Monday, July 11, 2011

Living with IBS

::::::::WARNING::::::::::  There will be talk of bodily functions!

I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome back in February.  I know that I have had it for many years, but had always thought it was other things or just pain and diarrhea. 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is defined as a common disorder that affects the large intestine (colon). Irritable bowel syndrome commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating gas, diarrhea and constipation. 

Sounds like lots of fun, huh?!

I feel so much relief now that I have a diagnosis.  There is nothing worse than feeling bad and not knowing what is wrong with yourself.

Since the diagnosis, I have learned some foods, drinks and situations that make me feel worse.  I try to avoid these at all costs!  I would say that I'm able to manage some of it.  It definitely does not control it 100%. 

There are days when it just hits me.   I will have severe pain and/or diarrhea and just feel like laying down and doing nothing.  This is the part that I hate the most.  It basically steals time away from me.

For instance, this past Friday, I had a great day.  We had our last day of swimming lessons and then we went and met Tim for lunch at a great local BBQ place (Smokin Joe's Ribhouse.)
Afterwards, we came home and the kids swam in the pool and we did some things online together.  A little while later, I had to go to the bathroom and I started feeling awful.  It happened 2 or 3 more times over the afternoon.

We had planned on going to an outdoor concert after dinner, but I was feeling so bad that we didn't even cook dinner!  We just made the kids PB&J sandwiches and I ate my old standby that always makes me feel better- Ramen noodles.   I always have some stocked up in the pantry and now C girl loves them too!

I started to feel a little better and then Tim had some ice cream, which I can't have because it is one of my taboo foods.  That made me start craving something sweet.  There was nothing sweet in the house that I wanted, there was only ice cream and chocolate.

So, being the awesome hubby that he is, Tim ran to Walmart to pick up a package of sugar cookie mix to whip up real quick.  Normally, I'm a very homemade cookie kinda girl, but desperate times call for desperate measures!!!  The cookies were delish and I finally started feeling better around 7:30 in the evening.  So, it took up about 4 or 5 hours of my Friday since I didn't feel well or I was in the bathroom.

Sometimes, this will happen a couple of times a week and sometimes I will have a really good week where I feel well.  The times when it is really bad, it is awful.  I will have a LOT of pain.  That is what happened in February.  The pain was so bad, that I thought something was terribly wrong with me.  Looking back, the pain stemmed from eating too much and eating something too greasy.  So it's not just what I eat, but how much I eat as well.

I'm still learning about IBS and I still do lots of research on it.  I try to find what works best for me to deal with it the best I can.

I'd like to know if there are any of you out there who also suffer from IBS.  What ways do you deal with IBS everyday?  Feel free to share comments or ask questions, I'd love to hear from you!

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