IBS Network
21,466 members7,300 posts

Thinking about my stomach too much!

I've had IBS for over 20 years and like everyone have good weeks and bad. I know certain foods affect me like onions, garlic and I also struggle with dairy. I also know stress plays a big part when I can feel my tummy tightening. I'm struggling at the moment though to stop thinking about my stomach and it's really taking over my life - I wake in the morning and from the minute I get up its on my mind. I'm always reading articles on IBS and related tummy troubles but think I'm not helping my situation by thinking about it too much - anyone else feeling this - any advice really welcome! I think I'm always looking for a different answer (or a miracle!) when really I need to avoid obvious foods, drink plenty of water, deal with stress better and do some form of physical exercise but it's hard to listen to yourself sometimes!

5 Replies

I suffer with colitis and I find certain foods cause me trouble, have you tried keeping a food diary to see what causes a flair up. I find wheat and corn cause me trouble. Avoid foods which cause problems and try to not worry to much about it, easier said than done. Best of luck


You have my sympathy. Ordinarily my favourite form of exercise lately is swimming, providing I don't swallow much pool water as that isn't good for you funnily enough, being full of everything. This past week the pool I visit has been undergoing some renovations so my exercise has been loooooow in comparison to before. Enter the pains, the stomach being in knots etc. Onions I stay the hell away from as they give me heartburn.

I would recommend trying a whole 30 and see how you get on. I mainly eat a modified version of the paleo diet after starting the year with that.

Stress and exercise-wise... have you tried yoga and meditation? It's been a few months since I did yoga, but would love to get into it again. As for the meditation, I've found even just following a few podcast guided meditations to be very beneficial. One of the reasons I love swimming is provided you are actually swimming and not floating gracefully, chatting to a neighbour (and generally getting in my way, curse you :D ), the breathing alone is enough to make me forget all the worries in my life, as now my only worries are breathing and moving. In itself, that is very meditative.

It is indeed easier said than done. It's cold today, raining like it's going out of style, and I've had to say no to visiting friends for lunch thanks to a rebellious gut this week. ;)

1 like

What have you tried so far to deal with the stress caused by focussing on your stomach? I know what you mean and how easy it is to get transfixed by it and get overly obsessed about how you can treat your IBS. In some respects I think researching it too much actually makes things worse, because it means IBS is constantly on our minds. One book I've been using recently is called Mind Over Mood (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1462520421/). It contains a host of strategies for managing things like anxiety and stress, helping you identify things that trigger thought processes and symptoms. Note, though, that it's not an easy fix. It will take time, and you will have slip ups. I've been working with a therapist for over a year now and it's really helped, but if you can't afford one, I really would suggest this book. I've got six or seven self-help books under my bed, and this is, by far, the most useful one I've come across.


They now know that most people who have IBS actually have a condition called SIBO(small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). There's an antibiotic (Xifaxin) which can help you. Also there's a home breath test, that you do at home, which will diagnose this condition. A Gastroenteroligist can get this test for you, & you mail in the results. It's not hard, but essential to know if you have SIBO. IT CAUSES gas, bloating, diahrea, constipation, stomach cramps. You go on the FODMAP diet to stop it, in addition to Xifaxine. The diet, briefly: no milk, no gluetin, low sugar, NO ONIONS NO GARLIC, limited low sugar fruits, & eliminate certain vegetables. It's not that bad, but so far I haven't gotten rid of it completely. Dr. Pimmentel, at Cedars Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles, has done a lot of research on SIBO. There are a lot books written on it.


> feel the same way. constantly thinking about meals and how to avoid stress . low fodmap and my nutritionist has helped a lot!


You may also like...