Teenage daughter with IBS

Hi there, I'm new to the forum.

My teenage daughter has recently been diagnosed with having IBS. She suffers from all the classic symptoms along with very frequent visits to the bathroom. This at the same time as preparing for her exams makes it quite a stressful time!

I'm looking for some help for her in keeping a food diary and any general tips that would help her and me deal with this. I have bought her some peppermint tablets and Buscopan for the cramps and spasms, is there any other products that may help?

We are due a visit to the GP this week but think it is also good to hear from others who are experiencing the same things as she is.


21 Replies

  • Hello

    I use probiotics, actimel before bed and yakult when i get up and they help big time. I also eat coconut oil twice per day which seems to help a lot.

    Food diary is good so that you can work out what triggers the ibs.

    Good luck.

  • First 3 of these are good. The coconut oil however is not. Its a good quick fix as its oil for the cramps however long term health affects especially starting out as a teenager is extremely dangerous twice a day for years. If you google coconut oil you'll find "The American Heart Association says to limit saturated fat to no more than 13 grams a day. That's the amount found in about one tablespoon of coconut oil" just in the listings alone. The only reason you would take the coconut oil is if the cramps are extreme and then i would default to caster oil. It sucks but it takes a while for the coconut oil to get rid of the cramps (can barely stand up type) where caster oil takes it away immediately but i would limit any oil as much as possible unless you have no choice. Sadly it took me being in this situation of not being able to stand up the pain was so bad and my dr recommending me take fiber etc that would take weeks to help me but i needed something now. Thats how i ended up here and another member mentioned how it takes away the pain instantly. honestly i've put my hand through a window, sliced to the bone, had 8 staples and a ton of stitches in my back and the pain i was in from IBS was 100 times worse. This site was a god send.

  • I don't take the coconut oil if I have cramps I take every day no matter what, it kills bad bacteria in the stomach which is a good thing. I have used it for months and it has been great. You might read more about the coconut oil it is saturated but it is considered very good for people to use.

    Thanks for your reply.

  • Actimel is great. I always have peppermints in my pocket so as soon as i think my stomach feels weird i suck on one and also gives something else to concentrate on.

    Imodium the morning of an exam and then there is no worry as will bind her up

  • When I get a flare up a banana usually helps.

  • Hi. I would recommend seeing a nutritionist however I started following the low FODMAP diet a week ago and taking pro-biotics. It has made such a difference already and I'm feeling so much better. It might be worth investigating for your daughter. X

  • beware peppermints as usually contain sorbitol bad for IBS sufferers.avoid fizzy drinks, plenty of water,walking is good,I take normacol a natural fibre which helps me avoid constipation.buscopn for cramps,wineze if bloated. Heat bag on tummy,mummy love good too.hope your daughter soon improves.exam stress probably making it worse, exercise or yoga can help both.

  • HI Graemes,

    I can sympathise with a teenage daughter who also has IBS. This is a long one, but I am going to tell you all we did and how it helped or didn't help. Obs each person is different but you may find something in here that works for your daughter who will be having a much more horrible time than most of her peers.

    1. Minimise stress. A big part of my daughters IBS was stress and anxiety. She had months of talking through with a anxiety related councillor but the benefits helped ten fold. We found and paid for her councillor privately. (there's a lot of research linking brain activity with the gut you might want to look it up if you haven't already. The NHS does not recognise the link yet). She also had to learn quite quickly how to create a environment for her that was what we called her 'bubble'. It involved playing music she liked, pictures on her bedrooms walls that helped calm her, and quiet. She would spend time here to chill out when stress was building up. As her parent I wanted the best for her, to start with I was pushing her to socialise, go out, do teenage things. This was very bad for her and I soon learned to stop. As well as her exams does your daughter have other stresses that she might need support with?

    2. IBS runs in a cycle for my daughter, we learned the cycle inside out so we could put measures in place to stop it escalating or minimise the length of time it was happening for.

