IBS getting me down. Questions that need answering..

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I've been suffering from IBS for a year now, and am 16.

I have upset stomachs very regularly, often when i am out which makes it very embarrassing having to try and find a toilet. I am constantly worrying that i am going to need to go to the toilet and it's making me not want to go out as much. I take anti-diarrhoea tablets whenever i have a loose bowel movement, however this does not help the constant worry that i am going to have a bad day when i need to go, and may not be able to if there are no convenient toilets around. The urge to go comes on so quick, meaning i frantically have to find a suitable toilet, however am too embarassed to tell my friends which makes me panick even more! I often have to go home from college to go to the toilet, and i feel as if i am more reluctant to go out nowadays.

I really dont want to let IBS take over my life but it slowly is, and as i am so young i am really worried that i will have it for the rest of my life. Does anyone know if you can out grow it?

Also is it dangerous for me to be taking anti-diarrhoea tablets so often? If so is there something else i could take to help return my bowel movements to normal?

Has anyone tried IBS hypnosis?

I really am desperate for a cure, or at least something to help and reduce the discomfort, pain and embarassment.

Also, does anyone experience a sort of bubbling sensation in their lower abdomen before a bowel movement, when looking at my right abdomen literally moves up, as if it is contracting? Is this normal?

Any questions that are answered would be such a help!

Thank you.

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  • Posted

    Hi Babycakes

    I'm sorry to hear that you are suffering so badly and at such a young age too. I'm not able to answer all your questions because my symptoms have been predominately relating to severe stomach pain rather than bowel movements. However I do experience that bubbling sensation you refer to, and my most severe pain is constantly in my lower right hand side.

    You don't say if you have seen a doctor about your IBS but I would strongly urge you to do so if you haven't, no matter how embarrassed you feel. He or she may be able to prescibe non over the counter medicine that will help you. Also, have you tried to work out if some foods make your symptoms worse? I really found this worthwhile because once I eliminate dairy products from my diet, although the pain was still there, it certainly was nothing like what I was experiencing.

    I have had days where I have been so upset with the thought that I might have this for the rest of my life and really not knowing how to deal with it. At the moment I seem to be in a much calmer time and things are nowhere near as bad as they have been but it is difficult for me to say how this has come about. I have acknowledged that IBS is something I am very likely to be prone to throughout my life but that it is how I deal with stress that will impact on how bad it is/how I control it.

    So in answer to your question is IBS something you grow out of, well I don't know for sure, but based purely on my own experience, it is something that may go away every now and then (like where I am now), but which you may get during certain times in your life. I have read that most people with IBS are prone to flare ups over the course of their life, implying that some times they are fine, and others they are not.

    I don't know if this is any help to you at all, but I wanted to reply so you didn't feel like it was just you and no one was listening and also to offer my support. Please see a doctor if you haven't already and I wish you all the best.

    T

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  • Posted

    Do not worry about telling your friends. Many people suffer with IBS and some of your friends will know exactly what you are going through and telling them will take the pressure off you a little.
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  • Posted

    Hi, I do sympathise with you having had this problem myself for the last 16 years - however - do try this : Cut out as much starch as you possibly can, mainly all bread and potatoes and anything containing flour. I tried this and the benefits were immediate - I also lost weight BONUS.

    It can be difficult to find something to eat if sandwiches are excluded but it may be worth the perseverence. A boxed salad is ideal though no pasta. Chocolate does not contain starch unless there is biscuit in there so feel free if you have no other health problems that restrict it. It hasn't gone completely but life is so much easier.

    I take Loperamide (prescription) as and when I need it and also, if I have to be somewhere (apart from work - 10 mins away) first thing in the morning I take 2 the night before as a precaution.

    I do hope this works for you and if so start introducing foods that you have not eaten to see if you can tolerate them - you have to be your own doctor at times.

    Best of luck....

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  • Posted

    Hi, I've had IBS on and off since I was 10 years old, I'm 26 now and have gotten very familiar with that embarassing hunt for the toilets and frantically going home to use the loo there.

    As to whether you can grow out of it, I guess that would depend what causes your IBS and whether you have any clear triggers. You can go to your doctor and they might give you tests to rule anything else out, which while they are unpleasant, do give you peace of mind that you haven't got anything nasty going on. Otherwise you can take anti-spasmodics or various other tablets, which I would say are way better than taking anti-diarrhoea tablets except when you really can't risk it like for an exam etc... Otherwise stress usually plays a factor and diet - I know you're 16 but it's so important to get the basics right - i.e. a good 8 hours sleep a night, drinking enough water, making sure you find some fruits and veg that don't set you off and generally minimising stress and the amount of junk you may eat.

    I've found diet and stress are the major contributors to my IBS but obviously everyone is different. Def don't let it rule you, I always plan when I go out - check where the loos are when I go out, take provisions like any medication, a bottle of water, tissue etc so you never get caught unprepared but can still go out and have fun, plus all my friends know and are fine if I say my IBS is playing up and I need to sit down for a minute or disappear to the loo - if they weren't ok with it or made me feel bad, they're not the sort of friends to keep!

    I hope you find some ways of helping yourself manage the condition. Good luck! :-)

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