Don't panic about IBS

Don’t Panic

So you’ve just been diagnosed with IBS and start to panic… well there’s no need to.

In November 2015, my doctor told me I have IBS. I had thought about it before, had food intolerance tests and taken over the counter remedies for my symptoms but the flare ups were getting worse and more frequent.

When I got the diagnosis, my doctor recommended following the FODMAP diet and gave me some tablets to take regularly. As soon as I got home I did what most of us do and went straight to the internet to research about IBS, FODMAP, good and bad foods for me etc… and yes I started to panic. I found IBS isn’t curable, read about the enormous list of foods to avoid, it seemed from all the different forums that everyone had slightly different symptoms and severities, so how do I know what they tried will work for me?

In one way I was thankful I finally had a diagnosis for my terrible cramps, bloating, noisy gas, and uncomfortable and changing bowel movements. However I was also now worried that I’d never be able to be in full control of my health, I’d be miserable for having to cut out so many foods and alcohol, I was relying on these tablets my doctor prescribed to be some sort of miracle cure (which I knew deep down they weren’t) and eating out with friends and family would never be a fun experience again.

It’s only been six months since I was diagnosed but life is getting back to normal and I do still eat out a lot and I have found a way to continue to enjoy food.

A couple of years ago I read Marissa Peer’s book ‘How to be thin’ and one of the many points she made that has stuck with me is about associating certain foods with pain. In her book she was referring to things like sugar, chocolate, cake etc, but it works with anything. I have now associated garlic, onion and other ingredients that cause my digestive discomfort with that pain and so it no longer bothers me not to have it. I will still look at menus and find dishes like garlic prawns appealing, but something else soon overshadows it that sounds yummy and won’t cause me bowel discomfort.

Yes, it’s still difficult to find food that’s quick and easy to cook after work that won’t upset my IBS, but that’s why I have created Bay’s Kitchen – so you don’t have to go through that too.

So there’s no need to panic, there are thousands of people out there with IBS and other digestive disorders who have all found their own ways to deal with it, found prescriptions that work for them, reduced the intake of certain foods and live a much happier lifestyle – how do I know? I’m speaking from personal experience, and it only took me six months to get here (well after the three years I spent trying to ignore it and cover it up)

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