Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Digestive Health Support Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,I'm new here- just discovered the site. I'm a 26 year old female that has had IBS-D now since I was about 14. I also suffer from anxiety, although it is much milder at the moment then it has been in the past.Anyway, I am a young, single, academic in a prestigious program at a big brand-name university, (I have just embarked on my dissertation) and dealing with IBS often makes me feel like I am dancing around a large elephant in the room. A few of my close colleagues and friends know about the condition, but everyone else just knows I have a "sensitive stomach" and that I am always wandering around the library with a cup of peppermint tea in hand. Anyway, I think I deal with my IBS in a rather odd way- I just don't eat when I cannot afford to have an attack. Lemme explain- On a regular day I make sure to have a good breakfast because for some reason breakfast doesn't affect me too bad- then I usually have no lunch, or perhaps just a cup of tea with a ginger cookie if I feel lightheaded. My "big" meal of the day is dinner, and I only eat dinner if I do not have to be anywhere (so if I get sick, well then its no big deal- I'm home and chilling on my own throne). If I have to be somewhere- I usually steel myself with yet another cup of tea and wait to eat until I come back. If I don't eat, I don't get symptoms.... and there are times when I REALLY don't want to be running to the can- like when I am teaching a class, or when I'm on a date.This brings me to a problem- because of my "food avoidance" policy, dating is a problem- because most dates involve meals. I have findangled my way around this, constructing dates that involve going to see a play (without a meal beforehand), hiking, etc, etc- but eventually a meal comes up- which I will not eat. Which means I have to explain- and I have yet to stumble into an understanding man. Most try to be, but all my long term boyfriends have gotten annoyed at my "little problem."Travel is also a pain in the %^* because I won't eat during it- and I routinely fly across the country. My folks are aware of this, and always have a nice meal waiting for me when I visit them- however sometimes I go on my own on research trips. On the last trip I made I had to fly to St Louis, and then drive 4 hours across MO to my destination. When I got to my hotel I was shaking and barely made it to Cracker Barrel where a concerned waitress poured me a large sweet tea (to "perk" me up- probably not good for me but it kept me from keeling over) and rushed my meal. Thank goodness for Midwestern, down-home kindness. My IBS is mainly meal-centered- I eat and I get sick about 10-30 minutes afterwards. It comes and goes- sometimes I am just fine and can eat anything within reason, and sometimes everything makes me sick. After years of severe IBS I have managed to battle back to some normalcy and I now I weigh what I should weigh and am in otherwise decent health.I know I shouldn't be skipping meals, but right now it seems to be the only thing I can do to keep a "normal-seeming" life. Luckily, during the summer I am mainly in the library researching so I can eat, and if I get sick, it doesn't matter because the only clock I am on is my own. However, because of my IBS I don't go out much in the evening and I hardly date. I spend a lot of time hanging out with my cat and dog, reading and knitting. (I actually took up knitting to help my anxiety- and it works wonders, really. I always have my knitting in my purse, so if I start to feel stressed or freaked out, like I'm stuck in traffic or something, I whip out my project and knit. It calms me instantly and totally takes the edge off. The upside of this is I have become a fairly advanced knitter and have an awesome collection of sweaters and fun socks.)Anyway, it always feels like my life is run by IBS. I always have to worry, and I dread any twinge in my stomach or gut. I also hate being hungry all the time. While not eating works, it also leaves me cranky and tired and I know its not good for me.Sorry this is so long, but I was just wondering if anyone else also did this, or has any suggestions for me.-Ann
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
617 Posts
I don't know I have ibs-d and it seems that food runs through me so fast that it sometimes spurs me to eat more . I think when your stomcahe is in spasms it squirts out more acid and you have to eat again to soak that up> Maybe I'm just weird
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
