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I made a post in my IBS journal which I wanted to move to the general discussion so that it's accessible to everyone; this details multiple paths I've taken in my attempt to cure IBS. Since I no longer suffer from the condition I feel it's worth the read and consideration. I really hope it helps anyone who needs it.

The following is my post: I can not guarantee this as an absolute cure, it's simply my experience and is posted to help anyone still suffering:

Hello everyone. This is a follow-up message in regards to my experience with the FMT quite some time ago. My reason for this follow-up is because it was frustrating to read stories of FMTs and then never hear about the results down the road.

So... To start; the good news: I do not suffer from IBS anymore. The excruciating pain that I used to be far too accustomed to no longer occurs; and IBS is no longer something which I fear. Now, the not so good(?) news - IBS may be more complicated than I had originally assumed.

Now, to start - my IBS did "fix" after the Fecal Matter Transplant. Past that point I had very few occurrences of IBS pains and now I get none. So, in regards to the transplant, I'd have to say the same as most others on this forum: it's very much worth a shot if you're considering it. Obviously be very careful with the procedure and how you go about it - I don't want anyone doing anything weird. It's a procedure just like any other; so the same way a doctor would take care, you should too. It worked for me, and for many others, so it does hold validity. I strongly recommend it multiple days in a row, rather than just once.

Following that I wanted to note that my IBS had been residing to some degree prior to the FMT (I still had pains every few days, however - which I no longer get) and I attribute this to quite a few things which I wanted to detail here for anyone whom is still suffering.

The very first thing; change your diet. I'm sure many, many of you have already taken this approach but I can not stress it enough. I used to eat nothing but sheer junk food; and that was a big part of my problem. The bowel likes to be treated with respect; and in turn it will treat you with respect. Eat natural, and healthy. I did weeks and weeks of research on the "best" foods to eat, which though I don't recommend committing the same amount of time, I feel is a worthwhile endeavor. Stick to vegetables, meat is okay, avoid heavy spices, caffeine, or heavy sauces, stick away from coffee, emphasize tea (decaffeinated), fruits are okay in moderation. It takes a lot of adjustment, but it's well worth it; and once you're adjusted you don't even consider eating junk foods anymore. For reference, I tend to stick to turkey meat, chicken, lamb, any vegetable, any fruit (just not too much of it), cranberry juice, green tea & chamomile tea, gluten-free bread, gluten-free and dairy free pot pies, carrots, dairy free coconut butter, organic potato chips (moderation), seaweed. Drink A LOT of water each day (I do natural spring water).

I emphasize the seaweed, because it does well to help the gut. Also try to emphasize natural probiotic - my favorite being kombucha flavored like orange soda with natural sugar. Also sauerkraut. Anything that heals the gut, and that you can handle, is good. The diet thing may seem complicated; but find out what feels good to your gut and what it dislikes; then make adjustments - it gets easy, very easy over time. I'd definitely recommend cutting out dairy / lactose / gluten to pretty much anyone. Also the diet takes time to heal the gut, so it's something you have to stick to and it's a very important part of the process.

Next comes the psychological element of IBS. This, I feel, plays a large role (though of course I'm sure IBS is very much fixable with what's listed above ^). I feel IBS is the bodies way of alleviating too much stress or repressed emotions. You may be repressing stress, or some other emotion to the point where the body must let it out; and it does so through IBS. IBS in this sense, might be the compulsion of the bowel and spasming of the muscles to let out excess adrenaline or whatever emotion has been repressed. It could also be ones reaction to IBS. A fear reaction to IBS, may in turn trigger IBS. I know back when I had IBS I was always scared of an attack; and when I begin to get the pains I would react out of fear, and that furthered the problem. This, unfortunately, isn't something you can change immediately. The mind can not control learned emotion through logic. That means, when you have an attack; if you already fear it, you can not immediately alleviate the fear. In this sense, when you get an IBS attack or anything that "feels" like IBS; don't think your way out of it. If you get scared, get scared. Feel the emotion associated with IBS. Don't go into the train of thought "I might have an attack!" or "Not here" etc. Just feel the emotion arising with IBS. "Feel" the IBS to the best of your ability without trying to suppress or stop it. Let it come, let it run it's course whether this means going to the restroom or not, and let it go. If you practice this act of no longer suppressing IBS; it will in time help to alleviate the condition. This, of course, is my theory however. You are absolutely free to follow the prior advice and not this, but not responding to IBS like it was something horrible helped me to slowly lose my fear of the condition, which helped to alleviate the condition a fair bit.

