Hey guys, if you are a follower of my blog or have me on any social media, you will have seen that I suffer with something called IBS. Whilst this is something that plays a huge impact on my life, it isn’t something that is widely understood. Which is why I wanted to write a blog post and explain a bit more about what it is and my own experiences with it. Hopefully,this will clear up any confusion and help someone who’s going through similar symptoms and isn’t sure what to do.
What is IBS?
IBS, otherwise known as Irritable Bowel Syndrom, is a long term condition which effects the digestive system. It is thought to effect up to 1 in 5 people at some point in their lives, it is most common in ages 20-30. It’s a condition which can improve overtime, however, is usually lifelong.
It isn’t always certain what causes IBS, however, for many people, gluten and stress are the main triggers.
The symptoms of IBS vary from person to person and include things such as: abdominal pain, bloating, sickeness and diarrhoea, constapation and much more. So as you can imagine it’s not very pleasent.
My journey of Diagnosis
I first encouted IBS when I was 16/17, however, at the time the doctor was very unsure what was making me so ill. It started in my first year of A Levels, which was a very stressful time for me, what with exams, a shitty relationship and newly found panic attacks, it was a real struggle. I generally started feeling unwell in day to day life, I was sent home a lot with stomach pains, fainting or generally feeling ill, however, the doctors just couldn’t work out what was wrong so we put it down to a stomach bug.
However, over christmas things got more serious, i ended up collapsing at work and going to hospital for stomach pains. The paramedic worried it was apendicitus. But again, nothing was found and so they sent me home saying I probably had low blood pressure and a ‘bug’.
For months after, I kept being ill, having bad stomach pains, going to the doctors and hospital over and over again. However, it would never stay, it would come and go so not much could be done about it.
Eventually the doctors ran tests, but they always came back fine. I then had a stomach scan, but nothing unordinary showed up. It was normal. But that’s the thing with IBS although everything feels wrong, it all looks normal because its the way your gut works, not your actual gut.
Eventually they gave me IBS tablets, which started to help, however, nothing was properly diagnosed, it wasn’t till I left university due to being so unwell that they finally confirmed it was IBS and unfortunately for me it was stress related. Which looking back made a lot of sense, because all my worse flares were during very stressful periods.
Since going back to Uni, its been a big struggle again, I can no longer eat certain foods without bloating, I can’t drink milk without throwing up. There have been periods where its felt non existent and there have been moments where I’ve been in so much pain that an ambulance has been called because I couldn’t even sit up out of bed. Its a struggle but it’s life.
How it effects my day to day life?
IBS effects me differently every day. The way it effects me mostly is through abdominal pains. With these pains I am either able to do every day things or rolling around in pain crying. There is no inbetween. However, the pains are becoming less common which is such a relief (touch wood).
My IBS flares are usually sickness or diarrhoea, which is something that is very testing, especially when I am out and about.
It is hard to deal with but it is slowly becoming easier and now that it’s diagnosed I have a lot more support available to me. But it still doesn’t stop the judgment of others. Just because you can’t see someones illness doesn’t mean it’s not there. I can look extreamly healthy but be in a lot of pain.
If anyone reading this has been experiencing similar symptoms then please get it checked out and push them to diagnose it quicker. No one should have to suffer in silence. If you would like to read more about IBS and it’s symptoms I will post some links to know and if you have any more questions about IBS please don’t hesitate to ask.
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