I assume that you have seen a doc for this level of problem.
For immediate relief, you could try a hot water bottle to your tummy for the pain and take a couple sips of warm water every ten minutes for several days to two weeks and see what that does for your digestion. For nourishment, cook two tablespoons of rice with 2 cups of water over a low heat or in a crock pot for 4 to 6 hours. Season as desired. This is called "congee" and is very good for an inflamed digestive tract and diarrhea. As you improve you can mix in veggies, meat whatever you want.
Beyond that - do get a good quality probiotic (they are pricey) and consider trying an elimination diet. Even though it seems like you react to everything, There could be something in your diet that is irritating your gut, causing you to have problems with everything. Most common things are gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, caffeine and alcohol. (I have heard that 30% of people with IBS have "non celiac gluten sensitivity".)
So sorry that you are having all this trouble and feeling insecure about your job that you like. Sweet about your boyfriend being so supportive.
I would like to to second the other response about checking out food sensitivities. Many of us are sensitive to gluten (I think I have heard that about 30 percent of people diagnosed with IBS actually have a gluten sensitivity.) If you could find a functional doctor, that would be great, but you can also do an elimination diet on your own where you eliminate the major culprits (gluten, dairy, soy, corn, maybe tree nuts, alcohol and caffeine) Hopefully, you would feel much better by the end. You would be eating lots of vegetables, fruits, meat. There are lots of foods this time of year to fill the void......butternut squash, sweet potatoes, rice and eat lots of green leafy vegetables along with proteins. By the end of the week, you may be feeling much better. Add things back in one at a time and see how they impact you.
Most doctors don't really know what to do with this. IBS is kind a default diagnosis for a symptoms that they don't really know what the cause is. Stress can exacerbate symptoms, but it isn't the cause.
Hi An_252405! So sorry about your long struggle with this. It is soooo not in your head! I can really sympathize with you....I had it from 1980 (if not before) although it wasn't given a name until 2003, when I was having vasovagal responses to the intense pain. Getting better has been a step wise process for me starting in 2008.
What dietary changes have you tried?
You have received a lot of good suggestions here. I encourage you to keep trying to find what helps you. Did anyone mention coffee, black tea and carbonated beverages? They are frequent irritants.
Hi danigwizdala Hope you are having a good day. I am wondering, do you tend towards constipation or diarrhea.....or alternating? I agree with the reply you received today from Betty, saying to stay away from wheat.....especially your wheat bran. That is not the kind of fiber that is helpful for us and is really irritating for many people with IBS.
I encourage you to go off wheat, white or whole, for a least a week, add it back in and notice if things get worse. If you want to really get into it - eliminate several things for a week, it could be more dramatic for you. Dairy is often hard, even if you aren't allergic to it like me. So, if you really want to go for it, eliminate gluten (including rye, barley and contaminated oats) , dairy, soy, eggs, and caffeine (including chocolate, teas etc.). Add things back one at a time (like in a day) and notice how you feel.
Oatmeal is a very good option for you for breakfast. Try dicing up an entire peeled and cored apple into it with your desired flavoring....vanilla, cinnamon, maple, honey etc....and chopped walnuts if you do OK with nuts. For variety, try breakfast smoothies. Stay away from the processed cereals, although Cheerios have been very useful to me occasionally. I also eat eggs with a side of sauted spinach or green squash....but I know you listed eggs as an irritant. (The whites tend to be harder to digest.)
A word about white wheat products - after I stopped dairy, my symptoms lessened, but I still had mostly pebble poop, alternating with diarrhea. I was using white bread, crackers etc, (because is it often suggested for us) to try to keep my tummy from hurting. I did a diet similar to what I outlined for you (mine was called a "cleanse".....I cut out a few more things and ate lots of cooked vegetables.) I discovered that those refined wheat products were perpetuating my problem. Most of the time now, I forget that I have/had IBS. I even discovered that at McD's, it is not the fatty, salty burger irritating me, but the bun. If I have to eat there, I get a double hamburger and a side salad. I remove the patties from the bun and cut them up on my salad. They only have one dressing I can use - balsamic vinegar. But it gets me by in a pinch, with no flare up. If you try it, don't eat fries, at least initially. I know they are potatoes, but there is stuff in them....like dairy and who knows what else!
Guess that is enough! I am trying to think of a a summer recipe for you. I can eat so much raw now....not a lot of cooking.
So sorry about your trouble. I am right to assume that you also don't drink coffee? What kinds of foods are you trying to eat? Have you been back to your physician since things have gotten worse? That is always a good idea when things change.
Cook yourself whole, unprocessed foods...vegetables like butternut squash, carrots, beets, potatoes. These have plenty of the soluble fiber that helps your IBS. Grain-wise: oats and rice are good for starters. Add to these, cooked green vegetables like spinach and chard and green beans. If they are OK, try broccoli and other greens like kale. Take care with cabbage.You can also try smoothies with fruit and greens, although take care not to use acidic fruits like pineapple or a lot of lime juice. What kind of meats do you like to eat? I am fortunate in that eggs go down really well for me (unless I over cook them.) And I do really well with beef. It has amino acids in it that are healing to your intestine, so I am sorry it is on your list of irritants. Sometimes is it good to go back and revisit foods since when you are flared, It can seem like everything irritates it.
Soluble fiber is key. You may find a supplement with soluble fiber helpful, although some of them have wheat components in them. I really do best being sure to include enough in my diet. Then you get all the vitamins, minerals and micronutients that will help you be healthy.
