3 Reasons Why I Dislike Having IBS-D
Living with irritable bowel syndrome, no matter what subtype, can be very difficult in so many ways. However, since I deal with IBS with predominant diarrhea (IBS-D), I sometimes speak from a certain perspective that not everyone with IBS will be able to relate.
For instance, I struggle with the likelihood of having to use the toilet a great number of times a day. There have been days when I literally have gone more than 10 times, and before having IBS, I never thought such a thing was possible. Some people who don’t have IBS don’t realize the toll it takes on a person when their body is pushed to the point of extreme pain and exhaustion due to an uncontrollable need to expel several times a day. With that being said, I want to talk about some of my personal reasons why I dislike having IBS-D, and how it has affected my quality of life.
The pain caused by excessive wiping
As I mentioned before, I have had days when I have used the toilet (yes, to go No. 2) more than a few times, and not only does it get tiring, but also very frustrating and extremely painful. The reason why it is both very frustrating and painful, as embarrassing as it is to mention, is due to the intense wiping caused by tenesmus, which is basically the feeling of having an incomplete bowel movement. Therefore, because I hardly ever feel “done”, despite being on the toilet for more than an hour, I end up wiping “down there” pretty excessively. It’s like I have an uncontrollable OCD with wiping because I just keep going back and forth between toilet paper and flushable wipes until I feel comfortable and confident with my cleanliness. And, unfortunately, as a result of the extreme wiping, I invariably end up with hemorrhoids and sometimes bloody stools.
Fatigue caused by bouts of diarrhea
Have you ever had a stomach virus that caused you to have bouts of diarrhea throughout the day, and afterward you felt so exhausted and depleted? This is what it’s like oftentimes for me while dealing with IBS-D. On an average day, I have the urge to go more than 4 times a day, and during a flare-up, it can get to 8-10 times in one day. My body only has so much energy to give, and when most of it is being used to involuntarily strain, I quickly and easily get fatigued. In fact, so fatigued that turning off a light-switch or throwing something away in the trash can seem like a huge chore. So, if that is tough, then imagine still trying to exert energy on other things like work or school. Living with IBS is a struggle in so many ways that most people don’t realize, and it’s unfortunate that we not only have to fight ourselves to function properly but also to be taken seriously by others. The mental, let alone physical, toll this takes on so many of us can feel… devastating.
Being unreliable because of my IBS-D
If you have IBS, then this reason is pretty self-explanatory. Because of my IBS, I have been late, over and over again, to so many different and important occasions. For instance, I had been tardy during college so much that it affected my grades. I eventually dropped out of school because I just didn’t know how to manage my health and education at the same time. Also, many of the jobs I had in the past would end up in jeopardy because I had been late or absent several times. And don’t let me forget to mention the number of times I had to cancel on family or friend’s birthdays and/or weddings, which has created some distance between me and my loved ones. Sometimes all we have is our word, and if we can’t honor it, then what kind of person does that make us? Unreliable.
I can think of so many different reasons as to why I dislike having IBS-D, but I’m not trying to write a book here. I just want to keep emphasizing in different ways just how serious of an effect IBS can have on a person’s quality of life. The pain, fatigue, and unreliability are just a few of those many ways that IBS affects our lives. The challenge we’re left with is trying to manage those things as best as possible while also being the best person we can be.
Have you tried eating smaller portions to manage symptoms?