‘I Believe So’ the Doctor finally says after consulting his computer screen and handwritten notes for some time. This was the most definitive answer I could have hoped for as, there is no actual test they can do for IBS. Basically you have to go through a barrage of tests to rule out every other possible thing under the sun and even then they are reluctant to commit to telling you that it is in fact IBS.
Basically you have to become your own detective is what I am told. I don’t want to be a detective, if I did I would have joined the Police and if I wanted to become a Doctor I’d have gone to medical school. I didn’t. So I have come to see an actual Doctor and all I get is ‘I believe so’ with a hint of ‘however it may not be’.
I never really used to suffer with my stomach, although my mum does tell me that as a child I was quite sickly and had a sensitive stomach. Throughout my childhood and early to mid-teens I never really suffered and could pretty much eat whatever I wanted, which is probably why I was on the large side of ‘rotund’/ big boned/strong/a big girl…take your pick of the least offensive term. When I think back I cannot actually believe it was the same person who used to be able to eat Chinese food, rich creamy sauces, deserts, fizzy drinks and the list goes on. I suppose for me it started in my late teens. I just could no longer tolerate rich or fatty foods and as I got older it got a lot worse.
Before I suffered I never used to give a second thought to IBS sufferers, I never really knew what IBS was, and certainly didn’t realise the severity of it. Simple things that we take for granted require so much planning. I can’t just go out for a meal because the menu might not have anything that suits me. If we get invited over to friends or family for dinner it turns into a huge deal because the oil they cook the spuds in might not agree with me!
I did become my own detective as it where and found out that I could no longer eat dairy, anything fatty so all fried foods and take outs were out of the equation, fizzy drinks were a no no and too much bread was not an option. If I ate too much veg it would set me off and fruit was completely off limits. So pretty much everything! Things got worse for me after my pregnancy, although while I was pregnant I found that I could tolerate a lot more actually. Since having my little lady I have lost a lot of weight so I am a shadow of my former self. I am very careful about what I eat, sticking to only very basic food and what I know will agree with me. Sometimes though something that is usually fine will have a bad effect and something as silly as drinking too much liquid (even water) can make me feel really terrible. So, as a result I have developed a somewhat negative attitude towards food and only eat to ensure I am sustaining my body and remain healthy. I am a lot better than I once was, at one point I was so scared to eat in case it made me unwell that I was surviving on almost nothing. Compared to other people I don’t think my case is overly severe but it’s bad enough to impact on my daily life. For other sufferers who have a more severe form of IBS I take my hat off to you. It’s a terrible condition to live with and people who have never experienced it, simply do not understand.