5 Comforting Phrases I Want to Hear When I’m Mid-IBS Flare
Last updated: August 2019
If you don’t have IBS it can be tricky to know how to help your friend or family member when they’re frustrated, mid-flare, running between the bathroom and their bed. As the person experiencing it, it can be tough to explain the help you need, as you often want to be left well alone, at least that’s my experience.
I’ve noted down some phrases that are like music to my ears to get you started. I’d recommend sharing this crib sheet of super helpful phrases with your parents, partner, family, and friends as needed.
Five ways to support someone going through an IBS flare
"Is there anything I can do to help?"
It sounds obvious, but these eight words can mean a lot. There might not be anything you can do but knowing you care enough to ask is everything. That being said, there could be a long list, like picking the kids up, sorting the washing, re-arranging plans, running a bath, chores that you could help take off the person sufferings hands.
"Don’t worry, let’s re-arrange when you’re feeling better."
The holy grail of friendships is when someone understands that the last thing you might feel like doing is pulling on your glad rags and pretending to be the life of the party when in reality you’ll be lucky to pull yourself up off the bathroom floor.
"Want me to put the kettle on? Hot water bottle or peppermint tea first?"
I’m lucky, my husband knows that my go-to's during a flare are hot water or peppermint tea so, while I’m locked in the toilet, without saying anything, he’ll fill the kettle and deliver both. Don’t underestimate how important those seemingly small gestures can be.
"I’ve left you some dinner in the fridge for when you can manage it."
While my gut is in the process of emptying itself, the last thing on my mind is food. But in my case, I know that I need to eat three meals plus snacks, a day to keep my system happy. So, when someone thinks ahead and saves me something to eat when I’m feeling up to it, man, that means a lot. Post-flare fatigue is real, and I often don’t have the energy to pull together something nutritious.
"There’s no pressure to go out but you might feel better with some fresh air and a walk."
Now, this one will be different for everyone, especially as you may not feel able to leave the house. However, I find it helpful to be reminded that a bit of fresh air and a walk in a green space do wonders for my health. Both physical and mental. A gentle walk help stretches out my stomach cramps and takes my mind off the proverbial shitstorm. Just make sure, when delivering this phrase, you don’t make it too pushy or too patronizing. It should be encouraging and supportive and done very gently.
Got any phrases you want to add? Drop them below.
Do you suffer from IBS-C, IBS-D, or IBS-Mixed/Alternating?