IBS to IBD: My Story
This is my first time speaking on a platform like this before in a very long time, but let me introduce myself:
I am Thoudah, and I am currently 18. This is my story with my diagnosis of IBD - more specific, ulcerative colitis - is a rocky story. When I was 17, I was experiencing very mild symptoms such as some abdominal pain, urgency to go to the toilet and very rarely streaks of blood when I went to the toilet.
Embarrassed to seek help
I didn't think much of it as I was a teen boy who was focused on much more important things in life such as school (I did try even though I dropped out - yes, it was due to my IBD) and friends and family. After a couple weeks, my symptoms got worse and worse with more blood and going to the toilet more often. At that time, I knew something was up but I was embarrassed and afraid to tell. When my condition was getting worse, it took me over a month to finally tell my parent and explained everything.
My parent rang my Doctor in which to go to an appointment a week or two later. I spoke to my Doctor and all I heard was, 'It is constipation, have some medication to help'. At that moment, I didn't really think much of it as it was a professional who advised me and told me it was just constipation. After a couple weeks, my condition was getting worse with more blood being lost. In all, I went through the Doctors 5 times before I finally got referred to a Gastroenterology Consultant.
Mistook IBD for IBS
It took roughly 7 months and 5 times to finally get help. After the second visit with the doctor to be told AGAIN I was constipated, I ran to Google and my symptoms were saying it was IBS. I self-diagnosed myself with IBS at the very start. After I spoke to my specialist Doctor, I got blood tests done to find out I was anemic due to the amount of blood I lost over half a year of time. I was finally diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in Summer 2019 and ever since, I have experienced 3 or so flare-ups resulting in me being put on Steroids and Autoimmune suppressants.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?