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I am a 38 year old male and I have been suffering from IBS since childhood. I’m not sure at exactly what age the symptoms started but I was not diagnosed until my early teen years. I must say that it has destroyed my life. As a child and teen, it was very hard socially dealing with the embarrassments of having to run to the bathroom multiple times while in school. We all know how cruel kids can be. In my younger years, I predominantly had IBS-D but usually it would clear up for the day after one or two bowel movements in the mornings. The stresses of knowing I might have “to go” at school just made it inevitable that I was going “to go.” As I got older, I began experiencing more pain and more frequency (not just in the mornings). I made it through school but backed away from college because I didn’t want to deal with the IBS through another 4 years. This in turn has led me to a job I really don’t like but I have the freedoms of a bathroom at nearly any point I might need one. I don’t do much socially because of fears of attacks, especially eating out. I joined the military out of high school in hopes that the rigorous, strict lifestyle would help. Actually, it did for the 14 weeks of training and I believe a lot had to do with the strict 3 meals a day, healthy meals, and a consistent daily routine. However, this was short lived, for once I was permanently stationed and went back on a less strict eating schedule, the symptoms returned. This led to leaving the military once my time was up because there were too many times I suffered trying to hold back bowel movements due to lack of bathrooms when one was needed. Today I still suffer from IBS-D, even though very occasionally I will get -C. Sometimes the pain, rumbling/gurgling, diarrhea, gas, flatulence, and bloating will go on for days. I will keep on my quest for finding a way to eleviate the symptoms until maybe one day a cure will be found. Let’s hope.

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