What Living With Irritable Bowel Syndrome Is Like

I am 41 years old and I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome when I was 27 years old. At first, I was completely despondent and unable to leave the house even when I wasn’t feeling terrible. Over the course of a year, I lost a significant amount of weight and muscle mass. My diet was erratic and my appetite didn’t help. When I finally got tired of being sick and tired I found it difficult to participate in any prolonged physical activity. Most simple activities were uncomfortable at best and at their worst were simply too much to be undertaken. One thing I found that helped me out was gardening.

Ibs Stats

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

I could start as slow as I wanted and there was never any rush. If I didn’t feel well I was close to home and I could sit and enjoy the garden even at times that I wasn’t able to physically interact with the space. Growing vegetables and flowers showed my that I was still capable of producing things even if my pace of work wasn’t as fast as it had been before I was diagnosed. From that physical activity I was able to gain more self confidence and more stamina. From there I was able to participate in more activities and became more comfortable with spending extended time periods away from home.

Eating fresh

In many ways having a garden was the most positively transformative experience in my healing. I would not have guessed that gardening could be a true therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but the evidence was in front of me. Since I was producing vegetables, but my system still had difficulty digesting them, I bought a juicer and started making all kinds of concoctions from my daily harvests. Kale leaves, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli and usually a lemon and an apple to make things sweet, I would make juices that finally let me feel alive again and did not irritate my system. To be able to have these nutritious juices from the vegetables that I had grown myself made me feel prouder than anything else I had accomplished so far. To this day I drink fresh juice 3-4 times and take Cialis daily and still always feel so much more alive when I drink the juice from leafy green vegetables. It also seems to calm my intestines and settle any rumbling that may be happening. I’m awfully glad I was able to find these avenues of dealing with my illness.

Living with IBS

Without some positive outcomes it would have been such an immense emotional burden that I think I would have been disabled. Far from being disabled though, I was able to land a well paying and flexible job that I’ve held on to for the last 12 years. I have succeeded in many areas that I thought would be closed off to me and recently ended up taking up archery and spending extended periods outdoors. I thought those kinds of activities were closed to me after my diagnosis but it turns out that with practice and the right attitude, Irritable Bowel Syndrome doesn’t have to sequester you in your home or keep you from doing the things you want to do. Sure, there may be times it gets in the way of you fully enjoying yourself but just because it gets in the way one afternoon doesn’t mean that you have to let it get in the way of your activities every afternoon.

Get some exercise

Get some new thoughts in your head. Practice going outside and practice enjoying things and thinking of something besides your illness. Acting healthy is one of the biggest pieces of being health and if you can get yourself to do more healthy things every day that you are going to be more healthy every day. That’s just the way things work and you have to just go do what you can when you can. You won’t always be able to, but don’t let that get you down. There’s always tomorrow and you just have to keep getting up and trying again. You will succeed and just as with all things all you need to do is practice and let yourself succeed at the goals you set for yourself.

Published by Peter Williams

I am a medical practitioner from Australia. I am working in St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney now.

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8 Comments

  1. After dealing with chronic diarrhea for 5 years after nearly every time I would eat, it was finally a victory for me to go to the doctor and be diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Now with proper medication and diet, it is nice to be able to have food and not have to keep in mind where a bathroom is afterwards!

  2. I alway knew something was wrong with me. But until I had the courage to get officially diagnosed at age 30 I didn’t realize my problem had the name of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I devoured as much literature as I could and found support groups on the internet. I can’t say I embraced my condition, but I did not shy away from it and if anyone was willing to discuss it I let them know what I had learned and what I continue to learn.

  3. I’m 37 and have been experiencing Irratable Bowel Syndrome for five years now. It it very unpleasant and there was once a time when I was a time when I didn’t have IBS under control. Now with the knowledge I have it i have I am able to cope with this problem. Although I have a high fiber diet and have to avoid certain foods and drinks I no longer have the pain, discomfort, and diarrhea associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. You can live with it just like I am.

  4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome also known as IBS is an intestinal disorder causing pain in the belly, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
    Treatment can help, but this condition can’t be cured for IBS.
    The cause of irritable bowel syndrome isn’t well understood. A diagnosis is often made based on symptoms.
    Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
    Some people can control their symptoms by managing diet, lifestyle, and stress. Others will need medication and counseling.
    Gastrointestinal change in bowel habits, constipation, diarrhea, inability to empty bowels, indigestion, nausea, passing excessive amounts of gas, or urgent need to defecate.
    Cramping or discomfort in your abdominal region can occur.
    You can also experience anxiety, depression, discomfort, loss of appetite, or symptoms alleviated by defecation.

  5. IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS) IS A COMMON DISORDER THAT EFFECT THE LARGE INTESTINE. MORE SEVERAL SYMPTOMS CAN BE TREATED WITH MEDICATION AND COUNSELLING.I FELT RUMBLING IN MY STOMACH.THE BEST DIET IS ONE THAT MEETS YOUR INDIVIDUAL NUTRITIONAL NEEDS AND HELPS YOU MANAGE YOUR IBS SYMPTOMS.

  6. I went to my doctor with unexplained digestive problems when I was in my early 30s. I had been trying to save money and eating the cheapest food for a while. Unfortunately that food did not agree with me and when I went to the gastroenterologist he told me it was Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I had to change my diet to manage my symptoms. After learning what foods were triggers I was able to control my symptoms without any medical interventions.

  7. I have ibs and although it took a while, I finally learned to deal with it. My main trigger is stress so I try to stay as stress free as possible (doesn’t always happen) and when I get stressed in public, I always know where the nearest restroom is. You can control it but you have to learn your main trigger.

  8. The cause of irritable bowel syndrome is currently unknown. It is thought to result from a combination of abnormal gastrointestinal (GI) tract movements, increased awareness of bodily functions, and a disruption in the communication between the brain and the GI tract. IBS-D is irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea.Medications such as dicyclomine (Bentyl) can help relieve painful bowel spasms. They are sometimes prescribed for people who have bouts of diarrhea.doctor may suggest trying OTC diarrhea medicines such as bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol) and loperamide (Imodium) for relief. Researchers have found these drugs can help slow diarrhea, but they won’t help with other IBS symptoms like belly pain or swelling.

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