the best, followed by wine, with beer being the least tolerated)
Carbonated drinks (these cause extra gas)
Post Edited (Keriamon) : 11/5/2007 9:07:41 AM (GMT-7)