I started having pain and heartburn after eating certain foods and at one point went to the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack when in fact it was my gall bladder. At age 40 I had my gall bladder removed. After that I started having abdominal pains and frequently (and suddenly!) having bouts of diarrhea. I wasn’t sure what was causing it but over time I found that certain foods, fatty foods, caffeine and others were triggering these bouts. I”m writing this because of someone else’s article that described the same thoughts, fears and anxieties that I have. I’m afraid I’ll have an accident while flying, riding in a bus, coaching a game, long rides and it hinders my ability to date (divorced woman, age 45). I love good food and live about 30 minutes from the city, but can’t manage the journey to go in and have dinner in fear I won’t make the trip home! How would that be for a first date! My children and family understand but it’s difficult to manage sometimes. I coach softball and literally don’t eat all weekend because I can’t take the chance of me having to run off the field to go the bathroom. Everywhere I go I always look for the bathroom first, just so I can relax and feel safe in knowing its not far away. One thing I have noticed is that mine comes in three’s. When I have an episode, I usually go 3 times in a row, emptying my bowels. After the first one I stand in the bathroom waiting for the 2nd and 3rd wave of cramps, pain and diarrhea to come. It’s not pretty and I don’t like to talk about it. I’m not big on taking medicine but I did find that eating tums 30 minutes before I eat seems to coat my stomach (or something) and “calms” the acid or whatever it it that causes my body to react negatively to certain foods. I still haven’t figured out all the food triggers either. I could be fine eating a salad one day and then the next not be fine. I have not been “officially” diagnosed with IBS but actually just made my first appointment with a GI doctor so I’m hoping he can give me some additional insight. I try not to let it run my life although it can stress me out. My kids and I have a code for it. I tell them “I’m having a P.A.” (poop attack)

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