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Basically a question for you all- what it says in the title- do you let IBS effect the things you do and the way you live your life? I'm going through a fairly bad patch with mine at the moment (really bad flare once a month, slightly 'dodgy' tummy every day) and I just feel it restricts me, I never go anywhere or do anything which I couldn't just leave and go home. I need inspiring by people who have IBS and just get on with things!Secondly, what are your coping strategies if you are somewhere a while away from home/stuck somewhere for a little while and a huge flare kicks in?Thanks everyone
 

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Basically a question for you all- what it says in the title- do you let IBS effect the things you do and the way you live your life? I'm going through a fairly bad patch with mine at the moment (really bad flare once a month, slightly 'dodgy' tummy every day) and I just feel it restricts me, I never go anywhere or do anything which I couldn't just leave and go home. I need inspiring by people who have IBS and just get on with things!Secondly, what are your coping strategies if you are somewhere a while away from home/stuck somewhere for a little while and a huge flare kicks in?Thanks everyone
Hi AllI'd be really interested to hear this too. I feel like I've lost the last six months of my life and I really don't want to be saying the same again come Christmas time! I'm determined to get back in control, so would like to hear how others go about doing so.C x
 

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Honestly, dealing with IBS is a daily battle. I used to spend a lot of time thinking, if only I could get well, then my life can finally start. I sometimes still fall back into this thinking when I am having a really bad day. But I've come to realize that my life is happening now and if I don't participate, I am going to miss out on it. Not every minute of every day is shrouded with symptoms, so I try to fully enjoy the days that I do have when I am feeling well. And on those bad days, I do what I need to do to take care of myself. I give myself permission to take it easy, to get my chores done tomorrow. If I am having a flare and I have to be somewhere like work, then I take immodium and keep it in my purse. I take peppermint capsules and I eat light. Being distracted is one of the best things for my IBS and since I am a teacher, I am very distracted while at work. I won't lie, there are some days where I just make it through whatever I have to do, hardly able to stand up because my tummy hurts. But I always make it through.If I have a bad flare somewhere away from home, I do my best to find some quiet space, where ever I can. I remember I was at the Kennedy Space Center on vacation and we were on a bus tour and I started having an attack - I was super nauseous, panicked, and my gut was going haywire. So as soon as we stopped, I slipped behind a building for several minutes to be alone and calm myself. Eventually the symptoms subsided enough for my to go on. It's really hard when that happens, but I find the thing that makes it the worst is the anxiety around it. If I can get that part to calm down, I am often able to cope with the physical symptoms easier. I would have been so mad at myself if I had cut the day short, although I give myself permission to do that if I feel like that's what I need.The bottom line is that as sufferers of this chronic illness, we are best served by learning to accept that this is the way things are and just as diabetics have special needs and cannot live like "normal" people, so do we. But it doesn't mean we have to completely miss our life. Acceptance is much easier said than done I realize. I certainly don't have that part figured out but I am working towards it.
 

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That's pretty much how I've been feeling... "once i'm better i'll do x, y, z" but I've seen quite quickly that time flies even when you're not having fun, and I feel like I've wasted so much time. Am feeling really positive at the moment, despite the fact my stomach is gurgling like crazy, I just feel more at peace with just battling through when I need to and enjoying everything I can. I've actually let a hell of a lot slip away because of not feeling well, but now it's time to get back on track.Totally get the feeling of being distracted at work, I've found having a hectic job quite helpful at times, as the day does fly and I'm not thinking about how I'm feeling all the time. Having said that, on the other hand I've been so exhausted lately I'm not sure it's been the best, but heyho.I tend to eat pretty light now, as I find that eating much in one go especially meat, just makes me feel bloated and in pain. How do you find the peppermint capsules? I've just bought some to give them a try so fingers crossed they help.I'm starting to get to grips with things, but I think I've still got a fair way to go, but mentally I'm feeling much much better. My life was so social before, with lots of eating and drinking out, so I am finding it hard to adapt a bit, but needs must!C
 

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This is exactly how I am feeling too..I feel like my life consumes of thinking about IBS and it stops me from doing things that I want to do. I also feel like I get very anxious (nauseous, panicked) when I am out and get an attack. My parents reccomend trying therapy to see if it will help me calm down a bit. have any of you ever tried therapy? and if so did it help?Also, I've been put on bentyl which seems to help with the attacks but it's not making the constant thoughts go away. I feel like therapy is my only option because I don't want this taking over my life..Any suggestions?
 

