I’ve had IBS since I was about 19 and I must admit… it hasn’t been a smooth ride. It’s not something that anyone really wants to talk about (or listen to), which sucks because it affects me every single day. So yeah, I wanna talk about it!
IBS really has changed my life, I can’t remember life without it these days. I’d like to think that for those of you with IBS some of these might hit home. Let me know if they do.
1) I guess IBS has changed my life the most because suddenly there are tons of random foods that I cannot eat. All my childhood, my parents tried to get me to eat cabbage and not pick onions out of spag bol or stew, but now, I wish I could eat them!!
2) Going out for a meal now requires in-depth planning and research ahead of time. Such planning you would think would mean I can keep my IBS under control… but oh no, regardless of what I eat I still usually come home in pain. So basically it means I prefer not going out for meals, full-stop.
3) So, I eat in a lot more than I used to, because then at least I know EXACTLY what I’m eating… but yet again, even something I ate with no problems last week is now deciding it hates me. I actually just eat at home now because it means I can lie down immediately afterwards!
4) I forced myself to drink peppermint tea. Before IBS you wouldn’t see me touch a herbal tea. But I went on a 6 week ‘forcing one cup down me everyday’ journey and now I actually quite like it. Sometimes it even helps my stomach!
5) IBS has made me so much more comfortable with using the toilet in public. Growing up I hated using public toilets… but now when I need to go, I just don’t care. Going to the loo makes me feel so much better.
6) Everyone’s IBS is different but one thing my stomach doesn’t much appreciate is alcohol. As quite the party drinking animal at 17, 18, 19 (thank goodness I could drink during freshers week!), IBS has made me not able to drink. Social occasions when others are drinking just aren’t as fun. Try a nightclub sober…
7) I guess IBS has actually made me more anti-social. It is sometimes easier to turn down going out because who knows what my stomach is going to feel like today? Yeah, I admit, I have less friends due to IBS. IBS wants to be my bestie, but I don’t want it!
8) IBS has changed my wardrobe. I used to wear very well fitted clothes. Figure hugging dresses and tight jeans. My jeans are now 2-3 sizes bigger than they once were, just to allow for the IBS attack space. And don’t even think about figure hugging dresses. I live for comfy, easy clothes.
9) I have definitely changed my diet… obviously! But I mean in someways this has actually been a positive. I’ve had to remove a whole host of things from my diet, but I’ve replaced them with other things. Fresh chives are like the greatest thing ever. They make all dinners taste great.
10) I would say I have become a better cook as a result of IBS. I’ve always loved cooking but these days I even have to make my curry powder from scratch. We cook everything fresh and you really can’t beat it.
11) Having IBS made working life a misery. Working in an office 5 days a week for 8 hours a day just didn’t work with my IBS. Some days I wake up almost unable to move with stomach cramps. Forcing myself to sit at a desk, concentrate, interact with colleagues and attend meetings is just the worst thing ever. I hated not working to the best of my ability.
12) IBS stresses me out and stress makes my IBS worse. Its a never-ending cycle. So when I’m a little nervous about an event, I just know my IBS is going to make an appearance and spoil things further. Just doing anything out of the ordinary seems to stress my stomach right out.
13) Oh and can we just talk about going on holiday? IBS has certainly made going on holidays harder. The flight for starters isn’t pleasant with IBS raging. My dreadful gut makes me crave home comforts. The gut feels safe in routine and is so much worse when I’m away for a couple of weeks (or even just a couple of days!)
14) Again thinking of holidays… IBS has made me super self conscious to wear a bikini. Looking 6 months pregnant on a beach just because my stomach didn’t like something isn’t pleasant. I’m just glad that I’m older (26) and more used to it now. It’s still not nice though!
15) You really do just have to accept the fact that that your IBS stomach size/shape is no indication of your true appearance. Sometimes I look at my stomach and it does make me feel really down because it looks like I’m fat. Then I realise IBS just makes your body confusing. Oh and also… who really cares what shape you are anyway?
16) IBS has made Mark and I a whole lot more comfortable around each other. We both have IBS so we both know what it’s like. Dealing with dodgy daily bowels together is just normal now. I guess if Mark can deal with that side of me, I know I’ve picked a good’n.
Let me know if any of these resonate with you. Or if IBS has changed your life in any other ways. If you want to talk IBS (cause I don’t mind chatting and listening!) then just drop me a message on Facebook or Twitter. Or if you fancy, check out my YouTube channel for plenty of IBS related videos.