Post # 1
My SO has severe IBS and his whole life revolves around it. I have tried my hardest to be supportive and encouraging because I know it’s not his fault and he hates it so much.
It affects our relationship quite a bit because we’re limited on what we can do. He wants to stay home most of the time for fear of having an episode.
When we do go out to do something, he spends a lot of time in the bathroom or he’s distant because he’s trying to focus on not having an episode. And wants to rush home.
It has been extremely bad lately. I have spent a good portion of meals out lately sitting by myself or sitting on a bench for a half hour waiting on him. It upsets me but I’ve tried my best to hide it because I know he can’t control it. Today, we went to see a movie (his idea) and I ended up sitting by myself through the whole thing. He went and sat by the door since he kept having to leave.
I don’t know what came over me but it really upset me. And I cried a lot afterwards and told him I hate that theres a lot we cant do together. I feel terrible now and he felt terrible and kept apologizing.
He is such a great guy and I hate that he has to go through this. I really do love him and want to be supportive. Any advice on coping with this? I want to be with this guy forever …and it pains me to think about how IBS may control ours and our future kids’ lives. I just don’t want us to miss out on so much.
Anybody have experience with this? Any advice? He has been to a few doctors and takes meds but it hasn’t improved much. I feel terrible for him and terrible for getting upset today.
Post # 3
@pokie45: Can you imagine how it makes him feel? he is the one in pain, scared to go out and living his life in the bathroom. If you dont think you can be happy living this way you need to talk to him. If you cannot support him with this, I think you should leave. I am sure it is difficult for you. My DH has a stomach disease which is only affected in the cold months so I only have to deal with it half of the year. Also, I have an extrememly sensitive stomach. But, I totally get it. I really do. I know its difficult. You need to decide whether this is something you can deal with.
Edit: I dont have much advice except I understand how frustrating it is. I choose to do things by myself when he is sick. you kinda get used to it.
Post # 4
Does your SO eat meat? I have known 2 people who have had severe/life altering IBS. Both went vegetarian, and both have WAY less problems now. I am not a vegetarian and I am not trying to convince anyone to be one, but I have heard it works wonders for people with IBS!
I am sorry you are having to deal with this, and I really hope you can figure it out!
Post # 5
As someone who was diagnosed with IBS C/D years ago and recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease, GERD and IC, I completely sympathize with your SO. Luckily my FI is great with my issues and has worked with me on making sure we do whatever we can to keep my digestive track healthy. For starters, I think your So needs to go to a specialist and get checked for Celiac, Diverticulitis, Crohns, etc if he hasn’t already. Do you know if he has had a colonoscopy?
I’ve been on Belladonna Alkaloids, Phernergan, Prosed, and a ton other medications, but I find that what helped me the most (when I was just aware of my IBS) is my diet. I cut out anything with MSG, and tested myself for everything food sensative I could. I kept a very strict diet journal. I also started taking probiotics daily. When I would discover a food/drink that set off my IBS I would make a note to eliminate it from my diet. My FI (then BF) was excellent about helping me watch for foods that triggered my episodes. (So severly that I’ve been hospitalized on MANY occassions.)
I also suggest that even if your SO is NOT Celiac that he try cutting gluten (protien in wheat, barley and rye) out of his diet. People CAN be sensative but NOT be full blown Celiac. Honestly, if you want to help, educate yourself as much as you can on IBS and IBS triggers. Work with him on keeping a diet journal and help find foods that work with his diet.. Be supportive of him, and never make him feel bad about things that are out of his control. Trust me, he wishes things weren’t like they were, and I’ve never even met him.
Post # 6
In my relationship I am the one with IBS, and a ton of food allergies, it’s a humiliating condition and it’s very painful at times, me and my FI have had to talk a lot about what I can do and what I cannot. It’s not fair to you or him, it sucks and let me tell you from my point of view if my man ever made me feel guilty for being so sick it would crush me, my guilt is already so bad because I know my health limits what we can do, please try to be understanding to him. It’s hard, think of it as you taking your ” in sickness and in health ” vows a littl. Earlier than most. Has he ever tried taking Imodium before he knows you guys have agig day planned or a dinner. I often times HAVE to other wise I am sure to be in trouble. It’s an emmotional thing, you get stressed because your worried you might have an accident -hello humiliating as hell- but the more you stress the worse your symptoms get not to mention the added pressure of someone being upset with the fact that you cant control your bowels which in my opinion is a cruel punishment no one should have to deal with. 🙁 I am not trying to be mean I know my FI struggles with it too…. But try and be companionate. Xoxo good luck to the both of you!
