I can totally empathize with your situation. I also have IBS and looking back, I believe that it began more than one year ago although not diagnosed until later on. No real idea where it came from except possibly after many years of living in Mexico off and on, having numerous intestinal problems there and taking many antibiotics. To further complicate my digestive situation, I also have a serious GERD condition. I have been on the low Fodmap diet for about six months and have lost 25+ lbs.—some of which I needed to lose. But now I am trying to stabilize or even gain. Sometimes even “allowed” foods cause symptoms. I have not had much success in reintroducing forbidden foods—all that I have tried have caused problems. My understanding is that IBS is a permanent condition and I am resigned to, as you said, “the new normal.” I will probably have to have some type of surgery for my GERD since none of the medications are controlling those symptoms. After that at least I hope to be able to add some foods from the Fodmap “NO” list back into my diet—e.g tomatoes and maybe real coffee. Have you considered seeing a dietician?
I saw one who was actually quite helpful at least within the constraints of the restrictive low Fodmap diet. I am not inclined to try any of the meds like Viberzi after my GI went over possible side effects. He has recommended a probiotic called VSL3 which has been tested for IBS. Just started a week ago but so far so good with the bathroom activity—almost normal and no emergencies or constipation. Ask your doctor before you take it. Very expensive. I had heard that Align was also good for IBS and once tried that on my own. It seemed to help at first, but then aggravated my GERD so I quit taking it.
I have heard if some people having success with integrative or functional medicine doctors. You mentioned a DO and maybe that’s is what he or she is trained in. I am considering seeing an MD in integrative medicine later on for IBS but not until after I have the GERD situation under control. I have found that most GI docs are not real good at coordinating care for multiple conditions. Anyway, you still need a GI doctor so if you don’t trust the one you have, research the options and find someone else. I should have done that a year ago! Anyway, good luck!