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From as far back as I can remember, I’ve had digestive issues. I remember being 2 and 3 years old, rolling around on the floor in agony while screaming and crying. As a baby the doctor told my mom I had a dairy allergy which was cut out of my diet. The stomach pain however, did not seem to subside. This went on for years… When I started 1st grade I seemed to have gotten better though… I had no symptoms of IBS for years, that is up until I was 12 years old. As I got into my teenage years things got worse, and the pain became more severe than ever before. By the time I was 16 years old I had lost nearly 40 pounds in only a few months and I probably weighed about 115 pounds, if even that. (Keep in mind I’m 5’6 and 115 pounds is severely underweight for that height). Anyways at 16 years old I completely stopped eating and developed an eating disorder. I had a horrible fear of eating because I knew that eating anything would likely result in me having extreme pain. I also did not want to gain weight because I’ve been a dancer all my life and body image is a huge deal in dance and so I wanted to stay thin. Even though I stopped eating the stomach pain remained. There were times the pain was so intense I literally wanted to die because I simply couldn’t take it anymore as this kept happening over and over again. Because I stopped eating I was no longer getting the nutrients I needed to be healthy. I became anemic and now have an iron deficiency. I would become so dizzy that the room would be spinning and my vision would blur and I couldn’t even walk. That was the last straw for my mother. She practically carried me into the doctor’s office because I was so dizzy and could barely stand. We demanded answers because I had reached my breaking point. I was so sick. I had so many hospital visits and each time they told me the same thing. “You have IBS”. Yet they still did nothing… I never received any medicine from the hospital doctors. I’m 19 years old now and IBS still runs my life. My stomach dictates the things I get to do throughout the day and whether or not I can leave my house in case I need to be near a bathroom. I have good and bad days where I am able to eat and keep food down and there are other days I don’t feel well at all. My diet is still very restricted, I live of off jello, crackers, soup, and a few other things. I can only eat extremely small amounts at a time. I guess I just wanted to share my story to let other people who struggle with IBS know that they are not alone. 🙂 So many people suffer from this, and to think there is no cure for it is absolute insanity to me. The fact that no one talks about it amazes me as well. We should be educating people more about digestive disorders and helping one another to get through this.

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