I'm 35, I've been assuming I've had IBS for the last 10 years, I've obviously been really embarrassed to tell anyone about the rather messy aspects of my disorder and so have just dealt with it and treated it as IBS (not even told DH I've been so embarrassed).
I hadn't heard of Inflamatory Bowel until I started researching last night on the net, and found everything I read about it all very familiar.
I've noticed that certain foods make it worse (eg chocolate and instant coffee - funnily enough not fresh coffee, just instant ?), but remarkably I've been craving pickled chili peppers which actually relieve it (!) I thought this was strange this is what caused me to do some research, apparently chili peppers have anti-inflamatory properties, which caused me to think that maybe I have an inflamation of the bowel not an irritable bowel. Of course a quick google search led me to links all about IBD and Colitis and Crohns, the symptoms of Colitis are spot on with my symptoms, the mucus, the blood, the pain, the urgency, the frequency with not much to show for it, the bloating,the joint pain, the tiredness, I also suffer with depression. As I researched further everything just fell into place, even the minor details kept ringing bells - eg my symptoms started 10 years ago when I gave up smoking, I'm of European decent (apparently we are more prone) I suffer with stress and don't deal with it very well. 2 years of being a veggie gave me a straight run of relief, apparently red meat exasperates the problem, terrible joint pain that started about the same time, and that the doctors couldn't explain for a young lady of 25, and the list goes on.
I was in shock however when I read that left untreated for a long time (eg like 10 years as in my case!!)meant that there was a higher risk of cancer, and sometimes surgery is needed to remove part of the bowel - does this mean a colostemy bag? .
Of course this morning I have scheduled an appointment to see my doctor, however the next available appointment isn't until Tuesday - a week tomorrow! Lots of worrying until then but what do I tell the doctor to get myself referred to a gastrologist. How do I tell her that I've diagnosed myself, I'm sure drs must think we are some cocky sods who just bypass 7 years of med school to diagnose themselves via Google! Whats the best way of going about this do you think? I don't want to be palmed off as a hypochondriac.