A woman is sitting in front of a toilet with her eyes closed looking sick and uncomfortable.

IBS Symptoms You Wouldn’t Believe

It has been 12 years since I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in addition to Crohn’s disease. It has been a wild ride and thankfully I am at a point where symptoms are minor and manageable. However, it took years and years to get to this place.

I was just reflecting on all that I have been through with this challenging diagnosis. Many ups and downs for sure, and upon reflecting I started to think about all the symptoms people without this diagnosis would always find hard to believe.

Unless you suffer with this IBS diagnosis yourself it is close to impossible to understand all complexities yet some are reasonable to relate to. But there are always those "unbelievable" IBS symptoms that others might find surprising. Let’s take a look at what I mean.

Unbelievable IBS symptoms

Spending hours in the bathroom

For anyone with IBS this is standard. But for those who are healthy, thinking of using the bathroom for hours in one day is unthinkable. For us however, it is a normal day. I’ll never forget telling a family member that on a bad day I can easily spend 10 hours in the bathroom. They laughed thinking I was joking.  It was incomprehensible for them. All I could do was chuckle and say that no, I am not kidding.

"Going" easily over 20 times a day

Another unbelievable IBS symptom is the fact that we can easily use the bathroom 20 times or more a day. It seems unfathomable, but it happens. I will never forget the really bad days where it seems like I can’t escape the toilet. Back and forth from the couch to the bathroom all day long. I would lose count easily.

Having to use the toilet the moment I bite something to eat

It seems strange but sometimes just the act of biting food can send you running the bathroom. I can’t tell you how many times I would be sitting at the table and have to excuse myself to use the bathroom in the beginning of a meal. It seems weird because you think to how is that possible? That food hasn’t made it through all of the intestines yet, but it happens often to me and is a real thing.

Jumping out of the shower to use the bathroom

Nothing worse than being in the middle of the shower and having to jump out soaking wet to sit on the toilet because of the uncontrollable urgency. This has happened to me many times during a bad flare and it is beyond frustrating. There is no way of holding it, and your only option is to jump out. Then of course, once you finish, back into the shower you go to start all over again.

Having public accidents

It’s unthinkable, but yes as a grown adult with bad IBS, public accidents are inevitable. My worst accident (and I will never forget it) was at a subway stop in New York City. I was on my way to work and I soiled all my clothes. Thankfully I had a sweater and I wrapped it around my waist as I walked, mortified, back home. I cried and called my mom when I made it to my apartment. I will never forget that day. Yes, IBS takes all control from your bowels.

How about you? Can you add any unbelievable IBS symptoms to my list? Share below, we love to hear from you.

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