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Introduction

Hello to anyone whom may have pondered upon this thread; it's quite nice to meet you. My name is Shane, and seeing that you are browsing these forums we likely have something in common. We both suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome; both having our ups and downs with the condition and carrying our fair share of stories to share about it. Irritable Bowel is a unique condition in the sense that your life is molded around preventing and calming it. Now, this can be good and it can be bad; of course having to live with Irritable Bowel syndrome is no easy task and we'd all love to not have it, but since we do live with it then it's always best to look at the better side of the condition and what benefits it can yield. Personally I have lived with Irritable Bowel Syndrome for 7 years; and throughout those 7 years I have dedicated time and resources to finding as many ways of calming the condition as possible. I'm creating this thread with the hopes of sharing what I have found. I realize how awful it is living with this condition; so I would gladly take the time to type up this thread if it means I could help others who suffer from it.

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My Story

I will start with my story; to introduce you to who I am. If you are not interested in my story and would rather read only the fixes that I have come across; feel free to skip the next two paragraphs and continue. As I said before, my name is Shane and I am an 18 year old male. I have lived with Irritable Bowel Syndrome for 7 years, Repetitive Strain Injury for 2 1/2 years, and anxiety - OCD - paranoia for 8 years. The first condition that I begin to experience was severe OCD and anxiety around 8 years ago when I moved house with my family. After moving house and developing OCD/anxiety I begin to experience slight symptoms of IBS. I dealt with IBS; which got progressively worse and more debilitating as time went on, from fifth grade up until my sophomore year in High School without knowing what the condition was. Throughout middle school I would constantly take hour long restroom breaks and feel absolutely awful after eating lunch; I would commonly miss band competitions and school events because my stomach was in a knot. I did not know during this period of time that I had IBS so for a long time I was accused of faking my stomach pain and others would make negative remarks towards me for spending hours in the bathroom rather than in class. This did not change during the start of High School. Each morning I would wake up and start feeling miserable (to the degree that I was close to passing out from pain) within an hour. I'd arrive at school, try my best to sit through my first class; then after about half an hour of sheer misery give in and ask to go to the restroom. This would lead to me spending 1-2 hours in the bathroom; waiting for the one moment I was out of pain long enough to get up and walk to the nurse's office to ask to go home. This was a common recurrence and was the bane of my High School life. My parents begin to get in trouble for the sheer amount of times I had to leave school or not go in at all. I was enrolled in all advanced placement classes and would miss weeks on end; leading to unimaginable hours of piled up work that I expected myself to ace. I ended up teaching myself most if not all subjects throughout school using the computer and my own reasoning. This continued up through Sophomore year; where it had come to a stand still. I had no idea why I was suffering so much and my absences had built up to be far too excessive. It was at this point that I committed to conducting extensive research to figure out what was wrong. It took some time, but eventually I came across IBS and realized this was the condition that I suffered from.

After discovering that my condition was IBS; I begin to implement the fixes I found online. Although there is an abundance of fixes online for IBS, I found that most of them did not work and only a few showed real results. The fixes that showed results were beneficial; but definitely did not completely alleviate the condition. I was still missing school and having sharp pains. It was around this time that I then developed repetitive strain injury. Repetitive strain injury is a condition that causes pain when typing/clicking/writing. My RSI has come to a point where I now experience pain in my hands and forearms at all times regardless of if I'm using my hands or not; and it hurts worse when using them on the computer. Attending public school with both Irritable Bowel Syndrome (which caused me to miss days and feel constant pain when attending) and Repetitive Strain Injury (which caused pain every time I had to write) was simply not working out. It took me around 4 weeks and hefty discussions with my parents; but after a lot of pain and suffering I managed to transfer from public education to online classes. This was the turning point for me; now that I was not spending my entire life dedicated to school work, I could focus on Irritable Bowel Syndrome and figure out how to conquer it once and for all. This period of time is when I came across all the fixes that I am about the share with you. These fixes have changed the world as I knew it for me. I no longer live in constant and unbearable pain; and although my hands do hurt at all times my stomach is no longer a main concern. This concludes my story; and now I will share with you my resolutions.

