E’s IBS Journey

As part of the IBelieveinyourStory campaign, I bring you E’s story:

“My story started many years ago as I have struggled with constipation for as long as I can remember …

I mentioned my constipation to my PCP six or seven years ago at my annual check up. She suggested adding more fiber to my diet. I did as she suggested but continued to struggle and at my next visit mentioned my continued constipation symptoms to my PCP.

She referred me to see a GI doctor.

The GI doc suggested more fiber .. !  

I pushed her asking her which veggies .. which fruits .. ?

She suggested fennel!

Nothing really changed and increasing my fiber intake seemed to make my constipation worse. I went back to see the GI doctor and she suggested that perhaps I had a “bit” of IBS. I came home and researched IBS on my own. At that time, the information on IBS was limited.

I kept pushing back, not accepting the status quo. I changed my doctors and specialists.

There were colonoscopies, CAT scans, MRI’s and always more testing… but the tests always coming back negative.

I think I tried every laxative on the market. Nothing seemed to help for more than a week or two. Ultimately, I tested positive for SIBO !

In the last six years I have seen four GI docs, three nutritionists, two PCP’s and five physical therapists until I was confident I had the right team!

Within weeks of being diagnosed with SIBO .. I went to see my third nutritionist .. Kate Scarlata.

Kate introduced me to the low FODMAP diet almost four years ago (my diet at that time was even more limited than the low FODMAP diet), after my initial diagnosis of SIBO.

It’s been an amazing journey .. Thank you Kate !

Last year we decided to retest for SIBO and I tested “negative” for SIBO last fall! I’m fully aware that SIBO has a high rate of return but I’m fully confident now that I have the resources I need. I still have some issues that I continue to work on with my physical therapist but am doing so much better!

Things I learned:

  • Never give up.
  • Push back.
  • Reach out.
  • Find the right nutritionist who understands, will listen and most importantly will hear YOU !
  • If needed, find a physical therapist that specializes in pelvic floor therapy that uses biofeedback and diaphragmatic breathing.
  • There really are doctors who care and who can help!

Today, I am happy with my progress, my team of doctors, my nutritionist and my physical therapist !!”

Thanks E for sharing your journey–your challenges and triumphs!

Learn more about the #IBelieveinyourStory campaign here.