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Okay, just to warn you, this is about IBS - or what I was told by a doctor was IBS when I was ten, but I really am not sure about any more (for the sake of argument, though, I'll refer to it as IBS here) - and menstruating, so it's going to be TMI if you're sensitive. Sorry.


If anyone is still reading this - thank you very much for bearing with me! And hello. :-) I really need your help.

I'm 19, and female, obviously, and I've been having problems with my bowel since I was ten - this is around the time when ongoing constipation started to become normal for me, and when I had my first few attacks of severe pain, cramping, nausea, faintness, cold sweat and diarrhoea (this is what an IBS attack looks like for me) - and I've been having problems with my periods since I started when I was 13. Basically, I've always been pretty heavy, and I do get ordinary, achy menstrual cramps... but I also think my general 'IBS'-like symptoms tend to worsen around 'that time', too. So I'll be more constipated then, or more bloated/have more wind, or I'll have a low-level of IBS-aching (which is a very different pain to period pain - it's a sort of sick, pulling or swelling, aching feeling right at the front of my stomach, in the centre of my pelvis and at the very bottom, not really like any other feeling).

It was also around my period particularly that I used to get 'attacks' - as I described above - up until my mid-teens. So, I mean, the IBS-attacks (if that's what they were) usually coincided with my period, and I think all of my most severe ones (back in my teens, these have been known to include vomiting and fainting) happened then.

Usually, the rest of the time, my IBS symptoms are just a general, ongoing background level of discomfort as I described above. They don't seem to respond to any foods I've cut out so far over the years - meat, fried foods, greasy foods, sugary and processed foods, chocolate, fizzy drinks, gluten, wheat, onion, spicy food, alcohol... though I notice if I'm particularly stressed then the stomach cramps can pick up, and very strong coffee can trigger them. I also bruise very easily and I think that's been getting even worse lately, though I don't know if that is related.


Okay, that's my background. And I haven't had any of the really severe attacks in a while - until last month. Again, during my period. And I've had some other changes in my period recently.

Over the past year, I've been passing more clots on my heaviest days than I ever used to, so I think I've been getting gradually heavier. And more recently - over the past few months - I started having very severe period pain (but it was *just* period pain, not IBS pain, I'm sure of that) on the heaviest days, and usually starting after lunchtime, worsening up to mid-afternoon and then fading back out by the evening.

Then, in the week before my last period, I noticed heavy, dark discharge - which I have never, never had before. That was the period when I had the first severe attack I've had in a long, long time; I was lying on the bathroom floor, drenched in cold sweat and utterly unable to move at one point. It left me absolutely exhausted, and all I could do was sleep.

And it's 'that time' again now, but it's about a week earlier than the last - my periods are never regular, though. For the past two weeks, or almost that, I’ve been having more heavy, dark discharge, which didn't stop before my period came. This time, it started with period cramps (normal for me), then some ‘IBS’-pain started which wasn't hugely severe, but was enough to make me feel a bit sick, quite faint, and tired - and was a bit more pronounced than it tends to be.

Over the past few days I’ve had more IBS cramping, but I’ve been holding it back with Buscopan, which seems to damp it down, and stop it developing into a full attack. I'm still pretty tender, though, with some diarrhoea on Friday and this morning - and most notably, feeling nauseous from Saturday night through to earlier this evening. It may be the Buscopan? I don't usually get just nausea, it tends to be pain/cramping instead, or nausea BECAUSE of the pain. It has gone now, but I've not taken any Buscopan for a while and I think the cramping is coming back instead.


I know I've just gone on and on about it all, and it really is TMI, but I'm just so frightened that I'm going to go back to being in absolute agony and not daring to leave the house for a quarter of my life for fear of an attack when I'm not at home, which is how I lived half my teen years. And in any case - I think I hope this might not be IBS, or not *just* that, because it feels as though nothing that's supposed, usually, to alleviate the symptoms of IBS is really making any difference to this, and I feel helpless: even the general, everyday symptoms are so constant, they're just getting too much for me now and I just want it all to stop. I want to be able to do something about it to feel normal again, to not have to worry about it, or feel unnerved by every hint at stomach pain in case I'm going to be ill and (and it sounds weird, but) not have to worry so agonisingly about having wind - because that really *can* be so humiliating. So - please, please, if you can suggest anything, anything this might be, any ideas as to what's going on, or what I can do then I'd be more grateful than I can say.

Thank you,

-Freya

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Hello freija, sounds like your having one hell of a time with all this! I've been dealing with IBS, Overactive Intestinal Disorder, Gastro Intestinal Disorder for over 25 yrs. and would like to help you with most the issues you've mentioned.

During your period you say the IBS symptoms get worse? Well that is because your body is working extra hard to flush out the system and using more fluids to do so. If your taking anykind of stimulants, especially coffee or tea than your dehydrating your body and this will cause the cramping and sickness. So my first suggestion is to cut the caffeine intake, take decaf tea instead of regular tea. No coffee at all not even decaf, because that is the worse you could do. Pain killers may help or they might cause more problems if you do not drink enough fluids, rehydraotors such as decaf tea, pedelight drinks like gatoraide, water, ect. If your having problems with constipation, just make sure your also eatting a little more fruits. its a natural way of getting you to go. :-) You've gone over diet with your specialist??? I know it doesn't matter when your out there food calls to you and you can not always eat what is forbidden. Especially since its seems like everything that is good to you is on the no list. I tend to be stuborn as well on my diet intake and tend to eat from the no list. But than you end up experiencing either dierra or constipation, depending on what was not eatten enough. But as you've noticed its a balance out act of the right foods together. you can not have just veggies and not expect to get gasious. You need to eat also alot of grains, bread. I end up trying to eat cream of wheat with some milk and sugar to help, or oatmeal muffins, oatmeal cookies are a good snack for you. Hope that helps!
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