Battling Hunger and Pain: Meals In A Day
Last updated: March 2021
As someone with IBS-M, I can expect most mornings, especially right now with *the state of the world* (because stress affects IBS), to wake up either feeling constipated and blocked up as all hell, or wake up and rush to the bathroom immediately. Either way, this affects when I'll have my first meal of the day. (I am writing this on a day that my meal times have been all out of sorts).
I either feel like I shouldn't be putting any more food into my system because I'm blocked up or shouldn't be putting any food into my system because I'm feeling weakened from being on the toilet for an extended period of time immediately after I wake up.
I am a fairly early riser, which means I'm usually up around 7-7:30 (8:30 is a lie-in for me); this means I don't usually eat breakfast until 11/noon if I'm feeling ill and/or in pain. This also causes stress on my entire body because I'm hungry while I'm doing work (on an average weekday), which lowers my productivity because my energy is depleted. Also, I am not functioning at my top level because my mind is focused on food, despite the fact that I cannot eat anything until I feel well enough to do so.
So I eat my late-morning, early afternoon breakfast, hoping that what I was finally comfortable enough to eat doesn't bother me too much. But, of course, with IBS, it's always a risk. So, there are days that I won't eat my first meal until the afternoon, because I was in too much pain in the morning, only to then feel sick/in pain again from daring to eat to relieve the hunger that had built up all morning. I also am terrible at drinking water throughout the day (which could help stave off the hunger when my flare-ups are too bad to eat), but I've only myself to blame for that one. All this to say, is that if I do end up eating lunch, which most days I don't, it's usually closer to 3 or 4. Then, I have to hope that I'll feel well enough to make and eat dinner.
Dinner *usually* manages to be okay, as long as I have taken care of what I'm eating. I also don't eat too late, generally, to allow everything to process through my body with enough time before bed, just in case I have a flare-up. I absolutely detest feeling like I may as well grab a pillow and fall asleep on the toilet because my IBS is keeping me up, so I try my hardest to avoid that.
An aside: meal prep
Meal prep for someone with IBS can be annoying. You spend so much time making food for the week, only to have a flare-up one (or multiple) of the days and not be able to finish it all. It would be fine if I was cooking for multiple people, but I'm only cooking for myself, so I end up wasting food.
It's a risk for the intended outcome of convenience (which can be said about having IBS and eating as a whole)
Which of the following symptoms of IBS do you experience most frequently?