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Ask, ask and ask again

Ask, Ask and Ask Again

There are some medical conditions where the solution is pretty easy to determine. If you break your arm, it will need to be set and splinted so that it can heal. And your first point of call is the hospital for an x-ray. If instead you get a deep cut on your foot, it’s going to need cleaning and stitches. You might go to your family doctor or to the hospital, but either way, you’ll end up seeing a doctor to seal up the cut.

Those situations are pretty straight forward. And you’d get similar advice for seeking treatment, regardless of whether you asked a friend, family member, or even a stranger on the street. Because those conditions have simple solutions.

But with IBS, the treatment isn’t so clear cut

If you asked friends, family members, or strangers on the street about how to help your IBS, you would get loads of different answers, most of which wouldn’t be helpful. You may be thinking “well of course that would happen, they know nothing about IBS”. And that’s a fair point. How can you expect to get helpful information from someone who doesn’t understand IBS?

But the thing is, if you asked a room full of people who have IBS about treatment strategies, you’d still get a ton of different answers.

That’s because IBS isn’t as clear cut a condition to treat as a broken arm or a cut on your foot. It’s incredibly variable and presents differently in each of us. With slightly different symptoms and slightly different triggers.

Because of that, the treatment that works for one person won’t necessarily work for everyone else.

So when you ask other people with IBS about what you should do to help your condition, the answers may not be as helpful as you’d hoped for. That’s because their solution may not work for you with your specific IBS symptoms and triggers.

Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t ask other people for help

Instead it means that you need to be careful with how you use their answers. And it’s important not to assume that the first answer is the right one. In fact, it may take many answers before you get the one that’s right for your needs. And you may also need to test out the answers to see which one works for you. Because even if it sounds like it’s right, you’ll only know how it affects you and your IBS after you try it out.

So do ask questions of other people with IBS. But ask, ask and ask again. Don’t stop with the first answer. Keep going and keep trying. And don’t give up. But also make sure that you take each answer with a grain of salt. And be sure to check it with your health professional team too. Because some ideas that you may want to try might have other effects on your health that need to be carefully considered.

So it is okay to ask other people with IBS for help. The generosity of other people with IBS to help other people with IBS, plus their understanding of the complexity of the condition, can help you better than asking friends or family. But please keep in mind that there isn’t one right answer for everyone. And that it may take a while for you to find the best answer for you.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.