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Reged: 03/10/04
Posts: 2696
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Hang In There
      08/02/07 12:19 AM

Hi Fuzzle! I am so sorry to hear that you are going through such a rough time right now. I think a lot of us have been there or are there now, so I really hope that you find some suggestions that DO help you in your trial and error getting a stable, happier tummy. Note: You might want to post this on the IBS Diet board if you haven't already, as this is the Fitness board and you might not get many responses on here.

I have a few questions for you that come to mind after reading your post:
1 - What tests have you had done? You want to make sure that you have ruled out many other conditions that mimick IBS and, you may already know this, but many of those would definitely not be made better by days upon days of eating white bread. Is it possible that wheat/gluten is a problem for you? Have you been tested for celiac or tried removing all wheat products from your diet? If you have an intolerance to wheat, it is common to get very bad D and have it go untreated because you don't know that's what is triggering your stomach reactions.

I've changed my life completely.
I tried eating only bread and drink only water and the Fiber all day...I woke up with diarrhea. Every day this week I have felt awful, and have had bowl issues, and this is the week that I gave up all of the irritants from the book. I'm trying to live off of white rice and bread, I can't stomach white rice, so I will put soy sauce on it, which while its still gross, I can atleast eat some of it. I wrote down a list of everything the book said was okay to eat, and I ate them...Now I'm worse off then I was before.
Aside for eliminating other physiological problems, there are other things that could be problematic here. Even if you are able to tolerate white bread, etc if I were to just start taking doses of fiber every day and only eating bread and that's it - I would be sick as a dog too. Are you adding the fiber into your daily routine really, really slowly? If I don't do it bit by bit, I get a really bad reaction. I have a big thing coming up, a fantasy faire in which I have to camp there. And for some reason, the more I try to to better for my body, the worse it gets. I've been taking the fiber every day, I'm pretty sure peppermint only makes things worse, theres absolutely nothing I can do. I'm stressed, I'm panicked, I feel sick, I'm doing absolutely horrible, every day.
I know where you are coming from and unfortunately us IBS sufferers seem to perpetuate a cycle of IBS stressing us out and stress making the IBS worse. I found that a while back I was totally fixated on my stomach and had never felt worse - even though I was fixated on making it better! Sometimes I think it's important to try and just take a deep breath and a step back and give yourself a break from the stress of worrying about the IBS. Yes, it is a really terrible thing to live with BUT obsessing about it definitely can make it worse, so what can you do to try and help yourself get through this?
1 - Stress Management. You said you are feeling stressed and panicked, which is totally understandable. Let's assume that if you can get that under control, you can calm your stomach down. What do you do to manage your stress? Are you exercising regularly? Have you considered some kind of hypnotherapy or breathing/meditation exercises? If it is severe, have you talked to your doctor about the possibility of prescription medications to combat these feelings?
In my opinion, IBS is something that you have to take in stride and come at from all angles. It's not as simple as "I have a sensitive stomach, so I can't have cheese" and that means making lifestyle adjustments to cope with all the triggers in your life that can set it off, and stress is a HUGE trigger and one of the hardest things to get a handle on.

I've tried everything. All the tips, hints, pills, directions...and all I see is my condition worsening. I read on this site that if you need to just get your body back into regularity, just eat bread for 3 days and drink water. The day I tried it, I woke up with diarrhea the next morning. This trip is coming up, and I'm terrified of being in a car. This trip has a 15 minute road with no stops. If anything happens in that amount of time...What could I do? Nothing. I read every day about people getting better and how they can deal with this issue, find a way to live with it. I can't. The more I try, the worse I get...Its ironic and twisted that tests and treatment for this problem requires me to do exactly what my problem is...Going long distances in a vehicle, away from all bathrooms.
First I get that cramping feeling in my stomach, I get a cold body sweat, and tons of pressure in the lower area.

I'm even considering that fiber is bad for me, because all I can remember being on it is still being worse. I don't know what to do, I'm afraid, I'm suffering, I can't leave my house (ever), and I'm completely and devastatingly sick of this life. What can I do?
Okay, I hear the stress in your post and I really feel for you. I know the anxiety that goes along with IBS is hard to deal with, and I really would advise you to take a serious look at coming up with some coping mechanisms and strategies to get the anxiety under control.
About your upcoming trip: My opinion is, if you are at a point where you feel like you are so unstable that the stress of the trip is making you feel sick daily, is it worth it? I'm not saying that the IBS should control your life, but sometimes you have to take a "time out" and give yourself a chance to feel better. If you spend all the days leading up to leaving stressing and worrying and getting sick, will the trip even be fun for you? I think you have to weigh the good vrs the bad for your longer term health.
If you do decide to go (which I'm not suggesting is the wrong choice!), try to really rationalize your anxious thoughts. If you think, "The road is too long without a stopping place", try reminding yourself all the other periods of 15 minutes that you go WITHOUT having to run for the bathroom. Remind yourself that Yes, you feel nervous right now and it's unpleasant BUT you have gotten through this before and you will get through it again.

