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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,Firstly, I'll start to say that it's a relief to know that I may not be alone in my journey. I am not presently diagnosed with IBS (I have basic health insurance through work but I don't make enough money to pay off the costly medical bills) but I always felt an aching fear that I have it. It's really not an aching fear because at least there's a technical term for symptoms that I always viewed as "embarrassing", "frustrating" and sometimes downright "disgusting." Sometimes, I would ask myself: "Why is this happening to me?" I've always been very polite and petite in bone structure before I shot up in height a bit after high school. My symptoms would occur on and off - usually and only when I'm on my period or when I ate bad food (laden with MSG, artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup) otherwise I would feel relatively normal and able to live my life again.It's especially frustrating in my field. At school, I sat down with the dean who sympathized before she suggested I changed majors. This is what I always wanted to do... to help others and help them feel at their optimal best. I am a certified massage therapist. However, whenever I get a flare-up, yeah...it's pretty much the least place to be and one of the reasons why I have been procrastinating on my studies. I rarely get sick. When I do, it's because I'm feeling like this. My symptoms: Usually occurs before and after my period or whenever I ate bad food.Diarrhea (oh man, I am more than familiar with this. extended bathroom breaks, the loose stools, slipping immodian tablets ugh)Gas (prior to a faint odor. The embarrassing part for a woman, I'll admit.)Constipation (usually occurs before diarrhea)I don't get ab pain. My lifestyle:My best days are when I am mindful of what I eat and when I only drink water and green tea to stay hydrated. When I go out to eat, I found my stomach can handle a glass of wine or sangria but certainly no strong cocktails, of course. I try to exercise three times a week. I favor yoga and running. Running is tough when I get a flare-up because it calls for a bathroom break. A collegiate of mine (who is also a massage therapist) actually has been diagnosed with IBS. It's nice to talk with someone who understands to share insight. Basically, I have been trying to do all that I can in my power. Ultimately, I would like to learn how to cope with my symptoms, discuss and share ideas for how to cope with my symptoms with others here and be a successful therapist someday. Also...my symptoms have made me nervous when it comes to dating. I am single even though I often get mistaken for being attached or married. It's quite a compliment - but I'm not there yet. I could be (I'm 25) but my symptoms have always made me nervous. Where can we go to eat on a first date? How can I get him to understand? and most of all, how do those diagnosed with IBS have sex? especially if it's IBS-D? Needless to say, I'm a virgin.Thanks for your insight. It is much appreciated to know that there are others out there just like me who know what "extended bathroom breaks" mean.
 

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While IBS causes me to sometimes sit out a date night, it doesn't keep me from having a fulfilling sexual relationshipAnd to keep this PG, I'll just say this much-- once a date night really gets underway, the IBS symptoms tend to stop. Not sure if it's physiological or psychological, but I don't pay any attention to my tummy pain when that's happening.Don't worry about someone not wanting to date you because you have IBS. People can surprise you by being understanding.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
While IBS causes me to sometimes sit out a date night, it doesn't keep me from having a fulfilling sexual relationshipAnd to keep this PG, I'll just say this much-- once a date night really gets underway, the IBS symptoms tend to stop. Not sure if it's physiological or psychological, but I don't pay any attention to my tummy pain when that's happening.Don't worry about someone not wanting to date you because you have IBS. People can surprise you by being understanding.
I hope so.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Katyd1dI absolutely agree....its the weirdest thing...I can be having stomach pains and cramping but when my hubby and I start messing around, its like it all goes away....how strange, yes??
It's interesting. Maybe it's related to stress and we need to relax more?
 

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I've been with my boyfriend for over 4 years now and I still had a pretty difficult time being completely open and honest with him about my IBS. I'd resolved not to contribute any unnecessary stress to his life, which included discussing my illness. I was diagnosed with IBS while he was away for three weeks on vacation, and when I wasn't feeling better by the time he came back (in fact, I was feeling much worse) I REFUSED to let how I was feeling change our dynamic or otherwise negatively impact our relationship. When he came back, we were going to have sex. I had anticipated this, though I didn't prepare for it. The first time was HORRIBLE. I was absolutely NOT up to it, but I didn't say so, which resulted in an overwhelmingly disappointing (and painful) experience for me.In any case, I soon realized that I wasn't doing him any favors by concealing/minimizing my symptoms, and if anything, I was just making us both feel worse. So I approached him and explained to him why I had elected to keep the details of my condition private, and I also explained why I now needed him to know as much as possible - to make our life together easier... The more I could make him understand what living with IBS is REALLY like for me, the better equipped he'll feel to help in whatever way he can.Ultimately, in effort to reduce change as much as possible, we set up two important rules regarding the two of us and my IBS:No. 1 - Resist the urge to constantly ask me how I'm feeling. I HATE feeling like people are treating me differently because I'm sick, and that includes the often relentless concern/sympathy I get from most people... This might sound weird to some of you, but the more people worry about me the worse I feel. So, my boyfriend is only allowed ask me how I'm feeling ONCE. If I say I'm feeling OK, it means I'm feeling OK. And if things change, it is MY responsibility to let him know if I'm not feeling well.No. 2 - Let me initiate sex. This sort of ties into the first rule, in that I don't want there to have to be a discussion about "are you feeling well enough for this?" If I initiate, it means I want to. If I don't, it means I'm not up to it. Very simple. And also, crucial! My boyfriend and I love each other very much, but there's no denying that the sexual component to our relationship is very important to us both... It was comforting to both of us to know that we wouldn't have to cut out sex completely, or even change the way we have sex... All it takes is patience when I'm not feeling well and consideration to both of our needs. Finally, I actually just recently gave advice to someone in a different thread on how to handle first-date situations... I'm pretty long winded (if you couldn't tell) so I won't repeat myself here, but here's a link: http://www.ibsgroup.org/forums/index.php?/topic/121511-first-dates-and-ibs/page__view__findpost__p__804070Maybe you'll gain something from what I told her. :)Good luck, and I hope you are able to find some relief!
 

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Benz, I like the rule about not asking how you're doing too often. That drives me crazy. Especially when I've got some pain, but not too much, a level I can ignore, but when asked, I don't want to lie. It makes me feel like I complain all the time! It's a good idea to agree on limiting that question.Butterflygirl and Opimistic Daisy-- seriously! If I'm up for it, I know it will help. Good medicine!
 
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