man i do the exact same thing. i just realized that eating is a huge pain in the ass (and also a little north of that) and so i try to avoid the pain as much as possible, so why not just stop eating altogether? also it is a great way to save money. i try to eat only when i have to, but sometimes i feel so malnourished that i just grab anything and shove it in me and then my body instantly reacts and im like oh **** why did i do that. also, sometimes my body seems to think that once i am past the point of no return and i am going to get sick, i just eat a whole bunch of #### that makes me get sick quicker so i feel better faster. it's never a conscious thing, i just do it, and i dont really like it actually. i obviously have not figured out how to properly manage myself, i have not been diagnosed with anything but i've come to decide that it's probably ibs which is why i'm here. Anyway, i dont think that not eating is an odd way to deal with it at all, but it certainly isn't smart. most people think it's crazy because they don't know why i do it. i'd like to know a better way that still allows us to live out the part of our lives that demands normalcy. it doesn't help that nobody knows how serious it is. we should start our own environmentally sustainable community where we all understand each other's intestinal problems... sounds like self-segregation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,983 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,983 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
leucothea your story really hit home to me, i thought i was the only one having them problems until i read your story. Keep positive the will find a cure eventually.However i eat every 2/3hours wholemeal bread it keeps my energy levels stable its a pain but im used to it by now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,955 Posts
If you put a probe into anyone's colon and measure you will find it gets really active after meals. This seems to be exaggerated in some IBSers.The not eating is a way a lot of people try to cope, but it can become a very unhealthy way to cope.Some people find that skipping meals only makes the next meal worse. That is the hungrier they are when they eat the bigger the "I just ate" signal is from the stomach and the more the colon reacts and the worse the symptoms are. This can make the cycle worse because they you tend to skip more meals because when you finally do eat the symptoms are worse than ever, so you don't eat for a long time...Usually the way to deal with this is to take an antispasmodic (and peppermint can be used but you might have to up the dose with a couple of Altoids rather than just the peppermint tea) 20-30 minutes before meals. If you haven't been to the doctor you might want to do that as you might need prescription meds to control it.The other OTC med used this way is Imodium, also 20-30 minutes before a meal.Basically either technique involves putting the brakes on the colon before it has a chance to over-react.There are a lot of other medications that can be used if this doesn't work. Really if you haven't seen a doctor about this go. If the doctor you has won't treat you find another.You might on a day you are home do the 6 small meals a day trick and see if that helps. It does work for some people as that way you are never really hungry when you eat. It is often used to control blood sugar so if you don't want to admit the IBS you can say you do it for blood sugar control. It may allow you to eat in public if you can find the size of small meal that works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
Welcome Ann
Since I have been on Remeron and Paxil, I don't have the anxious feelings about eating and generally feel alot better. I used to skip meals, but usually felt worse later.Also try an anti-spasmotic before meals or dates.If your dates don't understand your problem, your better off without them anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Leucothea, Yup I totally know waht tyou mean about the whole not eating thing. I too don't usually like to eat during the day and like you I just like to eat at night when I'm at home. I've had IBS-D for all my life(19yrs) so yah I just get fed up of getting sick sometimes. My ibs is mainly food(and stress of course) induced so sometimes i'll go a whole day without eating if I'm feelig crappy already. I know it's not that great to do but when you've been sick for so long it just gets frusterating that everything that goes in my mouth is gonna come out in a much worse way. I've gotten to the point that when i look at some foods I litterally look at it and see a big plate or bolw of D. I know it's sick but I just can't help to look at the food and jsut know what's coming so that tends to make me avoid eating sometimes. I'm glad I'm not the only one who avoids food altogether sometimes. Feel free to PM me if you wanna chat more about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Phew- I cannot tell you how good it is to know you are not alone.I know my triggers and I am like a commercial for herbal teas (peppermint, chamomille, fennel- ginger gives me heartburn- and for those of you who haven't tried it, Rooibos helps with nausea)Lately my IBS has been flaring bad and I don't know why- Its summer and all I do is research and write. I think it might be because I was worried over money for a while, but I have funding now, so that is taken care of. (The darned check just got here yesterday- so it could have been that.) Anyway, I have seen several different IBS cookbooks out there and was thinking of trying a few from the library. I have the time right now to fiddle with my diet, so I can see if I can make my life better- but there is quite the selection- So I am worndering about suggestions? Anyone have a favorite?My doctors are useless. (Which is ironic because my university has a world class hospital and med school.) I have to use the student health center which means I don't