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The Step by Step Guide
  • Step 1: Eliminate Stress - this is a very difficult task, but it's also very effective when dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Stress played a primary and notable role in causing my Irritable Bowel to act up. If I was ever stressed about a test or a performance; I would within minutes become violently ill. Once I had transferred from public school to online school my level of stress reduced dramatically; and in turn so did my IBS. I begin to work more at managing my stress and avoiding states of high anxiety. This "stress management" was vital to alleviating IBS. It should also be noted that after developing Repetitive Strain Injury I came across an interesting notion called "Tension Mitosis Syndrome;" which is something I suggest researching. This theory involved my hand pain being a result of my constant high levels of anxiety and stress. It noted that the pain in my hands could be the result of my mind not properly supplying blood to my hands in order to distract me from my emotional trauma. If I was focused on the pain, I could not focus on the stress; in theory. It seemed it could easily relate to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

  • Step 2: Sleep - I can't even begin to convey how vital sleeping is to alleviating Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It could very well be the most important factor. Because I no longer attend public school (not until college, at least) and don't have many places to go; I let myself sleep as long as my body naturally needs to. Generally this is about 12 hours a day. It's very obnoxious to have to sleep so much, however; it's necessary. It's a choice between spending a lot of time sleeping or suffering constantly from IBS while awake. I would suggest letting your body sleep as long as it needs each night. Do not use an alarm clock or other means to wake yourself in the morning. Waking up prior to the natural time your body requires will result in IBS pains.

  • Step 3: Diet - The most common and understood means of alleviating IBS. Note this; as it's very important - everyone's IBS trigger foods are different. There's no magical guide online that will tell you what you can and can't eat; it's left up to experimentation. Eat a food you would naturally and see if you get sick - if you do, stop eating it. The most common triggers of IBS and the ones that I have eliminated from my diet are: Gluten, Dairy, Red Meat, Gassy foods (such as Beans, Broccoli, ect), almost any kind of rich sauce (examples: teriyaki and soy sauce), soda, energy drinks, and oily foods. Remember that just because these are common ones doesn't mean they will set off IBS in everyone; you have to experiment. My personal diet consists of: water, smoothies (only made of fruit), Gatorade, orange juice, gluten-free chips (such as lays and ruffles; though stick to less oily ones such as the baked variation), fruit snacks, some candies; bratwurst, chicken, or turkey as meats; asparagus, squash, zucchini, and mushrooms as vegetables/side items; rice and soup made with rice; bean-free chili; gluten free breaded chicken; lactose free cheese, egg whites, tomato paste rather than sauce; gluten and lactose free lasagna; as well as gluten and lactose free macaroni. For fruits I generally eat Pears (A great source of fiber), Red Apples, and Oranges. All meats/fruit/vegetables which I eat are organic. Some of the items listed can be purchased as microwavable meals at natural food markets such as Natural Grocer. I personally recommend Gatorade; as it's a prime source of replacing electrolytes which are lost through the constant trips to the restroom IBS causes. Along with Gatorade water is extremely important in keeping your system clean and hydrated. Lastly; the closest ingredient I've found to a "miracle cure" for IBS is olive oil. I use olive oil when cooking almost anything that I eat; and it coats the food which allows it to digest much easier. I'd highly recommend using olive oil in some of your meals and seeing if it yields results.

  • Step 4: Exercise - I'll admit; when I begin exercising it was to look decent (seeing that I'm male) but it's also done a lot to help my IBS. Run or walk each day if you get a chance and try to get involved in strength training (lifting weights) every day or two. You have to be consistent to see any real change however; don't get discouraged. Exercising consistently will help a lot more than just your IBS. I personally recommend partaking in cardio exercises every day (walking, running, bike riding, swimming) and strength training every two days (weight lifting).

  • Step 5: Probiotics - Irritable Bowel Syndrome is essentially a condition of excessive gas in one's digestive track. The constant urge to go to the restroom and the constant sharp pains experienced due to IBS are a direct result of too much gas. One notable cause of this gas could be an abundance of poor bacteria in one's digestive track. In order to combat this bacteria; it's recommended to take a daily probiotic.

  • Step 6: Determination - This is one of the most prominent factors in successfully dealing with IBS. You have to be determined to fight it; you have to realize you understand IBS and can work to alleviate it. Do not be scared of the condition or it will get worse. Stress sets off IBS; so therefore stressing about IBS will set off IBS.. Ironic but true. You saw my story; I'm only 18 and practically crippled haha, but I still love every minute of my life and am thankful that IBS and RSI are all I have. It could always be worse; be happy with what you have and learn to love the life that you live - that's vital. Make sure to always look at the bright side in every situation. My bright sides are as follows: because of Irritable Bowel Syndrome I can not eat poorly and I'm required to sleep well and exercise regularly. Essentially; because of Irritable Bowel Syndrome I keep in very good shape and maintain my overall health. Because of Repetitive Strain Injury I can no longer dedicate my time to playing video games; and in turn I experience the real world and what it has to offer.

