IBS Network
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The battle of the mind

The battle of the mind

What frustrated me and puzzles me the most is in this day and age of so much technology medication and natural remedies everyone is trying to treat themselves ?

Has anyone ever thought this is just as painful as the problem - How can under the stress we feel of our symptoms do this?

The fear of never feeling better - lead me to researching myself - and feeling worse - and at the same time seeking help and not returning to excellent health is there to.

Which way do we turn?

We need to be honest - and very truthful and really go through the medical system first and explain everything.

Self treating can be so difficult - costly - and just is a viscious cycle for me of self blame and regret that I will never find the cure.

I will stick to recording my food issues though and returning to the gastro specialist and showing them -

This must be done.

If everyone who suffers from the same diagnosis is responding differently to medication and treatments etc - then we have a big question to ask.

What is going on here??

If removing the triggers is the only way or not even the way for many

What is going on here?

Deluded! and really don't know what to eat today - like someone said they don't even want to eat at all - how sad has this become.

46 Replies

We do it because the medical system doesn't come up with the answers, we, yes, we take control of our lives because if we don't no one else will.

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I am glad that some people find the answer and That's very good to hear.

I am just saying how do you take control when you are emotionally physically and mentally out of control?

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I guess I am extremely overwhelmed because for 8 years I didn't get better the medical assistance - but I don't want to doubt them now that I have to deal with this really unbearable IBS diagnosis.

they offer antidepressant which stopped most symptoms but I just wish there were other less overwhelming ways to treat it.

I got it 1.5 years ago and off the medicine 6months ago. Natural remedies for the guts nervous system. I feel this is the answer.


Please Share anything that has worked for you that was cost effective besides dietary changes.


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Mine is the other way. Never knowing what is going to course diarrhoea. Having to plan what to eat on a day out , just drives me crazy. BUT I have been away for the weekend, all OK. what has worked for me is .. small meals, try not to drink at all when eating. And most of all. NEVER drink ANYTHING hot. What a difference. hope this may help others.


Interesting.... I have found hot or warm water is better than cold water for me.


We aren't taking control. We are taking responsibility for ourselves. To care for ourselves in a loving way. We are saying to ourselves. We care what happens and want to take the path that will be in our best interest.

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I have suffered on and off, mainly on for the last 45 yrs with IBS symptoms. We are all different and many find probiotics work, others stick with allopathic medication to alleviate symptoms, for others homeopathy might work ect etc. I think finding a way to become less stressful has a beneficial effect on IBS. But of course IBS is stressful in itself. For me it was acceptance of IBS which has helped me. It seems everybody has their Achilles heel. Maybe it is asthma, migraines, or a condition which is even worse. IBS is apparently not life threatening as painful, debilitating and inconvient that it is to us sufferers.

I have found out very recently that Silicol gel is helping me. However, it is very expensive, but it is natural, and if this is the price I have to pay for restoring comfort to my life then so be it. I could get angry that I cant get it on prescription but what is the point of wasting my anger on red tape!

By the way, I love your flower at the top of the page :-)


What a great reply. I thoroughly agree that understanding and accepting you have an issue is the start. 30 years with IBS-D has shown me that, like the common cold, no two people are the same. I agree that certain foods can trigger it but having a focus to say 'this is helping me' is a big part. It can get you down but I dont want to change my personality by going the antidepressant route. It seems to be a very complex whole life illness that there is no single answer. Try to focus on dealing with it positively. Just remember that you are not alone and others will try to help where we can. Good luck.


Acceptance comes and goes when IBS strikes and I am totally paranoid, afraid, weak, in tears and hurt.

Please share anything that has helped you accept your situation.


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Anything that helps the soul to relax helps. I have tried kinesiology, hypnotherapy and massages. They all have helped in there own way but Symprove did help with the pains and bloating. Keep positive.


hi can you tell me where you got symprove from? iv tried the big chelmists .they dont stock it.




Tried Lepicol from chemist but you have to drink lots of water. Symprove is best direct symprove.com as they have a deal on. Hope it works for you. I was pleased to lose the pains. 😊


Best to go to their web site. You get discounts that way.


Thankyou Ceal X Thankyou


Ceal you are comforting.

I have lots of flower photos - XX

Thankyou for your support that's so much

So you eat all foods?

I don't know I will revisit my doctor and ask him about the specialist once more.

After my colonoscopy and endoscopy I didn't follow up.

