Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
After months and months of loose bowels, and not being able to figure out what was causing it, I went to the doctor. Given the symptoms and that my mum also has it, the doctor put me on an IBS drug called Mebeverine, and ordered a blood test.
The blood test came back normal, but the Mebeverine wasn’t doing anything. Actually, it was. It just wasn’t doing GOOD things. It was making me feel much worse. My stomach was churning all the time, I had cramp and pain and sweat and nausea. It was not good.
The following Friday I called the surgery back and explained my situation. I was told that I have IBS and I was put on different medication – Loperamide.
Since then, I’ve been taking the Loperamide as prescribed and it appears to be doing the job. On top of that, I’ve embarked on an exclusion diet. For six weeks or so I’m on the FODMAPs diet. This restricts Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides, and Polyols. There is a nice long list of things I’m not allowed to eat now, and I’ve also removed gluten and lactose from my diet.
The essentials are: no gluten, lactose, fructose, apples, legumes, stoned fruits and certain sugars. It sounds a bit rough, but it’s not that bad actually. Especially now with so many gluten-free and lactose-free alternatives around.
It’s certainly been interesting. But it isn’t forever. It’s just for six weeks, to give my body a cleanse. Then I get to introduce a different food (group) every two weeks and see if it has an effect on my IBS. The idea being to gradually work out what foods I should be avoiding.
It’s a very long process, and in the meantime (and for the rest of my life) I’m going to have to deal with flare ups and accidents and all sorts. IBS is not a nice thing to have. But it has had two positive effects so far…
1) My appetite has severely shrunk. It could be mental trauma from the week of flare up, and it might wear off, but decreasing my appetite can only be a good thing. I’ve never been able to control my portion size.
2) I’ve not been stressing so much about being stuck here.
I’ve been trying not to stress so much at all. IBS can be brought on by stress, and given the last year it’s highly likely that’s what brought it on for me. The two biggest factors in treating IBS are diet and relaxation. The two things I’ve always had the hardest time managing.
I’m working on the diet issue, and I’m working on the relaxation too. One of the suggested treatments is CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). I had some of this early this year and I’m working hard on remembering what I was taught and enacting it. I’m also looking into and attempting meditation and Tai Chi. Relaxing isn’t easy for me, even when I’m not living in a majorly stressful environment. But I am trying.
This is my blog, and this is about my life, so you may well hear more about this particular part of it. I’ll try not to be too graphic.
Do any of my followers have IBS?