The doctor said I'm sure it's nothing serious... just IBS

Hey guys first post here. so I am yet to be diagnosed but after the doctor suggested it was probably IBS I've been searching online and am pretty confident he's right as I've had basically every symptom. So after this I've been reading up about the condition and it seems to be anything but not serious with so many stories about it controlling people's lives. Now that I think about it I've had symptoms most of my life but this is the worst flair up with diarreah aswell. I have been a long time sufferer of anxiety and used to have ocd which I am out of counselling for and then finally feeling good. Now all of a sudden this hits and all my plans of going on adventures and doing new activities with my new found mind set seem to be over before they begin. I simply cannot let my life revolve around a toilet I think I'd rather soil myself. Can anyone give me some more experienced input please. Is it too early to start imagining the worst?

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  • Try not to overthink this as IBS is usually a result of worrying and anxiety and it sounds like you have had a lot of that in the past. The main thing is that you say the symptoms have probably already been there most of your life so nothing has really changed. However if you get a positive diagnosis you can now go forward with a plan to help yourself.

    Doctors never seem much bothered by IBS because it is not life threatening, just a massive nuisance for sufferers. Everyone is different so your symptoms may range from colic pains to diarrhoea to constipation or bloating and gas, and they also may change daily. For some, IBS is triggered by foods or alcohol and may or may not be an intolerance. The only way to find out is to try cutting stuff out for a while and then reintroducing it to be sure. (Onions are usually one of the bad ones and they're in loads of stuff). Try keeping a food diary if you think that is your cause but also note how you felt on that day and any other outside circumstances that may have affected you or caused anxiety - that way you may see a pattern developing.

    Don't let IBS stop you doing things or rule your life because you will become more stressed that way. Just aim to be normal but go prepared, eg carry medications like Imodium or Buscopan with you, maybe indigestion tablets or peppermints and also hand sanitiser and perhaps wet tissues for just in case - oh, and a plastic disposal bag! I know this all sounds like a real faff but it can all pack into a small bag and if you are prepared then less anxiety and then probably it won't happen!

    You will also possibly be surprised to find just how many people live with IBS but don't or won't talk about it because it is am embarrassing topic!

    Like you I realise I probably had IBS way back as a child but never even knew, however I do remember several very typical and now obvious occasions! I was finally diagnosed sometime in my 40's after I had convinced myself I must have stomach or bowel cancer, (which I hadn't!). My doctor gave me short shrift and a box of pills for my stomach cramps and sent me away to deal with it. Twenty+ years on and I am still managing it after a fashion....it never goes away and for me it is definitely a stress and anxiety thing with a few unhelpful foods thrown in. But the main thing is I won't let it rule my life. :)

    Lastly, you may like to have a look at the Fodmap diet to help you understand trigger foods, and you could also try practising some relaxation techniques - they definitely help. You can find all this online. Some easy things to help when your stomach etc are playing up are a hot water bottle or wheat bag, warm soothing drinks (peppermint or chamomile) and also gently massaging the stomach or back or lying in a nice warm bath.

    Wishing you all the best and I hope this helps a bit, but please, please don't stop doing things you love and remember, most venues have a toilet for their customers to use. :)

    Good luck and stay strong!

    K

  • You'll probably be having a colonoscopy to ruke out any other bowel condition before a diagnosis of IBSis given

    However, in order that a proper diadnosis is given you need to keep the same diet because if you change anything the doctors may have trouble with the diagnosis

    However you can keep a food and bowel movement diary which might give some indication if there is a particular food group like dairy that is affecting you

  • I suffer from colitis had a colonoscopy to find out what was causing my problems of bloating and stomach cramps. Wheat and corn are my main problems, have to avoid. Stress can cause it to play up, but it has not stopped me from travelling and enjoying myself. Going to China later this year. You just have to learn how to manage it. I agree with what Kariss and cricket queen say, best of luck but do not give in to it.

  • Thank you so much for your replies. I feel the initial shock of reading about the symptoms caused me to go into panic mode. I have got to give a fecal sample in at the doctors next week as the diarreah has only began a couple of weeks ago which coincidentally was the same day I drank some stream water when climbing a mountain so potentially it could be a virus although i had ibs symptoms beforehand. Also after telling people it was likely ibs I found out a few family members have it and it doesn't stop them living full lives which made me feel better. I've also started doing breathing exercises whenever the urge to go to the toilet happens and have realised if you relax the discomfort and urgency go after a short period. So generally feeling more positive now.

  • I feel the same way I was just diagnosed with colitis and ibs d going to a medication therapy for 8 weeks then back to gastro dr

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