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Living with

Taking it's toll mentally and physically

Every day is a struggle when I’m bloated I’ve had people ask when the baby is due? I struggle going anywhere as always scared I won’t make it to the toilet in time. Public toilets are embarrassing also as I don’t want people to hear me when I have to go. Wind is also an issue as it happens a lot and is foul smelling. I can’t eat a lot of spicy food and veg and fruit are a problem as well. It’s horrible; the cramps, bloating and abdominal pain are not very pleasant it takes it’s toll mentally and physically.

Isobel, UK

I need dietary advice

I was diagnosed with IBS in my 20’s. I’ve never received any treatment from my Dr as they don’t really seem to know what to do. They won’t refer me to a nutritionist as I don’t have Coeliac disease. I was diagnosed with Reflux last year after lengthy investigations and ruling out heart problems. I am now on Omeprazole for that but what I really need is dietary advice!

Nichola, UK

My IBS is so embarrassing it used to stop me going out

I suffer with IBS, piles, cramps, heartburn and sickness daily (due to a stomach hernia), epilepsy (under meds but not yet controlled), PTSD, anxiety and depression. Let’s put it out there that one condition can lead to another, not help, increase others etc. But we need to just try and stay positive and the good days smile and make the most of. Sounds awful but my IBS is so embarrassing it used to stop me going out I have both  https diarrhoea and constipation therefore lots of Haemorrhoids, which can also be painful. I try not to eat lots of bread and cheese, as these influence symptoms so worth checking your daily diet to try and help it. It is awful to deal with but remember you’re not alone.

Gemma, UK

What on earth is wrong with me?

I had had joint problems for many years, tendon problems and more recently, eye dryness, blurred vision, dry nose, dry ears, periods of extreme fatigue, and even more recently, very dry skin and genitals. Of course, I had been to see my GP and various specialists over time, but usually just with one or two of these symptoms. IBS and reflux were also on the agenda. The doctors were always kind, considerate and sympathetic, but I always felt like a heart-sink patient and began to become extremely anxious about seeking advice.

I had been told I was depressed, and possibly, I was – not surprising really, as I was struggling with getting through each day. And I began to feel my illness was ‘all in the mind’. I also developed some lung problems in that time – shown on a CT as bronchiectasis, and then asthma. Not surprising, I also acquired the label of ‘anxious patient’. 

To read more about Kathy's story and to find out her diagnosis click here

Kathy Bairstow, UK

Jemma's story

I have been a IBS sufferer for about 6 years now. I am 22 years old. It started off with weird cramping in my stomach 4-5 hours after I would eat. The pain would get so bad I had been rushed to hospital a few times because I didn't know what it was. I had all tests done and nothing was wrong, the doctors then told me I had most probably got IBS. 

The pain: starts off with mild cramping and gets worse as the attack goes on, sometimes so bad that I would be sick. I also shake as if I am cold but am sweating as if I had just worked out at the gym! My stomach makes a horrendous noise followed by bouts of diarrhoea. Every cramp is usually followed by a stomach growl but you can also feel it its like a rumble then a huge release. Then all of a sudden I have bouts of diarrhoea. After the bouts the pain subsides and its just a ache (kind of like bruising)

It effects me and gets me down as I can't eat a lot of stuff I enjoy! Eg dairy products are a no no! Anything with caffeine, barley, oats and wheat and anything spicy!. I get edgy when out because I don't know what else will set it off! I take buscopan to ease the cramps but unfortunately there's nothing to stop it :(. I hope this helps people who may think they are experiencing IBS. 

Jemma,