The antidepressants stopped all the gut issues. But went off them 5months ago and there back and I am in bits.

Maybe if all our bowels were moving well and toxins were leaving - IBS wont happen as I read two causes of IBS

Bacterial overgrowth


Food -wine - chilli - dairys im keeping away.

I have been researching like mad :(- I feel if we get gut nerves healed we are on the way - but what is natural for that and what works best for bacterial issues.

My symptoms are lower right abdomen tenderness and discomfort not pain

lower back right side too - upper right side back.

Diarrhea so much


Someone also mentioned hormonal imbalance - what does this mean? I will ask them.

I may have some serious nerve damage in my gut:(



after forty years of IBS first diagnosed by a technician when I screamed my way thro a barium enema ,recently did same with a colonoscopy!

One of the causes for me is scar tissue and lesions following surgery after tb as a child which nobody else has mentioned.

You must develop awareness of your own self.Triggers for me include high fibre raw veg and inexplicable nasty behavior by people I know.

Yoga breathing an laughter help.


That's very interesting What are high fibre raw vegetable ? do you mean uncooked?

How do you go with lentils and legumes?

Very excellent you bought up nasty behaviour of people. can you give an example for us?


hi your symptoms are very much like mine. not to bad diarrhea.iv found normacol helps and also found out my vit d level low despirte being a sun lover.low vir d can cause ibs probs. iv cut my caffeine to two cups per day.no artifical sweetners and onions,mushrooms and sultanas are all no no's for me.

trying to reduce my overall sugar intake as not good for some ibs sufferers

low dose amytrypline can help although last time i tried these i got constipated. hope some of this info useful




Look at FODMAP diet. Then get your Dr to refer you to a NH dietician. I know this is just dealing with the symptoms not the cause. Seeing that you love flowers have you thought about flower essences as a way through what you are experiencing. You will have to google them. My husband has just, I mean just come back from a long business trip to OZ and I need to spend time with him! I will come back later. I am not abandoning you!

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You mentioned flower essences - you are definitely my soul friend :)

That's what I study - and will be specialising in -

Its the love of my life.

Maybe my mission is to create one for IBS - and if I do you will all know about it!!!!!

Please God shouting praying - please give us strength to get to that point where we can deal with it all.

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With reference to your comment about your gut having damaged nerves. I picked this up from another web site :- Irritable means that the nerve endings in the bowel wall, which control muscle function and affect sensation of the gut, are unusually sensitive.

This means that even normal conditions that can stimulate the bowel – eating a meal, having one’s menstrual period, feeling pressure at work – may lead to a greater response for persons with IBS when compared to others, and this can include a flare up of symptoms. This results in the nerves and muscles of the bowel becoming more active producing diarrhea, bloating, or pain and discomfort.

I hope that will set your mind at rest even if it doesn't do so to your gut!

Have you had an abdominal surgery at all, appendicitis for example?


No - no surgery or appendicitis -

Whats good for nerves to take?

and inflamed bowels.

I wonder if its all lactose problem not ibs

because they said that IBS is diagnosed when nothing else fits.

So it must be weak gut nerves and lactose not being able to sit.

Digestive enzymes >

Peace pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee


I've always for as many years as I can remember swore on 5 base oils which have helped me with my health for years, they're better than any pills doctors give you!


Please share the oil names if possible?


Lavender, Geranium, Eucalyptus, Marjoram and Ginger, also for anxiousness try a mix of Lavender, Bergamot and 1 more relaxing oil will help! Try also tea tree for skin break outs, the Bach rescue remedy with a dropper infused in brandy is useful if you can tolerate the taste, if not get the pastilles which lower anxiety levels too! Good luck!


I currently bought the pastilles!!

I'm glad we are all connecting with Flower Essences here!!

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I believe the medical professionals don't see IBS as a serious and life changing condition and they think we all suffering with stress or just not coping in life. There has to be a cause but budgets and Opinion and narrow minds stop proper care.

As for treating ourselves what option do we have if normal medicine cannot held or don't want too.

