A woman sitting in front of a plate of food has her mouth open to received a bite but stops to look warily at an evil-looking ghost emerging from the food.

How One Mistake Can Haunt You

IBS is unforgiving. It doesn’t allow room for mistakes. It never turns a blind eye, even on a special occasion. If you make a mistake, it will haunt you.

My last mistake was two slices of goat cheese that I knew I shouldn’t have. But they were there, they looked delicious ...and there were only two! But oh boy, have I regretted eating those.

Not all flare-ups are alike

The problem with my IBS is that not all flare-ups happen in the same way. Whenever I eat something that doesn’t work at all, it’ll go all out. Flares of diarrhea, pain, the feeling of being sick. It usually lasts for a couple of hours and then I’m left exhausted, but feeling slightly better.

Then, there are flare-ups triggered by small quantities of foods that don’t sit well with me – like two slices of goat cheese, for example. Or an onion.

Those manifest in bloating, an upset stomach, and the need to use the bathroom multiple times, even though I don’t have diarrhea. Sometimes I feel like my intestines are glued together with something sticky. No matter how many times I go to the bathroom, I still feel terrible. And the worst thing? These types of flare-ups can last for days.

IBS is vengeful

It’s like my IBS is trying to punish me whenever I make one small mistake. So much that I would almost prefer to have a full-blown flare-up instead of dragging those symptoms out for so long. Well, I said almost, because flare-ups are terrible. But this is, too.

No matter what I eat, it just makes me feel dreadful. Not eating doesn’t work either. It’s like there’s no good way to get rid of that one mistake until my digestive system decides to let it go. Seriously, how long can it possibly take to digest two slices of goat cheese?

At-home remedies

I haven’t found any good ways of dealing with these types of neverending, less extreme flare-ups yet. The only thing I know is that they tend to get worse whenever I eat. Suddenly, most foods become triggers and make me feel even more crappy. So, I usually just act as if I came out of the stomach flu. I try to eat plain rice, drink herbal tea, and put a heating pad on my stomach whenever I can. Since I’m not feeling well, I also try to avoid going out and just lie on the couch watching Netflix instead.

All of this doesn’t really make my symptoms go away, but at least it doesn’t make it worse. And that’s all I can ask for at this point.

The route to acceptance

In situations like this, I really hate having IBS. Like, I didn’t do anything that bad. There’s no reason to remind me of one little wrong thing I ate for days on end!

But that’s what it’s like to have a chronic illness, I guess. It doesn’t leave room for mistakes. And whenever you make one, it will haunt you, as if to make sure that you don’t forget next time.

The thing is, we all have the choice to either be disciplined or to slip up and then deal with the consequences. No one forced me, or even encouraged me, to eat that cheese. I did so all on my own. But I don’t think that I will want to repeat that anytime soon.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

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

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

Have you taken our IBS In America Survey yet?