Hello all. I just want to say how relieving it is to have read some of your stories. Knowing there are people close to my age that suffer from the same disorder and daily things I have to deal with really is comforting. It shows I am not alone in this. I am a 23 year old female dealing with IBS.
First I was diagnosed with lactose intolerance in my second year of college. I was experiencing heavy stomach issues such as gas and diarrhea. Loose stool that lasted for about a month. I was worried so I went to the doctor and she suggested I eliminate dairy from my diet for about a month. So I did and I notice a big difference within about 2 weeks of no dairy. I then introduced it back into my diet and that’s when I knew I was definitely intolerant. Unfortunately I am very intolerant, to the point where even lactose pills won’t do anything for me. So I have chose to eliminate dairy out of my diet completely.
After that was resolved I thought it would be over and controlled but then in my last year of college is when the stress really began. I started experiencing “attacks” where I would literally have to go to a bathroom within the next 5 to 10 minutes or I would be soiling my pants. It was quite unfortunate and scary to say the least. After experiencing similar symptoms to lactose without having any dairy I got concerned. It was then I was diagnosed with IBS. For the first couple of months I had no control over it. It seemed to have a mind of its own but I noticed it popped up when my nerves were out of whack. Even if they were good nerves. It was hard to deal with, I never told anyone about it because I always hated discussing such private matters. Except with my siblings and best friend because, well, you can joke around like that lol.
It’s been about 2 years I have been dealing with this and I have found ways to adjust. I take Imodium extra strength which I found really helps with gas and diarrhea. Although you aren’t suppose to take it too often as it can leave you constipated, but I have quite the opposite problem so I’m usually okay. It’s sad that I actual calm down after knowing I took a pill. Knowing that I have help to control a sudden attack. Living that way isn’t fun. I stopped eating as much and go as far as to not eat breakfast until I know I will be by a bathroom. Food has become less and less appealing because I know it can go straight through me. But this leads me to my story which hopefully can help someone.
This has happened to me twice. I was in a situation where I had no bathroom access for a long period of time. I got nervous. Just knowing I won’t be near one usually triggers it. So you can guess that it started to flare up and I knew I would need to go to the bathroom very soon. That sent my body into a panic attack. The shakes, the teary eyes the worry of embarrassing myself in public. The first time this happened is when it started. I would talk to myself. No joke I was in my car alone and I was talking to myself. I told myself “don’t worry. Don’t panic, it’s going to be okay. You will find a bathroom very soon and it will all be over. Come on stomach I know you can hold on just a little bit longer for me. I will stay in the bathroom as long as you want if you can just side with me here. ” yeah. I thought I was crazy but at this point I was willing to try anything to calm myself down so I didn’t soil my pants. I started to do this a couple of times when I got to that point. And you know what? It started to work. It at least helps me delay it. I even started to accept the fact that hey, if one day I do end up crapping my pants in public then that’s okay. S*it happens. Literally. And I will be super embarrassed but I will get over it. I know that I deal with a lot and if they knew too then they wouldn’t be disgusted or weirded out. It was when I started to accept this condition that I found I could control it more. Deal with it even. It helps to find a partner who accepts you for who you are and understand what you are going through is difficult and uncomfortable. I find if you show that you don’t care what people think, you deal with what you have to because you can’t change it then they seem to back off a little more. To leave you alone and not question why you are taking 15 minutes in the bathroom.
This is just how I have dealt with it. I still have bad days, I still cry while sitting on a toilet feeling like I’m getting stabbed in the gut, but I’m happy. I know what I have and I deal with it. I find every way possible to not let it control me. I hope my story can help someone or make you laugh. It’s okay if I sound a bit crazy too, because who isn’t really :P. Thanks so much for all of you brave souls sharing your stories! This forum has really helped.