IBS: Goodbye Good Times – Hello Flares
I recently dealt with an abrupt diet change that started from liquid and slowly progressed toward a more normal diet. With a mostly empty digestive system, I was flare-free in the beginning. I was starving but this was a very nice vacation from IBS.
As I introduced a few soft foods I noticed minor symptoms reappearing. Still, the severity of the symptoms was minor enough that I could overlook it. Bouts were so short-lived that I could easily leave home without fear. It was nice.
Flare-free times are good times
After being on a liquid diet for a little while, my digestive system was pretty empty. Symptoms were eliminated. I was absolutely starving, but I was not in pain or running back and forth to the bathroom. That part was nice.
I was enjoying long drives on the weekends. Being out of the house without fear was heavenly. I did not worry, and that eliminated a lot of stress and anxiety. I was having a good time. Is this what it is like for people who do not have IBS? I have been stuck on a rollercoaster of flares for so long that I had forgotten.
Working my way up to an IBS flare
As I began introducing soft foods into my diet, the foods were still pretty bland and far from a full meal. I still was not eating very much. Symptoms started reappearing but they were mild and infrequent. It was easy to ignore and not really a problem.
More and more foods were reintroduced into my diet, and little by little IBS began to have more of an impact on my daily life again. I could still get out and go as long as I was mindful of when I ate what little food I ate. I could keep getting out and going for long drives in the country.
Good feeling gone. The flares are back.
My diet still is not back to a normal diet. It is close, but it is not quite the same. Regardless, my flares are back with a vengeance. I am currently experiencing some of the worst IBS-D flares.
My first minor flare after this extreme diet change was an IBS-C flare. It was mild. This IBS-D flare is making certain it cannot be ignored. Leaving home is a gamble, and I find myself staying home again. It was fun while it lasted. The change of scenery was nice, but now I am chained to the bathroom again.
Missing flare-free days
After being stuck at home for so long, it was nice to be able to get out and take long drives. I enjoyed being able to leave home without fasting for so long beforehand and starving until I returned. The freedom of being able to leave on a whim was so nice. Anyone who does not have IBS has no idea how lucky they are to be able to do that every day.
Now that flares have returned, I must go back to fasting to leave home. The cramping and bloating is back, so my carefree days are over. It was nice while it lasted. I will certainly miss the freedom I had on my brief vacation from IBS. Of course, I had to starve on a liquid diet to have that vacation and there were other consequences. Goodbye, flare-free days. You will be missed.
Please note that I did not adopt a starvation diet on a whim or to eliminate or minimize IBS symptoms. These drastic changes in diet were required for another issue. Always consult a physician before making major changes in your diet.
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?