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I’m a 22 year old college student from MN. Born in Egypt, raised in the US. I got diagnosed with IBS – Constipation & GERD when I was 15. I got Post – Infectious IBS from when I traveled back to my home country then. I ate at a restaurant over there & I ended up with a stomach virus. I went to a doctor and his nurse gave me a Zantac shot that day I came back from the restaurant because I started having an upset stomach shortly after leaving the restaurant. I wouldn’t eat anything but soup for a month and drink green tea after that day thinking it would help the virus go away. I lost so much weight and I was feeling okay after sometime. It wasn’t until I went back to the US from vacation & went back to school that I started having symptoms. Apparently later I found out from a theory that a provider I recently saw told me, which is that the virus went away then but probably left some side effects thus the symptoms of constipation, bloating & heartburn I later developed when I went back to school. I tried so many providers in most known hospitals where I live, from MN gastro to Mayo clinic and ran so much tests. I didn’t have H pylori & they said nothing was wrong, but I was still having symptoms. They gave me laxatives like Miralax, Milk of Magnesia, Linzess, Amitiza and so many different others. Some worked for a bit then stopped working properly and some just escalated the symptoms by giving me bloating & diarrhea. I gave up on taking any of these. I later went the naturopathic & holistic/functional medicine route. I spent hundreds and thousands of dollars on trying different treatments. I thought that eradicating SIBO would cure me, because I developed SIBO from the constipation or thought I just developed it on its own from the stomach virus and it caused me the chronic constipation. They had me run some tests of their own too & then put me on antibiotics and stuff with garlic in it to eradicate the SIBO. I took it for a while then it gave me horrible heartburn. I told that to my naturopathic provider and she told me this was the first time a patient reacted this way to her protocol and made it seem like it was strange & that I wasn’t supposed to react this way. She later said I had low stomach acid & so I had to try ACV from braggs and Betaine HCL & pepsin with meals. Both gave me terrible heartburn in low doses and I couldn’t tolerate them. My second doctor was a functional medicine provider. I paid about $4000 for his protocol. They said that their protocol cured so many patients and they %100 think it will help cure me too. I took Antibiotics like Atrantil and other supplements for the symptoms. I also did acupuncture with needles in their clinic & it really helped with the bloating but it came back after I ate. I took the supplements for months and didn’t see a difference. They also had me take vitamins and magnesium supplements to make up for deficiencies. My gut cannot absorb magnesium for some reason and it gave me loose stools so I stopped it. Eventually I realized that both treatments aren’t really doing anything & I was just spending money for nothing. I stopped going to them and just gave up. Then my last resort was recently when I went to my current provider in which they were supposed to be the best in MN gastro. They had me runs some tests too which were bowel transit time and stomach emptying. I was fine but just had IBS with constipation. They told me I had a motility issue possibly from the virus I got and I had to get things moving or else I’m going to have recurring SIBO and that it will keeping coming back if I don’t treat the underlying issue which is the motility. They gave me a magnesium oxide treatment 400g twice a day and well, you guessed it…my gut doesn’t absorb it properly so it gave me loose stools and horrible bloating. My provider didn’t get that and told me that I can get a different recommendation from another provider. I then tried on my own antidepressants like lexapro, prozac & sertraline hoping it would relax my muscles so I can go & also treat my depression/anxiety. Sertraline made me go but only once that one week I tried it and then it stopped working. I couldn’t tolerate the weight gain and drowsiness side effects that came with it so I had to stop it. I tried lexapro and it made me more constipated but it helps with losing weight. Prozac just didn’t really do anything with the constipation but it could’ve helped with the depression/anxiety but honestly, I just cared about treating the constipation. I currently just gave up on all treatments. I now just take colace 2-in-1 laxative and stool softener and it works sometimes, most of the time it doesn’t. Either doesn’t work or gives me diarrhea. That’s my story…I just kind of became a homebody because of fear of accidents from IBS and I take slow steps in pursuing things in my future because of social anxiety. Just hoping researchers come up with a treatment that will help everyone get their IBS treated. Recently heard of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT). They are running clinical trials on it and I’m hoping it will work and help everyone. If you made it this far, thanks for reading & I hope you get whatever conditions you are struggling from treated and know that you are not alone.

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