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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was diagnosed with IBS about 3 and a half years ago. At first it was difficult to deal with but my family were really supportive, although they didn't understand really the lengths of how difficult it is to live with. It took me 7 months to tell my partner about it, purely due to my embarrassment and fear of how he might react.

I live in constant fear of telling any friends, roommates or future partners about it. I began seeing someone new and couldn't bring myself to tell them. Does anybody else experience this? Or have a way of coping with it, because it's not exactly an attractive condition is it? I usually put down my frequent use of the toilet down to "food allergies" but it is horrible not being able to openly admit to what I suffer with. Sometimes I cant describe my dull mood or stomach cramps, I wish I could explain but I'm embarrassed by it.

Any advice or understanding would be really appreciated
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Hi Red95,

Does anyone else experience this? I think everyone who reads this board experiences it.
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I never used to get quite as specific as "food allergies," I just usually said something about my "goofy tummy" or "wonky gut." The fact is that until things got so much worse when I had my appendix out, I didn't really know that I had IBS, so the terms I used were really about all I could come up with. But I never went into much detail.

I'm a bit more open about it now. I don't force long, specific descriptions about my bowel movements on friends or acquaintances, but I'm a little more willing to come out and say I have IBS now. If someone doesn't want to hear it, they can change the subject or walk away. I really don't have any time anymore for anyone who's not willing to hear something like that.

Fortunately, since going on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet I'm much better. I'll probably always be thinking about where the nearest bathroom is just out of habit, but it's nice that it's not actually so important to have that information anymore!

Cheers,

Rich
 

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(Un)luckily, many people in my family have sensitive stomachs, although nowhere close to as bad as mine. This has made talking to my family much easier, although it can still be uncomfortable at times.

I actually found that talking to my girlfriend helped to relieve a lot of stress for me and our relationship. When I first met her, I told her I was lactose intolerant (which is true, but doesn't even begin to account for all my problems). When we started spending more time together, I was constantly making excuses about why I couldn't see her. We'd been dating for about a year before I fully explained to her how serious my condition was. Overall, she's been incredibly supportive and I'm so happy I told her.

In terms of friends, I haven't found it that important to tell them. They know my stomach bothers me sometimes, so they never pressure me to eat weird food. So far, that's been good enough for me.
 

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As I age (55 yrs old) I find folks more aware of various stomach ailments like IBS, Chron's, etc. I like to just say 'serious stomach issues' or IBS. I share this with most all so they DO understand why I act funny sometimes..... pain, moody, bathroom lots, staying home, etc.

I also like to freely mention it so others become aware, especially if they know of someone or they themself have issues. I decided to stop suffering in silence, stop hiding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess I'll always be conscious of what others may think of me, but it's a part of me I'll always have to live with, so might as well begin getting over it.

I've began telling a few friends, only when necessary, only when questioned about my unusually frequent trips to the bathroom. But other than that, I guess its my choice isn't it, only when I feel comfortable I should share it.

I'd love to figure out a diet I can use to help my stomach improve, at the moment my IBS has got SO much worse due to stress of a lot of life changes, but I don't know where to begin!!
 

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Stress can definitely make things much work. When I have particularly bad flare-up, I try my best to take a day off and just relax. This isn't always possible, but when it is, the calm greatly helps.
 

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Being in my early 20s, I do know what this feels like. I have been on a couple dates, and unfortunately, I had to tell this guy I had IBS because he wanted to take me out to a restaurant, and anything but chinese food would destroy my insides. Needless to say, after 3 dates, he never called back.

I've wondered if there was an easier way to break this "news" to healthy people, and have tried to no avail. And in reality, someone who cannot accept that your intestines are traitorous isn't someone you really want in your life anyway. It is hard to have a social life, I know. And some friends will see your "I have to stay home tonight" as an excuse to not be around them, even though you can't leave the bathroom. But the most understanding friend or partner, you will find, also has health problems. And the ones that do have health problems like these should be open, so the ones staying quiet about it don't feel so alone.
 

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Hi, everyone :*

I'm a newbie as well, and I finally decided to talk to others who share this burden.

I've discovered IBS in my early 20s, after finishing college.

I've always had sensitive bowels, but the it got worse. So much worse... I thought I has some kind of life threatning disease, but nope, just an extremely annoying condition: IBS!

I managed for more than once to control it, but stress and emotional suffering are a trigger. Needless to say that changing jobs is awful for me, and like all of you, I'm always considering the distance to the toilet.

For the time being, I'm trying to change my diet and I'll be exercising more often. I'm taking pills, though, and a probiotic, which really helps.

ps.: I really miss a cup of coffee though
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I used to feel that way but last year I started letting others know and now it's not a huge deal. In fact I have encountered tremendous sympathy. I am very blunt and will find a way to bring it up.
 

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hello,
i am new to this site but not new to ibs. I have had it for seven years . I am 29 and it started at 22. I definitely sympathize with you. I was always open about it at least i tried to be. But as of recent i started realizing how cruel people can be. I used to be a social butterfly till this hit me. The best thing to do is be open about it, thats usually not the part people get upset with. Its the understanding part for example canceling plans and so on. i will say that you will quickly find who your true friends are and accepting this condition as part of your life can help. But trust me i know thats hard and i have yet been able to my to accept this myself.
 

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I can understand not wanting to have to go into the nitty and gritty of what many of us go through but I am finding with the symptoms just saying sorry I was in the bathroom for half an hour doesn't always cut it in a hourly position. I did go through a stressful situation with my employer. It led to harassment and eventually I had close the door and sit down with him and hand over three doctors notes telling him that my Doctor and I are working toward a solution or control of my health. The second to explain that the nature of my condition can cause debilitating conditions which lead to need for time off and the last was explaining that my health condition would remain confidential between me and my health advisors due to its nature. Due to my Employers insensitive nature it has taught me to just give it to them straight and blunt otherwise I find people don't quite understand how this differs from having a stomach ache or the flu or they write you off as someone who has thought the disease up in your head. I don't go into it with some people because they do sympathize or understand because they have had someone teach them about their own IBS or digestive health issue. I find honesty is the easiest because I find hiding it to be mentally and physically more exhaustive. What I would like is to be able to explain it on my terms and in a method I get to control because frankly all of us with IBS have enough of our own control taken away from us by our own bodies. So when my Employer was trying to discuss my condition, doctor's visits and procedures in depth in my public office I decided instead of letting this cause stress and an IBS attack I have started to stop him if he attempts to do it in an inappropriate place and advise him to take this to his office. Since the third and most recent Doctor note that told him basically in the most pleseant way my Doctor could to back off of me to help reduce my stress and attacks.
 
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