Last updated: February 2019

I'm writing this after being up for most of the night again with intense lower back pain and diarrhea. I was diagnosed with IBS-D about two years ago, but I've been suffering from symptoms ever since I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are experiencing intense abdominal pain, and thinking it was punishment from God for being bad. This is why I did not tell my mom the extent of the pain for many years.

Everything I ate caused pain

As a small child, my symptoms were primarily constipation and pain. This resulted in me developing a severe aversion to most foods. I've been labeled as a severely picky eater my entire life, but looking back I think the pickiness originated from the fact that everything I ate as a small child caused pain.

This pickiness continues to intensely impact my life as an adult. I struggle to maintain a somewhat healthy diet, as most healthy foods make me gag. Only in the past year have I managed to start eating vegetables on a semi-regular basis. I still have a difficult time filling up on most foods. I know I am not getting the nutrition I need.

IBS confirmed

My severe diarrhea and pain are the two symptoms that most impact my life currently. During a period of stress at work last year, I was having episodes of diarrhea around 15 times a day. There have been multiple times when I have experienced pain so intense that I have to pull over when I'm driving. When I was younger I researched techniques women use to manage pain during natural labor and these barely take the edge off. I have also experienced multiple episodes of incontinence which are horrifying and difficult to deal with.

I visited a GI specialist about 2 years ago and had a colonoscopy which confirmed the IBS diagnosis. He has prescribed two different antispasmodics, the second one works okay, but does not even come close to managing my symptoms. I have tried alterations to my diet with limited success. Eliminating wheat and dairy seem to help to some extent, but with my severe pickiness I have a difficult time eating anything without these in my diet.

Finding comfort

I have experienced times when my symptoms were not severe, but over the past few months they have intensified and I'm not even experiencing much stress now. Lately any time I eat a fruit or vegetable, I pass it in less than two hours. Like I can literally see large chunks of undigested food in my stool. It's extremely disheartening because I'm trying so hard to eat healthy, but it doesn't even seem like my body could absorb any nutrients when I'm passing food that quickly.

I've been medicated for depression and anxiety since I was a teenager and I know that my mental health somehow plays a role in all this. I find it fascinating the way many different symptoms seem to stem from IBS, it reminds me of the way all the different organs and systems in my body are intimately related. I find comfort reading other people's experiences with IBS because it makes me feel less alone and it often makes me realize certain symptoms may be related.

It has been a relief to share all of this, I appreciate having a forum to express my struggle with this stupid awful condition.


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