It’s very painful I don’t want to leave the house because I’m embarrassed to go to the toilet in public.

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I have had IBS-D for about fifteen years now. It truly sucks, but you don't have it ruin your life.

My tips:

Get to know your trigger foods-Mine is oatmeal, Raisins, Regular milk, Bratwurst, wheat products, certain products that have aspartame, The list goes on. Trial and error is unfortunately the way to go.

Back a survival bag for when you go out of the house-I pack usually maxi pads (for leaky butt), Personal cleansing cloths, Peppermint gum (for those sick to my stomach moments), Imodium AD IBS relief (for those days where you constantly are running to and from the bathroom), clean underwear and pants. If you have a large sized bag, pack some depends, you never know when it's going to hit ya. If planning to use Imodium AD IBS relief, please consult with a doctor or pharmacist first. (This brand or the generic brand of the OTC medication will help with the pain.)

Get to know what is in certain foods, especially when dining out. Ask for the ingredients in the food that you are interested in eating. Some foods may okay to you but may have a few triggers hidden in them. Be sure to frequent places that are gluten friendly (ask around for suggestions.). Get to know the grocery store. Some grocery stores have a good sized organics and vegetarian food aisle. Ask for the store with the largest or best selection in Vegetarian and Organics products.

Be sure to get your colonoscopy! IBS sufferers have a increased risk of developing colon cancer. It sucks to get one but it's worth it in the end. I have had two in the last ten years and I feel so much better after doing them.

Make your own wipes: The ones I have made for these days consist of Viva paper towels, rubbing alcohol, Dr Bronners peppermint castile soap and heated distilled water. These are soft, don't rip and are gentle on your rear end. Way better than store bought baby wipes.

Request a card for using a bathroom: I have a IBS-D sufferer card that politely lets the owner of a store or business know that I need to use the bathroom. Some businesses will not allow you to use your bathroom and when you have an attack, hearing the words "No" is the not the thing you want to hear. I have the card and it works. Here's the link, I am not sure if they will send it to you: (you can also ask for a doctors excuse for you to use the bathroom in a business to carry with you when you are out and about.)

Some people that have IBS usually have to go on a antidepressant because this condition will never go away. If you feel hopelessness or depression, please see a doctor and ask him about anti-depressants.

Please don't isolate yourself because you have IBS, do go out and be with people. Being with people helps you deal with the situation a little bit better. Please don't let this condition end your social life-I have never let it ruin my life and I am living a full, active life.

If you need more info or just want to talk, feel free to Private message me. Sorry for the long read. I tend to get carried away when I am writing.

Keeping you in my thoughts.
Helpful Answer (8)
AlvaDeer Dec 2019
Triggers for me, too much wheat, too much pasta, etc. Bentyl is in my survival bag as it stops my cramps dead which also seems most often to stop the diarrhea. You are a warrior. Thanks for your write up.
I think with a dx. of IBS you are going to need to get over any phobias about public washrooms. Carry a disinfecting spray if you worry re "toilet seats". I don't know if you have ever tried citrucel but for me it is a godsend. It gives a daily BM that usually is in the a.m. if you take it at night, and it gives form and substance to stool so works well whether IBS-diarrhea or IBS constipation. Do NOT substitute metamucil, which is much like it but ferments differently in the bowel and for many IBS sufferers is a no no as it cause gas a lot. Another medication that works so well for me is dicyclomine (bentyl) which stops cramps and stops them fast. One or two 10 mg capsules as needed for cramping.
As a sufferer life long who let it rule my life for some years, afraid to go out to eat, out with friends, I found that the more honest I was with folks about the fact I take the seat on the aisle because..............and etc, actually let the whole stress of it let me go. And that helped it overall. I will say also that I got a case of diverticulitis years ago and had to take 10 days of cipro and of another drug I cannot remember the name of, and it seemed to change my bowel genome. Some people get intestinal overgrowth of bacteria, and this can make IBS worse. Wishing you good luck. There are so many more of us out there than you can imagine.
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Geaton777 Dec 2019
Alva thanks for the info. My 90-yr old mom has suffered with IBS her whole life (and is also very lactose intolerance as well). She takes metamucil but I will pass on your suggestion. My mom would also agree that taking certain antibiotics seems to change the bowel culture. She's tried eliminating certain foods that are triggers but nothing seems to make it go away completely. Because she won't take the prescription meds that supposedly address it, her internist has her take Imodium at the first signs of problems, and another if the first doesn't work enough. My mom's been satisfied with this strategy.
Make a doctor appointment. Best wishes to you. Hope you feel better soon.
Helpful Answer (5)

Life with IBS is challenging, even more so if it involves diarrhea.

I do not know why so many people do not like pooping in a public washroom. Everyone poops, hopefully every day. And poop is smelly and can be noisy, but is is a natural function. Many public buildings have single toilet rooms, either parenting, wheel chair or handi capped accessible. I look for those spaces, but will use the regular stall as needed.

I have been diagnosed with IBS for 20 years. It is basically a catch all diagnosis for there is something upsetting your digestive system. I have no choice but to poop in public toilets, or I would never leave the house. I have also had to pull over to the side of the road at times. Not fun, but the alternative of staying home is not an option for me. I need to work, I am going to school and I want a social life.