    3. We cut out Gluten, Lactose and sugars. We found out about the sugars much later after she was still having 'tummy trouble' with certain foods/drinks. My daughter had a SIBO (bacteria overload in the upper gut). Apparently it happens often when the digestive system is in chaos but it meant that if she ate a dose of anything sweet or drank pop she would have very bad stomach ache for days afterwards and feel very nauseous. It might be worth getting the Hydrogen Breath test done which looks for this Bacterial overgrowth. Mints helped with the nausea and she always has a pack with her. Eating little and often, again avoiding sweets. Bananas and peppermint tea also helped (absolute no to fizzy drinks as these caused endless pain and trouble with both the gas and sugar).

    4. We tried Silicol Gel, tons of Holland and Barrett preparations and dietary supplements as my daughter lost a lot of weight and it was clear she wasn't getting the nutrition out of her food. These were ok short term, but ultimately we worked out a diet for her that wasn't too difficult for her to digest, again the little and often helped.

    5. Giving her time and space to get better. There really was no quick fix no matter how much I wanted it to happen. My daughter dropped out of college, never achieved her a levels. It took her the best part of eight months to start doing normal teenage things. Things worked out ok though, She is now 19, has a wonderful boyfriend and has a part time job in House of Frazer which she loves. She still gets ill, and IBS will always be part of her life but at least we know, she knows how to deal with it.

    6. We got her a RADAR key for easy access to bathrooms. Sometimes having the reassurance helped a lot. She never had to use it but it certainly made some trips possible that otherwise would have been stressful.

    7. We paid for private tests including Crohn's, Colitis and Food intolerance tests. The food intolerance test was a complete waste of time, they list virtually everything and most of it we knew for a fact she was ok with. It was important to us to also get the other tests done privately as the hospital had messed up a few times with her tests and we didn't fully trust the results. As it happened they were right.

    If you want to ask any more question please PM me privately. I fully understand how you must be feeling right now. Also my daughter made some videos and shared them on here if you want to share them with your daughter I will give you the link.


  • Hell Sar,

    Just so you know, your daughter can beat IBS. I did, but it took me 25 years to understand how. You may find my blog gives your daughter some of the keys she is missing: SickofIBS.com

    Hope this helps,


  • woah Sar2262,

    you sound like mother of the year. My parents just act like there's nothing wrong with me and only care when it suits them. I hope more people can be born with parents like you where they're actually loved and cared for.

  • Fillipe, your reply is very sad.

    I am sure your parents think they are doing what think is best for you at this stage.

    IBS is hard to understand even for those of us who are familiar with it. I was completely in the dark about the level of pain and discomfort my daughter was in. I'm ashamed to admit that.

    You know my daughter had to get very cross with me before I started to really listen to what she was saying. For a long time I hoped she would make herself better or it would simply pass by carrying on as normal. It was very hard for her and for me and we battled a lot. One day when she was too unwell to go to college I got mad at her and she went out I don't know where, I was so worried, it changed from that moment.

    My daughter also then took charge of a lot of things and I just helped support her physically with getting things she needed and leaving her be. We had to learn to communicate so that I was her support when she needed and she asked rather than being told by me what to do. She did a lot of research online and figured things out. I think it worked in the end but it was hard getting there in the beginning. I still don't fully understand how wretched she felt every day for months, I'm just glad she is still here to talk about it.

    I know you weren't asking for advice but few parents would ignore desperate cries for help. Perhaps that is partly why you are here and you are already taking control of your own condition.