actually have a doctor- I see whoever is available that day. Most of them brush me off- I had one nice lady doctor who told me about the immodium trick (taking it before eating) and tried to get me an appointment with the nutritionist, who was booked up for months.Plus my health insurance barely covers specialists, so I can't go see a GI doctor without a steep bill, which I can't afford (and I mean really can't afford. Some weeks I fuss over how the dog, cat, and I are going to eat- my stipend barely covers my expenses.) So I am on my own with this one.... anyway, any advice on those different cookbooks would be helpful. I'm a good cook (ahh the irony- people love my cooking and I often cannot eat it- I can woo men with rich, sticky chocolate cakes, homemade tortillas, and salsas- and I can't eat it!- the irony!!!!) so I'm willing to try stuff out.-Ann
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,983 Posts
leucothea did you read the above links?Have you ever seen these images. It is the sigmoid colon 15 minutes after eating.normal
IBS
Not eating for long periods of time and then eating, physically stresses the gut and can trigger the symptoms. Its better to eat small meals throughout the day.Not eating can also lead to fatique, headaches and malnutrition, which can also be probelmatic and trigger symptoms.Anxiety also triggers symptoms and this is very important. This can happen through the bodies fight or flight system, directly connected to mast cells in the gut. Reducing your anxiety can go a very long way to helping you out and reducing your symptoms. There is also the anxiety of IBS. The urgency causes a "threat to the organism" and can trigger the symptoms.Serotonin is also majorally implicated in IBS and there is altered release in the gut after eating, which is very important to IBS and the symptoms. There is good evidence for this being the reason for d. c and d/c. It is a very important gut neurotransmitter as well as a very important gut to brain messenger.Not eating, sometimes makes you feel better, but its not the way to go.Also there are foods that can trigger the symptoms of course. Fats are a big one as well as fructose and sorbitol.You should look at Heather's eating for IBS I posted above.You might also want to look into gut directed Hypnotherapy or CBT, which can be very effective for what you are talking about for most people and IBS.http://ibsgroup.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/71210261/m/151100932
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
leucothia,Thank you for your post! My younger sister is 19 y/o F and I am trying very hard to get information that will help her learn to control her IBS since her doctors have not been very helpful.My sister is definitely afraid of eating with her IBS and usually only eats small meals. She avoids eating out as much as possible and it has really become a stress between her and her BF who is from a traditional Italian family that eats big, spicy meals. Sometimes her attacks hit her out of nowhere even with her precautions, and she and her BF will be out off-roading in his jeep and she'll have to make him turn back...which causes more tension between them and more anxiety for her...this is where her doctors think the nerves come in to play.She won't ever let anyone in the family take her out to eat or have her over for a meal, and she won't even travel to Florida with me for my wedding because she's afraid of having attacks during travel or while we are out. I feel awful for her and really want to find info that will help her cause. Your post and the replies you received are very useful to me! Thanks!-Kerri
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I'm so relieved to discover I'm not the only one to limit my food intake.. and I flat refuse to go to a restaurant unless absolutely necessary. It's taken awhile, but I can get through the entire day without eating.. even a small amount of food can trigger the instant d. I do have to eat something as soon as I get home for work, but that's usually not a problem.I've had IBS C/D for about 10 years now and have tried everything from medication to hypnotherapy (yes, this all stems from a previous life). Ha! I finally found an understanding doc that has me on Wellbutrin with a Xanax kicker if absoultely necessary, like traveling. I've actually had to walk away from boarding a plane with my boss because of the panic. Try explaining that.Seeing that it's not just me helps more than I would have ever believed.Kerrbear11: the best thing you can do for your sister is just be understanding and supportive. Being impatient or getting frustrated with her will only make matters worse. I won't even go to a store with my husband anymore because I may need to leave before he's ready, but I can go anywhere with my sister, because if I say the word, she's leading the way out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,398 Posts
quote:I don't know I have ibs-d and it seems that food runs through me so fast that it sometimes spurs me to eat more . I think when your stomcahe is in spasms it squirts out more acid and you have to eat again to soak that up
Food is going through you normally. That is true for everyone with just IBS. People with IBS do not have more stomach acid, either.
