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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The IrritableBowelSyndrome.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


View Comments (6)
  • grammy3
    2 weeks ago

    I have experienced the same. I was just prescribed “levsin” a tablet for under my tongue 20 min. before eating. So far, so good. I eat GF and BRAT when hurting. BRAT is banana,rice,applesauce,toast. No vomiting or diarrhea for 3 days. Good luck.

  • 1Luvspink
    4 weeks ago

    I would like to know what the 2 anti-spasmodic medications you are on? I was on one for awhile Diclomine & it seemed to help a lot at 1st but then just stopped working. Thank you

  • DLCogg
    4 weeks ago

    I want to encourage you to keep reading all the wonderful articles on this very informative website! I too have suffered from IBS since I was a child, but didn’t really know that was what it was. Consequently I have lived most of my adult life with disordered eating issues, all of which I think stem from the fact that everything I ate made my stomach feel so large and bloated. I have gone through extensive therapy and now live a relatively “normal” life, albeit on a FODMAP restricted diet, no gluten, limited dairy, limited sugar, etc. But the main thing is I feel I can function day to day. Keep monitoring your sleep and exercise, and don’t be afraid to seek out professional help if needed. About 5 years ago I searched in my area for a nutritionist that specifically worked with IBS. It was life changing. One last thing…I have done yoga for the last 25 years of my life and it has also helped tremendously. Good luck, and know that a lot of people have your back on this website!

  • Marci Kallick moderator
    4 weeks ago

    @dlcogg, thank you for sharing this information and support for @violet. It’s so great when our community chimes in with wonderful encouragement and advice. I’m so glad to hear you are doing better!

    ~Marci (IrritableBowelSyndrome.net team)

  • JaneWoods
    1 month ago

    Up to 15 percent of people in the United States live with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a bowel disorder that has frustrating and debilitating symptoms, including:

    -Abdominal pain
    -Cramping or bloating
    -Excess gas
    -Diarrhea or constipation

    Some experts think that IBS is caused when there’s a glitch in that communication. You can also refer to this article which states all the necessary details about IBS https://www.everydayhealth.com/irritable-bowel-syndrome/

  • Marci Kallick moderator
    1 month ago

    Great information! It certainly sounds like you are familiar with what we all have gone through, or are currently still experiencing. I hope you will explore the site more. As you may have noticed, we have sections that dive into causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments…along with our community where you can ask questions, and read stories where fellow sufferers share their experiences or tips & tricks. Thank you again for adding to our community! 🙂


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