I was diagnosed with IBS over 12 years ago.
It all started one evening after a night on the town and too much food etc. I had terrible gas systems and trapped gas that didn't seem to settle down. After seeing the doctor and excluding other conditions - obviously it must be IBS.....!! hmmm...
my main symptoms are bloating and trapped gas that I cant seem to get rid of, occasional pain and constipation/urgency - which I think is categorised as indeterminate IBS i.e. IBS D and C - a bit of both.
I struggled with this condition since it started - blamed myself, blamed poor diet etc.
for a long time I tried my best to forget about it - but still it lingered.
After about 7 years I finally decided I need to do something about it as I felt I couldn't cope for the rest of my life with this condition. I went to see my doctor again and after nothing more than hopeless antispasmodics I decided to see a private doctor. He advised me to eat oats as the gut likes the consistency of oats and this would help bring down wind etc. I also tried probiotics - the best on the market, and hypnotherapy and all sorts. This all cost a lot of money - I must have spent at least £1000 or more.
All of the above seemed to help a bit and probably does work for some people, but I found that it mainly succeeded in costing a lot for little benefit.
However, there is a silver lining to my story.
After trying so hard and everything under the sun, I finally accepted that I had a functional gut disorder for which there was no real medical diagnosis, just a list of symptoms. I.e. your gut is perfectly healthy in medical terms, it just doesn't function very well for whatever reason. I found this actually helped me a great deal, I stopped searching for a wounder pill or miracle cure and just accepted that my gut didn't work as well as it should.
Having accepted this I turned to how I can improve my guts performance. We all know - or should know that exercise is good for you; what not everyone appreciates is that exercise including walking actually helps digestion a great deal. The movement helps the gut move things along and helps gravity do its job (gravity also being important for digestion i.e. it moves things down!!).
I also realised that whenever I ate processed food - mainly processed bread, I felt worst. My rule is that if I see any ingredients on any shop bought food that I don't understand or don't know what the hell it is i.e. it sounds like something that belongs in a chemistry class inc. additives and preservatives etc. then don't eat it. Have you seen what goes in to the humble loaf of bread these days?! I tend to eat a sourdough bread bought from an artisan bakery - ok its £3 a loaf but it wont go moldy - just stale as bread should. Also sourdough is a fermented food - i.e. a pre-biotic. Don't waste your money on pre-biotic tablets, just eat fermented foods, another example is red wine - I think Malbec is in particular a good one!
I also make my own sauerkraut - this will save you a tonne of money on expensive pro-biotics, it is just as good and is a much more natural pro-biotic (find advise online, buy a crock for £35 and your good for as many years as you keep making it).
Now hear comes the mother load, and if you think this isn't you you are probably wrong - I say that because I thought it wasn't me for nearly 10 years. Stress is the biggy, I mean massively. Stress affects everyone in different ways and you probably wont realise if your stressed or not. I didn't think I was, I thought everyone who had a full time job etc. lived my lifestyle would be the same as me. I recently decided to be content with my lot, my job etc. and realised that I don't always have to strive for things, they will come to me eventually if I keep doing what I am doing well. This attitude helped me with two things, 1. I became better at my job and 2. it reduced my stress levels. Taking a back step actually might be a good thing for your health, give yourself more time to relax. Another good suggestion - find a new hobby or more time to do it. I found playing golf or something like that that takes your mind off your condition, music etc. helps massively to bring down stress levels as long as you enjoy doing it.
Following my life style choices I now get through my days at work easily - I regularly move my bowel everyone morning after a cup of coffee and feel fine for most of the day - I go out, eat out, do everything normally. The only time it really affects me is at night when I lay down and stop eating drinking/moving, I tend to get gas symptoms. But on the whole I feel pretty normal.
If you have read my story I hope it helps you. To summarise the above below is a list of my do's and dont's for IBS sufferers.
Eat well, regularly when feeling appetite. Try sticking to 3 meals a day for a few weeks. Try different diets i.e. try meat free for a week or bread/dairy free. NB. I don't advocate total avoidance diets just try different levels.
Do take a walk or two in the day at least 15 - 20 minutes, this is a great one for helping trapped gas/bloating. I know everyone is busy. but try and get it into your daily routine its really worthwhile and will probably help your productivity. I often do my best thinking in the day on a walk.
Do find time to relax/sleep well exercise and hobbies.
Do eat oats - preferably with Goats milk ( you might wont to try a few goats milks as some are better than others - the one I have tastes like cows milk) - goats milk is easier to digest!
Eat fermented foods ( pre-biotics)
Eat pro-biotic foods - sauerkraut
Eat dark leaf salads (digestive enzymes)
Eat meat fats - or olive oil, oils/butter
Try and keep a balanced diet.
sit down all day - no movement
dont over eat
dont eat too late
dont eat processed foods
dont stress! or worry!
dont waste your money on miracle pills/liquids, advise etc.
hope this helps someone