Really struggling to carry on: Im in my second... - IBS Network

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Really struggling to carry on


Im in my second year of uni and I've had IBS D for 4/5 years. I've always struggled with it, but there have been good and bad times. I've tried just about every single medication/treatment out there including the food exclusions and fodmaps. Nothing stops the constant need to go, the bloating and the pain. I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm only 19 and always dreamed of being a Barrister, I'm studying law. But now I don't even know If I'd survive a part time job. Me and my girlfriend broke up not too long ago, we'd been together since school, and she knew about my problems. I just really don't know what to do anymore, I can't see a way out.

I had so many aspirations and dreams and I just know that I'll never be free of IBS, I'm a 19 year old and I feel I basically don't have a life, I'm so exhausted by it all. I didn't come here to look for advice, I just kinda wanted to get it all out in public some way...

15 Replies

Consider the fodmap diet again. It is probably difficult if you are at university, as you may eat out a lot or eat in a cafeteria. This makes doing the fodmap diet quite difficult. If you try it again you must find a way to be very strict, as that is the key. It may be easier if you wait until you are finished with school and cooking for yourself.

I so understand and natural to be worried and despairing, which with a cruel irony only makes the symptoms worse. Please don't give up on your dreams.

Just a few other thoughts. 1) have you seen a gastroenterologist? If not, do so. 2) You will be able to become a barrister and survive a full time job. 3) It will get easier over time. 4) stress is a big contributor and you may be under quite a bit of stress with your coursework. 4) when you are living on your own it will be much easier to manage your diet and symptoms. 5)most people understand the problem and are OK with extra bathroom trips. My gastro says 35% of people have the same problem to a greater or lesser degree. 6) If you have not already done so, try peppermint tablets made specifically for IBS, and a good probiotic. The 2 I know are VSL 3 (which I take) and Align. I am in the US, so the names may be different in the UK. and 7) My dietician has recommended a product called Bananatrol. I have not tried this, but you might look into it. It is available on Amazon. and, finally, 8) my Gastro also says to take Immodium (US name) on difficult days. It is over the counter and reduces diarrhea.

I know IBS d is very difficult, but also, try to keep in mind that there are many other conditions that can strike people your age that are much more serious - i.e. autoimmune conditions, heart disease, and the obvious one.

Don't give up Hun. Life is to live. I've suffered for over 30 years and at times found ibs d and c so so difficult. Have you tried gluten free? Even now at 49 I find it hard but try to ignore the pain. I wish you luck in your career. Get out there and kick the IBS aside.

Don't worry there are plenty of things that can help!! Research about parasites in your gut and good/bad bacteria as that is a massive cause of alot of health problems. Go on YouTube and check out organic Olivia as she has a lot of research on things that will help. Sorry to hear you've been going through this!!!

Also exercise and a brand calldd bach herbal remedies are amazing for stress and I've tried everything under the sun aha

The diets only work if your IBS is food related. I found mine is more anxiety related and any stress in my life made it worse too. So once I dealt with my anxiety the IBS-D cleared up with only the odd flare up. Don't get me wrong I still don't eat creamy foods when I'm out and about just in case but fine with any other foods. This may not help you if yours is nothing to do with stress or anxiety. Don't give up on your dreams though that's the worst thing you can do. I understand why you feel that way as I've felt like quitting my job before when mine was really bad.

I know how you feel. I have had IBS for almost 18 years and I am afraid it does rather take over your life. I have recently also been having gallbladder problems. As a result of that I have had to go on a low fat diet. I have cut our red meat, cheese, well any dairy products. No bread , no chocolate or crisps. I basically eat, chicken breast , turkey steak or lean pork steaks with veg or fruit. I know it is a very narrow food group but I must admit as well as reducing the gallbladder pain my IBS has been better. I don't eat any processed foods like burgers or take aways. I don't eat ready meals and try to avoid tinned foods. I know this is very difficult to do as a student but just try cutting out fatty greasy foods. My doctor said excess fat your body can't digest can result in Diarrhea.