If I here the words your stressed, there's nothing wrong with you and so on I think I will scream


Wow,what a lot of comments on IBS,and I agree with nearly all of them. Firstly Puma77ram, how right your are I feel the same as you if I hear " it's only IBS" again I won't be responsible for my actions. My understanding of IBS after suffering with it for 12yrs ( chronic IBS) Oh and Id just like to say I've been from one end of the country to the other with it and like foxennedy,a really painful colonoscopy, is I is irritable it just won't keep still, B is for colon part of the bowel, and then you get the main problem, S for syndrome which means it can be anything, dysfunctional,food intolerance,stress ect ect,there lies the problem of helping everyone. I've been on antidepressants for 8yrs don't know why but I'm withdrawing from them now and my Tum is more painful now than it was 8yrs ago. As for The medical fraternity I've had to fight for help all the time. I'd just like to say here,I have quite a few health issues I've been on a life support machine twice,and I have some serious health issues ,BUT NONE THAT GIVE ME THE DISTRESS THAT IBS give me. So never tell me it's " just IBS". And I know there's millions of people out there doing the same suffering. So will the MEDICAL profestionals PLEASE take us seriously. Sorry for the rant but I feel so passionate about this subject and it has ruined my life for the last 12yrs. Good luck to you ALL. Keep shouting.


Lets all help each other -

What about tests for bacteria?


I am shouting with you.

the antidepressants helped too -I mean who wouldn't need them with the unbearable symptoms just kills me very time with diarrhea nausea and grief,

Tests- doctors- trial and errors on food - etc- trigger so much anxiety its not funny.

Lets make this journey less painful as possible by being safe than sorry,


Apparently IBS rarely appears after 50 ...


Don't you Beleive that,that's when mine appeared.

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Hi Flower, I hope you're feeling less depressed today, bless you.Re.IBS and the over fifties,I was in my early 50's when it was officially diagnosed. However,looking back, I can see that I had many IBS symptoms in my childhood and adolescence, and then again in my forties, I'd never heard of IBS and thought that everyone had bouts of diarrhoea/constipation, bloating etc. My late Mum's illness and rushing back and forth to see her regularly tipped things over the edge, as it were.

I haven't coped with the Fodmap diet, it made things worse in fact, I'm just running on empty at the moment and praying that my courage won't fail me.

I pray that you will also stay strong

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HI Hun -

I am 32 - I re visited the Doctor.

He said the Gluten free diet.

I said I cant work I cant think I cant focus - This is so much please give me something until I have the strength to follow a gluten free diet.

So he wrote me a script for the antidepressants that stopped the diarrhea. he said this is for depression you don't need it. I said it worked last time so please give it and I might start it. It stopped the diarrhea

I just want my appetite back and know the food triggers because I think I have figured out the emotional stuff or getting there.


I too was over 50 when mine appeared, I was retired from my job so that stress wasn't an issue. Got referred to a Gastro specialist, nothing was found to explain my symptoms. He advised me to go on a gluten free diet as gluten intolerence could be a cause, which helped somewhat.

I then decided to pull myself together and to take control and through trial and error over a 3 years period came to what helps me. I went through various pills and potions to no avail , then decided to get my food intolerences done . This set me on a path of research into food , medical sites and blogs and it was on this site that I first heard about the Low Fodmap diet and started looking into it .As it is researched based I was intrigued and bought the book and studied it. It made alot of sense.

Then on a routine visit to my GP he told me to try it and it has changed my life. I had to do it on my own as I couldn't find a dietician locally but I perserved and found my triggers, gluten, lactose, garlic ,onions and legumes. So now I follow a Low Fodmap diet. I also cut sugar as much as possible from my diet. I walk daily to deal with any stresses . There are times when I feel so well that I will take a chance but I suffer for that with a day or two of utter misery.

So my journey was one of trial and error to find out what worked for me, there were times when I despaired but I kept going.

So keep strong and hopefully you will find something that will help

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Gastroenterologists are trained to look for polyphs. They aren't trained on diets, Good eating habits and making good food choices. They think... or go ahead, eat whatever you want.. If you hurt... try this pill. Well I went to a grain free, gluten free, diary free, processed food free, sugar free paleo diet and I feel much better. I suggest you do the same. Now I just need to work on portion control.. Then I'll be in the winner's circle.


Wow I am really impressed to see your commitment with the diets XX

Im starting with Dairy Free as Im lactose intolerant as well. This might help both IBS.

Wine - dairy - and emotional honesty.


Thankyou -

Can I ask how you went about doing this. was it one diet at a diet.

Is there a website you used?

Sugar free? All fruits?

What did you eat.




