As you may have read in my first message, I have a shy bowel, since my childhood. Although it has affected my life in many ways, my way of coping with it was going to the bathroom before I left home. Even if I didnít feel the urge to go, I was (and am again) able to empty my bowel in the morning. Thatís why for me this problem didnít play much of a role during my daily routine, only during holidays.
However, about eight years ago, things changed for the worse. I often had the feeling that my guts were still not empty, after I had gone to the bathroom and sadly, after a few hours I had to go again. As I wasnít able to go at the office, I sometimes raced home during lunchtime and otherwise I held it in and accepted the very unpleasant feeling in my belly. I also started suffering from bloating (sometimes people asked me if I was pregnant) and hemorrhoids in those days. This worsened my condition even more, because I didnít dare to press very much and found it more difficult to relax on the toilet, even at home. This went on for a couple of years, but things didnít get any better. I was told that I had to live with the fact that I was a IBS sufferer and so the only thing I could do is trying to get rid of my parcopresis, because this problem made it even harder to live with IBS. So I visited a hypnotherapist on my own expense. It has cost me a lot of money and it didnít work for me, either.
Then I started to get diarrhea attacks at least once a month, sometimes three days in a row. Even that, I tried to hold in, or I said that I was ill and rushed home. At that time I also had a lot of stress at my work and in the end I got a burn-out. Although in the Netherlands it is prohibited to fire someone in that state, it let to my dismissal. (Sometimes things are better in theory than in practice.) I have never told my colleagues or manager about my bowel problems, though.
I had to visit doctors because of my burn-out and I mentioned my diarrhea attacks. They concluded that it had something to do with my burn-out. Even, after staying home for more than half a year, they stuck to this conclusion. The following years I started my own business, which gave me lots of pleasure and it made it much easier to cope with my condition. I also visited a fysiotherapist for biofeedback, to help me relax my pelvis muscles. It helped me a bit to get more control over my sphincter and I can recommend it to everyone with these kind of problems. However the diarrhea attacks and the bloating remained. My doctor now diagnosed me as an IBS sufferer and prescribed loperamide. I was reluctant to take this medicin, not only because it didnít help very much, when I had diarrhea, but also because I often suffered from constipation between the diarrhea attacks, although my stools were always mushy and loose. I ordered probiotica from the United States, especially for IBS sufferers. That helped a little bit, but it still didnít prevent the diarrhea attacks, it only made them less severe.
As I also suffered from (more) migraine attacks, fatigue, skin problems, hair lost and muscle and joint pains, I went to an internist. He was recommended to me by a woman I had met on a birthday party of a friend of mine. My blood, faeces and urine were examined. The next time I went to my internist, I got the results of the research. I was so sure that I had a hypothyroid, just like my mother, but to my surprise I had a parasite in my colon, the dientamoebe fragilis and because of that I also suffered from a severe lack of vitamin D. I got medicins to get rid of the parasite and I can tell you, it immediately and completely took away all of my bowel problems. Everything is normal again. I can empty my bowel in one turn, my feaces are more solid, I have not had diarrhea attacks ever since. Although Iím still a shy bowel sufferer, now Iím able to cope with it in a better way.
The reason I want to share this with all of you, is because I am sure that people, who think they suffer from IBS, might actually have this terrible parasite. For people, who also suffer from parcopresis, this condition is so hard to deal with. This parasite is very common. I have read a lot about this topic in the meantime and I know now that most doctors (like mine) rather say you have IBS than test you on parasites. About 20% of the adults are carriers of this specific parasites, but do not always suffer from it. Thatís why doctors often think that this microorganism cannot cause so much trouble. However most people with intestinal problems are proved to be carriers of this very common parasite. Scientists have indicated this parasite as harmful. I believe that it is also possible that people donít have problems with this parasite, until they get into a situation (illness or stress) that their resistance weakens. Research on this topic is still going on. Please donít think you must have been to the tropics to catch it, because you donít. These parasites are also common in Northern Europe and the United States. Donít think (as I did) that a parasite will always make you lose weight, although it certainly can. I was always hungry and craving for food with a lot of carbohydrates and sugar.
If you want to know if you have this parasite, ask your doctor for a triple faeces test (TFT). This is the only way to prove this parasite in stool. So if you have similar symptons as described above, go to your doctor and if he or she doesnít want to test your faeces on parasites, try to find someone else. If you want to know more about this subject, I have found a good website (in English): www.badbugs.org.
Good luck to you all and especially to the people that also suffer from IBS!