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Proof - Sometimes, You Have To Diagnose Yourself

I remember my first attack - I was 10 years old, and I had to get up in the middle of the night because it felt like my intestines were trying to explode (much like that scene in alien!) - I made it to the bathroom, and apart from the obvious bowel related symptoms, I thought I might throw up, I was too hot, sweating, and I nearly blacked out from the pain.

After that night I had recurrent attacks every couple of months, but by the time I was 18 doing my final year at school the attacks were nearly everyday, and there were times when I'd have to leave my classes to go to the bathroom, and 20minutes later the teacher would have sent a friend to check on me

So, I'd had enough, whatever was wrong with me was starting to effect not only my social life, but my school work and all other life activities I was involved in - did some google-related research, came across IBS and realised all the symptoms fit so I went to my GP - I didn't tell him I'd figured it out for myself, but I explained all my symptoms clearly enough and after a quick examination, YES! he got it right, I had IBS! I've read so many stories of people whose doctors didn't believe them, or said their symptoms where "all in their head" or diagnosed even worse and or/unrelated illnesses..... but this is where he got it wrong, wrong, WRONG!!

My doctors put me on a diet that pretty much removed all carbohydrates from my diet - it might work for the size zero idiots, but I was a very busy teenager doing my A-level exams, an 3 musical instrument practical exams, and school plays, and a local theatre play and 5 hours of dance a week and etc etc etc etc the list goes ON! So the only thing in my diet giving me any substantial form of energy was sugar and MAAAAAAAAAN were there highs and looooooows! - I remember being on a free period once with a couple friends, and I had a mocha - for the rest of the free I was literally bouncing of the walls, my best friend said she was actually scared I'd injure myself on something! - and then of course, by the next lesson I was ready to fall asleep on the desk!
- the final straw came when me and my bet friend were on our way to ballet class - I was driving us, and I completely zoned out at the wheel, took my hands off the wheel and just stared into my rear-view mirror - my best friend screamed and took hold of the wheel, snapped me out of it and managed to get us to stop. She drove us the rest of the way - but not before she pulled in at a garage and made me buy a massive sandwich and crisps and eat them before ballet class! HA!

So, I was lost - this mad diet had me all over the shop - and my symptoms were only marginally better (he did also tell me to cut out red-meat, which IS correct and I haven't eaten it since) - so I went to a dietician. She was more helpful, explaining what IBS does and telling me to keep a symptom diary, but still, it all seemed like such a loooooong drawn out process, and I had already been suffering for 8 years. So, MORE research on my part, and that's how I stumbled across www.helpforibs.com - there it all was, laid out plain and simple, what to eat, what not to eat, what to eat when you can't eat anything, and how to get as much nutrition and taste without depriving yourself - and the wonder that is PEPPERMINT!! Hurrah!

So, that's my story - it took me nearly 10 years to get the right information - and it's still not been easy these last 5! But hey, at least it's sorted now eh?
morningview morningview 22-25, F 2 Responses Dec 7, 2011

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If it helps, I just thought I'd explain some of the information I found, because it just seems to me that this is a neglected medical issue that really is affecting people in a major way:

A lot of doctors will tell you "Eat more fibre" - this is only HALF true - you need the RIGHT kind of fibre, as there are 2 types:
- Insoluble fibre, which is things like whole grains, bran, Granola, certain nuts and seeds, whole kernels of corn etc... This fibre is essential for nutrients and a healthy diet, BUT it is a massive trigger because of it can't be broken down - this type of fibre, although good for you, will hurt you if eaten on it's own
- Soluble fibre, which is things like white rice, pasta, oatmeal, barley, soy, quinoa, potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes, etc... This fibre is more easily broken down by your digestive system, so it actually eases the transit of your food through your systems - this type of fibre is essential to the IBS sufferer.

Basically, you need to eat both kinds, but as a IBS sufferer, you need to get most of your fibre from SOLUBLE fibre sources - and when you eat insoluble fibre, mix it with a safe soluble fibre:
- For example, I sometimes mix white and brown rice in the same meal, or make sure the insoluble fibre vegetables on are accompanied by lots of sweet potato etc....

The list for both these fibres is extensive, I found it on www.helpforibs.com
- This website has accurate information, lots of helpful products available and a forum where you can get a recipe exchange or advice from other sufferers!

I also thought I'd list my triggers - the list for triggers in general for IBS sufferers is also long, but everyones different - I found I took that list and just figured out which ones affected me the most (for example, Red meat is an absolute no, but dairy I can tolerate in small amounts)

TRIGGERS LIST:
- Red Meat (anything that comes from cows, pigs, deer, and sheep)
- Dairy (Milk, Cheese, Cream, Butters etc)
- Alcohol
- Caffiene / Coffee
- Egg Yolk
- Anything friend in Oil!!
- Anything high in fat

Essentially, I looked at that list and went "Oh my god, am I allowed ANY FUN??!" - the answer is yes, you just have to figure out what hurts you the most and what you can tolerate

And, one last thing - anyone REALLY suffering right now, in severe pain, here are the best things to take:
- Peppermint (amazing for pain and spasms! either as a tea, or a capsule - or both! You can even swallow tic-tacs whole if you're really stuck!)
- A soluble fibre supplement that you can add to food or drink
- Aloe Vera (as a liquid or capsule)
- Fennel (Well known to help with the bloat and gas: best as a tea, or if you like the taste add the seeds to a salad!)

I hope all this information is helpful to you all! x

i have it and i got it when i was 16(17 now).to me its embarassing.i feel gassy most of the times. when i sit in class im scared i might let one go and i can never sit still and i barely use school bathrooms.only exercise i get is from my 50 min dance class on sats and i try to incorporate a healthy diet.this year it hasnt been bugging me like it did last year.i almost thought it was gone till i started drinking soda and my mom cooked these dark green leaves which are good for fiber but bad for IBS.its ridiculous how the good things are bad for you when you have IBS

so you're not exactly sure if you or any of your family have IBS or you just dont remember posting here?