Look at a book called "The Wahl's protocol" by Dr. Terry Wahls. My doctor put me on that diet. I've been following it for 9 months. I am doing much better on it.. and lost weight and now keep it stable. I eat alot of green smoothies, steamed vegetables, and some salads. I have 4 oz of meat at each meal for my protein. Such as chicken, salmon, shrimp, organic beef, buffalo, different kinds of fish or seafood. I have fruit sparingly. I eat a lot of sweet potatoes and squashes. Parsnips, and Lots of carrots. I'm surprised my skin didn't turn orange. I take Betaine capsules to supplement my stomach acid. It helps my slow motility and low acid production. With more acid I can absorb more nutrition from my food. Basically most of my problems come from poor nutrition absorption from IBS. This regime has made a change for the better for me. Less gas, less pain, less bloating, more regularity, and more confidence with less worry. It's made a difference I like for myself. I hope this advice was helpful for you. Good luck on your journey.


Well so much to say:

Firstly having had ibs for over 30 years, I understand and feel your emotional and physical pain fellow sufferers.

To explain the way I see things, ibs is a bit like a cup that overflows when it is too full of so many things ie.

dysfunctional digestion (unbalanced gut flora - not enough good bacteria)

stress both external (other people and life) plus internal (spicy food, alcohol, too much fibre, stimulants like coffee and sugar)

food intolerances which will be different for all of us

processed food which contains a number of things not good for the sensitive stomach

parasites that can be hard to detect by the nhs lab tests

plus bouts of ibs will cause inflammation in the gut lining leading to anything from discomfort to severe pain -----and so the vicious cycle goes on and on and on!!!!

No wonder the average GP and specialist cannot find their way around ibs and help us, especially when we are all so individual and respond so differently to both triggers and medications, both orthodox and complementary, and they have so little training in nutrition, their way being the orthodox route and medication.

Yes the fodmap works for me if just to give my digestion some respite.

And I have tried hypnotherapy too, which helps.

With all of these things effecting us and our ibs condition, is there any wonder that confusion!!!! as to what to try next, because we all try and do things to help ourseves, exists.

What makes me so sad is the way it impacts on my life, and I can see that others suffer far more than me. It is so debilating and so hard to describe, even to family, the near total, physical and phsycological impact of 'suffering with ibs' has.

Today is not a good day for me, already had lots of pain and visits to the loo, thank goodness I don't work (my confidence has now completely gone) but trying to remain positive.

My heart goes out to all of you x


Have you tried a bowel cleanse See Dr Jensens Guide to Better Bowel Care or Donna Gates Body Ecology Diet. Also colonics can help get rid of the gunk combined with the cleanse giving a fresh base to start from. I feel a different person after doing the cleanse.


I recently done a 4 day cleanse called DIarrohea with nausea - lots of tears and emotional breakdowns... haha :( It was *&^%$##$%^&*

whether it was a bug - the wine - the cheese or an emotional thing all the gung must surely be out !!!!!!

So I am eating clean now - and

Its the Nerves in the gut - and no dairy or wine for me that is going to save me for the time being.

How do people do on legumes?? Fruits? I am a bit confused with that.


I think that depends on whether your IBS D or C. If your D I don't think either will do you any good as they will make it worse. If C a little might just help. It's all trial and error .


If you want to learn more about IBS please check out the self care plan here theibsnetwork.org/the-self-... look under bloating for the Low Fodmap diet and ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian.

Kind regards

The IBS Network

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I think that dairy is more of an issue than people often believe. Around 60% of adults can't digest cows milk properly because we don't produce enough of the enzyme lactase to break down the lactose in the milk. I believe I'm one of those people.

I have IBS on and off and my main flare-up is with Dairy. I'm really trying hard to cut it out completely or at least limit it as much as possible. My symptoms are massively relieved when I don't eat Dairy products.

Dairy, as well as the usual alcohol and spicy foods.

I also find talking a daily probiotic tablet helps greatly. So far I've managed to avoid medication by controlling my diet and taking probiotics.

Wishing everyone better!


Hello flower,

I too am lactose intollerent, I believe my ibs d started after a dose of strong flu and a stressful time at work. So I presume I have post infectious ibs d and lactose intollerent.

Doctors no help. I am however on a very mild anti anexiety pill small does a day, prob helps like the anti depres you were on.

I follow a very mild lowfod maps diet, but am missing fresh veg and fruit. I also stick to low fibre.

Would appreciate any other advice from others, am at an end to how this gets ignored by medical professionals. Am planning a visit to a herbalist for more information.

I avoid dairy and now am taking probiotic capsules, all of the above seems to work sometimes, if I eat something wrong I am in trouble again!!!



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