posted 1 year ago in Wellness
Post # 2
777 posts
Busy bee

I would discuss it with your doctor. If it’s affecting your life this much it might be something else. Otherwise IBS does tend to get better with exercise, if it’s diarrhea Pre dominance then eating a lot of fiber, drinking a lot of water. IBS is a diagnoses of exclusion usually and I would discuss with your doctor before assuming you have it since it is really affecting your life. 

Post # 3
5020 posts
Bee Keeper

IBS is really a diagnosis of exclusion.  So really, it’s your diagnosis once they’ve ruled everything else out.

Elimination diets can help.  I would make sure to look at one specifically for IBS.  I had done one only for elimination of gluten for Celiac (I’m not Celiac, but it’s one of the more common elimination diet plans out there) and it made me sicker because lots of things safe for celiacs are not safe for me from an IBS standpoint (like legumes and a lot of fruits and vegetables and nuts).

I’ve been very successful on a low FODMAP diet.  That takes care of about 90% of my symptoms.  I had known dairy and gluten were big issues for me, but through the low FODMAP diet and challenging foods back in I discovered that an even bigger issue for me was fructose, and especially high fructose corn syrup and apples which I used to eat almost every day. 

Work with your doctor to rule out other things first and see if you can get a referral to someone in IM or gastroenterology or a nutritionist to help you work on an appropriate elimination plan.

Post # 5
478 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2019 - City, State

I would strongly consider looking into the AIP protocol. There have been tons of people who have had success in helping with symptoms. I hope you find something that works for you! 

Post # 6
8904 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

Hi bee,


I suffer from IBS. I have a gluten intolerance too. A bit doesn’t hurt but if I have something with a lot in it, I am a mess. 


My IBS is also stress induced, so sometimes I take an immodium before anything happens. Like on my wedding day,  I know my stomach would be nervous so I took some tablets. I don’t do that often though as it’s not a good idea! 


Having IBS really sucks. I hate days where my stomach is sore and bloated and I just want to lie down with a hot water bottle but I am stuck at my desk.

Post # 7
4760 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I have IBS (D) as well, and it made my life very difficult & uncomfortable until I got it under control. I rarely have issues now unless I eat something particularly greasy or if I am really anxious/stressed about something.

I took a few steps that really helped me:

 – Paid attention to my flareups and learned to avoid my biggest trigger foods (fatty meats like pork bacon and sausage, raw apples with the skin on them, raw broccoli, etc.)

– Made sure to start my day with soluble fiber. I literally had oatmeal for breakfast almost every day for 2 years. It helped decrease my symptoms immensely, and I was able to eventually switch back to other breakfast foods (eggs, wraps, etc.) with no problems.

– I take Immodium preemptively if I think it might be an issue or where finding a bathroom might be difficult (e.g., if I will be eating on a long drive, flights, or on a boat for the day) or if I think the meal or event might be an issue (e.g., my wedding, out with friends for pizza, etc.). You can build up tolerance, so I take it only when I think it will be needed. 

– If I do have a flareup (rare these days once I got it under control), I take either Immodium or peppermint tea. Both work quicklyt to tame my stomach.

I know you’ve said you’ve tried a lot of diets, but figuring out my triggers and learning the oatmeal trick really changed the course for me.

Post # 8
688 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: London, UK

I’ve had IBS for about 10 years now. I am lactose intolerant and my symptoms are stress and anxiety induced most of the time. So day to do I can stomach normal amounts of lactose (but I would not in a billlion years ever consume straight up milk ever ever again – last time I did was 2014, I had a bowl of Coco Pops with regular milk and was ill for 4 weeks afterwards), but when I’m stressed then I can’t digest any amount. 

Generally though anything can trigger my symptoms, it’s different year to year. This is what makes it very hard to manage sometimes.

I am a big advocate of preventative Imodium – if I have a long haul flight or any sort of big event that I don’t want ruined, I will pre-empt the symptoms and take an Imodium before I get ill. Not sure this would be recommended by medical professionals, but it works for me.

Also a lot of it for me is my peace of mind, by which I mean the anxiety about worrying about having a flare up often will instigate the flare up. So if I’ve done something preventative I increase my chances of not getting ill from that perspective too.

It’s a shitshow (pardon the pun) sometimes, not gonna lie. It has ruined some experiences for me. When I was in Paris a few years back I was so bloated and in so much pain that not only did I have to loosen my belt, but eventually I couldn’t even button my jeans. I’ve had to turn down many social occasions and leave early from others. I’ve had to tell employers that I need a later start time because my symptoms are worse early in the morning. I’ve been out and about with friends/family and kept them waiting for half an hour whilst I’m shut in a toilet somewhere. It has been a dark, dark cloud for me over the years.

