Being Diagnosed with IBS

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Ok, so, it's been months of tests, GPs feeling your tummy, specialists feeling your tummy, specialists putting cameras where cameras don't belong, to be told 'It's just IBS'.

And you feel... what exactly?

So, it's just IBS. Just. 

No biggie, right?

2 in 10 people in the UK have IBS. Now you're just another.

It's the 'just' that kind of hurts here. Doctors act like you should be super relieved, I mean IBS won't kill you. And you should be relieved!! It could be way worse!! But does that mean I can't still be upset that my bowels don't work properly? That I deal with horrendous stomach cramps almost every day, that my bowel habits are completely unpredictable, that I have to spend hours and hours on the toilet daily?

I know, it really could be worse.

But that doesn't change the fact that this has really affected me, and so many others living with IBS in the UK. There's no known 'cure' exactly for IBS, and everyone has their own ways of relieving the symptoms. I personally decided to try peppermint tablets after reading recommendations online, and hello honey this made things a million times worse. The only advice my doctor gave me was to learn to manage the pain and go on with my daily life.

And yeah, I'm trying.

But the thing with IBS is that it comes out of nowhere, it creeps up on you when you least want it to. It reacts to anxiety and stress, worrying about a big event? Here are all of your IBS symptoms to go along with that stress!! Good luck!!

I had personally been seeking help for anxiety since my teens, and my recent IBS diagnosis has flared up my mental health tenfold. I became afraid of being anywhere that was not somewhere where I was familiar with the route to the nearest bathroom that I could access at a moment's notice. This made any public outing feel distressing, particularly those including being in cars for any length of time, I became terrified of being stuck in traffic for fear that I would begin having an IBS emergency and have nowhere to run to. Nausea is also a common symptom with IBS which meant any sort of journey made me feel sick, which made my anxiety hit the roof, so I stopped wanting to go anywhere at all.

But, y'know, it's just IBS.

It's been six months now since I first started experiencing serious symptoms of IBS and three since my formal diagnosis. For the first time in six months I am not having panic attacks about going on public transport, I am learning to use medication to manage my symptoms, and I am continually tracking my diet for ways to improve the pain. I am almost starting to feel like myself again, but like a *new* self - one who just has to regularly deal with this stuff.

This post is not to ask for sympathy or try to say that IBS is any worse than any other disorders. Because it's true, many people DO have it worse!! I do feel lucky that my diagnosis is not serious, but that does not change what I'm going through at the minute.

Big love to all my readers, especially those dealing with any sort of physical or mental health issues. If you think you have any symptoms such as bloating, cramping, changes in your bowel habits, indigestion, fatigue, please see your GP. <3 nbsp="" p="">


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