  • Step 7: How to Poop - The way in which you go to the restroom also makes a difference; believe it or not. When going to the restroom, there are ways that you can relieve your symptoms and ways you can make them worse. It's a golden rule when going to the restroom that you should never strain. If you are straining; stop and attempt to go with less force. It's also recommended that you purchase a stool for your feet. Humans were naturally designed to go to the restroom in a squatting position. This position helps to allow everything to flow naturally; which helps to alleviate IBS a fair bit. Place your legs on the stool while sitting in order to squat.

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Conclusion

This leads to my conclusion. I have listed each step in my process of alleviating Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS is a condition that does not "go away;" but it is one that you can tone down to a point where you do not notice it. These steps will not lead to a magical cure; you will still have IBS and will have off days where no matter what you do you may feel poorly, but it will greatly reduce the amount of time you spend in pain. I wish the best for each one of you who reads this; and I would love if this guide could help anyone alleviate their IBS as it helped me. If you have any questions or concerns post a comment in this thread and I will address it when I have the time to. Thanks, and I bid thee farewell. Good luck!
 

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hey man nice topic I too did a similar topic but mostly focused on food thats what triggers every and single one of my bad moments, check it :

http://www.ibsgroup.org/forums/topic/204402-alexs-successful-food-log-bammm/

I like the idea of exercising, not only for your physic but mostly for mental health, and you are spending some quality time with yourself, usually focused on something physical rather than our always mental/anxious state.. I did crossfit for some time but strength training is greater to gain weight

good luck! I only have bad days (like 4/5 in a row) after eating a single bad thing. Its a bit confusing that you only seem to eat processed foods.. it would be a lot easier and healthier for you to eat real food and do your own variations (you would need to learn how to cook). as far as I know proccessed foods have lots of hidden hydrogenised vegetable oils/sugars/chemicals/salt that are not only known as bad for your health, they are actually inflamation promoters..and what we dont want a inflammed bowel right?
smile.png


anyway, your story is inspiring..! I have suffered and still do but not as much as you did and in such a young age (8??). keep being strong
 

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hey man nice topic I too did a similar topic but mostly focused on food thats what triggers every and single one of my bad moments, check it :

http://www.ibsgroup.org/forums/topic/204402-alexs-successful-food-log-bammm/

I like the idea of exercising, not only for your physic but mostly for mental health, and you are spending some quality time with yourself, usually focused on something physical rather than our always mental/anxious state.. I did crossfit for some time but strength training is greater to gain weight

good luck! I only have bad days (like 4/5 in a row) after eating a single bad thing. Its a bit confusing that you only seem to eat processed foods.. it would be a lot easier and healthier for you to eat real food and do your own variations (you would need to learn how to cook). as far as I know proccessed foods have lots of hidden hydrogenised vegetable oils/sugars/chemicals/salt that are not only known as bad for your health, they are actually inflamation promoters..and what we dont want a inflammed bowel right?
smile.png


anyway, your story is inspiring..! I have suffered and still do but not as much as you did and in such a young age (8??). keep being strong
Haha, thanks for the reply man. I don't actually eat many processed foods; outside of the TV dinner meals which I eat on rare occasions and the gummies/chips that are snack items everything I purchase and consume is marked organic. Processed foods are very rough on the system; which is why I can eat them but only on occasion as snacks - I wouldn't recommend incorporating any into one's larger meals.
 

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Hmm what kind of online courses are you taking and where (what institution)?
ohmy.png
Currently I'm taking online courses through Keystone (http://keystoneschoolonline.com/). The classes are high level and contain the same amount of information if not more than the advance placement classes I was taking in public school. Online education works wonders for IBS; and removes a significant amount of stress. The only issues I have with online education is you work on your own time; meaning if you do not have the ability to motivate yourself to do school work then it's easy to procrastinate.

I will be graduating from Keystone (High School) come February and will be enrolling in a public college when the school year starts again. Although I very much enjoy online education; it may not be regarded in the same light by employers, which is why I will attend a public college. There's also social life to account for; if you enroll in online education there's not a chance to meet friends/girlfriends/boyfriends etc.
 
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