CAMILA’S PERSONAL STORY

Hello everyone, my name is Maria. I’m 25 y/o; I’m originally from Colombia and live in Alabama. Yes, I live with IBS too, but the main reason I am writing this is to share with you the name of the over-the-counter medicine that helped me manage 90% of my IBS symptoms and give you some hope!

First, I’ll tell you my IBS story.
I started having digestive issues when I was 18. It started small, some having cramps, gas, and incomplete bowel movements. I went to my primary and the gastro and was diagnosed with IBS. They prescribed “water, exercise, a healthy diet, and no stress” yeah… well, I followed their instructions, but I still had the same symptoms.

Then it got worse. By the time I was 19, my symptoms were: Uncontrollable gas (like passing gas every minute, guys, it was ridiculous. This was my main IBS symptom), incomplete bowel movements, so much bowel inflammation, joint pain, foggy brain, and pain. I took generic anti-gas meds that made my stomach burn, antiacids, enzymes, and stool softeners. By this time, I also had depression, anxiety, and even some suicidal thoughts 🙁
I was doing online college and working at a call center (packed with people, everyone working next to each other, so you can imagine my stress of passing gas every minute while surrounded by them). It was the most humiliating thing. I tried eliminating foods that triggered my symptoms, but that didn’t work, as everything I ate made me sick. At one point, I was eating a tiny portion of white rice and chicken plus five supplemental enzymes pills and still had IBS symptoms. I weighed around 90 pounds, and my mental health was getting scary. So after a year and a half of that, I quit and continued taking online classes.

I was very lucky that my parents supported me financially and let me study from home. I was able to eat no matter how bad my IBS symptoms were and recovered weight and energy. This helped me some, but I still had all my symptoms, and I could not even go to the mall. I was passing gas so much that I couldn’t even stay in line to pay or browse around a store without checking if anyone was coming close to me to leave before they noticed “it was me.” I didn’t have a car, so I had to cancel every invitation from any cute guy (friends of my sister) unless my mom would take me and pick me up… I was 21 at that point …

After two years of being at home, sick, alone, and depressed, trying everything and anything the internet would suggest to get rid of IBS), my family got health insurance again. I visited another gastro who said the same thing the other many gastro doctors said to me before, but this time, this doctor prescribed some medicines, “Beano” and other meds I can’t remember because they didn’t help.

I used “Beano” for a while (2-3 pills a meal). They helped some with my gas and other symptoms but they taste bad and my symptoms were still there. They also made my stomach hurt. One day I went to CVS to get more Beano bottles, but they were out!! And that’s when I saw BEANAID; I bought it, and I have been using three pills a meal for about 4 years and I got my life back.!

I’m getting a little emotional while writing this because if someone had told me I would be able to have a life after those hard years, I wouldn’t have believed them!

I can eat everything (except for lactose), even beans, fruits, and meats! I can go to the gym, the mall, and even have plane trips! I was able to go back to work (without gas-humiliation, endless hours in the bathroom, or pain). I went back to on-campus classes and got my degree, I got a boyfriend two years ago, and I got engaged two months ago, guys!

Today, I was looking for IBS-friendly muscle gain proteins, and I remembered when I searched for IBS forums to read other people’s stories and not feel alone. I am sharing my story, hoping someone will benefit from it!

Here are some things I would have done differently some years ago:
– Get a counselor or phycologist: I needed help to navigate life while struggling with IBS, because we all know it is very scary, uncertain, and lonely.
– Don’t try everything and anything from the internet: I tried so many things, and now I realize how dangerous some could have been.
– Always ask your doctor: I saw my doctors as the not-caring professionals who didn’t work hard enough to help me. They don’t have all the answers, but they will know if a “cure” from the internet is dangerous” so ask them!
– Try to follow the “water, exercise, a healthy diet, and no stress” prescription. It didn’t cure my IBS, but it did help me have a healthier life.

And before I leave, I want to say thank you, you’re not alone, and there is hope!

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