Post # 7
@MrsHoneyC: Yes, stress can perpetuate the symptoms of IBS and can sometimes even trigger an episode. You really have to work on stress management if you want to live as normal of a life as possible with IBS.
One thing I will mention about imodium is that if you have IBS (C or IBS C/D) it has a chance to make things worse since it is intended to diarrhea. I’ve heard it works well with those who are IBS D though.
Post # 8
@SakuraBlossomBee: I second all of what she said! My Mother had serious issues with IBS for years and did not know what the cause of it was. She went to doctors for years and they could never figure it out. After several tests, it turned out that she had Celiac Disease (which, as the PP described, is a gluten allergy). You’d be surprised the amount of food that gluten is in! Now that she has cut it out and is on a gluten free diet, she very rarely has flareups (it only happens when restaurants don’t take her seriously and make her food with gluten products in it…when that happens, we don’t go back). I’d definitely recommend he get checked for all of the things that SakuraBlossomBee mentioned aside from Celiac as well if he has not already. Good luck regardless!
Post # 9
Gluten, dairy and meat all contribute to health problems like celiac and IBS… I would give those up to try for 3 weeks and see how he feels.
Post # 10
@MrsHoneyC: Exactly this! I’ve got the ibs too and its awful. Luckily the meds I take do help A LOT, as well as being mindful of my diet. I know what will set me off and have to weigh how bad I want it.
I know it sucks for you to be alone but imagine your SO sitting on the toilet sweating in pain and stress from guilt and humiliation,hoping no one walks in the restroom or starts waiting outside the door, putting pressure on him. Ack I might have an episode thinking about this lol.
But really, this is a physical ailment that WILL NEVER END. It’s not going to get much better. Unless he switches meds or dosages. That may help. But he will always have IBS it will never go away. You just need to be patient and learn to be comfortable on your own while SO is in the bathroom.
Last minute idea!! Start bringing a book with you! Or play with your smartphone. Something you can bring along to occupy yourself when/if he has to go. My SO starts playing games on his phone and he’s all set for a while lol.
Post # 11
My ex had some sort of chronic stomach issues. I suspect it was either Celiac’s or Chrohn’s. It sucked, but what made me the most upset is that he wouldn’t do anything to find a definitive diagnosis. He’d sit in the tub until he’d missed so much work that he needed a doctor’s note. He’d go to a doc-in-the-box where they would pump liquids in him, shoot him full of Phenergan, and send him home. He was often sick 2-3 weeks out of a given month and wasn’t a very nice person when he was sick. He also refused to make any lifestyle changes to try to reduce his symptoms.
My advice is to try not to resent him. I know it’s tough.
Post # 12
One more Bee with IBS, celiac & nightshade intolerances checking in and suggesting that he should try managing his IBS with an elimination diet.
If he really IS committed to getting better, he’ll make the changes (and you could help my doing the same: with the exception of eating out, my FI is gluten-free for me).
Post # 13
I have IBS-C (constipation dominant). What helped me most was probiotics and changing to a mostly vegitarian diet and cutting out most dairy.
It’s cost me 3 jobs (food service looks badly on that kid of thing, they send you home pretty quickly) and I had a hard time in school also. I also routinely (every 6ish months) do a colon cleanse. Thats helped.
He needs to really keep a food journal so he can pin point the foods that cause pain or symptoms to act up.
You just have to work through it, It can be controlled. It will get better.
Post # 14
@Ivorybuttons: Same. FI pretty much changed his diet to meet mine unless we’re out at a restaurant, then he’s not strict on his diet, but he still demands to speak with a manager about making sure they clean the grill, change their gloves, use new utensils or throughly wash the ones they were using, etc, when they are preparing my food. I’ve learned through trial and error the restaruants in my area that I can eat relatively safe at, but quickly learned that just because local locations will, ones across the state might not.
Post # 15
My FI has Crohn’s, and although it’s under control now, I can relate a bit. We spent the past year searching for a diagnosis, and he got hit hard by depression when he got the chronic diagnosis. I think that the other bees have great advice with trying to cut out a different food each week — hopefully that will help him find out what are his major trigger foods so he can avoid them! You might want to also suggest that he keep a food/how he’s feeling journal.
A final thought — when my FI was struggling a lot with Crohn’s and the resulting depression, I went on some IBS boards and talked to people. It REALLY helped me! I learned a lot about Crohn’s from them, and it just felt good to know that so many people are in the same boat, and that for many of them, it got better eventually!
Post # 16
@SakuraBlossomBee: Sorry I should have been clear, my IBS makes all the food run through me, of course if he has issues with constipation Imodium would not be the solution but if it’s chronic diareah like me it’s a life saver!