In August, I wrote about my history with IBS-D and the knowledge and support I have gleaned from my friend who lives with severe celiac disease. Since August, I have endured a Colonoscopy that resulted in a pre-cancerous polyp being removed and a referral to a Colorectal Surgeon for treatment of several internal hemorrhoids inside my colon causing rectal bleeding and pain. The IBS-D I have lived with most of my life is to blame for the hemorrhoids. In a series of procedures, the surgeon banded the hemorrhoids which cuts off the blood supply to them and they are expelled during bowel movements. This procedure is not painless but far less invasive and painful than having them surgically removed.
The surgeon has very little patience when her advice of diet changes, adding fiber and drinking more water is not adhered to. After all these procedures, she has my attention! I have removed dairy and gluten and as much sugar as possible from my diet. I use Ghee, bacon drippings, duck fat and healthy oils in place of butter. I have eliminated fried foods and fast foods. Other food and beverage triggers I have eliminated are orange juice, (unless fresh squeezed), beer, and desserts except for sorbet. I am eating more seafood and chicken and less red meat. Gluten-free bread and pasta as well as quinoa and rice have replaced the gluten based products. I am drinking more water and have added a fiber supplement to my daily regimen.
You may wonder if all these procedures and diet changes have improved my health. My answer is a definite YES! Is my IBS-D gone? NO and I don’t expect it to be. But episodes are much less frequent. When I go shopping, I still make sure I know where the nearest restroom is located. I wouldn’t be surprised if the clerks at my favorite grocery and department stores reserve my space in their restroom facilities when they seem me come in to their stores. Traveling can be a challenge with IBS-D but I am learning to read menu’s very carefully, and not succumb to cravings that I know will cause a big problem.
All in all I am feeling more “normal,” not knowing what normal really is. I am guessing you all can relate to my situation, as I can with yours. This community has been very helpful for me to not feel as much of the shame that goes with IBS. Although I don’t know you I have deep empathy for what you live with day by day. It’s a work in progress for all of us.