Why My IBS Diagnosis Made Me Angry

After years of IBS symptoms that continually got worse and worse, after blood tests, urine tests, stool tests, endoscopy, colonoscopy, and the list goes on, I finally got a diagnosis - IBS.

What did I think that would mean?

I thought having a diagnosis would mean I had some answers and along with these answers would come solutions. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I felt like the doctors had ruled out everything and because they didn’t know what was happening they said it was IBS, gave me a couple of pamphlets and sent me home with some anti diarrhea medication.

How did I feel?

I felt cheated. I felt like I didn’t really have answers and I definitely didn’t have solutions. I was told I would just have to live with it and the doctor didn’t think it was that bad. Sure, I wasn’t dying, I wasn’t disfigured but this thing affected my life each and every day. It ruled everything that I did.

Could I leave the house today or would I have an accident? Could I go on the family holiday or would it be too much? IBS made me angry and overwhelmed and the people who were meant to give me answers hadn’t. I was lost. And my diagnosis just wasn’t good enough. I needed to know what my causes and triggers were, so I could avoid them. I needed to know how to heal and feel healthy for the first time in my life. I needed to get my life back and my diagnosis didn’t give me that.

Was there anything good?

It did however give me a starting point. It gave me certainty that I didn’t have other conditions like Crohn's, diverticulitis, celiac, etc. So that was good. I am grateful that I don’t have these. However, IBS is so multi-faceted that it is often beyond what just one doctor or specialist can deal with. Doctors like to have clear cut diagnosis with a structured treatment. IBS doesn’t have that. Syndromes don’t have that, ask people with other syndromes like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, etc. They will tell you the same.

So what did I do?

I educated myself. I read through all the literature and became an expert on IBS. I consulted other practitioners like nutritionists, naturopaths, acupuncturists, chiropractors, to see what an integrated approach could do for me.

What worked?

Diet and lifestyle changes had the most impact. Starting with FODMAPs and eventually a dairy and gluten free diet gets my IBS under control. Along with yoga, meditation, and a range of stress relief techniques helps keep my anxiety and mental health well, which has massive impacts on my digestive system.

What now?

Now I am a naturopath and help others to get well from IBS.

What can you do if you feel the same?

So, I invite you, if your diagnosis also made you angry or was a let-down, to investigate more. Speak with other types of health care practitioners – naturopaths, nutritionists, acupuncturists etc... Read more on this website and other IBS forums to see other people’s experiences and work out what is really going on for you and start your road to recovery to be free from symptoms!

This is your starting point on your own health journey and I wish you the best of luck. It can be a frustrating and challenging experience at times, but it can also teach you a lot about yourself and your body that you didn’t know before. So, keep positive and I know you can get symptom free too!

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