My Story: Living and Coping with IBS
| 3 min read
This is my story:
A few situations that have made my IBS flare up:
- Long road trips – I go to Michigan Tech and have 10-hour drives there and back for every break. Not knowing where the closest bathroom is and having to ask the driver to pull over constantly to use the restroom makes me anxious, which therefore causes my stomach to freak out.
- Exams – No matter how prepared I am for an exam, I always get a bad stomach ache and have to sit in the bathroom for half an hour beforehand to relax.
- Performing for an audience – I have been dancing since the age of three, and to this day, I still get so anxious that I get a stomach ache and end up running to the bathroom multiple times before I perform on stage.
- Eating dairy and gluten – Since being diagnosed, I have realized that dairy and gluten are very hard on my stomach, causing my IBS to flare up.
How do I cope with IBS?
- Stick to a Low FODMAP Diet – Since being diagnosed, I try to follow the Low FODMAP Diet, which has helped about 76 percent of IBS patients. Low FODMAP means eating less foods that contains lactose, fructose (some fruits), fructans (wheat and some vegetables) and a few others.
- Be prepared – I always put my stomach medication in my bag or purse when I leave the house. Even if I don’t need it, just having it with me calms my anxiety.
- Knowing where bathrooms are – Knowing where the bathrooms are located makes me less anxious, especially on road trips.
- Allowing myself to mentally relax – I try to preoccupy my mind and not think about what is making me nervous or anxious. It helps me feel better and keep my stomach in check.