quote:I was just wondering if anyone else also did this,
Some people with motiliy problems do not eat, ever, so presumably this problem has been resolved. Perhaps try asking one of the gastroparesis forums.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I'm in my 60's and have suffered with IBS all my life although in earlier years it was never diagnosed as such.I even saw a psychiatrist when I was in my 20's.i have tried all the available meds with negligible results.I would suggest that sufferers keep a diary of what they eat and how they feel....in my case, milk products,tomato products,all fresh fruits and nuts usually give me problems.Avoiding them does not guarantee no trouble but usually i am ok.Stomach cramps and diarhhoea can occur at any time,whether I'm out or sitting at home.I have found though that when i have to go out, a light meal such as salmon or tuna with mayonnaise (not containing milk of course) and taking a tylenol with codeine 8mg keeps me stable for 4 to 6 hours.Codeine is rarely prescribed for IBS but after all my years od pain I have found that it works well for me.Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
779 Posts
Hi Frizzer and welcome,Like you, I am in my 60's. I have had IBS for a long time as well.I just deal with it the best I can. Sometimes I have more attacks than other times. My attacks are usually triggered by eating, it doesn't seem to matter what I eat. I have tried different things, such as diets etc. I haven't found any answers. The way I deal with it is to eat when I am at home and stay at home after I eat. I don't have an eating disorder and I am not underweight. I have just accepted the fact that I have IBS and live my life the best I can. I have a sick husband to take care of, so I have to put my IBS aside to do what needs to be done around here. I know that certain foods give me problems, so I try to avoid them, but it doesn't seem to help much. IBS is part of my life and I just deal with it like any other problems we have in life. I think it is easier as I get older even though my IBS isn't better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,983 Posts
debmar You said here "tried everything from medication to hypnotherapy (yes, this all stems from a previous life). "If the hypnotherapist you saw for IBS said that, you saw the wrong hypnotherapist. They don't use regression for IBS, but gut directed hypnotherapy that has nothing to do with past lives or any of that kind of hypnosis.Some hypnotherapists have jumped on the bandwagon to treat IBS with out the information and methods to go about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Leucothea - I feel your pain as well. I too am a 26 yr old female and man what an embarassing problem to have when you are in your 20's active and single. I'm pretty much at a los altogether what to do. Lately all I have been eating is avocado on white bread with some turkey and corn pops (no milk) for breakfast. I went to 2 BBQ's this weekend and sure enough I had some attacks. I usually dont have to run straight to the bathroom but I get serious gas and when I wake up the next morning thats when its time to "GO". Although I'd say don't eat...thats bad! Have you bought any of the cookbooks/tried any of the IBS safe recipes? If you are home instead of knitting make something you can then later take with you to where you work so you can eat it for the next day. I have only made one of the recips in the book...I'm a bit put off by all of these crazy ingredients you need to buy and the time it takes to make this stuff. I do not have THE TIME nor the kitchen space to be the IBS chef cooking all this stuff up. As a huge foodie I need to eat and want to eat and relizing I can no longer have a burger or hot dog at a BBQ is one of the saddest things in the world....I HATE IBS!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
eric:I kinda figured I was getting taken 10 minutes into the first session when she kept telling me to "go back in time". I still smoke too, so it was pretty much a bust. Unfortunately I'm in a fairly small town so hypnotherapists are a rarity.Such is my life.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top