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Woman holding out an empty plate surrounded by question marks, with a self-conscious smile.

Fasting To Cope With IBS Is Becoming a Thing Of The Past

Fasting used to be my go-to strategy when I had to be away from home. I was able to fast and get things done. As I get older, I find it harder and harder to stop eating. It is almost impossible at times. Now I do not know how I will manage to get things done.

My husband and I recently had to travel several counties away to see our youngest daughter. I did not eat that morning, and I thought I would be okay. I had fasted many times before, and even watching other people eat was never a problem for me. On the way home my husband decided to stop for a bite to eat. He is diabetic and cannot skip meals. The temptation was too much, and I had to eat. I could not stop myself.

Losing my self-control but not my IBS

Now, just because my self-control has vanished does not mean my IBS has. I was only one county away from home when I ate, so I thought I would be okay. I thought I was close enough to home that it would not be an issue. That was a mistake. I was so very wrong. Shortly after I ate, the intense cramping started. I was in agony the rest of the ride home and feared I would not make it. It was a close call, and I decided then that I absolutely could not eat if I was going to be away from home.

This would not be a big deal a year ago. Fasting was easy. I knew that any cravings I had could be satisfied as soon as I returned home. The cravings are more intense now. The hunger is too pressing to be ignored, and I really struggle with fasting while I am on the go. This has led me to avoid going out right now. Of course, it is much easier to stay home in today’s world. That is one bright spot in all the madness.

Trying to manage life with IBS

This was something I never had issues with in my younger years, but it seems to be getting worse as I age. I think part of it may be related to perimenopause. I definitely lack self-control when it comes to my diet now. Since this problem arrived right alongside hormonal issues, I am going to go ahead and blame it on perimenopause. That is my excuse. No matter the cause, the problem is here. Now I must find some way to deal with the consequences of it.

Fasting has always been a big part of my strategy for living with IBS. Since I am losing the willpower to fast, I am losing the ability to get things done. I always planned ahead and knew when to start fasting. It gave me the freedom to do what I wanted to do. Without that secret weapon, I am not sure how I will manage planning at this point. It feels like starting over and having to learn to live with IBS all over again.

Coping with the unpredictable nature of IBS

Of course, we all know that IBS is unpredictable, and change is constant. This change swiftly removed the one thing that worked every time. I could always fast before I needed to travel. Appointments were never an issue as long as I had a 24-hour notice. Fasting never let me down. Losing the ability to fast is like losing an old friend. I am not sure how I will manage my IBS if I cannot find my willpower, but I do know I will find ways to cope.

If you are struggling right now, take a deep breath and slowly exhale. We are all going to get through the ups and downs. Whether your IBS has you down or life itself feels out of sorts, we will weather the storms and come out stronger. It may be hard to stay positive during the chaos, but we are going to get through it. We just have to keep going until we get to the other side of this.

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