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Coping with IBS

  • By lydiacha

    Hi there,

    So I’m new and have no official diagnosis but have been having horrible symptoms and am seeing a doctor today. I thought I had caught with what was a normal stomach flu on tuesday. Diarrhea, nausea, feeling ill etc., Flashforward to today and all of my symptoms have passed except for the diarrhea and stomach cramps. It’s so bad, like hundreds of knives are attacking my tummy.

    I went to the ER Thursday night because it was so bad. Told it was normal and sent home with some pain killers and fluids. My stomach flus have never lasted this long before. I’m worried that I’ve developed post infectious IBS. I get cramps every 20 minutes that can be so excruciating i can’t speak or move. I have to go to the toilet almost every hour. It’s a nightmare.

    I’m seeing a doctor again today. But I’ve been miserable and hopeless at the thought that if I have IBS, ongoing pain and rushes to the bathroom may be the new reality. So I really wanted to reach out and see if people can share their stories of hope, and how they manage to get through life in general (work, family, friends, going out to eat, going to the beach) with IBS.

    I start uni again next February to write my thesis, and part time work. My life will be challenging and stressful as it is. My biggest worries is that if I do have IBS, how will this impact me and my performance? I’ve read that some people have to quit their jobs and so on because of IBS, and can’t imagine it.

    Please, stories surrounding how you cope, how you don’t let this and all of the pain interfere in your life and your strategies for managing this would be really appreciated!

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  • By Chris Hall Keymaster

    Hey there, @lydiacha – Thanks for taking the time to post! Ugh, I hope you’re feeling better today. Sounds like you’ve been going through a lot! Really curious to hear what your doctor said. I hope it’s a passing issue, but if you are diagnosed with IBS, we have a lot of information and camaraderie here that I hope can help you on your journey.

    I wanted to share a few articles that hopefully address some of the specific concerns you’ve mentioned:

    https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/ibs-at-work/
    https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/dfd/
    https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/lifestyle-changes/
    https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/how-to-eat-out-with-friends-when-you-have-ibs/
    https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/10-ways-manage-ibs-school/

    I hope these help. You’re not alone in this! Thanks for joining the community. – Chris, IrritableBowelSyndrome.net Team

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  • By Sydney

    @lydiacha First, I hope everything works out for you, and the pain becomes more manageable. I’m eighteen I got officially diagnosed 2 years ago, but the issues had been going on for longer. I have spent most of my high school career with this condition, and will be entering college with ibs-D this upcoming fall. Before I stress the hopeful I have to be real with you there will be a mourning period and you have to let yourself mourn what was normal and what will become your new normal. That does not mean your life is over. To cope you must develop structure a routine. For me I know that the early mornings are when I’m my sickest. I have a severe case I have to get on my school bus at 7:30 Am so I have to wake up at 5:00 Am to allow time for the eating and the bathroom. I average four days out of the week but this semester I did two weeks in a row without missing any school that’s considered a win for me. I am an overly anxious person and it might help you go make an emergency bag containing a change of clothes and wipes (yes I know it feels embarrassing, but it has given me back alot of my freedom) I’ve had that little kit for a year and a half, but I haven’t had to use it once but there’s comfort in knowing you have it. Positive self talk will lead to positive results(I know it sounds stupid ) you’re body is in pain, you’re scared and feel out of control. Make it a habit that Every morning you take a minute to breathe and tell yourself that you are in control. As far as activities it’s all about planning I can’t leave my house or more specifically my bathroom before ten am unless I wake up at five so I don’t make plans until eleven am, and fatigue related to dehydration so I’m in bed by ten pm I schedule my life around those hours. I know it sounds depressing but everyone is different it’s just finding that routine that lets you be productive. If you need to talk I am more than willing sorry for the mini essay I promise it will work out maybe not the way you expected but it will work.

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    • By Marci Kallick Moderator

      @sydney,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience and advice with @lydiacha! I couldn’t agree more…preparation, extra time in the morning, taking a moment to breathe and calm the mind. Such great words of wisdom to share!

      ~Marci

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