I'm new here and my IBS is really getting me down :( 1 month and nothing but rice or crackers!

Many many years ago I was told I had IBS (usually the diarrhoea kind, but also some bloating) and I had an awful bout of it that lasted for 1/2 months..but i learnt to manage it (I take fybogel, buscopan, try and avoid eating fatty oily foods in excess, and have rice as me emergency fall back food) and since then, for many years its been totally manageable..I've travelled all over the world and been fine (3 months in South east Asia and no issues)! I have now moved to China where everything has been fine, until i cooked my boyfriend and i some chicken and vegetables, and the next day all hell broke loose(bf was fine)! I now cannot eat any food aside from, rice, crackers, eggs and porridge and maybe toast with out having an awful stomach upset..its been almost a month now (the first 2 weeks i attempted to eat other foods but now iv basically given up, lest i try a soft vegetable or tofu). I don't know what to do, My social life his dipped dramatically, and my boyfriend didn't even want to go for a meal on his birthday as he knew i couldn't eat and didn't think it would be fair :( - I try and remind myself that people are worse off, but it is really getting me down. I think maybe the chicken i ate was bad and i got a stomach infection and it set off my IBS..i may go to see a stomach specialist, but it will be extremely expensive here in China, especially if all they will tell me is that have IBS ....can anyone relate to this, or have you experienced this? I know this has happened before, and i got better, but i just cant see the light at the end of the tunnel at the moment!

I also feel like people think I'm just being unsociable or lazy but going out and not being able to at or drink alcohol or even a coffee and worrying about needing the bathroom puts pay to a lot of things! Although i know i need to work through it!

Thanks for listening :)

17 Replies

  • Have you ever thought to have an allergy or intolerance test done? I had one recently and it thew up foods which ive eaten lifelong as problems.

  • I have been considering it recently! i normally know what my trigger foods are (or stress) but i didnt eat any on this occasion! thanks :)

  • I think that you may be reacting to different foods in China, a problem which will have built up over a few weeks, perhaps then exacerbated by eating some dodgy chicken. Could it be soya or a sort of tea? It is likely to be something you have been eating / drinking a few times a day since you were in China...something that you ate less of in Uk. If dairy was your problem food in uk, then it would explain why you felt in SE Asia. But things have changed now with a change of diet. Hope this helps

  • Several years ago I was told by doctor that I had IBS and his advice was to try cutting out food groups like dairy, wheat etc to see if anything helped. When nothing improved I went to see a nutritionist for advice. They told me to avoid artificial sweetener as it has many many side effects, including the constant bloating, constipation/ diarrhoea I was experiencing every day. The worst sweetener is aspartame which is found in hundreds of products in the UK but I generally avoid all types (eg nutrasweet, Candarel, saacharin, sorbitol etc). I found bring very strict and checking all food labels got rid of my stomach issues over night!! People often think that to avoid artificial sweetener they only need to cut out sugar free soda but the truth is, it is in so many products. You also have to check labels very carefully as even a tiny amount can make you ill again. It is in sugarfree soda, sugar free diluting juice (and also many "full sugar" drinks as companies are now adding a percentage of sweetener to bring down calorie content/save money), chewing gum, sugar free yoghurt, low sugar sweets and snacks, some sweet crisps, eg sweet chilli crisps, low calorie hot chocolate, fruit flavoured bottled water etc etc. It takes a while to learn what not to eat but it has changed my life and my stomach is now normal. I have also passed this advice onto many people over the years and it has worked for them. Not sure if you consume these products but well worth trying if you do.

