Friday, 26 August 2016

My Life Changing Tips For IBS

I'm not one to talk about my personal health and you may not even know that I suffer with IBS, but I do. When you put health problems into an order of importance, life affecting and seriousness IBS isn't exactly up there but we can't hide from the fact it is something that a lot of people have and suffer with. I think IBS is majorly underrated as a health issue, people have the initial assumption that you just go to the bathroom a lot or too little and so what? No one considers what your body goes through, how it makes you feel and how limited your routine and day can become when you base it around being near a bathroom.

I've had bowel problems for as long as I can remember and I was told it was IBS almost 3 years ago. I felt I was only diagnosed with IBS because the Doctors threw their hands up in the air and said "we don't know what's wrong with you, it must be IBS". No help or support was offered at the beginning and I was left with the impression that when Doctors can't figure out what's going on that they slap you with the label of IBS to be done and get you out of their office. I've been to see what feels like a billions Doctors since then and each one has given the bear minimum of help. I decided to go it alone and find my own ways to support myself through my IBS.

I wanted to share my tips on my blog purely because I tweeted (once, and very randomly) about a terrible morning I was having with my IBS and so many of my followers said they felt my pain, knew what it was like and suffered with IBS as well. I had no idea so many people I followed and followed me suffered with the same problem as me. 1 in 5 people apparently have IBS but I thought I was the only 1 around, apparently not! I am not sure if that's a good or a bad thing...

Having someone in the same boat as me is something I wish I had 3 years ago. I wanted to write down what I've done to support my own IBS incase it can offer help to anyone.

  • I ate smaller meals. Even if they weren't small meals, I'd just not finish it. I started to listen to my body and when I was full, I'd stop. I often felt embarrassed and guilty to not eat all the food on my plate if I was at someones house or out for dinner, because I didn't want to seem ungrateful or wasteful. But actually, it's important for me not to be "stuffed" because I'd feel unwell and almost like I was clogging myself up. 
  • I cut out over eating bread. I used to have toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and I am sure I could have fitted bread in my dinner as well. Bread bloats me, it makes me feel so uncomfortable and I know I won't be going to the bathroom anytime soon after eating it. I knew I needed to cut it down or out. On a normal work day I may not even have any bread but on the weekend I might have a piece of toast. I avoid sandwiches like the plague, they're boring anyway so I don't feel I am missing out. I have tried free from bread and it doesn't make me bloat but it doesn't taste yummy so I'd rather go without.
  • I stopped skipping meals and eating at weird times. I had it in my head for awhile if I could skip a meal and avoid food, I would delay any IBS symptoms. I was an idiot in a state of panic and soon realised that wouldn't work and what I needed to do was eat 3 small meals at the right times of day with light snacking inbetween if needed. A routine of eating helped my bowels to play ball a bit more, I had some control. Not much, but some.
  • I changed from milk to Soya milk. Not because I had too as I'm not intolerant but because milk made me feel stodgy and sick. Soya milk in tea and cereal is the one change to my diet that has actually been an IBS game changer. Since drinking Soya I have started to have a regular bowel movement and I sometimes feel like I have a normal persons bathroom habits. If you have the type of IBS where you're irregular and struggle with going to the toilet, try Soya because I haven't looked back and they also do incredible chocolate puddings... If you're an IBS sufferer and are familiar with the Bristol Stool chart I will tell you that I went from a type 1 to a type 5/6 as soon as I started drinking Soya. Sorry for the TMI, but I am overly comfortable talking about poo, it's an interesting topic as it can tell a lot about your diet. Also, you have to be open to talk about it if you have IBS...
Making all of those changes gave me some control back on my IBS. It killed the worry of not being near a toilet when I was out and stopped my constant delay in leaving the house because I knew I needed to go to the bathroom at some point. Getting up early, eating breakfast and being active as much as I can is important for me because I give myself plenty of time to need the bathroom before I leave for work. As long as I stick to good food in the day, I will have minimal pains, bloating and discomfort and most of the time I can make it home without having to use a public bathroom. That's a good day for me.

Do you have IBS and if so, do you have any tips?
Let me know if you found any of these tips helpful. They may be obvious to some IBS sufferers but they completely helped me and I wish I'd done all this sooner.


  1. I hardly ever see any posts on IBS so I'm glad you've done one and also shared some useful tips! I suffer with IBS and I've been trying to go gluten free, it's a work in progress at the moment, but hopefully it helps in someway x

    Lauren |

    1. I've never done a post like this so I'm glad you liked it! I was taken aback by my Twitter response about having a bad day with it that I thought I should share. I am trying a lot of free from food. Porridge is brilliant! Bread... Not so much. Good luck with gluten free :) xxx

  2. This is a great blog post! IBS has stopped me doing so much! I'm going to try changing to Soya milk I never thought milk could be a problem! I know I'm not great with bread/ pizza/ pasta! But i eat brown rice pasta and its great :) I also find tomatoes aren't great for my IBS!

    Super glad my friend sent me this blog post and im off to check out more blog post by you :)

    1. Thanks so much Sophie for your nice comment! I keep meaning to try brown rice. Ill only have pizza once in awhile and same with pasta. I eat bread less about 2 days a week now because I just didn't sit well. Soya was the greatest change. If I don't have cereal and a cup of tea in the day I'll mix it with some milkshake powder to get my intake. I notice when I stop drinking it! Good luck with it all! Xxx

  3. Thanks for sharing! I was recently diagnosed with IBS and have started an elimination diet to figure out what exactly it is that bothers me (seems like everything). I feel like there are a lot of people suffering in silence with this so it's good that you've written about it :)


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