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Hi! I’m a 23 year old female and I’ve been struggling with IBS-C for I’m not really sure how long as I spent most of my teen years misdiagnosed with anorexia nervosa rather then receiving help for my colon. I had juvenile colon polyposis syndrome and routine polypectomies as a child to have them removed as I suffered from constipation and dehydration. This all caused immense anxiety and OCD. Somewhere down the line my doctors and parents stopped addressing the issues after docs graduated me from annual colonoscopies to one every couple of years since they hadn’t had any significant polyp findings for a bit. I still suffered severe discomfort and limited foods and increased physical activity as means to (subconsciously) control the symptoms. At 12 y.a. one doctor misdiagnosed me with anorexia nervosa and for 10 years after I was labeled. No doctors would see me for anything else. Everything I was experiencing was an eating disorder that I didn’t truly have. Finally, I realized I was on my own after family/parental stressors indicated. So a year ago, I switched my provider to a woman in another area and gave her my entire medical background…..except the AN. The past few months, I’ve been treated with probiotics, pelvic floor physical therapy, started lowering my antidepressants they’ve had me on for over a decade, been diagnosed with IBS-C, am seeing gastroenterology for polyps, and most significantly, am 3 weeks out of rectopexy surgery as my rectum and colon had prolapsed over the years. I’m finally getting the help I’ve so desperately been seeking. There’s still work to do, but there’s peace and optimism in knowing I followed my gut. Trust yourself. Don’t quit fighting. We are more than a diagnosis. And sometimes- we are not even that diagnosis to begin with. Speak out and communicate and work with doctors, don’t let them work for you.

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