IBS Awareness Month 2017

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The month of April is for IBS awareness. IBS means Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the NHS website states that:

‘Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, long-term condition of the digestive system. It can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation.’

So, it’s not the more pleasant thing to talk about it can be incredibly painful and frustrating waiting for a diagnosis. I had problems with my stomach for a large chunk of my childhood and teenage years. It got to the point that my Mum always had some of the medicine in the cupboard for a rough night. I dealt with it and got on with it.

Later, whilst I was in university I kept getting sick. I had weeks where I couldn’t eat and was weak. It was like a recurrent stomach bug but it always came back. After a lot of tests, scans and a hospital admission  I finally received my diagnoses of IBS.

It is from this I received advice from my doctor about my diet and, surprisingly, a lot of friends stepped forward to offer their stories, their diagnoses. With the help of some medications, I began to live with any ups and downs I have a normal life. I go to work, see friends and deal with it. I’m quite lucky in the fact that I can often get a sense that a flare-up is coming on a good day. If course there are days where I am in pain or bloated, where I curse my own body.

You get to learn about what your body and cannot take, what will make your bowels angry for me it’s alcohol, rich foods or a lot of fast food. I know that I can’t have too much of these things or sometimes any at all. I know that I need to have some clothes to wear that are loose fitting incase I am bloated.

It is possible to live life with IBS. Yes there are hiccups, I know to be careful whenever I got away and am not used to the food but as with any condition you live and learn.