Hi all, I'm new to this site and wanted to share my IBS experiences as a way of finding out if it's "just me" that gets this sort of thing. Whenever I read about IBS it typically talks about diarrhoea or constipation, and how it's a regular occurrence, which mine isn't.
My problems started as a teenager and still happen to this day (I'm 42 now). I get "minor" episodes a couple of times a month and "major" episodes once or twice a year. Although thankfully not all that frequent, my problems always start shortly after eating an evening meal. The stomach cramps begin, and within 10 minutes I'm rushing to the toilet with horrendous diarrhoea. The stomach cramps are a bit uncomfortable but it's all over with after about half an hour and I'm totally fine again.
The "major" episodes are a different ball game. They start in the same way - stomach cramps shortly after an evening meal, but while I'm on the toilet the waves of pain low down in my abdomen are incredible, to the point where I feel like passing out. I go into cold sweats, shivering and sweating to the point where it's running off me and my clothes are soaking. I go as white as a sheet. It feels like it's taking all my energy to just sit there and concentrate on trying to breath. Occasionally I'll also end up vomiting.
I believe the nausea, sweats and shivering are caused by low blood pressure - perhaps it's my body going into shock, or due to all my blood being diverted to my intestines where the problem is.
The whole episode lasts 30-45 minutes then it's gone. Other than feeling utterly drained and exhausted for 24 hours (and full of wind because presumably my bowels have been completely emptied), I have no further symptoms.
The incredible pain scares me, and I worry that as I get older I might not be able to withstand the pain as much as I can now (which is already a struggle).
I don't think it's diet related, as I've never found a pattern in what I eat that would trigger these episodes. I do have a couple of theories though - particularly to do with posture/comfort during eating. A couple of years ago we started eating meals at the table rather than on my lap in front of the TV. I found the latter a little uncomfortable, with the sensation that my trouser waist/belt was pressing into my abdomen. Around this time I also started wearing more comfortable jogging bottoms around the house, rather than jeans. The episodes do seem to have lessened since doing these things, but the jury's still out!
I'm curious to know if others experience the same sort of IBS epsiodes that I have?