*This blog contains advertising from the makers of IMODIUM®*
There are a few taboo subjects we just don’t like talking about, those which make us feel uncomfortable and you feel you shouldn’t voice out loud. The problem is when no-one speaks about these issues it can lead to isolation and feeling like you are abnormal in a way. No-one should have to feel like this about anything, whatever you need to speak out about you should be able to do so without fear of judgement; you’ll usually find you’re not alone.
Today I have teamed up with the makers of IMODIUM® to talk to you about digestive health, it’s not something I talk openly about but for many years I’ve suffered from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and boy did I suffer. In fact because it wasn’t something I wanted to discuss even with a doctor so I ended up suffering in silence for far too long.
For years I doubled over in pain from my stomach, sometimes the pain would send me to bed with tears and a hot water bottle or rushing to the toilet where I would spend far too much time. During my secondary school years I would be seen more times by a doctor than in my entire life, I had tests, scans, X-rays and numerous blood tests but the cause never found, often just put down to growing pains. Other symptoms I had were a mix of diarrhoea, constipation and bloating – they also thought it could have been down to nerves of upcoming exams.
Eventually, after having Emmy I was told I had IBS and something clicked, reading about the symptoms had me nodding along and I ticked off so many of those boxes.
I think because I had a mix of diarrhoea and constipation, it confused my doctors a little which is why it took so long to diagnose I guess, the symptoms of IBS can include:
- Abdominal pain
- A combination of Constipation and Diarrhoea
- Bloating which usually subsides over night and returns the following day
- Heartburn and Indigestion
- Wind and bloating
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Depressive symptoms
There are a few others too but if I listed them all I would be here for a very long time, as you can see there are lots of different symptoms hence diagnosis for me took quite a long time.
I used to find my symptoms very embarrassing, I’d have to be very careful what I ate and would avoid eating certain foods while out as I knew at some point I’d find myself running to the toilet with an upset stomach, never something you want to be doing while out with friends. I found I would cancel days out with friends when my symptoms were very bad, I missed a lot of school and it started to effect my confidence too. The not knowing what it was got me down and I would often sit crying, doubled over in pain not knowing why.
Because the cause of IBS is still unknown it is a little difficult to manage the symptoms alone but there are over-the-counter medicines which I use to help ease the symptoms, I drink lots of water, avoid very strong spices and try to limit certain drinks (life would be rather boring if I cut out everything I liked though), I also try to avoid large meals and eat little and often instead.
If like me you also suffer from any of the symptoms of IBS you can find more information about this condition, as well as hints and tips for dealing with it from other sufferers on the website here.
It is important to know you are not alone and that you don’t need to and shouldn’t suffer in silence, so speak to a doctor about your symptoms or you can go and speak to a pharmacist who can advice on the treatments available.
Let’s break the Taboo….talking helps.
Imodium Instants for diarrhoea relief, contain loperamide. Always read the label.