As a child it was funny, albeit embarrassing, to be the "gassy" one. I would complain constantly of tummy aches, which were dismissed immediately as attention-getting ploys or reasons to avoid going to school.
If my mother wasn't throwing Fletcher's Castoria down my throat for the painful constipation, then diarrhea was the issue. My mother often complained that I would get out helping her with the dishes after dinner because I was in the restroom.
At age 30, I had a major flare up of "something" with massive stomach cramping, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and an always urgent "feeling" that I needed to use the restroom. The doctor said it was IBS, and informed me to eat more fiber. . . whole wheat breads, grains and such. I followed the doctor’s orders, even trying a vegetarian style diet with pastas, tabouleh salads and whole grains. I became sicker.
Test after test came up negative with doctors. The major symptoms seemed to subside for a few years mysteriously.
Then, at age 35, another major flare up with dozens of tests and diagnosis of IBS (again), early menopause, depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic fatigue, hours spent in the ER due to severe skin reactions, swollen eyes and lymph nodes diagnosed as some kind of "allergic reaction" and finally a chat with my primary care provider that perhaps I should see a psychiatrist.
After 5 more years of high doses of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, birth control pills and anti-psychotic medications, I had had enough. I threw away the pills and began to research natural medicine.
It was through holistic healthcare that I became aware of celiac disease and was finally tested and diagnosed correctly. Now at 46, 4 years into my diagnosis, I learn more and more everyday how to manage this disease and how to manage the real anxiety disorder I developed from the fear of needing a restroom as close by as possible. As someone who loves to travel, that anxiety disorder was and continues to be unbearable.
I hope that sharing my story will help others who are experiencing the same frightening scenario. There is a light at the end of the tunnel of misdiagnosis, and NO, it is not all in your head.