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The Struggle of Eating

The Struggle of Eating

To eat, or not to eat? That is the question! Suffering from IBS can make it quite a challenge to develop an appetite, especially when almost anything I consume can trigger a negative symptom. Do any of you ever struggle with eating or having an appetite due to your IBS?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • yayagumbo
    1 year ago

    I’ve had IBS since I was 14 even though my GP didn’t call it that back then. I got the actual diagnoses when I was 27. I’m 65 now, and it’s really heating up all of a sudden.

    I am afraid to eat. I approach food like it’s some kind of wild animal I don’t know if I can trust or not. I’ve been eating only when my blood sugar drops, when I’m really, really hungry. Then I wait to see what will happen. I try this or that food, but there are times when this or that works out, or not. I never know.

    I’m getting that small portions work for most people, so I’m doing that now.

    I do have a question about dairy. I read yesterday that half and half is better than milk in coffee. I love coffee even though I also read that it is a trigger food. But since nearly everything is a trigger I’d like to keep it. No coffee =stress.

    I hate this wretched “syndrome” that feels more like a real disease.

    Not much sleep last night. On the potty doing my crossword puzzles hoping it would end at some point. I get chatty when I don’t sleep. Sorry.

  • wendyc
    1 year ago

    I have Crohns decease. And when it is in remission ,my IBS keeps me aware of my gut issues. It first starts with the shopping for food , the meat dept is the worst!! I can’t even look at chicken without feeling sick. I try to eat healthy at home and occasionally dine out. I have to be particular when dining out , the price is to high to pay for eating the wrong foods. But if my friends really want to go to a particular restaurant , I will eat before. It’s the company and visit that I really enjoy. I also find eating in small portions safer.And there is ALWAYS peanut butter , bananas and Gatorade in my home ; for those really bad days when your potassium drops and the spasms start! It is a daily battle and sometimes an hour to hour situation. Listening to others with the same issues does help. I always learn something new.

  • kplatt
    1 year ago

    Yes, I struggle with eating all the time. When traveling I eat very little as I never know what will bring on symptoms. I can eat one thing one day and it is ok, but the next time it could cause a problem. I find eating small meals helps, as well as not eating later than 6 or 7 at night. But I never really know, since that dorsn’t always work either. It is a battle. I can get very upset about it, but find that being with understanding friends helps (I think it is me that feels upset about my symptoms and not my friends) and enjoying nature. Don’t isolate yourself. Be well.

  • Pattyp102
    1 year ago

    OMG yes I go the painstaking decision process of what to eat every single day. Food does not excite me anymore, in fact, food is irepulsive to me. Most of the time, I eat because I have to, not because I want to. I SUFFER with IBS-C for about 16 years and it is depressing. It makes me angry that I can’t eat what I want to eat without worrying about the awful consequences that my digestive system will punish me with. I have extreme gas, bloating & stomach cramps . Sometimes I look like I am 5 months pregnant and I can’t bottom my pants. Forget about wearing jeans and if I do wear jeans I have to cut slits in the waist in order to button them up. I mostly wear stretch pants or bottoms with a drawstring because I hate anything tight on my waistline. I hate going shopping for clothes because when I try a garment on, it will look good on me every place except for my stomach, UGH!!!! Because I have a sliding hiatal hernia and a esophageal structure, I also have chronic GERD so It’s a constant war between IBS-C & GERD.. I can eat certain foods one day with little or no problems, then the next day my system gets so angry. I get nauseous, dizzy, fatigue, and sometimes I spit up little bits of food. I have to eat very small portions because I get full so fast. I hope & pray that one day there will be a true cure for every IBS sufferer out there including myself.

  • JudyStaed
    1 year ago

    Oh, yes. The seemingly endless battle as to what to eat…or even wanting to eat at all. I deal with this daily. Most definitely I am losing my interest in food and yet I used to love it. I feel this is from a subconscious association between eating food and the suffering that will follow. I have an oft used saying which is, “If it tastes good it’s not good for you.” That is the pattern of my life. However, our bodies need food and I always make sure that regardless of lacking an appetite I get good foods…the foods that matter to the health and strength of our bodies…into my daily eating schedule.

  • Holly5757
    1 year ago

    I am having so much trouble figuring out my trigger foods right now. I can eat something today and it will not bother me at all. I can eat it again 3 days from now and I will be in a flare up for 2 days. Things that you would thing are mild on the belly can wreck havoc while I could eat spicy Mexican food and it will not bother me in the least. But that could be reversed a week from now. No rhyme or reasoning to it. So here I am not knowing what to eat, when to eat it, or if I will be miserable for days. It causes a lot of stress.

  • jaeger91
    1 year ago

    I deal with this issue frequently. If I have something really important to do at work (like participate as a member of an interview committee), or I plan to attend a special social occasion or take a trip, my go-to coping strategy is to avoid eating any food until it’s safe. That means I don’t eat until the interviews are over because I can’t excuse myself to the restroom while a candidate is speaking. I don’t want to walk out of a wedding ceremony or a performance at a theater, either, so I don’t eat until after such events. (Not that I attend these often, but I am trying harder to after years of avoiding them and feeling like I’m missing out.) I haven’t dared board a plane in years, but to travel by car, I won’t eat until I’ve reached my destination or (for longer trips) I’ll have something small like a banana. Same goes for shopping. Most of my shopping is done online because of my IBS, but when I do feel well enough to go out, I go early and won’t eat until I’m done. I do sip water the whole day, and that helps me to not feel terribly hungry.

  • GinaH
    1 year ago

    I totally understand that. Never know what, when or where a spell will happen. No rhyme or reason. Unfortunately, I try to go without eating but being type 2 diabetic, that doesn’t always work well for me …

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