IBS Network
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Anything positive out there?


I've only recently joined this forum but so far its making me more and more worried rather than helping me, and we know how bad stress is for us all.

I've been referred to IBS clinic this week and I've cut out diary and most wheat products, cut right back on sugar. All of which I should do anyway as I'm overweight.

I have permanent stomach pain and bloating the severity varies, permanent diarrhea controlled as best as I can by Imodium and on colofac and omeprazole with GP.

I'm hoping that one day it will settle down and if I keep to healthy diet I will have an ok life but all I've read so far are stories of people being hospitalized or on long term sick unable to work and on benefits.

That scares me, my career is important, I start a new job in a couple of weeks and I'm worried based on what I've read that eventually I will lose it. my salary keeps me and my partner afloat! He's only moved in a year ago I don't want him to be tied to a sick wreck !

I know no one knows the future but I would love to know of any positive stories out there, has anyone got a handle on this, can still enjoy life, have a decent sex life, and not just suffer permanently from something that most people don't take seriously.

Any hope out there???


14 Replies

Hello and welcome.

I have a positive story. For years I was suffering with bad IBS-D. I'd have frequently have urgent bathroom needs after eating, and couldn't put any source to it. Stress made it worse. I had bouts of incontinence, and have a host of embarrassing stories that I can share, including needing to go to the bathroom in a ditch in front of a new date and ask him to keep an eye out for tourists as we were in a scenic hiking area (we've been dating five years now;) ) My parents bought me a warehouse supply of adult diapers. Really cool for your late twenties, early thirties. I had every test imaginable by the gastroenterologist. Finally she suggested FODMAPS. It's an elimination diet, and its awfully hard. But it really made a difference for me, I can identify many of my triggers and my once debilitating daily symptoms are now only a nuisance occasionally. I still have flare-ups every four to six weeks with other autoimmune symptoms that don't seem tied to food that I'm working out, but for the most part I'm happy and healthy. In addition to working through the FODMAPS elimination, the other thing that's really helped me is being honest about the condition - with employers, with my partner, with colleagues. If folks don't know, they figure you have a 'tummy ache'. Being honest clears the air - if I need to leave a meeting, if I need to cancel plans there's context for it and it reduces my stress. Hang in there. It's a tough road and a lot of experimentation. And don't let people's 'advice' get to you. You know best. But seriously try FODMAPS. Most of my issues are with specific fruit, vegetables and anything corn. Keep posting, feel free to message me if you want to chat. The big thing is you're not alone.


Absolutely agree with runswithdogs as FODMAPS completely changed my life too. You can download the app from Monash University (they are the ones who discovered it) if you go gluten and lactose free and eat only the foods marked green - they are all marked by traffic lights colours - for about six weeks then start adding back in foods by type you should find it relatively easy although it takes quite a while to get used to it. Monash are still testing foods and the app is continually updated as more foods are tested . Good luck


hello coz..im sorry to read your health struggles...in case I don't understand,i really do.im unable to work because of long term illness,from constant dizziness to arthritis and the list is endless.my life is hell because of it,and I claim nothing and live on savings...however,after hospital and hospital.and tests.and x rays some of which had bad results etc etc....ive given up on the medical profession...its make you more worried,reading horrors on health sites also does....I decided to take my body and sort it myself....I take no drugs(they all have a side effect of some sort)no painkillers and im in pain a bit,and ice changed to my diet,not dramatically,i still fall off the wagan and have sweets,chocolate,biscuits,wine etc etc..but overall my stomach problems have halved..sorry spelling is bad...I don't buy processed food,its cheaper to put meals together without packets etc etc...all im saying is sometimes you have to stop...take a deep breath,stop listening to all around you and think about you..stand in the garden,the forest(I live near the new forest)and let nature calm you,,im not a tree hugger,nor a vegetarian,and I have no man(no one would put up with me) but ive changed my stomach pains and my constant diarrhea just by watching what I eat,,,,,i hope this helps a bit..take care of yourself,.


Two of my matrons have IBS and still manage to work. I do not work but that due to a genetic condition I have not IBS.


I admire your upfront honesty, coz... Sometimes, I, too, have really wondered if these forums are actually reinforcing our fears...thereby making and 'keeping' everything worse. But there are other times when you find considerable relief to know that someone else is going through the same thing...so you are not 'the only one'...

I think most of us have questioned whether or not these forums are 'good' for us...

But as long as you are questioning that... I think you are doing OK!! Its when you let everything in...all the problems and fears and pains from all the posters that you indeed have something to wonder about...

It sounds to me like you are at a crossroads and I see that as a GOOD sign... with the a good diet, exercise, and FRAME OF MIND...you could choose to be JUST FINE... YES, you CAN overcome ibs...NO...it does NOT have to be something 'terminal.'

