IBS crept up on me so gradually that for the first year or so I didn't realise there was anything wrong. I'd simply ignored and dismissed the symptoms - I'd even resigned myself to accepting that I will probably have digestive problems for the rest my life, they were mild, annoying, and uncomfortable, but I just didn't have the time to go to the doctors for what I thought was something I could live with. I tried to put it to the back of my mind.
However, my digestive system became more and more messed up and with the stress of my father's illness and death, my symptoms worsened, they progressed until I couldn't put them of any further.
IBS is generally diagnosed through a process of elimination where the doctor can't find anything else wrong to explain the symptoms. The symptoms are unpleasant: painful stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.
How best to treat IBS? It depends on what the triggers are for you. The triggers are not universal to all; what can be a trigger for one person with IBS, doesn't mean it will be a trigger for someone else with IBS. IBS is an elimination journey - i.e. eliminating other illness before you arrive at IBS, eliminating what the triggers are, and eliminating what foods/drinks.
For me, as stress was one of my triggers for IBS, below are some ways I try to practice to relieve my symptoms:
- Relaxation techniques like meditation (I downloaded a meditation app)
- Physical activities - yoga or pilates (I enjoy both, especially yoga)
- Regular exercise is also a good way to help reduce daily stress - I enjoy taking the dogs for a walk, take the kids out for activities etc.
- Make time for oneself - make some you-time.
More recently, it became clear to me that stress was not the only trigger for my IBS, it was clear what I was eating was also a contributing factor.
Over the last couple of months I've started to experiment in cutting out certain foods, and so far I've identified two foods that are a trigger, onion and garlic. These are two foods I'd never consider would contribute to IBS, not in a million years, but they are now on my to avoid list. By cutting these out I've noticed a big difference. To say I am gutted is an understatement. Both garlic and onions were staples in my diet, I love onions, and I've always cooked with a lot of garlic. So my journey to cut both of these out and re-educate myself to cook without these two staples is going to be a long journey. But with any slip-ups, by consuming onion or garlic accidentally (I've already done it when eating out, I ordered braised red cabbage), having Buscopan readily available is a must for me.
What is Buscopan? Buscopan IBS Relief provides effective relief from the pain of Irritable Bowel Symdrome. It acts on the cause of the pain: relaxing the bowel muscles to help stop the spasm itself and relieves the discomfort caused by painful cramps.
The best way to discover which foods might be causing IBS symptoms is to keep a detailed food and symptom diary. Do your research, like me, you will be surprised at what foods and drinks can be a trigger for IBS symptoms, but whilst I am on this elimination journey, Buscopan is certainly helping me against the dreaded cramps and pains.
Buscopan Kindly sent me this gorgeous IBS Truths kit to get me started and to inspire me to talk about my IBS truths.