IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects as much as 20 percent of the world’s population, many cases going untreated or misdiagnosed. IBS, as well as similar gastrointestinal disorders leave many people afraid to leave the house, but this doesn’t have to be your future. There are ways to handle the problem without all of the pain and suffering.
Hiding Your IBS is Not the Answer
One of the first things you want to do if you think you may have IBS or a similar problem is speak with a professional. You should not consistently feel bloated, in pain or as though you have to use the restroom. Suffering in silence isn’t going to relieve your symptoms. We understand how embarrassing it can be, but one way to begin helping to properly diagnose yourself would be to track not only your eating habits, but what you were doing when pain or discomfort occurred, as well as how you were feeling emotionally. While the exact causes of IBS are unknown, it has been shown that stress plays a huge factor in the intensity of symptoms. Taking part in relaxing exercises, such as yoga and practicing deep breathing may all be a part of your healing process.
While there are many medications out there to help minimize your symptoms, this may not be necessary. Many individuals suffering from IBS have found that eating smaller portioned meals throughout the day, versus three large meals can lower their discomfort greatly. Processed foods and foods that are high in fat are also common culprits of flair ups. So are caffeinated beverages. The more you track, the easier it’s going to be to pinpoint the types of activities and foods that may be causing your problems. Many patients with IBS have also found that cognitive behavioral therapy does wonders for their symptoms, as well. Keep in mind, everybody is going to respond to treatment differently so don’t be afraid to try out a variety of previously found solutions before figuring out exactly what’s going to work best for you. Trust us, it’s worth the wait!
Proper Planning and Caring for IBS
IBS can make it difficult to be at work, but it doesn’t have to. Sit down with your supervisor (you may want to have a doctor’s note with you, as well as informative pamphlets) and let them know what’s going on with your body. Even if you are in the process of being diagnosed, many people with such conditions have found that being honest and upfront is going to allow those around you to better understand and accommodate for your needs. Come up with some kind of solution (such as using the restroom periodically throughout the day) that you can both agree on and let your superiors know that you still are passionate about your work and want to stick around.
Your doctor can point you in the direction of local support groups, where you can discuss ways to cope with this unexpected condition. Many, many people live normal lives (with a bit of tweaking) and so can you! IBS is not a death sentence to your social life and happiness.
Peter Arlott, the author of this post, works at Stream Diagnostics, Australia’s leading provider of irritable bowel syndrome test. Besides claiming to be a massive health conscious person, he also has a passion for writing on health issues.