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Well I try not to let IBS effect my life but it still does but I would say it doesn't rule it. Before I found some kind of relief (thank god) I used to never go out and I just used to stay home and cry but I got sick of it and then I found eating a high fiber diet really helped and decided to try to live life again! If I go out to eat or to a movie I try to make sure I have had a BM of some kind in the morning or else I don't feel like doing anything until I have one. I usually go in the mornings so it's not usually a concern but sometimes my tummy acts up anyways and I have to stay home. And then there are those times where I'm out...I went in the morning as usual and BAM it hits me and I have to rush to the nearest bathroom or else! I always go places where they are public restrooms (almost everywhere has them). That is all fine and good and all but there are also those times where I'm worried or nervous about something like an interview or a date or if I am going out in the heat and then I'm almost certainly going to have D all day so I take a Imodium and just deal with it. I have IBS-A so I worry about being plugged up but also have to worry about the sudden need to go, it's hard but I have found some things that help it even though I still have many issues so...I feel lucky in that respect.
 

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@clh25 - i found the peppermint capsules at the help for ibs website. they really are quite helpful with cramping in the [email protected] - I've been in therapy since November and it has helped tremendously. my IBS is triggered by stress and anxiety, so therapy has helped me to get to the root of some deep seated issues that I've been repressing, and also to change the way I look at things. I use to be extremely reactive to upsetting situations and now I am able to reframe my thoughts and stop that reaction before it turns into digestive upset. (in theory anyway. i'm a work in progress.) i also went on an antidepressant to help take the edge of anxiety and depression. the combination of these things plus yoga and meditation have reduced the severity of my symptoms day to day which makes me not fear leaving the house like i use to. so in answer to your question, i highly recommend therapy. another thing that can really help the anxiety around your ibs is hypnotherapy - the ibs audio 100 program is a great option to do this at home.
 

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IBS has changed my life big time, i used to be one of these people who used to have no worries, always happy, had lots of mates, was always up for a laugh, heading out every weekend having a drink ejoying lifebut now i sit in every day unless i have to go somewhere like the doctors etcIBS makes me really anxious so i be afraid to go outside incase i don't make it to the toileti make sure when i do head out the door that i'm close to a toilet, if it's heading to somewhere like the beach etc it's a no go for me, if i'm heading to a night club or a bar at the weekend, i bring toilet roll with me in my pocket and i have this habit of bringin a can of deoadrant or aftershave with me and spray myself if i do a BM when outi don't really get stomach problems with ibs though i would get pains in my lower backalso get this weird "stuck" feeling in my back side which hurts and is very irritating, makes me walk funny at times
 

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I let IBS affect my life, but it doesn't control it. Like many others, I have "flare ups," when my IBS is worse for a certain period of time. During those times, I really have to restrict what I eat and what I do. I think ahead to what I'll be doing, if a bathroom is near, and who I will be with. I usually alternate, with a flare up lasting a few months, then a few months where I'm doing okay. The most important coping strategy for me is letting those who are close to me know about my IBS. I usually just call it "stomach issues" and most of the people in my life are aware of it. Then, when I'm out in public and start feeling bad, I can just tell them what's going on. I'll either need to spend some time in the bathroom, or just go home if I feel like it will be really bad. I also work in an office from 8-5. A few of my closer colleagues are aware of my IBS and don't question it if I disappear for a while (usually to the bathroom, mornings are worse for me). This also helps if a boss or someone is looking for me, they can step in and say that I'm probably in the bathroom. Though it's embarrassing for others to know about it, it is useful in the long run because I have understanding and sympathetic people to turn to. I do go through times when I think "I'll never be able to travel out of the country" or "I just wish I was normal!" However, this way of thinking isn't helpful for me. I try to recognize that I'm being negative about the health problems that I have. I then try to be more positive and hopeful that some day I will do better. It is a constant struggle to live with IBS because of the flare ups that happen and the disruptive nature of the disease. Between managing my diet (and resisting cravings), exercising, and being in pain quite frequently, it's exhausting! The only thing I can do is be hopeful and take all the necessary precautions to prevent bad flare ups.
 

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Hi All,I don't know if you have been to the Diarrhea section of this message board but you may get some help by taking calcium carbonate for controlling diarrhea attacks. It has a binding effect and will help to slow things down if you take it every day with your meals. Check out the calcium info pinned to the top of the board and if I can help email me.Linda
 
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