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About two years ago I was diagnosed with "hypersensitivity" and severe anxiety, which we all know is doctor code for IBS.
I knew almost immediately that I would never be the same. I was an outgoing, extroverted 18 year old who was set to start university. IBS and it's symptoms changed me, all of a sudden I was terrified of going anywhere, scared that I would have an attack and be trapped without a bathroom. I didn't want to leave home, I lost a ton of weight - to an unhealthy point - and even thinking about going in to a social situation where I didn't have a fast route home would set on me crippling anxiety. I was really just feeling hopeless.

Eventually I took control of my situation the best I could, with the first term of university being a painful and unnerving experience, and changed my diet drastically.

I believe that I have a more severe case of IBS, as eating anything at all usually makes me sick, but Im not really sure! I have cut out dairy, gluten, caffeine, sugar, red meats and raw vegetables. Most of the time I either eat quinoa dishes or just have meal replacements. I take probiotics every morning to keep my symptoms at bay, but most of the time no matter what I do I get crippling stomach pains and diarrhea.

I also find that exercising really helps me feel better, and although I would say I am a moderately fit person it's definitely hard to go for a run when you feel like you have a knife in your stomach..!

** I was just wondering what other people do to cope with this illness. What do you do to quell anxiety and feel good about going out to the movies or even (dare I say) on a camping trip? I'm pretty desperate at this point! Would you suggest hypnosis or acupuncture?

Thank you

6 Posts

I relate to what you're saying. I'm 20-something year old who goes to uni too and navigates fast-routes in my head. I'm also still so embarrassed that I refuse to join forums using my real name. Hah.

It's hard, especially when many of our peers engage in "normal" social activities - eating out, drinking, vacations. I hopped on a plane for 2 hours and felt like jumping out the window - that's how stressful it was. I was surveying the aeroplane for toliets and I would have knocked out anyone who was waiting in line before me I swear! Car trips = looking for bushes, train trips = looking for quiet streets. I carry plastic bags + wipes + deodorant in my bag so that I have a makeshift toliet on hand. (Not even kidding!)

Doctor has suggested both acupuncture and possibly hypnotherapy. I am a sceptic when it comes to alt med because so much of it is quack, but hey - i'd take the placebo effect at this stage. If it helps, it helps - right?

Iberoglast is a good liquid solution with some herbs in it, and with warm water is actually quite nice and soothing. (Again, I don't even care if it's all in my head at this stage).

I know the anxiety and the panic and the depressive stages all too well... I work out often from home and find that soups are quite good. Try this lentil and vege soup that I eat at least 2 or 3 times a week that I find very soothing and wholesome.

3 potatoes

2 carrots

1/2 stick of celery

1/4 cup very good quality olive oil

1-2 cups of dark small french-style lentils

Few cubes of chicken stock

Chop all ingredients up

Put in pot with about 4 cups of water (I do it by eye so its hard to give exact measurements - play around - depends on lentils too)

Bring to boil

Add the olive oil

Add the chicken stock cubes

Let simmer until all vegetables are cooked

Mash up, strain (to remove very fibrous bits)

Add parmasen cheese and pepper to taste

Serve with bread.

This is an authentic Italian recipe - you may need to modify if cheese, etc, gives you symptoms. But generally this is a very non-processed, wholesome, filling and "gentle' meal (for me, anyway).

Hope it helps let me know how you go! Best of luck
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