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Painting The IBS Picture

Hi IBS Community! April marks the beginning of IBS Awareness Month and we want to know how you tell others about your IBS. How do you describe your symptoms to someone who doesn't have IBS? Share your thoughts below!

  1. Luckily I really ain't someone who feels like IBS (SIBO) is his dirty little secret because I have accepted years ago that a) hiding it only raises my stress-level because in case of a flare-up I would have to lie to my team at work and b) most people are pretty relaxed and understanding once they know about it (aka why I use the bathroom more often than any other teacher in my school).
    The most common situation that the topic is brought up is - because it is - when eating out with new people. When they order food, I decline politely, telling them that I have a very sensitive stomach that I have to plan a diet around. Then I'll more often than not just sit with them, drink a water and maybe order 1-2 items that are "safe" (sometimes the restaurant is really helpful and provides me with plain rice, chicken and carrots or something like that).

    1. It's great that you can be so open about your IBS and that the people at work and in your life are understanding! Eating out with people is so hard and can be really frustrating, I feel you. My in-laws still don't take into account that I can't have gluten (it's been years and I do eat almost everything else now) and act all surprised when I say that I can't have bread, lasagna, cake or pizza... It's nice that some restaurants can provide you with your safe foods! Karina (team member)

  2. I say I have a migraine if my friends/family are drinking partying etc, because they dont seem interested if I mention IBS, it's as if I'm a bore , because they probably just dont get it !

    1. I hear you. I think it's great you have come up with something that works for you . And I know what you mean. I feel like people understand migraine more than IBS. -Elizabeth (team member)

  3. I am new to IBS (just recently diagnosed) and I am new to the community. I am grateful you all are here. So far when I try to explain what is going on in my body I get the same type of response, “oh you just need to add more fiber to your diet!” Or this one, “have you tried prune juice?” 😡😡

    I’m just trying to figure out what IBS is and how to manage it. Thank you for creating this platform.

    1. I know what you mean about people offering their advice. Ever since I started having problems my husband has been absolutely CONVINCED that if I ate salads every day all of my symptoms would disappear. And if he knows I recently ate a salad and I tell him I’m feeling good, he’s like,”See? I TOLD YOU SO.” 😂 It’s good for a laugh, at least.

    2. Oh wow! I get that, my partner also has lots of opinions on what I should and shouldn't do! The most helpful one is "if you just stopped being so anxious, you'd feel better!". Well, yes, I know. But how?
      What do you tell your husband in these situations?
      Karina (team member)

  4. I would describe it as a gut feeling. I do not use an alarm clock. My gut normally wakes me up. Sometimes regularly before 6 am. It was ready for spring forward. The time change was not a big deal. My body has new normal. But it took several months I think. I kept a diary of what I ate and changed the next day as needed. I hardly ever left the house except for doctor appointments.i also had to figure out what medication to take and what dosage. I had a wife and son to help. You can learn who your true friends are and it was good to have a support group for MS which likely caused my IBS.

    1. I'm glad to hear that you can rely on your wife and son and that you have your support group for MS. Having a support system helps so much. How are you feeling at the moment? Are you able to manage symptoms after figuring out your triggers and medication? Karina (team member)

    2. yes

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