Tummy troubles have plagued me for as long as I can remember and after years of putting it off, I finally made an appointment with my GP to talk about them.
When I told her my symptoms she deduced that I probably had IBS but she ordered me to get some blood tests done to rule out other illnesses (like Chrons and Coeliac disease). My blood tests came back great (although the nurse did have to stick me FIVE times to get some blood out) and I’m as healthy as can be – So my GP said it was most definitely Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Which to be honest, I’d already guessed thanks to Doctor Google.
My doctor recommended a couple of ideas for me to try out based on my symptoms – Peppermint oil capsules and Buscopan to help with bloating and cramp, to avoid eating later on in the evening, to try and incorporate the FODMAP diet into my lifestyle and, sigh, exercise more.
Obviously if these didn’t help alleviate my tummy woes my doctor recommended that I visit her again so we could discuss other alternatives, but for now I’m just happy to have a diagnosis and try her suggestions out.
Luckily for me I don’t have extreme IBS. It hits me when I’ve eaten something on the FODMAP bad foods list (like onion – onion HATES me), when I’ve eaten too much or when I’ve eaten too late. Before I went to the docs I was having an IBS attack at least once a week and I was starting to worry about eating out incase I had a tummy spasm and wasn’t near a commode.
So in order to cut down on my tummy attacks I’ve taken the Doctors comments on board.
An hour before I eat I take a peppermint capsule – I found a packet of 100 on Ebay for £4.12 – and rather than wolf my food down like I’ve never been fed, I take my time. My portion sizes are smaller, I don’t eat after 7pm and I’m a lot more selective when we eat out. I don’t really eat much bread anymore and I always carry Buscopan in my bag. I’m trying to avoid anything on the bad list (apart from garlic which is impossible to let go of) and I’ve really upped my fruit and vegetable intake (all items are from the good list, obviously)
Since sort of over hauling my lifestyle I’ve only had two bouts of IBS and they were both totally my fault. The first time I forgot to take my peppermint capsule, double dosed on bread and didn’t take my Buscopan in time and the second time I ate far too much, way too late – Oops. It was bloody horrible and it reminded me why it’s important to keep my IBS in mind when I make my food choices.
Apart from that one setback everything has been going swimmingly. I feel much better overall purely because my diet is the best it’s ever been. I’m drinking more water, aiming for at least four portions of fruit and veg a day and I’m actually going to the gym (I know, me!).
Even though I knew in my head that I had issues with my bowels and digestion, getting officially diagnosed by the doctor was the push I needed to start exercising and eating right. I think dealing with my IBS is going to be a lot of trial and error but at least I know what I need to do now.
Anyways it’s time to sign off – Hopefully that wasn’t too much information for you! Have a lovely day!