I feel like I am coming to the end of my tether with my IBS. These are just 5 things I think that EVERYONE needs to know about IBS.
1. It's more than just bloating and it's not "just" IBS
When I was first diagnosed with the condition I was told by the doctor not to worry because it's nothing serious it's just IBS. I didn't give it much thought at the time but after year of living with the condition I can tell you there is nothing just about it. I think a lot of people google IBS and decide they have it because they bloat after a big meal or the get occasional diarrhoea once in a while for no reason. While I know that you can get various severity's of the condition mine pretty much affects me everyday. I am constantly asked when I am expecting. I am on a number of prescribed medications and it really does control my life.
2. It's not just about poo.
I know we Brits don't like to talk about poo, and a number of films and tv like to take the piss out of Irritable Bowels (I'm looking at you inbetweeners 2 ...) but that's not all IBS is about. Yes its one of the symptoms but did you know the thing that bothers me the most is the fatigue? Jenna recently wrote a fantastic blog post about fatigue and I think people don't often associate this with IBS.
3. Its not all in my head.
Yes recently my anxiety has been a big trigger for flares and I am working on that, but IBS is not all in my head. Its a viscous circle between this, my anxiety and now my query endometriosis but that doesn't mean I can think it better. Lots of things trigger flares, foods, antibiotics and other medications can all trigger reactions and telling me to calm down when I am desperately searching for a toilet or on a crowded bus is NOT HELPFUL IN THE SLIGHTEST.
4. You're clean eating advice just makes me roll my eyes.
I think people want to push their clean eating agenda on everyone. I am currently looking for some reputable sources for evidence based advice on diet with IBS but if one more person tells me to go gluten free or eat wholewheat bread I will probably scream. I tried the FODMAP diet and ended up back at the doctors deficient in pretty much every vitamin and mineral. I have to be very careful with the food i eat, but also take it on a day by day basis. Something that has triggered me in the past might be OK now. If I know that I am going to be in a situation where there is no toilet access (e.g. a long bus journey) I will stick to very plain safe for me foods. This may be more for my anxiety but its my way of coping.
5. I sometimes have to cancel plans last minute.
Which I KNOW sucks for you. My friends are fantastic and I can usually text them saying I'm going to be late because I am stuck on the loo, or that I am too fatigued to go to an event. I feel a lot more unable to do this when it comes to blogger events. I feel really silly emailing people I don't know and cancelling, but when I have a flare I sometimes can't leave the toilet and other times I only have the energy to do the bare necessities. Yes I might still be able to get through a shift at work, but that's because if I don't work I don't get paid.
What do other IBS bloggers wish people would know? I'm interested to hear your thoughts! Also please leave your blog links below, I would like to meet a lot more of the Spoonie Blogger community!