    Best of luck

  • lol your motherly instincts are shining through your reply sar2262. I just feel like people know when they are and aren't loved. My parents aren't the sole reason but they contribute vastly to my IBS episodes and depression and anxiety attacks. It's so bad that I grind my teeth at night and have run out of tears. I've lost the energy to fight with them, or even try to take care of them . I can hardly smile at them when things have calmed down because I know that once I feel love and appreciation for them they just end up pushing me away all over again. Its like some sick game and I'm not willing to play anymore. I remember my dad always used to swear at me for missing sixth form last year pre diagnosis. And my sister got depression too but my mum told her that mental illnesses dont exist even though she was referred to a psychiatrist. I know this is some random paragraph on how crap my life is but when I look at my parents I just see two people and I feel like there's something wrong with me because I actually feel no connection when I think about my parents. This worries me the most. I feel like such a bad person for hating my parents but I literally can't help it. And I desperately want to move out for uni but I'm doubting I will even get in because I'm always bedridden or I have to deal with some stupid family dilemma and I just know I'll fail my A levels. On top of that I cant leave my sister because I dont trust my family to take care of her because I've literally raised her. But I know for a fact my parents wouldn't let me take her with me.

    anyways thanks for your advice sar2262 and to whoever got to the end of that post sorry for blabbering on

  • Hello,

    I am currently 20 years old, and have had IBS since I was 16/17 years old, so I understand the issues of being a teenager with this!

    My IBS is similar as in it's extremely stress and anxiety controlled - I myself have no cure for this, except trying to take your mind off of it. I got stressed about needing to use the loo frequently at school etc. - from this I have and do take Imodium daily, this both stops me needing to go so frequently and puts my mind at ease that I won't need to go! When I first got IBS I got so stressed and lost around a stone in weight (and I was small anyway) - so try and make sure to just eat well, as you say keep a record of food and flare ups. For me, honestly I have found few foods that actually trigger IBS except for fatty chips for a fish and chip shop, the rest of the time it's mostly from stress! Let her know that it's also surprising how many people have this. At school I was so embarrassed about it - but now at uni, I'm open with my friends and 2 of my close friends also have it! It does get better and I hope she gets better and this helps xx

  • Buscopan is great but the dosage they suggest on the packet is next to useless if the pain is severe, as only a tiny fraction of what you swallow gets absorbed into the bloodstream. I would suggest asking your gp if your daughter can take a higher dose, and if he is reluctant maybe ask to be referred to a gastroenterologist. My consultant specialises in IBS and he prescribed me 4-6 Buscopan tablets, three times a day - obviously a very big dose, so I don't suggest doing this without medical approval, but it just goes to show how small the over-the-counter dose is!

    Good luck with it all. IBS is horrible and it's great your daughter has so much support. :)

  • In addition to what Sar used for her daughter, one thing that helped me rebalance when very stressed was Reiki, if you are open to that.


  • Maybe try lopromide it's very effective. Been diagnosed this year gave up wheat and caffeine and also recently started to use lactose free milk and can say it helps

  • Forever Aloe Vera Gel is now being recognised by doctors.It did work for me for over a year.I am now taking Manka Honey 5+ plus pro biotics which are also working,please google both and i think you will be interested in the fact that they are both totally natural products.

  • Aloe Vera does help in IBS in replenishing the body with its 200 compounds and regulating the bowel movements. But it needs to be a good one where the sap has been removed (bitter and laxative) and where the gel hasn't been boiled to death and diluted. Probiotics are important nowadays for everybody but I wouldn't take them in a dairy form, dairy is an inflammatory food... See a dietician to start with. I can direct you for both Aloe Vera and Probiotics, I use them for my daughter and they don't need to go in the fridge (the probiotics) , very practical. I'm not often in this blog so please send me an email: akikomum@outlook.com. All the best!!! x Diana

  • Hi,i am going to be travelling in April and will not always have use of a fridge,could you give me the name of the probiotics you use for your daughter please?

  • Hi there, I'm sorry to here your daughter is suffering. I used the IBS Audio Program 100 which helped with both the stomach issues but also helped with mood and confidence. The guy who does the adult program has one for kids up to the age of 13 though from your writing it may be she is an older teen.

    hope this helps. Peace!


  • Hi. Thank you all very much for your replys and help with this, they are all very much appreciated. We had a visit to the doctors yesterday who has started a course of Colpermin peppermint tabs and buscopan for when the cramps are bad for her. I will show her all your replys so she can see she is not alone with this! Thank you all again.


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