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Fitness AND dressing issues
      #368883 - 12/31/12 08:28 AM

Reged: 12/31/12
Posts: 25

I'm 19 and my list of health issues(mental and physical) is longer then my grandfathers and I'm about as lost as they get. The relevant things to know: I have back muscular problems that can't be fixed, I get migraines and head aches triggered by heat and exercise, I have a small hole in my heart which means I get breathless quickly and lose sensation in my legs when running(so I don't) and I have hyperhidrosis(excessive sweating).
My symptoms of IBS got really bad roughly a year and a half a go and ever since there has been three very major concerns I have all which I feel fit under "Fitness and Lifestyle" but I'm sorry if they don't.

First concern: I can't ware a bra without pain and I have a large bust(F cup), I'm finding that because I'm bloating so much the under wire digs in and then causes cramps. I've been making do(sort of) with an Ahh Bra but it's causing huge amounts of damage to my back and is causing me so much anxiety I don't want to leave the house. Has anyone else experienced this and found a solution that's a bit more supportive then an Ahh Bra?

Second major concern: I'm finding that anything with a hard or really solid waste band causes cramping and pain which is so bad that I'm having to wear things way lower then what's appropriate or wear things which have cloth waste bands that fall down all the time(cause of course I can't wear a belt to hold them up). What can I do about this in a cheap way?

Third major concern: The first two concerns clearly cause exercise problems but on top of that I'm finding that any exercise(yes even yoga) is triggering cramps, nausea and dizziness and of course because I sweat so much I need to drink and when I drink I bloat which makes everything so much worse. I'm over weight, weighing 86kgs and only 5"2' tall which is very damaging to what is suppose to be my self esteem.
I don't mean to create a sob story but this really is screwing up my whole life, causing more psychological damage and I really don't know what else to do. I have survived some of the worst things that life can throw at you but having IBS so bad on top of this is the straw that's breaking my back. I really, really don't know what else to do and I don't want to end up rotting away like this for the rest of my life.

[Just encase this helps I'm taking both the fiber and the peppermint caps that Heather has and I'm drinking peppermint and chamomile tea (both of which I don't like) daily but so far my symptoms are still very bad and very erratic.]

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Re: Fitness AND dressing issues new
      #369108 - 01/22/13 07:16 AM

Reged: 02/12/12
Posts: 122

Keep at it. Follow Heather's diet advice to the letter and maybe look into FODMAPS aswell. Some people with IBS are fructose sensitive aswell as having IBS.
With exercise...I was exactly the same when I started. I have now lost over 20 kilos in the past 8 months and I think it helps to go slowly but to really watch what you eAT.

In a way, because fat and dairy are often triggers for IBS, it can actually help you in your weight loss because even though I LOVE cheesy fatty pizza, it will trigger a SAVAGE attack.

Maybe ask Syl about the fodmap diet she has a link to a good Dr there and they may be able to point you in the right direction of who to see to manage both the IBS and FODMAP issue if you are sensitive.

With exercise I see a personal trainer but only every two weeks I cannot afford to go every day. Let them know you want to lose weigrht but have all this pain etc...

Trust you lose weight that pain and bloating gets less and less and when you start to be able to fit into nicer clothes it does take a HUGE weighht off your mind.

I also find exercise amazing for your mind. I am really panic attack prone and yet exercise definitely helps burn off that nervous energy.

Also, try and find a good SPORTS bra. Many of them won't have wire yet will still be supportive for larger breast tissue. It may take some getting used to though.

Don't lose weight too quixkly or excess skin could be an issue. Half a kilo-a kilo a week is enough. ALso moisturise your skin daily with bio oil or some oil you can tolerate. It helps your skin stay smooth and in good shape as when you lose wright you are more prone to stretch marks etc..

Most of all, pray and be postive. It helps immensely be really positive and look at happy things don't get weighed down too much in dark thoughts and music. Been there done that and while at times it is good to wallow it can actually end up clouding your entire mind and suddenly you will be dressing all in black and feeliong down.

But black is slimming, right? Well, it is also depressing. I come from a very hot country. It was hell having to wear black in the middle of Summer.

Look to the future. Eat well. Be kind to yourself. Imagine yourself slimmer, feeling great. Great job. Great friends. And do NOT get weighed down by this terrible illness.

I really do believe that if I had not made the decision to change my life I'd be fatter and unhealthier and possibly even dead from a heart attack or stress.

You are SO lucky that you are so young. I wish I knew about Heather's diet at that age. I lost decades of my life. DECADES.
Please do NOT make the same mistakes I did.

Do what you can..just walk slowly and work with an exercise physiologist who will take into consideration yoour health issues. Believe you will be able to change.

I have severe asthma aswell as the IBS so I know what it is like to struggle with your breathing. Please be positive and eat well. I will Pray for you. God Bless.

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Re: Fitness AND dressing issues new
      #369365 - 03/20/13 03:31 PM

Reged: 12/31/12
Posts: 25

I'm going to try my very hardest not to be rude because I don't think you read my message right or you didn't understand what I'm saying.

