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mario...well, it depends on how close you are to them i guess...my family all knows that i have a digestion problem, most of them don't care and are really unsupportive about it (cuz they just don't understand, they think well 'everyone gets constipated or diarrhea sometimes' but they don't realize that ibs is a DAILY thing and very painful)...umm...a friend i used to be really close with knew i had problems digesting many foods...that's how i explained it to her anyways...sounded better than 'i get C and D all the time'...hehe. she understood a bit better than my family, but that's because her dad has chron's...but basically, if i feel i need to tell someone something about my problem, i just say 'i'm lactose intolerant' (even though i'm not sure that i am) or 'i'm on a special diet' (well, everyone is these days right!? hehe) or 'my stomach is really sensitive' or 'i have a really awful stomach pain...all the time basically'i dunno, was this any help?
 

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Yeah, it's so embarrassing. Weirdly enough, I've come to make a joke out of it and it's been easier to handle. My roommate seem to deal with it better when it's a joke, as well. In public, I just call it "stomach problems." Most people don't know, though, just those close to me like my roommates and my boyfriend. I found that opening up about it helped. For instance, once I was able to talk to my boyfriend about it, I found out that he actually has a sensitive stomach and has D issues also, probably a milder IBS than I have. So that's helped a lot. You'd be surprised at how many people live with stomach problems and hide it! I would tell those you are closest to. For me, the worst is when I am out with people I don't know well. I went out to dinner with a bunch of friends from high school last summer, and since I've only had IBS since I got to college, none of them knew about my IBS. When I ordered a small appetizer since it was about all I thought I could handle, everyone cracked jokes and was like, "That's seriously all you're getting? Aren't you hungry?" Somehow stomach cramps and D didn't feel like it would fit in right there, so I just laughed it off and was like, "You know how picky I am..." It hurt inside, though, to be made fun of because of what I chose to eat and not being able to explain myself because I was too embarrassed. I understand where you're coming from. I would work on those you're closest with. They'll know eventually because at some point you'll be in a situation where you'll have to explain yourself. Good luck!
 

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Well, it is pretty simple... Just be honest and say that you have stomach problems. It is as simple as that... Everyone I know knows that I have stomach problems... High school friends, college friends, fiance, family, etc. Just say you have a bad stomach. I have never joked about it, because to me, it is a serious condition. People understand and I have never had a problem, even on a job.
 

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My family are also totally unsupportive and dont really care. Really annoying but I live 120 miles away from them so it doesn't matter all that much!If anyone asks, I say I have digestive problems and no one asks any more than that. I don't mention the word "bowel" because it usually sends people pale!
 

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The people who are really close to me (immediate family, my three best friends, and my boyfriend) all know. I feel it is important for at lest them to know. I agree that it helps a lot to be able to have a sense of humor about it. It also helps to be able to talk to somebody about how sick and tired of it you are. It helps to have some body there for you either way. However you tell them, if they are supportive... it will be worth the explination. In my case, it has always been worth it.
 

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I just say, "I have IBS." Most of my friends know that I've always complained of a stomach ache. Ever since last week's episode of Sopranos when Adrianna was diagnosed with IBS, I find that I can tell people about it more easily. I know that sounds weird, but did anyone see that episode? I was lol b/c I can't believe they gave that to her. People can understand by visually seeing it in a show, do you get me?
 

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Hey Mario! Do you currently live in Madison? I do (on the near west side of campus). I keep thinking that there are so many Badgers around, we should have a get-together... I just tell people that I have a chronic digestive condition that makes it hard for me to eat/sleep/go out. If they want to know more I direct them to "Molly's brochure": http://www.ibsgroup.org/main/aboutibs.html Last week a prof gave me a hard time about missing a class because of IBS, and she actually made me get a doctor's note to prove that I have it! She also made me go to an alternate class and write a one-page report about it. I felt like I was back in second grade - I'm a graduate student!!! I was so mad that I found the grossest, most graphic medical description of IBS available online and copied it in an e-mail to her. I hope she felt awful for giving me a hard time. I also made the report as technical and boring as I possibly could, hee hee!I generally tell everyone the truth about my IBS (when necessary) because it seems to get the best results. I am not shy about arguing with a store clerk (or whatever) about why I NEED to use the "employees only" restroom... the truth plus the fear and total desperation (which must be clearly written on my face) sometimes work, and if not... screw them, I'm never shopping there again! With all the people on this board, it's a wonder I never run into other people doing the same thing.- sailaway
 
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