While there are specific symptoms and quirks which separate us, most IBS sufferers will be familiar with a number of feelings and experiences which we wish to discuss in our latest blog. Our primary intention is assuring other sufferers that they are far from alone.
Whether you have suffered with IBS your whole life, or if has appeared in later life you are faced with a condition with no known cure. Most will be offered a variety of routes to manage the condition. Some will debate the idea that IBS is incurable. This is an entirely different subject and one for another time, the point being for most IBS represents a major change in the way they will lead there lives.
For housekeeping purposes we must as ever point out that IBS could mean that you spend your life rushing to the bathroom, or rarely going to bathroom. Whichever end of the spectrum you find yourself on life will change. We have always felt that the digestive system is the human bodies engine, and that IBS renders your engine unreliable.
Whatever your key symptoms of IBS may be, one of the first things to effect your life will be a new found relationship with pain. IBS sufferers generally endure a daily battle with cramping, bloating and general discomfort. The frequency of this pain, means that many sufferers internalize it. It is very hard to constantly remind those around us that we are in pain, most sufferers opt for silence over repetition.
If you suffer with IBS-D, and have to deal with rapid motility life becomes complicated. Not only do you have to start mapping out your day and in particular the location of the closest restrooms. You will also have to either face explaining to those around you why you have to visit the bathroom so frequently, or you will have to tell white lies about where you are going. Some are able to forthright about this, many are embarrassed.
The pebble in your shoe
‘It isn’t the mountain ahead to climb that wears you down, it is the pebble in your shoe’. This is a great analogy for IBS. IBS is not life threatening, it is not cancer or Ebola. IBS simply grinds you down. This is one of the main reasons that IBS is often associated with depression. It can lead to an accumulation of negatives, such as a restriction on your lifestyle or issues with your relationships which in isolation are not insurmountable, however over time it can build up.
IBS is also an invisible illness which does not help. The TV show ‘30 Rock’ once mocked IBS with a line about ‘surviving IBS’. While it was a harmless throwaway line, not meant to offend, it is a reminder that few who do not suffer the condition realize just how wide reaching and painful the symptoms can be. There are few other conditions which could be mocked this way.
The things you miss
Whether you suffer severe pain or mild irritation IBS is always there and it will impact heavily on most sufferers lives. On the next page we have listed just some of the things you miss when you have IBS.