IBS – A pain in the ….. bowel!!

I laughed when the doctor diagnosed me with IBS at aged 19. I had very little symptoms and was still able to eat and drink whatever I liked (within reason) As far as I was concerned I had a random pain in my left side that occurred every now and again.

Fast forward 4 years and I pretty much have every symptom in the book (and believe me I have a book) Plus I now have the added factor that my symptoms can get so bad on some days they can affect how I am, and what I do. Although I have been only dealing with ‘cronic IBS’ for about 6 months, the changes I have had to make to my lifestyle have had to happen quickly and drastically. Here are my top tips for coping with IBS, aka what the doctor told me;

Symptoms:

It is really important to know what is IBS and what isn’t. It is also really important to know what foods and drinks affect your IBS. To find out I would suggest keeping a food diary for about two weeks. However, the most common symptoms include…

* Pain in the abdomen, lower back, higher back, under the belly button and in you left and right sides
* Feeling sick after eating certain foods, drinking certain drinks or eating/drinking at all
* A constant bloating after every meal
* Heavy feeling in your stomach
* Being sick
* Feeling tired/extreme fatigue
* Dizziness
* Constipation, diarrhoea, pain passing stools

It is vital to understand that anything from anxiety and stress to excitement can affect your IBS and make it a lot worse. Practice regular breathing exercises to help reduce the chances of making yourself worse.

Foods and drinks to avoid (my personal experience)

* Spices (anything from Indian/Thai spices to Mexican)
* Caffeine (tea and coffee put me in agony)
* Anything heavy in starch, carbs or sugar (biccies, cakes, bread etc)
* Cereals
* Nuts
* Too much fruit or veg

What the doctor told me (and I am very happy to say he was spot on)

* Swap regular Tea for Peppermint Tea (this is my saviour…..I cannot make it through a day without it)
* Increase your intake of oats (and yes you can eat porridge but no flapjacks)
* Don’t eat too much fruit of veg 
* Fish oils (I take cod liver oil in tablet form as I hate fish)
* Reduce you food portion (I now eat 3 smaller meals a day with small snacks. The doctor said that eating a little portion of food every 3 hours or so is good for you…this has helped me a lot)
* Do regular exercise (I hate exercising but I walk for at least 25 minutes every day and have found this helps. Exercise also helps me to sleep)
* Water, water, water…..it’s good for you and it’s free (ish) A little fact for you…if you drink water with ice cubes in it you will burn off more calories.

So there you have it…my blog dedicated to the pain in my bowel…nice.

IBS is one of those illnesses/diseases that people disregard…unless you have it you don’t understand how much it affects your life. But finding out what triggers or worsens your IBS will really help you to live with this…don’t suffer in silence.

xOx

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Published in: on May 13, 2012 at 10:02 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I started swapping peppermint tea for regular tea about a month ago, it’s soo good and I feel that bit healthier now as well 🙂

  2. oops I meant regular tea for peppermint tea, sorry I’m only awake ten mins 😛

  3. OH WHAT A LOVELY THING IBS IS LOL. HAVE HAD IT FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER.

    I HAVE SEEN UMPTEEN DOCTORS, SPECIALISTS, DIETICIANS.

    I HAVE HAD CAMERAS POPPED INTO EVERY ORIFICE (BACK AND FRONT) WHILE I HAVE BEEN AWAKE AND UNDER ANAESTHETIC.

    I HAVE ASO HAD SEVERAL LAPAROSCOPY, ENDOSCOPY AND OTHER *OSCOPIES* LOL.

    I HAVE TAKEN THE A TO Z OF MEDICATIONS, THE BEST ONE BEING (YES I AM BEING SARCASTIC) CARBAMAZEPINE. OH WHAT WONDERFUL MEMORIES I HAVE.

    SEIZURES

    LOCK JAW

    SLURRED SPEECH (PEOPLE THOUGHT I WAS DRUNK)

    HALLUCINATIONS AND TRIPPLE VISION

    INFECTIONS

    WATER RETENTION

    SWELLING

    TROUBLE BREATHING

    NAUSEA

    CONFUSION

    WEAKNESS

    CRAMP

    ITCHING

    TIREDNESS (TO THE POINT THAT I LIVED IN MY BED)

    AND THE LIST WENT ON…………………………………

    AFTER YEARS AND YEARS OF SUFFERING I DID REACH A POINT WHERE THINGS CALMED DOWN, BUT THEN A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO IT CAME BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!

    I REFUSED TO GO BACK ON THE PREVIOUS MEDICATIONS I HAD BEEN GIVEN (FOR OBVIOUS REASONS) AND DECIDED TO JUST PLOD ON AS BEST I COULD.

    JUMP FORWARD TO 3 MONTHS AGO. FELT I COULD TAKE NO MORE OF PAIN, SYMPTOMS ETC (SOME I HAD NOT EXPERIENCED BEFORE) AND MADE YET ANOTHER APP FOR DOCS.

    I WAS ASKED A MILLION AND ONE QUESTIONS AND THEN ASKED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR THE CLINIC THE NEXT DAY.

    OUTCOME………. I NOW HAVE A PROLAPSE WHICH CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO HAVING MULITIPLE BIRTHS (I ONLY HAVE ONE CHILD), AND IS ALSO AGE RELATED. HAVING SAID THAT, AND TO PUT THINGS IN PERSEPECTIVE MY MUM HAS ALSO JUST RECENTLY BEEN DIAGNOSED AS HAVING A PROLAPSE AFTER HAVING 7 PREGNANCIES AND SHE IS A PENSIONER (SHE JUST MAY KILL ME IF I MENTION HER AGE LOL).

    I WAS TOLD THAT IN MY CASE MY AGE WAS A FACTOR, BUT THE LIKELIHOOD WAS THAT IT WAS MORE TO DO WITH THE CONTINUAL STRAINING WITH IBS.

    I NOW HAVE TO INSERT A PESSARY TWICE A WEEK IN AN APLICATOR (LOVELY) WHICH ISN’T ALWAYS EASY. I ALSO HAVE TO MAKE SURE I EAT PLENTY OF ROUGHAGE (BREAD, FRUIT, VEG, ETC) WHICH GOES AGAINST EVERYTHING YOU ARE TOLD TO AVOID WITH IBS. IF I DON’T EAT THE THINGS THAT EXACERBATE MY IBS MY PROLAPSE COULD GET WORSE AND I MAY HAVE TO HAVE SURGERY. MY GP ADVISES THAT WE NEED TO AVOID THIS AT ALL COSTS AS IT IS NOT A VERY NICE OPERATION!

    SO WHAT DO I DO?

    I EAT THE THINGS THAT KEEP ME REGULAR SO AS TO AVOID SURGERY IF POSSIBLE WHILST AT THE SAME TIME THEY AGGRIVATE MY COLON. TO TRY AND BALANCE THIS OUT I NOW TAKE *MINTEC* WHICH IS ON PRESCRIPTION ONLY. IT’S A LITTLE CAPSULE (JUST A WEE ONE WHICH IS GREAT) AND THE MAIN INGREDIENT IS NATURALLY OCCURING PEPPERMINT FROM THE PEPPERMINT PLANT. I TAKE 1 THREE TIMES A DAY 30 TO 60 MINS BEFORE FOOD. THEY ARE NOT A CURE ALL, BUT THEY DO TAKE THE EDGE OFF THE SYMPTOMS THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH IBS.

    OH WHAT FUN WE HAVE LOL.

    SIGNED……………… A FELLOW SUFFERER. XXX


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