  • My GP now has suggested avoid artificial lsweetener I had used Splenda for years and had always thought nuts was the problem. At that time I had bought Stevia with a promotional discount and reckon an excess of dark chocolate sweetened with Stevia also was the cause of the latest outbreak. So at the moment it is no chocolate at all for me and only yogurt low fat

    to see if another bout returns soon I only have skimmed milk

    and no cream and proactive spread no animal fats so will see how it goes and keep a diary of all I eat for as couple of weeks

  • Couldn't agree more va80, my mantra is 'make it myself' :)

  • I know how you feel, my social life is also hanging my a thread! It can be very frustrating. I'm trying to work through my IBS (C&D) with a combo of Docusate (stool softener), Yakult every day, high fibre diet and going mostly dairy free. My GP told me that if someone has had food poisoning or some other stomach infection, and has had a bad stomach since, the best thing for them to do is to cut out dairy as this helps with diarrhoea especially. This seems to be helping me but there's also the FODMAP diet (the Monash University app is great) that a lot of people on here recommend and is worth looking into. Hope this helps x

  • It is really hard isn't it! I am going to have to start going out and just not eating or drinking..but it is easier said than done! I am going to look at the FODMAP diet, - thanks for letting me know about the app! :)

    I am currently trying to eat only plain foods and i am having yakult daily. Soon i will be introducing a pro-biotic tablet as well and 5htp to help keep my mood balanced. I also tried bimuno travel aid while travelling and it was very helpful! so i am going to try and get the bimuno IBAID - its prebiotics and a helpful fibre - sadly they don't ship to china, but i will find a way to get it! It might also be helpful for you as well!

    I will cross my fingers for both of us, that we get better soon :)

  • Start the day with rice congee and drink only warm Chinese tea or ginger tea.Look up Chinese meds for stomach.Avoid stir fry greens,too much fibre and not cooked long enough to destroy dodgy elements from local farming practices.Yakult is great,as are bananas and hard boiled eggs.Been there!

  • Rice congee is my daily breakfast at school and totally saves me! bananas and hard boiled eggs are also my saviour! Are you / were you in china? Thanks for your help :)

  • Lived in far and Middle East

  • Find out your trigger foods and what you cannot tolerant and are allergic to.

    I can't take any refind sugar. Deep fried. Gluten. Dairy and eggs and have PCOS and IBS. I live in Hong Kong and find it quite easy.

    Check out my website I am a nutritionist, a writer and a chef. Hope you can find some ideas.


  • thanks so much! i will check it out! i thought i knew my trigger foods, and on this occasion i dont think its that that set it off - but now i need to be careful so i can get my stomach back to normal! :)

  • i have exactly the same type of ibs as yours..living just on 4 types of food and this realy affects my mood badly 😢 i knew my triggers which are garlic / onions and all type of herbs that is added to meals and sauces to make them taste delicious.

    some times it is not the food it self that set off the sudden attack ..it can be the herbs /seasoning elements or sauces that are mixed or soaked in the food can be the main hidden triggers.

    chicken by itself could not be guilty but what seasoning /herbs added to it can be the one to blame for your attack and this is exactly what happened to me ..unfortunately Garlic and onions are added to foods and meals every where that is why i also can't eat out in restaurants ..some thing i really miss these days .

    still searching and battling this horrible disease until science can come up with something to give us back our lives ..hopefully 😔

  • that's interesting! in this occasion i didn't add much in the way of spices! So it could be the oil i cooked the chicken in, or perhaps the spicey bell peppers or maybe the tomato puree! i ate it the night before and was fine... so who knows! i still feel like maybe the chicken was bad as i felt genuinely ill the next day and all week! i have been eating plain and have felt really good this weekend! i just tried some meat - just a tiny bit! lets see what happens! fingers crossed! I also hope you feel better soon and that you can eat more foods soon! and maybe try and ask that restaurants don't add certain things to your food where possible? Although i know they cant always do it! Try and stay positive! we will get bet better!!

  • if u look at other comments mf you'll see so many similar stories, I know not much consolation but at least u know u aren't alone/going mad! Strongly suggest seeing a doctor, ibs is known to be triggered post infection. Your boyfriend sounds wonderfully supportive. Good luck

  • HI there, how long have you been in China? it could be down to your body adjusting to the different bacteria in the water, a bit like long term travellers tummy. Do you take probiotics? Lactobacillus might help

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