And sip water throughout the day.(warm could be comforting) and make sure to have satisfied any thirst before you even try eating. (Like at least 15 minutes before)
I had symptoms of IBS from my late teens onward, gradually getting worse with bouts of vomiting at nights and feeling nauseous after eating. My first big improvement came with getting coffee and soda out of my life. I few years later I stopped dairy as I am allergic to it. This year, I have cut back on gluten, but not cut it out. I am still a chocoholic.....so that can still cause my IBS to flair.
So sorry to hear of your problem. I am now 53 (dx'ed at 44), but think that I had this dating back to my college years. First be aware that food triggers can be very individual for each of us. Caffeine is really common and for me was hugely helpful when I stopped it. I was having intense, scary pain and vomiting at night....
Any kind of soda, seeds, high fat items, red meat, pork, cabbage, onions, green peppers, dairy, wheat bran... These are all common triggers. Some people have trouble with lettuce and chocolate.
I hate to say this, but helpful things can be white bread(unless you are sensitive to gluten) It is good not to let yourself get too hungry or to eat really large meals. Try to begin a meal with easy things like white bread and potatoes...specially if you are very hungry, It is funny. I normally can eat almonds and even take them around with me for snacks. However if I am too empty and/or dehydrated, they will trigger me big time.
So try to be really observant on what foods trigger you. Also, if you can find ways to manage stress....meditation, yoga etc. That would be helpful. Stress can definitely make things worse.
Hope this helps. Best wishes!
PS I find eating when I am super tired is a trigger prone time as well.View Thread
Your welcome cinnamonpeaches! By the way, I love your name. Regarding coffee.....as I think about it, I actually stopped all caffeine. That means I stopped coffee, black tea and all my diet soda. Soda is another trigger I did this for my bone health. The improvement in my IBS was a surprise. I did not stop eating chocolate, but did cut back. I ate a lot....
I enjoy drinking rooibos (red bush tea) which is naturally caffeine free. I like an assortment of herbal teas and drink an occasional decaffeinated green tea (Lotus by Tazo is a favorite).
Food journals are not something I have ever done, although it seems like it could be helpful. Everybody is different though. There is more that one way to find solutions. My doctor told me originally that food has nothing to do with it. So I wasn't looking that direction, although i did avoid things like too much cabbage, green peppers et. that clearly made me feel bad. Best wishes!View Thread
Hi cinnamonpeaches, I am sorry your are having so much trouble with the IBS. I can relate. My stomach pain used to be so severe that my body would go into a reaction to the pain involving vomiting, diarrhea, and a drastic drop in blood pressure. Never actually fainted because I would lie down wherever I was. That started when I was 43. When I was 49, I stopped drinking coffee for other reasons. One very happy effect from that was that I don't get the severe stomach pain. I do still have the gas, bloating and pain, but that really bad stuff just doesn't happen anymore. I tend toward constipation more frequently that the other, so I guess in a sense am "lucky" but I do have very urgent calls when I am out. I don't know if you drink coffee but you might try cutting it out and see what happens. If you could start getting an edge on it, then maybe you could get more guidance from your food journal. Stress is also a trigger, so it is a bit complicated. Learning a way to calm yourself is really helpful.
Other things that might help are a hot water bottle on your belly to help relax things and lots of fennel tea. Peppermint is also recommended and helped me, but it would make your reflux worse so you should not use peppermint.
Thanks for the reply. I totally agree that watching your food can be really helpful in controlling IBS. It is unfortunate that the doctors don't pass that along.
Yes, I have avoided soy....to a certain extent. I am outright allergic to dairy, but only really started respecting that allergy last January (2012). Prior to that, I had cut back enough so that my rash went away. Apparently there is a similarity between dairy and soy, so that many who are allergic to dairy also react to soy. I read that after getting dairy out of your system for say...six months, one may be able to eat soy again.
I am cutting all dairy out of my diet. Cutting soy out as well is really just too hard. As you pointed out, it is in everything. As is dairy. And what doesn't have dairy, often has soy. I do use the soy-free Earth Balance. The positive reinforcement of cutting dairy out makes me not feel too deprived.
I also don't tolerate PB well, probably for the reason you gave. I eat a lot of almonds, I balk at the expense of almond butter, but it is really delicious.
Food triggers and IBS are very individual although there are some that generally trigger most of us. Yet I know someone who is triggered by lettuce and can eat cabbage freely. I eat lettuce, but bloat up from cabbage. So it takes a lot of paying attention to your body and what you have been putting in it to get things livable.
And then there is the matter of not letting yourself get too hungry. If I am ravenous, almost anythingc will trigger me. White potatoes or white bread are my go to foods in that scenario.
Good for you keeping a food journal. Maybe some day I will have the discipline. What do you find is the easiest way to keep the journal?View Thread
I have had IBS for about 30 years. I didn't know what it was until I had an episode involving super-intense pain from bloating followed by vomiting and extreme diarrhea. My new husband was wondering if he should take me to the ER. My body finally resolved, but I brought it up with my doctor soon afterwardsc. Her opinion is that I have IBS and that the vomiting episode was a vasovagal response. This is my body's response to extreme pain. In this case it was the bloating with which I woke about two in the morning. That episode was 9 years ago. Doctors will tell you that food has nothing to do with it. While I still experience symptoms, things are much better for me since I stopped all coffee/caffeine (with the exception of some chocolate) as well as carbonated beverages five years ago. Chocolate can trigger me so I try to be careful. If you google "Heather" with "IBS" you will find a website with some very helpful info for managing this. She is selling things, but provides much good guidance to start you on your way to figuring out your triggers.
Do try to find your triggers and reduce your bloating. I don't know what laxative you are using, but using something like Benefiber has helped me a lot. Laxatives in general make my gut pain worse. Hope things are better for you.View Thread