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New to IBS, will I ever feel normal?

Hello,
I was diagnosed earlier this year with IBS-D. As more time goes by I have less days feeling normal and am having normal bathroom visits. I know there is a lot for me to learn and try. What I need to know is will the rest of life be like this? Restricted food? Being afraid to go places? Having discomfort and loose stools with barely any control every day no matter what? Is that a flare up or is this my life and a flare up even worse? What is considered the normal good day for IBS suffers? Is it possible to spend more days feeling good and being able to trust your bodily functions? I thank you in advance for any insight and wish you all the best.

  1. I'm sorry you're feeling like this, it's so tough. I can only speak from personal experience, but IBS comes and goes for me. There are weeks, sometimes even months, where I feel almost normal with only minimal symptoms that are easy to ignore. Then I have periods where my IBS is flaring and I have to be very careful with what I eat and can't do certain activities. Actual IBS flares where I feel truly terrible only last a couple of hours for me. It took me about 2 years to get to a point where I had normal-ish weeks and months though, since I was stuck in a high-stress environment that caused me to be anxious all the time. Even on good days, my stomach is always a bit sensitive, but I do get to eat everything I want (except gluten) and don't have to worry about staying near a bathroom all the time. I also wanted to link this article: https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/dancing-with-ibs as I find it to be very encouraging. I hope other community members will share their experiences with you soon. Sending hugs, Karina (team member)

    1. I've had an IBS variant Functional Diarrhea. You can tell what it is by the symptoms. There are no cramps and pain at all and FODMAP diet/tests do nothing. I've had it since 2015. The over the counter pepto bysmol and immodium manage, but do not get rid of it. It's just the way it is.

      1. I'm sorry you're dealing with this. Have you tried different diets or just keeping a food journal so see if you have any common triggers? The Low FODMAP diet doesn't work for everyone. We have this article about it not working: https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/when-fodmaps-doesnt-help, as well as this one about reacting to all foods: https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/why-do-i-react-to-everything-i-eat, in case you're interested.
        Karina (team member)

    2. I've had IBS D about 6 years now. During that time I have had periods of normality and periods of flare ups. In between are the times when I am not completely "normal" and still have to be careful about what I eat, but I haven't felt too bad at all, and just one toilet visit per day.

      Sometimes my IBS "disappears" and I get no symptoms. But if I do go through a bad phase, that can last X amount of time, and there is no controlling how long it will last...hours, days, or on and off for a few weeks. I'm in one of those right now. Not terrible, but not right either. And one of those "so-so" periods can be a bit dotted with occasional slightly worse days.
      Then, when I'm normal again, there is no telling how long that will last either. I always fall for it and believe I'm cured and IBS has gone away. I can't even imagine having a flare up during those times, and it all seems like history


      Bad times, good times, and bits in between are not triggered by anything I can pin down for certain (except perhaps something to do with weather and changing seasons. But even that idea doesn't always figure?), and not by foods either, as I eat the same range of foods at all times. Plain home cooked food and very simple and bland.

      So it's possible you may get a similar coming and going of IBS symptoms as time goes by.

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