I've been reading through all of the postings here with great interest and decided to share my experiences. Two years years I was told that I possibly has IBS. I had the symptoms of Crohn's disease and/or ulcerative colitis but the doctors ( I was seeing my GP, a surgeon,and a Gastro-Intestinal Specialist) could not pinpoint exactly what was wrong with me. A random spree of testing wasn't a lot of help so I went back to my job and my life to muddle through as best I could. Don't get me wrong, I did appreciate everything the doctors did for me, but in the long run it came down to the old "I just don't know" (quoting my GP here). I know that sounds familiar to some of you.
I asked him if it was diet or stress induced, and his answer was 'possibly'. Yah, thanks Doc.
I went home and started making adjustments to my diet. I eliminated gluten and then dairy foods. I tried to remember to include stress-relieving meditations and such into my daily routine, but they got forgotten somewhere along the way. I was doing not so bad, maintaining mostly and flare-ups were small enough not to interfere with my job.
Then several months ago I made a big mistake. I went to the pub for an end-of-of-the-year drink with my co-workers (work is seasonal and I won't see most of them until we return to work in the spring).
As I went down the list of things I could possibly drink (no wheat, rye, barley, milk, cream, carbonation, etc) and finally decided on scotch (well distilled) and chased that with black coffee. I should have limited myself to one. There are easier ways to really hurt yourself.
That one night of alcohol and caffeine kick-started the absolute worst and biggest flare-up of symptoms that I've ever had. I'm still dealing with it (thank the gods I'm not working right now). At this point I've seen both my GP and my surgeon and I'm on a waiting list to see the specialist again.
Alcohol and caffeine are now on my "I can live without it list". Although I would like to get stable enough to enjoy a half glass of mead during a ritual
They put me on corticosteroids to get my symptoms under control. I dislike taking drugs. But they seem to working and I guess I'm okay with short term use. I still believe that long term effects are a result of diet and stress.
I've read over a lot of the good food/bad food lists put out by various IBS groups and made some adjustments to my diet based on them. Some foods I eliminated right away as they could affect me within an hour of eating them. I like the fodmap diet sheet (thanks for posting the link. Kima), most of the bad foods are ones that I've already eliminated. Except onions and leeks (hmmm, I eat onions a lot, they'll be my next to go for a couple weeks).
I'm looking for a local dietician, eliminating too many foods from one's diet could cause deficiencies and I have enough to deal with right now.
One thing that I'm finding really helpful is daily healing meditation. In the mornings before I rise or in the afternoon if I'm having an uncomfortable time, I like to listen to the healing meditations on Phillip Carr-Gomm's "Sacred Nature" CD. http://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/phili ... d377293144
Clothed with Flowers, and The Healing Island of Moy Mell. They help me a lot.
It's difficult to find any specific help as symptoms and treatments are so subjective to each person. I think it helps to share what we know in a forum such as this, as what one person has experienced can be just the thing that makes all the difference to another. Thank you to everyone who has posted here.