Learning To Live Life With IBS?

Excuse the pun, but IBS is a pain in the backside that has plagued my life for the last twenty years or so. IBS is one of those conditions that you can have under control for years, then bam, it’s back with a vengeance! Although, hands up, I have a fear of doctors, so I keep putting off going find out if there are any medical advancements in treatment. In the meantime, I’m still learning to live life with IBS.

IBS can, when I’m having a particularly bad patch, feel like its ruling my life. I’ve had countless times that I’ve had to cancel plans because my stomach has let me down AGAIN. If I go somewhere new, then the first thing I always do is scope out the nearest bathroom ‘just in case’. All in all, that means that simple things like going for a meal can feel like a really stressful experience.

Living life with IBS

Life with IBS is embarrassing. I never used to admit to anyone other than my mum and brother that I had IBS, even to very close friends. It’s only when I opened up, a friend told me she just thought I was just being a princess with my constant need to eat at a certain time.

Oh and dating with IBS is a whole other ball game! I only started opening up once it all got a bit too much. I had started dating Dan and after an afternoon of me spending the entire time wanting to go from pub to pub. I can’t remember the excuse I gave for disappearing off to the toilet every 5 minutes, but I’m pretty sure he thought I was an odd ball!

Life with IBS has meant I’ve had way more cringe-worthy “mad dashes” than I can, or care to remember. The number of times I have been so thankful just to spot a pub. Unfortunately, the said pub hasn’t been selected because of its impressive offerings of wines and fine ales, instead because a walk or wander has to be cut short because I can feel my stomach is about to go. (Although I can’t lie, I do like to stumble across a pub, IBS or not!)

A few things I do to manage it

Here are a few things I do to try to manage my IBS symptoms. If you have IBS too I hope they  help. Or if you have anything you try, please drop me a comment and I will give it a go!

Diet

When my IBS first started, I noticed white bread was a big no no. Since then I have always tried to avoid it (which is hard when pizza is your favourite food!). White pasta also not a friend of my tummy, but that usually just causes bloating, so not a complete deal breaker. I still haven’t had a test to see about food intolerances. My fear of needles is just too much for that lol! I just try to avoid foods once I know they can be a trigger.

Food diary

When I was first diagnosed with IBS, the doctor told me to make a note of everything I that I ate. This is particularly important if its a new food. I have attached a copy of my Food Tracker. You’ll notice I popped a section called ‘Mood’.  I always make a note if I have been stressed or anxious to help me see if that has contributed. I also note down if I ate at a different time. Eating after 7pm for some reason does not agree with my stomach!

Stress

As I mentioned, I always note down when I am stressed or anxious. Stress is probably the biggest contributor to my IBS going crazy. It’s like a vicious circle though, the more stressed you get about having a flare-up. The more likely it will be that, yes you guessed it, you’ll need the sodding toilet!

Medication

I’ve always tried to just manage the symptoms of IBS by myself. Recently, though it’s just getting too much. I am in the process of trying out a few different remedies. The first of which is Colpermin. Unfortunately, this didn’t do much for me. Also, the fact you have to take 3 tablets a day, meant I kept forgetting to take them all, which just isn’t a fair test.

Yesterday,  I had a few minutes to spare, so I popped into Boots and picked up Alflorex. I met these guys at a Scarlett London event a few years back, but for some reason, I didn’t try the tablets properly. It’s one tablet a day and in a box of 30 capsules, so I will give them another go, so I’ll keep you updated! And if they don’t work, then I guess it’s time to go back to the doctors (eek!).

 

I hope you liked this post. Opening up leaves you with that horrible vulnerable feeling doesn’t it. If you’re a sufferer too, please let me know your story and what you do to live life with IBS.

Lots of love,
Helen xoxo

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