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Joined: 02/27/2010
My Story:
I have always had a "sensitive stomach", but once my daughter was born five years ago, I started having diarrhea. It gradually became 7 days per week, and 2 GI docs ran only basic tests and tried multiple meds, none of which worked. By the time I saw the third GI doc 2.5 years later, I was down to 92 lbs. He found a med that worked, ran every test (CT, endoscopy, colonoscopy, blood work, stool samples), but did not find anything. He diagnosed me with IBS.

I strongly believe IBS is a catch-all diagnosis for when doctors have eliminated everything they know about. I also believe that as the years go by, more diseases will be identified, and eventually IBS will not exist.

In the past six years, I have had multiple medical conditions, all seemingly unrelated. But six months ago, I became extremely ill and ended up in the hospital for 11 days. While there, it was discovered I had a cortisol problem. Unfortunately, my GI doctor blew this off on my follow-up, so I had to wait 3 months to see an endocrinologist. At that time, I was diagnosed with Addison's Disease (Adrenal Insufficiency). AI can cause so many problems, including "IBS".

I am now on replacement steroids for the rest of my life, and I am learning how to control my disease. It is very rare, so there is not a lot of information out there. AI patients have to be extremely pro-active.

I have recently learned I have such a severe vitamin D deficiency, I may have a secondary condition like Celiac. It will be anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months before I know the answer. (Although I have tested negative on blood tests and biopsies, it is still possible I have it.) AI patients are much more likely to develop other auto-immune conditions in their lives, but frankly I would appreciate a chance to get the first disease under control without having to deal with another! We will just have to wait and see.

I still deal with GI issues off and on, and I still see a GI doctor regularly. My hope is to share what I have learned these last five years with others and to provide support as people try to find a diagnosis and/or control their symptoms.

The most important thing I can tell anyone is to listen to your body, push push PUSH, and don't be afraid to get another opinion...or four.

I wish everyone good health!

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