IBS has been a part of my life for as long as I remember but what's worse is the other huge long list of illnesses, IBS isn't my biggest concern it is however chewing up the life I do have since I'm going to die around earl to mid 30s (early heart attacks on my mothers side and with my heart defect it's unlikely I'd survive I've known for years now). One of my pet hates is the assumption that just because I'm young means I'm healthy, have a long future and have forever to fix all the various health conditions that do actually plague me. Due to my excessive medical bills I can't even afford one session with a personal trainer nor can I afford a gym membership to go to a pool, that's why I asked for advice here. I quite literally don't have anyone else to ask. Any bra (no matter what style or type) in an F cup has under wire at least here in Australia.

I know I'm not fructose intolerant or sensitive, I had all the breath tests done when I was in hospital...if I remember correctly fructose was the one I processed the best. I'm lactose intolerant so dairy isn't an issue for me anymore nor is eating (as such), the problem is exercise sensitivity not just my bowels but also my head aches and asthma and heart and back and muscles in general (which never really recovered after breaking down roughly 5 years ago). I don't believe you fully understand, it's not just my berating if I'm doing intense cardio for too long I lose circulation to my legs because of my heart. I've actually gained weight following the IBS diet and since I can't afford to buy new cloths I have little relief from the bloating.
Please don't prey for me, I don't feel comfortable with it. Without meaning to start a religious argument, Catholicism and/or Christianity is rather insulting to me as well as my ancestors.

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Re: Fitness AND dressing issues new
      #369577 - 05/29/13 10:08 PM

Reged: 10/15/03
Posts: 3
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA


Please forgive me if I insult your intelligence, or seem to ramble on, but what you've asked gives me many ideas, in case any of them seem potentially helpful to you.

The first thing I'll mention because I think, if available, it could open doors to many other things you might find useful. Before I wound up on disability I worked as a medical-social Case Manager here in the States, don't know if there'd be another term for it in Australia. Social worker maybe? Client Advocate? Case Worker? Here sometimes they work for doctors' offices, clinics, group medical practices, or hospitals; but often also for community-based organizations involved with community health or healthcare issues. Research has found that with patients with multiple health issues like us, having a CM help them to access and coordinate their healthcare, even in the case of relatively short prognoses (my clients had HIV/AIDS), literally can add years to their lives. I'm not advertising or promising, it's just that the reason this is, is that as you describe well, multiple issues can aggravate each other, bring in mental health difficulties too like depression, stress, and anxiety, that end up reducing a patient's utilization of available healthcare services that might prolong their lives AS WELL AS improve their quality of life. (Here too, sometimes health insurance companies have so-called case managers, but often they seem more like gatekeepers than helping-professionals, trying to save their company money over helping the patient, so if you can find one that isn't employed or contracted by a private insurance company, that might be better for you than one who is ... though even the insurance CM's aren't totally useless!)

You mentioned that costs are a problem for you. Sometimes CM's are able to negotiate on the patient's behalf with private insurance or government agencies to help get services one couldn't afford otherwise. They often are also aware of other sources of financial or other assistance that might be available, and might be able to help the patient obtain them. As for paying for the CM him-/herself, their services might be covered by insurance, government, or private charities, it depends on the CM -- my services were covered by U.S. government Medicaid and special HIV/AIDS-services funding, and probably supplemented by donations to the charity I worked for too.

Apart from CM's, I've found both as a CM myself, and later as a consumer of public welfare/disability resources, that even the government "welfare workers" can often help a patient connect with multiple sources of help. And sometimes mental health counselors/therapists/psychologists/psychiatrists will be able to help one connect with other community resources also.

Australia might even have charities dedicated to helping people with certain medical conditions; I once had an online friend from Melbourne whose mother had a rare disease that was helped by one.

Specifically regarding your major concerns:

1. Is breast-reduction surgery a possibility? I've heard of women whose breasts were so large, esp. relative to the rest of their bodies, other health issues, etc., that reduction took alot of stress off their backs and such. From that perspective, being 5'2" with an Australian F-cup, I'm not a doctor but I'd presume you'd be a prime candidate for the surgery, medically speaking. It might even make a general, all-over difference for you, physically and even emotionally.

2. What about *suspenders* (maybe you call them trouser braces?) to help hold up pants, slacks, skirts, etc.? Or wearing overalls? ( Or dresses? I'm thinking, things that hold clothing up other than around the waist, or clothes that don't need to be held up around the waist. You also mentioned that you can't afford new clothes: What about 'used' clothes? Here in the States we can get them cheap at places/from organizations like the Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries, etc. Sometimes even other charities, churches, community organizations, etc., have clothing drives.

