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Tiny69 said on 01 May 2012

I belive my IBS started from a combination of food poisoning on holiday in France one year and exams stress, both around 15. I'm male and now 27 so from the above not in the usual category of sufferer. My symptoms don't tend to be so varied, just discomfort (which I can live with) and lots of urgent trips to the loo (which are more difficult to live with!). I've had all the tests for more serious conditions and tried exclusion diets - while lots of the common offenders certainly make it worse, excluding them doesn't fix it. Loperimide (Immodium but don't buy Immodium for £5 odd, supermarkets do their own at 60-90p!) does help but is only temporary and in times of big stress I've found myself still having 'issues' after a huge dose. Having read the comments here and on the linked pages I think I differ from most sufferers in that I'm not a natuarally anxious person, in fact most people think I'm too chilled out (except when I can't find a toilet on a trip etc...!). One GP did suggest that this could be because I'm internalising my stress/anxiety etc so rather than seeming stressed I get ill! Anyhoo, my tops tips as I have to travel a lot with work - plan ahead, it makes you more relaxed with a plan of where you can stop etc and more often that not you won't need to if you know you can. Be honest with friends and family - we Brits don't like to talk about 'poo', even less when it's abnormal in some way but trying to hide it will worry others, increase your stress and decrease your ability to cope. Above all else - do not just self diagnose. See your GP and get tested to make sure there aren't other underlying issues. Tests range from the hydrogen breath test for lactose intolerance which is quick and easy to colonoscopies which are invasive and unpleasant once you've ruled the rest out you can get on with managing your IBS in the way that works for you.