And DON'T worry about every little 'wrong' you have said, eaten, drank, or done in any way... Live in the NOW and stop projecting negative 'possibilities' into your future (I look in the mirror as I say that, too, Coz...) Good luck!! :)


#1 - make a plan and folow it - and do not give up when plan A fails horribly and you have to try plan two - I am on plan z and I need to start using letters and numbers now.

#2 - Clear all other issue with proper testing

#3 - Talk to your partner about the issue and your challenges.. as far as I am concerned, stuff happens, if you do not talk about it it will blow up in your face, if you do that is what relationships are about. No partner is worth keeping if they are not willing to help you with your challenges.

#4 - Physical exercise is a must, it reduces stress and gives the gut time to heal - Walking ... anything... just take the time to do it... buy a fitbit and set goals.


Hi B~!

I absolutely loved your reply....especially the wonderful humor you injected into it....AND you hit everything so well...dead center... THANK YOU from all of us that reads this post...it benefits us all. Have a ducky dandy day! :)

1 like

Thank you for all your positive comments so far its helped already. I am interested to see what the IBS clinic says but I can see that everyone has different ways of coping, one size definitely doesn't fit all. My goal at the moment is to focus on my diet, keep active, get fitter and above all keep smiling as much as I can AND count my blessings! :-)


I've had IBS-C for about a year now. Rarely I have IBS-D. What's an IBS clinic? I've never heard of it before.

I gave up on the medical profession ages ago and did my own research.

I've found these things help:

FODMAP diet.

Eat smaller portions.

Heathers peppermint enteric coated tummy tamer's 20 mins before eating.

Clever Cultures Bowel Calm probiotic pills once a day with food.

Download the app: headspace.com to relax.

Good luck!

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The local hospital has an IBS clinic with specialist docs and nurses and dietician. My GP is referring me, she told me not to do the FODMAP diet without the clinics help. Although I've already got a book and started with it as best as I can. I am not sure if all hospitals have one?I was lucky ive eventually found a GP to take IBS seriously. Unfortunately I have a useless Microsoft phone so cant download the app from Monash uni that everyone recommends or any others apart from those on their store and there aren't any!

I also take a probiotic but not sure if its any help and peppermint oil caps made me worse.

I just don't think one solution fits more than one person that's why its so hard to treat.



You are quite right in saying that one size definitely does not fit all and there are many positive stories on this site. My IBS is triggered by stress and anxiety and is not affected by what I eat. I find the precision-biotic Alflorex helps me and I also take one sachet of Questran/Colestyramine before my main meal which prevents diarrhoea - on the advice of Prof. Read.

If you are not already a member you might find it helpful to subscribe to the IBS Network which provides a lot of sensible advice on all aspects of IBS.

Good luck at the IBS Clinic.


oh no don't be sad.these places i believe are meant to be of help.i suffer quite a bit with the condition it rules my life for a long time. coming on here has made me more determined so please don't lose faith


There is hope!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes yes yes.

Do try the low FODMAP diet, with the help of a dietician if you can, but if not there are lots of good books. It is SCIENTIFICALLY proven to help 75% of IBS sufferers. I am 95% better, any symptoms now I can deal with. Lets face it, most people have a health problem to contend with and as long as it is at a low level we can still enjoy life to the full.

WHAT IS A HEALTHY DIET !!!!! ?????????

I used to eat tons of fresh fruit and veg and it was that that was causing a lot of the problem! I can now eat the fruit and veg recommended by the low FODMAP diet. So , for example, I eat strawberries and raspberries, in moderation, but not blackberries or figs. I eat spinach, but not cauliflower.We are so privelidged to have a huge choice of produce in the shops that it is easy to find a low FODMAP alternative.

I am also Lactose free, but there is great lactose free milk and cheese, so I don't even notice!

I have fish and chicken and eggs but not red meat.

I don't eat out and I cook all food from basic ingredients, organic if possible.

What works for me may not work for you, but don't give up, keep trying. Keep a food and symptom diary........ try to stop taking the drugs if you can. Drugs can make one worse, especially long term and you are not finding the root causes.

Start off by reading Free at Last by Patsy Catsos, The Complete low FODMAP diet by Sue Shepherd and Gut by Giulia Enders

You WILL improve. Let us all know how you get on at the clinic. The clinic may help, it may not, sometimes it has to be self help.



I tried cutting out gluten and now apart from stress and the ladies days I hardly ever get caught out, and I can't take the drugs due to meds I'm already on after an accident.

Hang in there try to stay calm and make a note of what you've eaten and if anything (stress or ladies days) or just too busy may have triggered the episode.


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