Does IBS Make Me More Prone To Stomach Bugs?

It was recently sick season in our household. After a nasty flu, several colds and hand-foot-mouth, my children brought home my least favorite bug of all: the stomach virus.

Stomach bugs and I have history

For as long as I can remember, I have always caught every stomach bug within a one-mile radius around me. While others were vomiting just a couple of times, it was every 5 to 10 minutes for me. My family knows that whenever an illness like that is going around, I will get it, and I’ll get it worse than most other people.

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Stomach bug anxiety

As a result of my affinity for stomach bugs, I get anxious every time I even hear or read about one. When I saw my youngest starting to throw up, I immediately panicked. Unfortunately, panic and IBS don’t go well together and I promptly got a terrible flare. Or was it the beginning of the illness?

For 2 days, I took care of my (not very) sick babies, knowing perfectly well that I would be next. Then, my partner got a very mild version of the bug. I started feeling hopeful. Maybe it wasn’t that bad after all?

Symptoms are always bad

Of course, if wasn’t all that mild for me. My partner felt slightly nauseous for half a day, while I got every symptom there is. I don’t know what it is about me and stomach bugs. I was completely unable to do anything, let alone pick up my children from daycare. My partner had to get them after work and they were almost the last ones there.

It took me almost 12 hours to be able to participate in our daily life again. But when I talked to other moms about it, all the ones that got the same bug confirmed that it was really mild. Well, for them, at least.

A long recovery process

Not only do I always get terrible symptoms with every stomach flu, it then also takes me ages to feel normal again. That, I’m sure, is related to my IBS. Even more than after a flare, I have to take it really slowly with food. If I dare eat anything other than white rice, I will regret it. Recovering from a stomach virus usually takes at least a week for me. On the other hand, the other members of my family ate paella just two days after the bug, with no issues.

A weak immune system?

I keep wondering why I am so prone to stomach bugs. Of course, it sounds like there’s something wrong with my immune system, but I don’t think there is. I deal well with every other type of illness. I don’t get sick all that often, even compared to others. There’s just something about stomach bugs that makes me very, very sick every time I get them.

What is your experience with the stomach flu and IBS? Do you also feel like you get it worse, or is it really just me?

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