Reality of Life With IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a reality many people face daily. It is so much more than being constipated, irregular or having diarrhea. This condition can make regular daily life events lead to anxiety and even depression. Nobody enjoys being invited to go out but feeling so crappy and anxious that you pass every time unless you know right where the bathroom is.

Symptom Struggles

It isn’t always easy to identify the exact triggers of IBS flare-ups. For some people it's spicy foods, while others it could be coffee or even stress. Regardless of the triggers, the symptoms are, more often than not, the same or similar.

  • Symptoms can be unpredictable and painful. The abdominal pain is usually the one of the hardest aspects to deal with. Imagine having to drive long-distance to work with abdominal pain that comes on suddenly and causes you to want to double over. If the kids want to go to the park, but you’re struggling with cramps, and it’s hard to function. Yeah, that’s just one struggle.
  • If you’re a mother with IBS, you may agree with some ladies out there that feel like the pain from IBS is worse than labor. That might be a tough one to imagine for those of you who haven’t had a child or are men.
  • The abdominal pain brought on by IBS is one of the most frustrating symptoms, aside from the bathroom visits. Lack of concentration, little sleep, vomiting, the inability to move or lift heavier things, depression, and a low libido are just a few of the realities of life with IBS.
  • Trying to put on pants or a skirt you know fits just right but being bloated and not able to wear them is annoying. You might have to throw on sweats and rearrange dates. Bloating can be painful and embarrassing for many people. Having a little baby bump minus the baby causes people to ask if you’re pregnant or just gaining weight. It’s honestly neither of those choices.
  • The need to rush to a bathroom in an unfamiliar area can make you want to stay at home, where you know exactly where the toilet is. Diarrhea isn’t as painful as constipation can be, but when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go now!

The reality of life with IBS can be difficult, even if people are dealing with different symptoms. It’s hard to make plans and keep them sometimes. Coping with IBS in a healthy way is essential to alleviate depression and anxiety.

  1. If you’re invited out with friends to a location that’s unfamiliar, go to familiarize yourself physically if you can. If it’s too far away, use the internet for some investigating. Don’t allow yourself to feel stuck and unable to go out.
  2. If you know you deal with bloating, try to go buy an outfit when you’re bloated to get the right size. Then you’ll have options when you want to go out and your pants won’t fit right.
  3. Having IBS can lead to sudden bathroom trips. Try to get up an hour or so earlier to ensure you’ve got some extra time on your hands.
  4. Limit stress when and where you can. Stress is the leading cause of so many health issues, including IBS.
The reality is that you have to try not to let IBS control your life. Learn how to work with and around it, so you can still go out and have fun. The struggle is real and it also hits hard. Learn your triggers and what coping mechanisms work best for you.