All of your stories have been so inspiring to me! I dont even know where to start. I read each and every story, and I’m so thankful to you all for sharing, so that I feel so much less alone. I thought I was starting to go crazy! I’m a 37 year old female. I don’t remember being concerned with digestive issues as a teenager – but I was always a little overweight after childhood, so I was accustomed to purposefuly dieting – Atkins, Keto, Weight watchers, calorie watching – all of it. I have gotten weight off at various time, but started to struggle after having kids. I also started to struggle after having kids with many gynecological issues that I didn’t have before. I started getting Frequent UTI’s and having bladder problems. I’ve had every painful test done to no solution. Just take an antibiotic frequently, because of the infections. Then I started having other gynecological issues – heavy bleeding, no bleeding at all – all very strange. Currently taking a birth control pill to help hormones, which did help some of those issues. Next up, GI issues. I started last year to have a problem controlling constipation, that had been present for a while but was manageable. I saw a GI… I had prolapsed bowels, from straining, but no polyps – no tumors, all testing clear. I have had colonoscopy and now Endoscopy with no findings other than a little acid reflux. Last year, after my first initial onset of symptoms, I was instructed to use Miralax daily which was helpful for about a year. When I noticed that it was no longer helping I tried switching to stronger probiotics, prebiotics and fiber supplements on top of the miralax…no help. Then i started getting intense abdominal pain. I visited the ER multiple times, had further tests – and was then informed of IBS. It’s a recent diagnosis, and with all my recent research I’m learning a lot but it’s not comforting to know that there will be flareups throughout my life now. When I am looking back on things, I realize that I used to have a lot of Diarrhea as a teenager, but I thought it was related to nerves and anxiety – things like going on a first date, important tests, starting new job, presentations at school, etc. But I didn’t pay enough attention to it until I got my IBS diagnosis and remembered that I had the problem, and went to a GI once who told me I was fat and had a hernia, and prescribed zantac, which made me feel sicker. Anyway – my current GI (not the one that put me on zantac back then) is having me try Linzess. As soon as i get my insurance approval, I am hoping it helps. I’m also seeking the advice of a dietician although a lot of these stories seem to say that flare ups aren’t necessarily controlled by monitoring diet. I’ve lost 35 pounds in the past 4 months and even though I’m always trying to lose weight, I have not been able to in many years until the IBS set in. Now i can’t eat most things, and most days, so I’ve dropped a lot of weight. It’s not concerning yet because I’m still slightly overweight, but I definitely want to get it under control before I lose too much weight. I’m thankful that my problems aren’t stopping me from fully living my life – and I work from home also luckily, so I have privacy and comfort instead of being miserable with stomach pain sitting at work somewhere. I am so sorry for everyone going through this. It’s not fun to not be able to make food choices that you want – or to hardly eat at all most days, due to pain. I hope there are more developments in the future to help manage this horrific condition!

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