Let’s talk about IBS…

Hey guys, it’s been a while since I’ve done a blog post where I talk about something with a semi serious theme.

Today I’d really like to talk to you about IBS. For those of you that don’t know, IBS is the abbreviation for the condition irritable bowel syndrome. It’s not an uncommon condition with around two and 10 people having IBS. Although both men and women can have IBS, the condition tends to be more prevalent in women and I am one of those women.

Have you ever been out having a good time and felt that pang of urgency in your tummy where are you really have to use the toilet? That’s my life with IBS.

IBS is a condition that affects the gut. It can present in different ways such as urgency when needing the bathroom, nausea, severe stomachache, chronic or acute diarrhoea and in some cases, constipation.

There are different triggers that could affect this. Food and drink often have an impact especially if your diet is not great but stress and anxiety can also cause a flareup.

I have to constantly assess where the toilets are, is there a private area (because it can get embarrassing), will I be eating or drinking out because certain foods or drinks can trigger a reaction, how will I get home if things get bad, have I packed enough Imodium and finally are my friends going to understand?

I personally don’t like to use toilets for anything other than waiting unless I’m at home and I know lots of people feel this way but unfortunately due to IBS, I have no choice sometimes but to go where and when I can.

There are lots of things that you can do to stop IBS having a big impact on your life however these things aren’t always viable or healthy for instance, when I’m travelling anywhere I always take Imodium before I go. I take it even if I haven’t had a flareup because that way I’ll be bunged up as it were during our travels and won’t experience the embarrassment of urgently needing to go to the toilet and not being able to. travelling is one of the most frightening experiences for me so if I’m going any distance, I tend to get a train which seems pointless because I can drive. Taking Imodium as much as I do isn’t healthy nor is avoiding eating just in case you have a flareup.

Nights out are often a constant source of embarrassment because if I anything remotely different to normal, this can cause a flareup. Having to leave my friends to use their facilities just makes me feel embarrassed and different. My friends don’t make me feel like that it’s just me. For example, I was on a night out with friends and we had just a few drinks when suddenly I felt my tummy rumble. That familiar rumbling when I know what’s going to happen next. I left my friends for a good 20 minutes whilst I painstakingly made friends with the bathroom. In the end things got so bad, my husband had to collect me and to put this into perspective, I could’ve walked home in under five minutes but I didn’t think I would get there if I did. Night out ruined.

Granted it’s not a serious condition, it’s not life-threatening but it can be life changing because it alters the way you think about what you do. So I guess what I’m saying is be aware, and don’t take the mick out of your friends when they need to use the toilet 😂 I often joke about needing sponsorship from VIPoo! 🤓

If you’d like to know more then visit the IBS website. If you can identify with this blog post please drop me a message.

Kat xx

p.s. As far as I know, all images used are free images from Unsplash.

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