BUT I am still, one decade on, getting a better handle on it month by month. I’m learning what to avoid and when. I’m learning to talk about poo more and to not be silenced by taboo which in turn was forcing myself to cope with things alone.

The biggest kick in the teeth for me in 2019 IBS-wise is that I had some halloumi (previously one of my favourite fods) and then had a massive flare up a couple of hours later. Not sure if it was linked, but regardless, it’s put me off halloumi for life and now I can’t even look at it without feeling ill.

Don’t underestimate how important understanding friend and family are when you have IBS. You need to know for your own mental health that if you need to drop out of things that people won’t take it personally, and will understand. I cannot stress this enough. I know for a fact if I was worried about my friends’ reactions when I have to sometimes cancel plans last minute, I would be more ill from the anxiety from that.

My advice would be to not put all the focus on food/exclusion diets. Even with intolerances, it is quite likely that you will have triggers other than the foods that impact how your body copes with said foods – stress, tiredness, time of the month, anxiety, sadness, everything. Everything is linked.

Also – and this is important – IBS can’t OFFICIALLY, TECHNICALLY be diagnosed. There is not a test they can do that comes out positive for IBS. It’s 99% anecdotal. And it’s different for everyone. Many, many people are misdiagnosed as having IBS when they have general stomach issues, and it’s not uncommon for other (diagnosable) illnesses to be missed purely because it’s easy for a Doctor to say it’s IBS. So consider looking into whether it may be something other than IBS, if you are very concerned. 

Good luck xxx

Post # 9
11 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

I suffered for years, doctors diagnosed it as IBS. Then I made the connection one day that my IBS started around the same time I started on the pill. Went off the pill and it was like magic!

Just wanted to mention it just in case. 

Otherwise, when I had the issue i found yogurt helped a little and just eating a little at a time. If I ate until I was stuffed, there was a higher chance of feeling sick.

It wasnt true IBS I guess but I thought I would share in case it helps.

Post # 11
1431 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Another IBS-D bee here. Mine is very anxiety related, so when my anxiety is managed well (for me through therapy and medication) it is less likely to ruin things. I have found that eating very low carb/low sugar is my best bet diet wise, and Immodium is a GOD SEND. It has saved me in many many situations (I am a professional musician and sometimes going to the bathroom just isn’t an option!) 

Post # 12
11272 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

View original reply
gaia3465 :  

Mine went with perimenopause.  The pain was horrific and exhausting.  I am sorry you’re going through it.

I wish I had advice.  My my primary did give me something that helped to tranq my gut down.

In retrospect, I can see now that a lot of physical and emotional symptoms I went through from my mid thirties on were actually rooted in peri.  Meno itself was a day at the beach by comparison.

Post # 13
366 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I’ve had IBS-D since age 14. Have you looked up the FODMAP diet? It’s made specifically for IBS patients and is a good start to find your trigger foods. Of course even while avoiding trigger foods, IBS can strike. Raw veggies, beans, legumes, dairy, foods with insoluable fiber, these are all major triggers for me. Do you eat meat? Lean meat is one food that my stomach tolerates well and I try to encorporate especially for the protein. Avoid sugar alcohols, added fiber (things like chicory root), MSG, products high in fructose, etc.

I take Imodium daily, 2 pills every morning. I have for over 10 years, that pill is truly a miracle. I also use Pepto-bismol a lot (liquid and chewable) for daily discomfort. Peppermint is a great natural solution for gas & bloating. Try drinking peppermint tea or taking peppermint pills. Heather’s is a brand that’s made by someone with IBS and all her products are formulated to help. I would check out her website as well, it has tons of valuable info.

As far as it effecting my daily life, I definitely feel you! I basically know where every bathroom is anywhere I go, lol. Once I started accepting it as part of my life, it’s gotten better. I even joke about it to my friends and it helps reduce the stigma.

Post # 14
2 posts

I’ve had IBS (D) since middle school, but about 10 years ago when I was in college, it got so bad I basically wanted to stop eating. No matter what I ate, it made me sick. 


After seeing a GI, I started a routine that really got it under control: I take dicyclomine (I think the brand name is Bentyl) and an Imodium every morning at least 30min or an hour before I eat anything. I’ve kept the prescription but now can get it from my primary care physician – I only saw the GI that one time. I have a coworker with IBS and her routine is the same. 


I know you’re without health insurance right now, but in the meantime, Imodium (take it proactively!) and maybe a probiotic are over-the-counter meds that should help a lot! 

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