My IBS Journey

I was officially diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome 2 years ago having gone through a series of tests which included a colonoscopy, an endoscopy, a barium meal, various blood tests and an ultra sound scan if I remember correctly!

Every time the test result came back negative part of me was glad that I didn’t have anything serious but the other part of me got more and more fed up because I wanted to have a “real” medical problem. So often you hear people say that irritable bowel syndrome is in the mind and even my gastroenterologist didn’t believe it actually existed! His conclusion was that I had an irritated, overly sensitive gut – well thats what irritable bowel syndrome is isn’t it?!

I think a lot of people put off going to the doctor because they don’t like the thought of lots of invasive tests and think that their doctor won’t take IBS seriously. That is why it took me so long to go (20 odd years in fact) as I suppose deep down I thought it was in my mind and the doctor wouldn’t really understand how it was making my life miserable. Also its embarrassing talking about your bowels….

It was my husband who made me realise I had to see the doctor. At just six and a half stone I was very underweight and having diarrhea most days meant I had little chance of gaining any weight at all and was likely to lose even more. I was looking back through one of my diarys that I kept before seeing the doctor and it is scary to see that I was opening my bowels 15 or more times a day.

Being diagnosed with IBS is basically “not” being diagnosed with anything else! If there was a test for IBS it would be so much easier but there isn’t yet so you have to rule out everything else first and if nothing shows up but you have symptoms then you have IBS. Fortunately, most doctors and specialists now know that irritable bowel syndrome is a real condition and can be seriously dibilitating.

I am one of many who has suffered so long with IBS that it has impacted on all areas of my life to the degree that I have developed fears about going out, eating out and a whole range of activities. Things in life that should be a pleasurable experience become a nightmare for me and I avoid them if at all possible for fear of needing the bathroom quickly.

This website is my way of helping others who are in a simlar situation by keeping a “live” diary of what I am doing to manage my IBS. To date I have recently gone through an elimination diet which has taken just over a year to complete and has required extreme self discipline. You will find the results of this on my elimination diet diary section. Obviously every IBS sufferer is different and what is bad for me may be OK for you but what I found while going through the elimination diet is if I found someone else who also had a problem with the same food as me I felt a little better about it. I hope you will too!

Posted in: IBS Diagnosis

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