I used to eat cheesecake, pizza, icecream, mac-n-cheese, milkshakes, etc with no problem. Then I started to notice that I would get indigestion when having a lot of dairy and then I noticed that my bouts of diarrhea were happening more and more frequently...it got to the point where I was sick all the time, losing 10lbs/month. When I eliminated dairy from my diet, I got a *lot* better. So yes, even if dairy never bothered you before, it could be bothering you now.
You will need to go about 3-4 weeks of no dairy to really notice a difference (or not).
I would also recommend starting up a journal. Write down what/when you eat and then details about the 'results'...including consistancy. This is gross, I know, but I've been asked by my doctor about the consistancy/shape/etc. of the 'results'. With a journal, over time, you/your doctor can see patterns that might determine what foods/vegetables/etc. trigger it.
Also I would keep track of your moods--when you're happy, sad, angry, depressed, anxious, etc. Sometimes emotions will have an effect on your system, like they do mine.
I've been to many doctors. My current doctor upfront told me that most doctors find 'diarrhea' as 'boring'--they will run the 'standard' tests, and if they all come out negative, than they will diagnose you with IBS and send you on your merry way.
I would strongly advise you to find a different doctor. Ask around. And also try to get referred to a GI specialist.
Good luck to you and please keep us updated!View Thread
No one here will be able to give you an accurate diagnosis.
You might want to get a journal--write down everything--what you eat, time you eat, and then the timing and consistancy of the "results". Also notate any moods that you're in.
Over time, you might see a 'pattern' and can eliminate the worst 'offenders'.
I do not know if colon cancer causes diarrhea, but if that runs in your family, you'll need to do what you need to do to be tested for it.
A lot of us have had to go to multiple doctors to get an accurate diagnosis.
Without having medical insurance--that makes it hard. You may want to contact a local church or other non-profit organization that might be able to help you with finding help with medical procedures.
Have you tried "Align" or other probiotics?
You're not going to get any better without more medical exams/tests/etc. But I would start with the Align and journaling to see if you can find any patterns/relief. It will be at least a couple weeks before you see any results from Align (or whatever probiotic you try).
Have you been tested for Celiac, Crohns, Collitus, Diverticulosis, parasites, etc.? Have you seen more than one doctor?
If you haven't been tested for these things or have only been to one doctor, get a second opinion and ask for a GI specialist.
In the meantime....keep a diary--mark down times of when you eat, what you eat, when you have a bowel movement, and details about the BM (consistancy, color, mucous, blood, etc). This will be helpful, especially for your doctor, to pick up patterns that will help determine what foods trigger the "IBS" and which ones don't.
When I eliminated dairy, my IBS cleared up a LOT. Now I was a 'chocolate-aholic' and I loved cheesecake and icecream. It was hard for me to give up these things. I cheated. But after the 'end results' each time, I slowly learned to give up these things.
The diet really stinks...not being able to eat the foods and such that you used to enjoy. It does make going out difficult. But if you can make the sacrifices, then you can be a little more "social".
I go to restaurants, movies, places that I'm 'familiar' with...I know the routes to these places, where the bathrooms are, and so on. It takes some of the anxiety out just knowing that if the "moment" comes, I can get to the bathroom.
A good number of people out there don't understand IBS/IBS-like illnesses/conditions. My friends who know me are well aware of my illness and know where to find me if I 'disappear' or understand why I had to cancel. But meeting 'new' people and dating is very difficult.
I would spend more time/energy right now on getting your IBS treated before working on your social life. Stay 'light' on the social life--as you gain more and more control over the BMs, then you can slowly build back up your social life.
My intestional issues have been tied in to my mental health--I've had abuse issues from childhood--as I've gone through counseling and letting go of a lot of the emotional junk, my IBS has been getting better.
I do not know what your childhood was like or what other psychological issues that you may have had/have. Even if you've had a 'normal' life, IBS (and similar conditions) can lead to depression, because of its effect on one's social life.
Stress, anxiety, nervousness, depression, anger, etc. about anything can add to/trigger having bowel movements, so your emotional/psychological health needs to be examined/looked at too. In that journal, you may want to notate any moods--positive, negative, and everything in-between too!!!!
Take life one day at a time! But seek support from friends/family and go back to the doctor (or a different doctor).
If you're a religious person, continue to pray for healing and endurance and strength from whoever you consider to be the higher power to be.
Start keeping a journal. Write down everything you eat, when you eat, what time the 'results' emerge, and how the results emerge. I'd also notate the 'moods' that you're in throughout the day.
Over time, you'll see a pattern and can determine what foods are problems and such. IBS can be irritated by emotions--such as anger, depression, stress, worry, etc....so you can also see if there's any correlation to that.
For me, dairy and fried foods are a problem for me and that seems pretty common. But I know some people who have no problem with dairy...or they're ok with cheese, but not milk. Everyone handles food differently--this is why you should journal to see what bothers you.
You *could* have IBS, but generally IBS is a catch-all diagnosis when some doctors can't figure out what you have. It's bad to self-diagnose as well.