In my opinion, you are in a really rough spot right now of being completely overwhelmed by the IBS and trying a million different things to make it better and only feeling worse. I think that you need to try and take a deep breath and then make a decision to take an organized and careful "plan of action" for what you will do, and to do the best you can at those things and remind yourself that sometimes you have to just "let it go" so you don't end wasting every second thinking through your stomach. My suggestions for your "action plan" are as follows:
- Get yourself to your doctor and make sure that every test to rule out IBD, celiac, bacteria overgrowth, etc have all been done and you aren't missing that huge puzzle peice. While you're there, talk to him/her about how you are feeling emotionally and get some feedback about medications, etc to help you cope with the anxiety.
- Get yourself a diary or notebook and start recording what you are eating, drinking and how your body reacts. Record both your stomach symptoms and your anxiety symptoms. If there are extra stresses or anything else, write them down. Look back once a week to see if you can pinpoint any triggers, emotional or nutritional. Note: A good exercise for anxiety is to write down the statements you make to yourself when you are feeling anxious ("I am too nervous to go in the car", etc) and then write yourself a response to talk yourself down from those anxious feelings. For example, I always remind myself that I have gotten through so many of these situations before that I will get through this one too.
- Food: If I were you, I would try elimiating wheat. If only eating white bread is making you sick, don't eat it. Maybe try something more natural - a baked potato or baked sweet potato, something easy to digest but that isn't wheat or filled with artificial junk. Sip on water throughout the day to make sure you stay hydrated and keep any fiber you do take in happy. If peppermint doesn't work for you, try fennel tea and again, just sip at it if large amounts of liquids ever cause you problems.
- Try one thing (other than medication, if you go that route) to actively combat your anxiety: Get a yoga DVD for relaxation, get guided imagery meditation CDs, try the IBS-Hypnotherapy CDs, learn some anxiety-effective breathing techniques, do at least 30 minutes of good (effort-requiring) cardio at least 3 times a week to change the brain chemicals that fuel those anxious thoughts.
- Talk to someone. It's okay to say: "I know you don't understand what I am going through, and that's okay. What I want you to know is I am having a hard time, I am doing my best and there are certain things I am not going to be able to do right now. It's okay with me that maybe you won't 'get' a lot of it, but please respect the choices that I am making to get healthier and happier".
- Fiber: If you are taking fiber, cut back to a really really minimal dose and see how you react. Then so so so gradually you can increase it if you're okay. If not, try another fiber. Or don't. Fiber isn't the cure for IBS for a lot of people.
- Try to remind yourself to take things one day, one step at a time. In your notebook/diary, try journalling the way you are feeling when you start to get overwhelmed and then just put it away. Be proud of yourself for being proactive in getting healthier.

I hope this helps, I may have rambled on a little but I really do feel for you.
I'll check back tomorrow or soon after to see how you are doing, or my eMail is in my profile.

Cheers, Steph

~~I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell-I know right now you can't tell~~Matchbox 20

Post Extras Print Post   Remind Me!     Notify Moderator

Entire thread
Subject Posted by Posted on
* I can't stand this. Fuzzle 07/31/07 07:19 PM
. * Hang In There Stephie   08/02/07 12:19 AM
. * Re: Hang In There Fuzzle   08/04/07 01:29 AM
. * Re: Hang In There caputsky   08/06/07 02:39 PM
. * Re: Hang In There tired of it 1   08/06/07 09:50 PM
. * Re: Hang In There caputsky   08/07/07 10:40 AM
. * Re: Hang In There melinda413   08/14/07 07:44 AM
. * Re: Hang In There IBSHell   08/06/07 01:41 PM
. * Re: Hang In There Stephie   08/05/07 08:11 PM
. * Re: Hang In There Bethlehem   08/06/07 06:34 AM
. * Re: Hang In There Sand   08/05/07 11:39 AM
. * Really great post, Stephie. -nt- Sand   08/02/07 10:54 AM
. * Re: I can't stand this. lalala   07/31/07 08:41 PM
. * Re: I can't stand this. mimi321   07/31/07 08:29 PM
. * Re: I can't stand this. Fuzzle   07/31/07 09:11 PM
. * Re: I can't stand this. MelanieR   08/04/07 11:14 PM
. * Re: I can't stand this. IBSHell   08/01/07 02:42 PM

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