How long is a long time? Have you been in touch with a dietician to see if you can determine some or any triggers? Almost 3 years ago I met with a dietician who had me do an elimination diet. I already knew that dairy is not good for me and too much gluten in a day/week is not good either. I found other food triggers to avoid and it has made life a bit more manageable.

I discovered that I can eat Broccoli, but not cauliflower, nor Brussels Sprouts. I can eat cooked spinach, but not raw.

I do not let it keep me home. Each of the last 3 years I have gone on an extended trip, 7 weeks in 2017, 4 weeks in 2018 and 2019. Two of the trips were to Europe and one a 9000 km road trip in CA and US.
Helpful Answer (5)

My daughter was sort of "pigeoned holed" as having IBS. She started about 4 or 5. Over the years she has been able to pin point what causes her problems. Tomato Sauce is one. A few years back she found eggs kicked it off. She went on a Vegan diet and doesn't seem to have as many problems.
Helpful Answer (4)
Harpcat Dec 2019
Tomatoes are in the nightshade family and many of those can cause issues.
There is a condition called lectin intolerance that mimics IBS and glutin intolerance. It is too complex to go into here but look it up on the internet (forget the ads). All foods, plant and animal, have lectin but the amount varies by food. Some food groups have foods I can tolerate but others I can't such as nightshade. Most I can do well with but don't put mushrooms in front of me. I also have DM and some of the do eat foods for DM are on the don't eat foods for lectin intolerance. Such as don't eat tree nuts, whole grains, beans (especially red which has the highest lectin they have found.) BUT much of it depends on how the food is prepared. Red beans are fine if soaked overnight and heated to a certain temp for a certain length of time. I take probiotics (Align) daily. I keep Imodium on hand and use as soon as the pain and cramping begins with excellent results. Simethicone (Gas-X) also helps with lesser symptoms. What to you have? Who knows? A good gastroenterologist may be able to figure it out but for the most part your can do it yourself by trial and error. Keep a food diary of what to eat and what not to eat and the effect it has on you, Don't assume automatically because the symptoms are so similar that you have IBS. Or you may have more than one issue
Helpful Answer (4)

See a registered dietician or "RD". Doctors are the worst when it comes to diet and nutrition. They spend all of about 5 seconds on it in medical school.
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Life is nothing if not ironic.
My daughter has IBS, has for years and years. She is married to a gastroenterologist. Does she take his advice and is careful with her diet and such?

Heck no! It's much more fun to what you want and suffer (loudly).

She is on the KETO diet right now and I think she is doing well. If she's not, I hear about it.

Definitely see a specialist and be patient. Yes, there are a lot of foods that may trigger your bouts of IBS, but you can manage.

Just got home from a trip where I was hit with awful bowel issues over Nebraska somewhere. I was in the airplane lav for 45 minutes. I thought they were going to have to land the plane early, it was so bad. (I was just coming off chemotherapy and still having gut problems-shouldn't have gone cross country).

Made me so much more sympathetic to truly ill people.
Helpful Answer (3)

Probably unlikely, but my mom suffered for decades with what they told her was IBD etc. We took her to local hospitals, Mayo, Duke Univ... and even had a person gastroent. friend review her records. Nothing worked, no medication, no natural remedies. Finally, one day, at age 88, I brought her home from the hospital and got out her favorite angel food cake and some bread, thinking that was bland. It occurred to me that maybe that was the issue. It was... she was gluten intolerant and after removing all gluten, she never had another problem. It also got rid of her fibromyalgia. Due to age, and the fact I was unwilling to do a trial of going back on gluten for 30 days ... we couldn't have a diagnosis. But obvious that it worked as she didn't need any more prescriptions for the next 10 years. I'm sure she was one of very few that this worked for ... but Dr. friend found that he did have patients that actually had this and he had not thought that a senior citizen would not have it diagnosed. (it is fairly difficult to really figure out where all gluten comes from ...and we had to ask people not to bring
her any food).
Helpful Answer (3)
Tothill Dec 2019

I went 100% Gluten free for 5 years. I already was cows milk dairy free. I can consume Goat's milk cheeses without issue.

When I was 100% gluten free it helped, but did not clear up all my symptoms and flare ups. The FODMAP elimination diet helped to to learn that many fruits and veggies are also a problem for me.

As a child, I could never understand why people gave me soda crackers when I had an upset tummy. When things are really bad I eat white rice with soy sauce (wheat free) or salt and vinegar potato chips.

As an adult I love most Asian foods, as generally they contain neither dairy or wheat. I like Middle Eastern foods for the same reason.

I was thrilled to discover Injera and Ethiopian food. Something about the Teff flour pancakes calms my tummy. I have looked at making them, but it is a multi day process.
Did any of you IBS people ever see the 2004 Tom Hanks movie called Ladykillers?
One of the characters in the movie explains that he met his girlfriend, "Mountain Girl" at an "Irritable Bowel Singles" weekend.

For an IBS sufferer, that is the funniest line in the movie.
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