As you may know by now I’ve suffered with IBS for over 10 years and have recently started blogging about my constant battle. I’ve had loads of support from you lovely readers across Facebook and Twitter so decided to make these posts more regular, looking at how I cope, what I eat and all the other stuff that goes with the glamourous (not) life of IBS.
If you read my last post, 8 Reasons Why Living with IBS Sucks Big Time, you’ll know that I’ve just started a 12 week trial of Symprove, a new probiotic drink.
In all honestly I approached Symprove about trialling the product seeing as my current medication (a mix of Alverine Citrate and Apercap Peppermint Oil) is doing little to nothing to help anymore. In return for the trial I will be blogging my results, which I’ll combine with my tips for how I attempt to control my IBS. I am by no means an expert, just a girl who has regular bouts of flare ups, who sometimes struggles to control them, who wants to make IBS more known and not such a taboo. Phew.
I should also say that not everyone suffers from the same symptoms, luckily for me I get them all, intense cramps, bloating, emergency loo trips, indigestion, you name it I’ve had it. Over the years I’ve come to recognise my triggers and know how to tame them.
These are the things I swear by to get me through:
A lifesaver after eating. When you have IBS, you tend to have a very sensitive gut, meaning what you feed it is crucial. After each meal, I swear by a cup (although I normally only manage half) as the menthol helps relax your muscles, making it easier to digest.
Hot Water Bottles
Every now and then I have crippling pains where it feels like someone is repeatedly twisting a knife in my gut and this is where I rely on my trusty hot water bottle.
These work in a similar style to hot water bottles, except you add bubbles… And candles, Which leads me nicely to my next point…
This is crucial as the more stressed, worried and anxious you become, the more this is reflected in your gut. If I start to worry that I’m going to have a flare up, it immediately makes it worse both physically in my symptoms and psychologically. Take a break, get some fresh air and for added comfort I roll on some This Works deep sleep stress less roller ball onto my wrists.
These days I’m like a zombie if I don’t get 7-8 hours a night. I have no idea how I used to go out drinking, have an hours sleep and then go to work, those days are well behind me. My bedroom is the calmest and darkest part of our maisonette so a great place to escape to catch some shut eye. Sometimes I’m even lucky enough to sleep off the odd cramp.
We all know exercise is good for us but the last thing you want to do when your stomach is performing somersaults is run a marathon. Unless things are so bad I can’t leave the house – you’ll be surprised at how often that is – shaking the stress and pain off at Zumba or netball actually does help. Your body relaxes, the pain eases, simple.
My diet is a minefield of foods I can and can’t eat right now. Wrongly or rightly I’ve had to cut out certain foods to enable me to get through each week without experiencing either cramps or an upset stomach. At the moment I’m avoiding dairy, gluten and all acidic foods. I think this might need a whole other post on it’s own though…
So those are the seven things I do to help conquer my symptoms and now for the good news!
Symprove update, week one: I’ve now been taking Symprove for a full week and am actually super scared that I’m going to jinx things by writing them here. But, so far so good. And I don’t mean that lightly. I’m not sure whether it’s just drinking a cap of this mega probiotic every morning or whether my attitude has changed, but either way I’ve already noticed a difference, and trust me, I’d tell you if I hadn’t.So far, I’ve had a full week free from stomach cramps, bloating, upset stomachs and general tiredness. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited this makes me feel. This week I’ve actually started to feel like a normal person again and it’s amazing. I’ll keep you posted.
Got any tips for dealing with IBS? Share them below.