Hi do not give up every one with ibs is different I no I have had it 38years and there is 8peaple in my family that has it I no it gets you down at times but you can do it just keep saying to yourself I am going to be a barrister just don't give up and good luck xx

I have had ibs d since I was 19 years old and I am now 71 ... It is difficult but try to get it into perspective ... Lead a busy life .. Don't let it become the deciding factor in what you do .. Stress is a big contributing factor so accept that you will need to take Imodium as a precaution ...

Acceptance is key and manage your condition.. It's not a disease so get on with your life ... You will be a great barrister and don't let ibs define you

Keep positive and accept help .....

We have to take action to help ourselves heal from this unfortunately. I get tired of having to try so many things and not seeing results but I have to keep trying. It is hard living with any type of physical illness but many people are in much worse situations I have come to realize. Have you tried giving up gluten? I feel so much better when I don't eat gluten or dairy. Gluten clogs us up and slows us down....something we don't need when we have aspirations and dreams to pursue. Also, you might have what is called SIBO....small intestinal bacterial overgrowth which can be tested doing a lactalose breath test by your GI dr and can be treated with an antibiotic called xifaxin. Our neurotransmitters are created in our intestines based on what we eat so healing your intestines is going to make a huge difference in how you feel overall. Just some advice on what I have learned in dealing with my IBS...thought I would pass it along. Best of have many bright years ahead of you...don't give up.

Hi Meemoo1234

I’m sorry to hear that you have this nasty disease at such a young age. I too had my share of symptoms at a young age but back then it was not yet heard of. My doctor and I agree that it was anxiety induced. I was a very nervous, anxious, high wired child and as I got older it followed right along. I always knew that I over reacted to things (even the small stuff) but how do you change how you are or your inner workings especially at such a young age?

You said that you and your girlfriend have broken up. You said that you wanted to get into law, you said that this has been an issue since you were 14 or 15. These are all stress factors, anxiety triggers and the more you think about what may happen or may not happen the worse it gets.

Am I right?

Please, please, please remember this if nothing else.

You have to retrain your brain ,if you constantly think that an accident will occur in public, what if I can’t get there in time, what if, what if, what if???????? This will paralyze you.

If you wake up and immediately think negative, that is going to be the title of your day. The minute negativity starts you have to retrain your brain. Smile, tell yourself “it could be so much worse”, I woke up, others today did not, I get to see another beautiful day, take a deep breath and tell yourself “it is what it is, I am me so I’m going to just get on with this day, my life and I’m going to go do what I want to do and that’s it! Smile, smile and believe me, it gets better, you will not let this control you, you are stronger than IBS. I know, I’m in the same fight but after talking with a good psychologist I am not letting anxiety ruin my life.

Girls will come and go, you will try a few on and the right one will fit, you’ll see!

Unless you have ulcers, pancreatitis or have been diagnosed with some terrible irreversible condition you can control this.

Keep me posted, I will help in any way possible! I don’t mind and I want you to be able to reach those goals.....

Hi there

I wrote the article, in the link at the bottom, on the website a while ago. My mum, sister and I all suffered from IBS for years and it disappeared from all 3 of us when a nutritionist told me to give up artificial sweetener, particularly aspartame - read below and see what you think. You may not even realise you’re eating it. The food industry does not give a toss about us - they know sweetener is 100 cheaper than sugar so they see profits and are making almost every drink full of this poisonous chemical. I really worry about the future health of all of today’s kids who are drinking aspartame every day, all day.

Good luck finding a solution,


Wishing you well, you can survive this. Do you have a uni advice/pastoral care team who you can talk to. I have suffered with IBD for most of my life and yes sometimes it is impossible to lead a normal life but other times it’s fine. I have just one suggestion if you have pain in your right hand side, just below your ribs and diahorea and nausea, please tell your GP and keep going back. I have recently been diagnosed with gallstones and an irritated gallbladder, looking back this is what has caused a lot of my problems. The pain if on the left hand side from your stomach down is IBS. I think this is the most important information I can give you, I went to the GP complaining about my IBS and she actually listened and looked at where I was pointing and said that is my gallbladder not the IBS. Carry on you have come so far, maybe once the stress of exams is over and you have got over your break up, it will settle,


I have recovered from chronic IBS. It is possible.

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