Figures relating to the onset of IBS can be a touch sketchy. It does seem that for many IBS comes on later in life and the success you have treating it, can often be equated to your ability to discovering what may have assisted the onset. That is not to say it is that simple, however you have a chance to treat it if for example IBS appeared after a period of taking a certain medication for example. For long term IBS sufferers the outlook is often a touch more bleak.
Sufferers will often hit the internet when they have recently been diagnosed with IBS, or when they are simply desperate to find some relief. Speaking on a personal level, as someone who has had IBS since birth my initial forays online related to the latter desperation.
Newly diagnosed sufferers will generally try the most popular and successful methods of treating IBS before the search intensifies. Long term sufferers will have tried everything, and it is here we focus.
The greatest struggle for a long term or lifetime sufferer of IBS is the retention of hope. It is incredible how many times during my lifetime my hope was raised only to be dashed. When you are literally aching to find some relief, only to be sold a false promise times get tough.
We have previously discussed that the nature of IBS makes it very difficult to discuss, thus the average IBS sufferer will have to internalize much of the unpleasant circumstance in which they may find themselves. The fact that many sufferers end up having to go through a lengthy process just to leave through the door is rarely recognized by those who fail to understand the true nature of IBS for many sufferers.
The Darkest Days
At the height of my IBS my world was collapsing. My doctor had prescribed my antibiotics and codeine a mix which saw me perpetually ill and miserable. I felt I had to starve myself to go out anywhere, something which greatly effects ones moods. When I did eat, the cramping and pains where incessant.
To compound this, I was utterly unable to fulfill my potential. Academically I could not concentrate, thus my grades were low, socially I was negative and romantically I was a nightmare. At times like these I would struggle with life. Being an invisible illness, sympathy and understanding were in short supply, nor did I communicate well the nature of these issues.
In the years since IBS Health was formed we have encountered many with similar stories, often far worse. Many long term sufferers battle depression and are unable to lead the lives they wished for. During those times, if someone would have tried to tell me things will be alright, I’d probably want to hit them.
The sad fact is that in forty years despite spending vast sums of money, despite treatments from people that promised success, despite a great deal of medical attention, my IBS is still present. That said it is now managed in a way which allows me to enjoy life in a way that I never imagined possible.
No one thing has achieved that, it has been an accumulation of lessons throughout life which has seen this occur and to other long term sufferers, we have this message. Never give in.
Having been through the tough times, we can totally understand the urge to allow IBS to rule and to limit your lifestyle based around your condition. We can also understand the feeling of being ‘fed up’ and bored of being lectured to.
The simple purpose of this article was to say to long term sufferers, that their best method of treating IBS is keeping going. This is never easy, but if you set yourself a clear realistic goal, you will get there.
Please note: All blogs and IBS Health articles have been written by IBS sufferers for fellow IBS sufferers.
We respect and appreciate all other opinions and write with the sole aim of providing empathy, support and ideas for others who live IBS everyday. We do not write cause offence.
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