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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm 53 and have had IBS (on and off) for over 30 years. I have found that my IBS is worse since I hit menopause. Does anyone else find that? I also suffer from anxiety and this is a big trigger (for me)for an IBS flare-up. Of course the anxiety has become worse during menopause too.I'm experiencing a flare-up at the moment and am once again feeling anxious that the pain is due to something worse, but I can't keep visiting the doctor with the same symptoms so I'm trying to get through this alone and with the help of reading posts from fellow sufferers on this forum.I've been in constant pain today and the only thing that helps is a hot water bottle on my stomach.Question: What can one eat when everything seems to cause pain?
 

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Sometimes it isn't the food, but the act of eating (as the colon gets more active in every single human every single meal they eat) that sets off the pain.Have you tried1. Small frequent meals. Waiting too long to eat, or eating a big meal means a bigger increase in activity. Usually people with pain when they eat avoid it for as long as possible which makes it much worse when they finally do eat.2. Try taking an antispasmodic (either prescription if you have a doctor that will actually treat your IBS rather than pretend you shouldn't have symptoms worth treating--and if you tolerate them--or peppermint (tea, capsules or candies with actual peppermint oil like Altoids) 20-30 minutes BEFORE the meal. Waiting for the pain to get bad means they won't work.3. Sometimes anxiety treatments also help block the pain of IBS so talking to the doctor to see if there is something appropriate for you to try may be worthwhile. Some of the antidepressants or drugs like Buspar for anxiety that effect serotonin rather than just sedate you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thankyou I will try all these things. At the moment I can't seem to eat anything as everything seems to be irritating my stomach. I find I have no pain as long as I don't eat. I also find that if I go to sleep the pain disappears - could be because I'm then relaxed.Of course I can't go on just starving myself but I'm hoping that this will give my stomach a rest. Any suggestions as to what I could eat that wouldn't do too much damage?
 

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You have to convince yourself the pain is from the intestines being active (and they rest the most when we sleep so going to sleep means no pain is a sign it is from activity) and NOT from damage.I'd start with small amounts of food you like, and I might do more protein and cooked veggies rather than all bland starch all the time (which can increase gas which can increase pain). If you want a starch stick with rice, it is the least gassy.So 2-3 ounces of skinless boneless chicken breast or lean fish with some cooked carrots or other veggie you like, like 1/2 a cup (I'd avoid cabbage, beens and broccoli as they can be gassy). If you add a starch to taht do like 1/2 a cup. Then repeat 2-3 hours later.You may do better with solid food rather than brothy soups. The larger the volume the more it tends to set the activity off (again no damage, just activity) and to get 300 calories of some soups you can need 3 cups of soup where you might only need 1-1.5 cups of solid food.I know we usually get pain when there is damage, but that is NOT the one and only reason for pain. In IBS the body over-responds to other sensation and the way that feels is pain, but is not because you are damaging thing, you are mis-sensing things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much for replying.I like the idea of looking on my pain as stemming from activity rather than damage. This way of thinking certainly calms some anxiety - which definitely helps me.I'm looking forward to a dinnner of chicken and rice!
 
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