To further this point for those who are interested: I'll use Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as an example. With OCD, when one encounters something they fear, let's say... Germs, they avoid it. They are afraid of the emotion and the thoughts that arise associated with germs, so they either act out in compulsion to alleviate that fear or avoid the situation entirely. The more they actively do this, the worse the fear becomes, and the worse the "germs," or at least, their perception of the germs, becomes. IBS, I believe, acts in a similar manner. When one "feels" IBS certain emotions and thoughts arise. These emotions, thoughts, and generally pain are uncomfortable and so people become afraid of them and attempt to suppress them. This fear, in the same way it does in OCD, I feel maintains IBS. This is why, when the emotions, pain, and discomfort associated with IBS arises you must simply let it run it's course. You can not "logically think" your way out of fear. The only option is to fully and openly experience whatever emotions and feelings (even pain) that IBS brings along with it. Let the emotion in, let the stomach discomfort in, let it be. Feel it fully and treat it like you would any other emotion. When you stop fearing the presence of IBS, it starts to lose it's power. This, of course, is not the holistic approach to treating IBS but I do feel it is very important; and would serve great dues alongside the rest of what I've listed here.

Another psychological element of IBS that I feel may help. Avoid obsession. If you find you spend all day looking up how to cure IBS, or worrying you'll have an attack, etc. If IBS constantly takes up your mind then this may be adding to your fear of the condition. The same way health anxiety works; if you spend each and every day afraid of IBS, and looking up ways to fix it or make it go away, this might worsen the psychological reaction to it. I don't think figuring out how to heal the gut is wrong, just research it until you feel you have a good understanding, then let go of constant research and thinking about it and just employ what you've learned. Don't make the focus of your days IBS; let it be a background character. Avoid obsession and fear to the best of your ability. I recommended reading Dr. John Sarno as well, for more in this area.

I feel the fear of IBS plays a subtantial role in IBS; so I do recommend giving the prior three paragraphs some time.

Psychological stuff is a bit difficult. It may not be absolutely necessary to cure IBS; but it is something I strongly, strongly recommend. If you feel overwhelmed by the psychological stuff here don't let it cause you too much stress. Just take things one at a time, and figure out what works for you.

Side notes but very important: Sleep! 8 Hours! Deep sleep in a dark room! Take care of yourself in any way you can holistically. This will help IBS; and your entire body as well. Also... Exercise, as much as you can. Maintain activity even if that just means daily walks for an hour or two.

So I'll conclude my message there. I no longer have IBS; it's gone. I eat very well, very healthy, and junk food is foreign nature to me and has been for years, haha. I sleep properly and for 8 hours or longer if time allows. I strongly feel the FMT could help and do recommend it so long as you're careful with the procedure. Natural probitiocs and Seaweed help. Take overall care of your body, learn what your gut can and can't handle, and respect that.

IBS has a lot of elements to it. It takes time to heal. Nothing will go perfectly at first and the improvement may seem slow; but it's there. I couldn't eat nuts a year or so back and now I can eat any amount without an issue. Manage stress, learn to accept the emotions that arise with IBS and throughout the day; try not to get stuck in fearful thought. Treat your body with love and respect in any way you can. Etc. etc.

I've rambled on and said what I can say. IBS is a condition which can be fixed, whether it be physically, psychologically, or through the FMT - it takes time, the same as healing any other part of the body.

Tl;dr: This section is for me to summarize my points with less depth, but I do suggest reading it because it's where I can thoroughly clear my facts for anyone here. #1. Diet - Eat organic: meat, vegetables, a low amount of fruit, and organic healthy snacks (Kale Chips are a good example). If something upsets your stomach, it's pry best to leave it out for now whilst you heal. If everything upsets your stomach; stick to the foods I listed earlier in the post. Drink A LOT of water each day. Eat seaweed. Emphasize natural probiotic. #2. Physical: Exercise each and every day with some rest days. Sleep on a consistent schedule in a proper environment for at least 8 hours. #3. Psychological: Unlearn your fear of IBS. When the feeling of IBS arises, let it be. Let it run it's course and breath deeply. If you need to use the restroom, then make your way to the restroom. Let the feeling of IBS and the pain that accompanies it come, and let it go. You no longer need to react with fear to this feeling; just let it be and respect it. Also look into meditation, managing stress, and understanding your emotions and yourself. This takes time, and it's a lot of things to understand; but I do feel it very much helps with IBS. No longer fearing IBS, I feel, is a big part of curing it. #4. The FMT. It works, though it takes a little time to show full results. I definitely recommend it. I recommend it multiple days in a row however, rather than just once. I tried it one time and it did not work near as well as when I tried it multiple days in a row. #6. Overall Wellness: IBS takes time to heal. It took me a lot of experimentation of what I could handle, and what I couldn't, and a fair bit of time healing my gut; but it did heal. Don't get discouraged; I genuinely wish everyone here the best. Good luck!

P.S. If you would like to contact me for further clarification or questions please use the email: [email protected]

I do not actively check the IBS forums; so this would be your best bet at contacting me.
 
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