Posted 23 November 2001 - 03:18 PM
First: A history - I have been living with IBS for 13 years now. It started when I was 12 and I was rushed to the hospital with major stomach pains. The Dr.s thought it was my appendics so they kept me over night and ran a bunch of tests. The results came back negative and they came to the conclusion that I was constipated. My mother got upset with me for being a hyperchondriac and making a big deal out of nothing. Well, the pains and attacks didn't go away but I stopped complaining about it because my mom thought it was all in my head and I was beginning to think I was just a hyperchondriac. I would find that I would go up to a week without going to the bathroom and then I would be in the bathroom for a day sick. When I started nursing the attacks got worse so I complained to my doctor and after a few tests he diagnosed me with IBS. Relief set in when I realized that all this time it wasn't in my head and I wasn't a hyperchondriac. The only problem was dealing with what I now had. I tried to ignore it and continue on with my life but it was too difficult. I was completely embarrased and it interferred with my nursing. I ended up dropping out of my second year of nursing and started working part-time. I was slowly falling into a depressive state. It got to the point that I never left the house and stayed in my pajamas all day because either I was in the middle of an attack or I was afraid of one starting when I was out. I felt fat because my stomach was always bloated and I did eventually start gaining a lot of weight because I was always sitting at home. My parents were always mad at me for always complaining about not feeling well so I started distancing myself from them too. For two years I had no life. Then I went to go visit my mom one weekend and she sat me down to talk to me. She started crying and telling me that she felt that she had lost her daughter. I realized thay I was not the same person anymore. I was always sad and angry and I had gained about 35lbs. I hated myself. I decided to change my life around so I moved out of the big city and to a small town where my mother lived. I started school again and started going to the gym....this is where it all changed. Weightlifting was the best thing I could have ever done. I tried meds and changing my diet but they only minimized the symptoms instead of getting rid of them. I was going to the gym four days a week and after approx a month I started loosing weight, my attacks stopped, I started sleeping better at night, and I started feeling good about myself again. Everything started falling back into place. This was four years ago. I have come to the realization that weightlifting is a way of life for me. I have realized of much it effects me just recently when I had to stop for a few months because of surgery. Since I stopped, I can feel myself falling back into a depressive state. I get attacks every morning and I feel fatigued for the rest of the day. I will hopefully be starting at the gym in a few days but this has proven to me how much of an impact on my IBS weightlifting has had. I recommend trying it and go for at least four days a week. At first I tried three and it wasn't enough. Weighlifting reduces my stress, helps me sleep better at night, which are both contributing factors to my IBS attacks. I tried other exercise routines but I find that weightlift is the best because I can leave when ever I want (in case an attack comes) and I can keep my routines short or lond depending on how I feel that day. I am starting Yoga and Pilates next week and I am so excited. I have heard great things about both.