3. As for gym memberships and pools, what about public pools or gyms? Many here are owned and operated by the local city, town, or county government, paid for by tax dollars, and free for use by community residents/guests. I've read that pool-based exercises can be very helpful for people with many different health difficulties; buoyancy in the water can make them easier in some ways than exercising 'on land,' as well as providing a sort of resistance training just by moving one's limbs through water instead of just "thin air." They might even have water-exercise groups for elders or people with disability, to provide instruction, contact with others, etc.

Since you mentioned the religious problem for yourself and your ancestors, are you Aboriginal/Indigenous? or another racial or ethnic group? There might be Aboriginal- (or other-) oriented organizations, community groups, charities, or social services you could turn to in addition to the above. I know the Indian Health Service here -- a government agency established by Treaty -- is reputed to have alot of problems ... but I also know for many folks it's all they've got to turn to. (I'm Mixed-Blood myself.) Or something like our Tribal-Government or Reservation social services? community-oriented newspapers/websites or activist groups, even political parties, that might have helpful information?

I'll also add that at least here, not all religious-oriented groups or offers of assistance require that one "join" or "pray" (or pretend) in order to get help from them, in case that's an issue. It's hard to generalize, esp. half a world away, but I'd think Anglican and Catholic entities, being among the largest religious groups in Australia, as well as not as completely conservative as some others, would be least likely to impose such requirements. For what it's worth....

Last but not least, local elected representatives' offices here also often try to point a person in helpful directions: I mean such as city councillors, state or federal representatives and senators, town hall/city hall, municipal government offices, mayors' offices, etc.

I hope this is helpful, or gives you some ideas.


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Re: Fitness AND dressing issues new
      #369629 - 06/19/13 11:14 PM

Reged: 02/12/12
Posts: 122

In Australia you can sometimes get free visits to an Exercise Physiologist under the Medicare EPS(?) scheme. Basically, your GP writes you out a referral and you can see specialist medical professionals you would otherwise not be able to afford.

Be warned though: Even though GPs legally have to do this for you if you request it some don't like the hassle of the paperwork. In some clinics there is a specific nurse that writes them out and the wait list can be a bit long but it is well worth doing. You can access someone who knows how to treat people with heart and lung issues.

It is a medicare-based scheme and you can request to be sent to someone who does not require you to pay a gap. Some physiologists charge like a $50 gap etc...but many are free and will completely bulk bill.

Some people choose to use the free visits to access psychologists or podiatrists or other specialists but Exercise physiologists are not like Physios-they take into account severe health issues like heart conditions, asthma and bone problems. They will most likely start you off very slowly and they can work out a workout routine for you that will be best suited to your current fitness level.

I hope that you can find a great GP that is willing to put you onto a really great Exercise Physio. Losing weight is hard for anyone but with IBS and heart and breathing problems? You have a lot to deal with but I am sure Excerise Physios will help if you can gain access to them. Just be certain there is no gap before you sign anything. All The Best...

Edited by Roxstar (06/19/13 11:17 PM)

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Re: Fitness AND dressing issues new
      #369822 - 07/19/13 11:36 AM

Reged: 07/18/13
Posts: 7

RedTearsBlackWings, I am new to this board and have no idea if you are following it anymore or not, but I feel that Rox was just trying to help. It is true you are very young, and very likely, many of the posters here have spent decades longer on earth than you have. I say this only to introduce the idea to you that when you have spent more years on earth, you have more experiences to share with those who are younger. I'd wager that more than a few people on this board also know what it is like to have multiple illnesses/problems throughout their lives. I know that I do; besides IBS and colitis, I live with 2 autoimmune diseases that make life a challenge. However, you have to keep trying new things and not give up. To you this may sound ridiculous, but to those of us who are older than 19, we have learned that there is little else to do. Granted, depression and frustration are very real when one can't lead a normal life due to health problems, but my mom always says where there is life, there is hope, and you have to hold out a little hope.

I have also experienced pain and bloating due to waistbands on pants and skirts, and really all you can do is look for items that will be loose on you. A dress with an A-line design or an empire waist will be your best bet. I know that I buy pants in a larger size, just so the waistband will be larger. For me, the bloat gets worse as the day goes on.

As far as your heart condition goes, I really can't say I understand why in Australia they will not allow you to have surgery to fix the hole in your heart. My niece was exactly your age when they discovered she had one--they only found out because she had a stroke. She had it repaired surgically and she has spent years recovering from her stroke. It is not true that young people never have health problems!

Rox was right about physical therapy. A physical therapist is used to working with people who have multiple health issues that compromise the ability to move their bodies. Again, I don't understand why you can't access one in Australia. Don't you all have universal health care? That would cover at least a few visits to a PT. In any case, your best bet is to do some very gentle movement first and work your way up, even though this will take a long time and no doubt get discouraging. Keep a journal about your daily progress. That way you can go back and see if you have made slight progress. Something is always better than nothing.

I (and I'm sure many people on this board) empathize with your struggles. Life is not easy for everyone--no doubt about that. The human body is very complex, and for many of us, there are no clearcut answers, so the search for answers continues.

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