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not sure if i have ibs
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MissLady121 posted:
Hi, I'm a 15 year old female. For about a year and a half now, I've been getting stomachaches, some bloating (but not a lot), bad gas, and probably between 2-4 times on a bad week I'll have a loose stool or bad diarrhea. This usually gets really bad when I'm nervous (like if I have to give a presentation, take big tests or perform in front of others) or if it's around "that time of the month". But sometimes it happens for no reason, even if I'm not eating really fatty stuff (greasy food gives me a horrible stomachache and diarrhea). Even right now, since yesterday, my stomach has been hurting and I have bad gas (gross I know). Sometimes for a couple of days my stomach will feel all gurgly and stuff, and I'll get diarrhea....then I'm fine for a week or so...then it'll start again. I get constipated every once in a while, but if I drink more water and eat fiber, I'll get bad diarrhea. I was just wondering if IBS could be the problem. This is so embarrassing!
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barbarafromtucson responded:
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.

--Barbara

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!

Good luck!
 
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MissLady121 replied to barbarafromtucson's response:
Thank you so much!


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