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I can only speak about my own experiences with IBS in this section and I’m in no means an expert, but I will try and go through what I have done with my IBS situation since I was diagnosed.
Firstly I was almost 45 yrs old when I took up running to try and get fit and lose some weight.. at that point in my life I had no gutt issues whatsoever .. except for maybe when over induced with alcohol.

I changed my diet to try and help with my fitness regime, I started eating healthily for once .. I changed my whole diet for the better and boy did it feel good for a while .. I took notice of my daily macros .. making sure I had the right balance of proteins and carbs and everything I was reading up about on health websites and running websites .. everything was looking and feeling great and the pounds were dropping off .. so much so that I had lost almost three stone in a two year fight against the flab.
My life was changing for the better. I was now down to a size 30” waist and an x small t-shirt on some days ...
I was eating the whole shebang of health foods .. lots of milk and dairy, loads of pulses and beans, loads of different vegetables and very rarely ate anything processed at all.

I was seeing great results yet at the Same time I was getting irregular gutt problems .. I was getting stitch like pains when I wasn’t even running .. I was having such bad wind that I didn’t even want to be in the same room with myself .. my bowel movements were all over the place .. the abdominal pains I was getting were like that of being stabbed with a long knife .. and that someone was turning it very slowly and constantly .. nothing would take away that pain.

Along side this I was also getting bad pains in my testicles .. regular headaches and migraines and really bad eczema on my elbows and head, moving downwards onto my face.

This was the start of it all .. my IBS had arrived and was wanting to get its hold on me forever.

Now, for a guy who had never really gone to a GP much in his life this was quite a daunting experience ..
Firstly they tried to establish what was wrong with my testicles .. thinking that my abdominal pain could’ve been caused by an inguinal hernia but that wasn’t to be .. multiple trips  to see doctors who really hadn’t got a clue but yet all felt nothing in taking my balls in their hands and inspecting them at every given opportunity, not something you ever get used to I can tell you ...
with all the warm hands in the world it’s still as embarrassing as hell to have to drop your pants and cough at every appointment and then also have them stick a finger up your bum to check your prostate .. the joys of being over 40 !!!
Nothing can prepare you for any of this I can tell you .. there’s no modesty in a doctors room at all and no matter how you think you’re prepared for it, there’s always those days where your balls just don’t want to come out to play, when they have ascended so far that even you can’t feel them let alone anyone else, those are the worst days of your life when that happens.
Then the obligatory ultrasound scans .. someone will slap ice cold gel all over your genitals and ask you to relax while they bulldoze the area with a heavy probe .. whilst trying to keep your modesty and while other doctors and nurses just freely wander in and out of the room for a chat with the person doing the scan.

This then leads to the full abdominal scan which again is the pits .. now for any normal person this would be bad enough but for someone who has an age enlarged prostate .. (confirmed by many a finger up my bum) this isn’t an easy scan .. having to keep a full bladder for over an hour isn’t the easiest of things in the world at this point, and then they press down on your abdomen which almost makes pee just squirt out there and then, and you have to squirm around trying to hold it back as hard as you can.

So all those tests come back weeks later while you’re still suffering and wondering what the hells going on.
Nothing is found in two ultrasound scans and the abdominal pain is still there .. although a diagnosis on my testicles was given but nothing administered for the pain .. live with it it can’t be that bad, is what I get told.

All this time with doctors and hospitals I do some home research and it’s all pointing towards IBS in my head, so I suggest that to my GP.
I was then  referred for a CT scan. The lesser of the two evils .. no probing around anywhere, no getting my balls out and no finger up my bum..
Again weeks later the results are in .. nothing found except a small cyst on my right kidney, .... nothing to worry about go about your life as normal, but still the pains and everything else that looked and sounded like IBS.
Back and forth I go to doctors and now to see a Dietitian  as I’m wanting to know if my new healthy diet was doing what I wanted it to.
That was a big mistake .. I had read more about my symptoms and cures than the dietitian had ever heard of. Telling me to carry on what I was doing as I was losing the weight I wanted to lose so I must be doing something right .. pillock!!

Back to the GP I go again, this time i was referred for a colonoscopy..
Great .. just what I needed,  a huge tube stuck up my bum to take photos of my colon and rectum .. what more could I ask for?

The prep for the procedure was the worst thing I’ve ever known .. I didn’t know you could release so much shit in one day .. it was like a river had overflown its banks and was coming out of my bum .. for around 12 hours .. I could barely walk let alone let someone stick that tube up there tomorrow.. what the hell had I let myself in for?
The procedure was easier than expected and was actually a fascinating experience .. I only had gas and air as I really wanted to see what was going on all the while .. watching that probe delve deeper inside of my body was awesome and not weird at all .. well, as not weird as it can be with a tube stuck up your bum in a room full of people and it being watched on tv by them all !!!
Well it was nice and clear. No biopsies were taken, nothing untoward and no signs of diverticulitis so that was a bonus.

So having had all those tests it was announced that oooh, it must be IBS .. the last stop saloon of diagnosis’s .. I’m sure it’s what they diagnose when they haven't got a flying fucks idea off what’s wrong with you.

I now have been diagnosed as having a cyst on my kidney, hydracele on my right testicle and varicoceles on both testicles and recently found out that I now have small cysts in my epididymis which is where the blood collects from the hydraceles. BUT they’re not bad enough to do anything about and I must continue to live with the pain in my testicles .. probably now until the day I die. GREAT !!

This all started about 4 years ago, i have just got that last bit of confirmation after i have battled with the NHS to get second opinions on my testicles and a new dietitian who is now onboard with a tree of knowledge.

This was the real start of my journey of living with IBS .. now I knew what it was I could confront it and try and move forward.