My Struggle with IBS

Hey everyone! LET’S TALK!

I was compensated by Salix Pharmaceuticals for this post. However, all opinions are my own.

It’s funny, as a blogger my job is to ‘get personal’ and share my life with y’all, but I often find myself trying to keep certain parts of my life private. Today I want to talk to you about a condition that I suffer from. As you know, I am gluten-free, but what you may not know is that I also have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

For those who don’t know, IBS is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder characterized by symptoms of abdominal pain and abnormal bowel habits, and it affects between 3% and 20% of Americans. In particular, IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D) affects more than 16 million Americans.

A few more facts!

Facts about IBS:

  • IBS affects about twice as many women as men.
  • Microbial imbalance has been linked to symptoms of IBS-D.
  • IBS is the 7th most common diagnosis by primary care physicians.
  • 67% of IBS sufferers experience symptoms for 1+ year before seeing a doctor.

I’m super excited to collaborate with Salix Pharmaceuticals to create IBS-D awareness. I guess the reason why I don’t talk much about my IBS is because it’s a bit awkward for me to discuss my intestinal symptoms and discomfort! It turns out that a lot of people feel embarrassed by their symptoms and wait more than a year before seeing a doctor.

Salix launched letstalk-2.com this past IBS Awareness Month, in April. The website informs visitors on when #2 is a problem, common triggers and causes, and offers tips on starting a conversation about IBS-D with your healthcare provider, because the talk shouldn’t be as uncomfortable as the symptoms!

What 2 Know Before You Go ‘2’ the Doctor:

  1. Write down your symptoms and triggers
  2. Make a list of all your medications
  3. Plan questions in advance, such as:
    • What is most likely the cause of my symptoms?
    • Should I change my diet and lifestyle?
    • What treatment options do you recommend?

To deal with my IBS, I’ve recently started taking fiber supplements and living a low FODMAP life.

If you think gluten-free is tricky, just wait until you try low FODMAP! FODMAP foods are appointed based on how their sugars and carbohydrates are broken down. Squash, zucchini, and carrots are low FODMAP favorites when it comes to veggies, my NOBREAD smoothies are all good to-go, and salmon and eggs are A-OK! But just imagine my devastation when I went low FODMAP and learned that only 1/8 avocado is allowed, and brussel sprouts are an absolute NO!! My IBS savior has been bone broth, which I wrote a whole blog post about here!

Check out some of my favorite low FODMAP meals! :

If you, too, suffer from IBS-D, do NOT fear! Talk to your doctor to determine what treatments options might be right for you.

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