What you need to do is to see a doctor. If you're doctor is not recommending tests--blood tests, stool tests, and other tests--you'll need to find a different doctor.
Do NOT be embarrassed about gas, diarrhea, etc. The doctor will ask you to describe the stools (aka poop) as far as consistancy, shape, color, and that sort of thing. I was embarrassed at first--but this info can be very helpful to the doctor with diagnosis.
Start keeping a journal. Write down the foods you eat, the times you eat, when you get gas, when you have a bowel movement, and details on the BM as far as shape, consistancy, and that sort of thing. Also notate "moods" that you are in and if there's anything that happens that makes you happy, sad, depressed, angry, etc.--notate the time/mood. Also write down the dates of that time of the month.
Journalling can be a big pain in the behind--but over time, you (and the doctor) will see patterns that will show what foods "trigger" it and your symptoms will be drastically reduced.
For me, dairy is a problem. When I eliminated milk/cheese/yogurt/icecream/etc., my condition improved immensely.
Try not to focus on the fear of having a BM. When I get in my car to go somewhere, I stick a CD or something and try to focus on that. It's not 100% foolproof, but it helps if you can get your mind off the subject as much as possible--worrying about it, stressing out about it--that can make it happen.
But do go seek medical attention and stay on top of it.
And feel free to post here anytime you want for more advice, to give us updates, and for support. We are here for you and we like to support each other.
Don't be embarrassed...it's safe to talk about this here and more importantly, with the doctor.
P.S. It's been a little while since I've been a teenager, but here's some "social advice" for you. Let your closest friends that you hang out with that you have a medical condition that might require the need to get to the bathroom.
The places you like to go to--the mall, movie theater, etc...you will soon become aware where the bathrooms are, if you are not already. If you have to stop and run to the bathroom...go. Don't be worried or concerned about what your friends will think--this might make the BM worse. If your friends are real friends, they will wait for you.
Have a change of clothes in your backpack, so if you have an 'accident'--you will have clothes to change into--if you're out and about. Being prepared for an accident will help in not having one, because it takes that "worry" off your mind.
Let your teachers/school nurse know what's going on. If the teachers know what's going on, and you're in the middle of class when you feel the need to get to the bathroom, you can save time in explaining to the teacher why you need to go to the bathroom. In this day and age--you might want to get doctor's documentation t show the teachers/principal--so it won't come across that you're trying to play hooky or anything like that from class!
You need to go to a different doctor. Most doctors will run the standard blood/stool tests, and if they all come up "negative" for celiac, crohns, parasites, etc. they'll tell you that you have IBS and send you on your merry way.
I finally have a good doctor...and my current doctor tells me that most doctors find diarrhea as 'boring' and will just want to label it as IBS if the standard tests don't find anything.
Ask people in your social/work circles. Yes, it is/can be embarassing...but I have found others (at church/work) who have or know someone who has gastrointestional issues, and I found my current doctor through them!
It's a LOT of work and yes, a pain-in-the-butt, but it's something that you have to do. Your doctor should be setting you up for other tests--ultrasound (of your abdomen area), colonoscopy, stool tests, and such because there are other things out there besides celiac--crohns, colitis, diverticulitis, intestional parasites...just to name a few.
Sometimes a simple blood test will show 'negative' for celiac so you should be tested a couple more times for that...and parasites can be tricky to find too.
Again, I would strongly suggest that you work on finding a new doctor. If you live in Tucson, I would recommend Dr. Tamura up on the NW side of town.
Blue corn chips are your weakness...chocolate is mine! I have a bag of 'em at home, and when I am having the craving, I pop a couple in....I'll eat more than two if I am not having to go to work that day!View Thread
I hope that you are still hangin' in there. I have suffered from Depression before the IBS-like illness started...so into my IBS-illness, I was having a hard time dealing with both my physical health and psychological health and felt like I was losing all sense of sanity too.
Going to different doctors/GI's...having all kinds of tests, some repeately, and all telling me what I don't have...really has taken a psychological toll on me. And there have been moments where I felt like I could start contemplating suicide myself.
I think that it is very important that you go to professional counseling. I've found it to be very helpful in getting me through some really dark moments myself. Also--with me...stress/anxiety/anger/depression can (and has) had an effect on my bowel movements/frequency and she has taught me ways to relax, change my mindset, and so on to minimalize the mind-gut connection.
You do need to persevere and go to your medical doctors...but you need to take care of your psychological health too.
I don't know what your religious faith is (if you have one)....but getting 'help' for your spiritual health is highly recommended. Talk to your priest/pastor/rabbi/imman (whoever applies) to see if you can get some spiritual counseling/direction.
One thing I am curious about is if there is any connection between pets and IBS.
I've always had/been around cats and have 4 right now.
Could there be any connection between pets and humans when it comes to IBS?
P.S. I have mentioned that I own cats to the doctors--and I got asked if they were 'new' pets (as in never owning them before). I mentioned that I've been around cats ever since I was a toddler, so then they seemed to rule out pet allergy. But I'm wondering if there are pet diseases that you can get from the pet that would cause IBS-like symptoms in humans.View Thread