IBS sufferer - I'm new here

Hi, I'm new here- My husband was trying to find me something to help me as I have IBS and was searching online and came across this site. I've been having very nasty attacks off and on for weeks and don't know where to turn or how to ever get better.

I have had IBS for over 10-15 years now. I'm so fed up of being ill and I don't know what to do to get better or even cope with it any more. I think it started after my honeymoon. I've always had nervous stomachs - like when I was learning to drive or going on holiday - I'd get nervous excitement and end up in the bathroom before with an upset tummy. But it seems to have become IBS after my honeymoon. We went to Dominican Republic and was advised to take malaria tablets. So I did, before and during the trip. I immediately had very bad diarrhea both before and during the holiday. Luckily the shop in the hotel stocked imodium. I was on it constantly. So was my husband - he had diarrhea badly too due to the tablets. We had to cancel one of our trips into the rainforest because we just couldn't go as we had to be constantly near a toilet. It was only when we spoke to the rep to cancel this that we were told that there had been no malaria there for a long time and we had not needed to take the tablets at all. We immediately stopped taking the malaria tablets but the effects carried on for several weeks.

Once we'd come home my husband got better. But it was after this that I seemed to develop IBS. After this I regularly got IBS - not that I knew what that was at the start. I would have terrible diarrhea all the time often with excrutiating stomach cramps and abdominal pain that leave me gasping and crying in agony.

Over the years I have tried several things to try to get well. I take peppermint oil capsules, buscopan IBS relief tablets and imodium. I have tried to change my diet but can't find anything that helps.

My IBS often hits me late at night or in the early hours of the morning. But also at any time of day or night to be honest.

It is so bad at the moment that I'm at my wits end. I feel so ill. The latest attack has been going on for 3 weeks. I have terrible diarrhea all the time with very painful stomach cramps and pain that rips through my lower stomach. I take imodium to try and stop it along with buscopan to try and stop the cramps. But sometimes I have to take so much imodium because it doesn't work for long. It stops it for maybe a day or two but then it all comes backs and I have to take more. The imodiums only seem to work for very short period of time now. My stomach feels like a tumble dryer all the time with rumbling and churning feelings. It is making life very difficult.

I am in a very difficult and stressful time in my life. I moved from the UK to Spain over 2 years ago due to financial problems which meant we couldn't afford to live in the UK anymore. So we sold up and used the little bit of equity we had to buy a small bungalow in Spain. It hasn't been easy here but we have managed.

But in the last 6 months I lost my job. I got another job working from home but after just over a month they dropped me and didn't pay me anything. I since researched the company to find it was a dodgy company run from Romania and although I went to ACAS I couldn't do anything legally to recover what they owed me. I found another job working from home. After just over a month one of the owners did a runner back to the UK leaving everyone in the lurch (including his business partner). Yet again they never paid me. I couldn't believe it had happened to me twice in a row. So I have had no money for 6 months. I have no savings. Only the house I stand in. I had to sell my little old car for the money so I now have no transport. I have no friends here or family here. I have only my husband and my little dog. My husband hasn't been able to find work here since we came here. My husband's family will not help us at all - to be honest we have disowned them as all they ever did was cause trouble and we don't need that. I only have my mum left. She has been amazing - using her credit card to try to pay our bills so we don't get the electric and water etc cut off. Even using her credit card to buy us food online otherwise we would have had no food or water the last 6 months. She really can't afford to do this for us as she's 72 and only has very little money herself. But she has done all this to help us.

I've now found a new job again working from home. I've been working for 4 weeks on this now. I think I've finally found a genuine person and job. It's very stressful as it's appointment setting and I only get paid each day if I can get 3 or more appointments booked. So every day is stressful and I never know if I am going to make it that day or not. Because of the last 2 jobs I am very distrustful and am always stressing if I am going to get paid at the end of each week. So far the boss seems genuine and has paid me - even covering for me when I had to take the afternoon off last week due to my IBS and paying me anyway for that day.

I am so stressed and anxious all the time. I also have OCD - I was on medication for that but ran out of it a month ago. I cannot get it from the UK anymore and I can't afford it here so I have no medication for my OCD and have to deal with that also. I cry all the time, very unhappy. I can't go out as I don't have a car, there is no public transport here and I can't walk far as I my pelvis is out of alignment which means I get lower back pain and siatica down my left leg. So I can't walk far either. So I never go anywhere, see anyone other then my husband and dog. I can't afford to buy anything other then the essentials.

With the all the stress and no meds my OCD is very bad. My IBS is very bad. The OCD med's did have one good side effect in that they helped my IBS - the meds can give people constipation but I found it just helped me to control my IBS - now I don't have them the IBS has got worse.

I feel almost suicidal - I am so ill, so stressed, so unhappy.

I would welcome any help from anyone - any ideas on what I can do to try and control my IBS because it is ruining my life and I don't know what to do to get well again

Thank you

33 Replies

  • My IBS is most certainly worse with stress and no doubt that has a big part of yours. You have got a job now so that is a plus so things will get better and you need to think that like. Try the rescue remedy stuff which helps with anxiety. If you are losing weight and it is lasting so long i would go to the drs ans they might refer you to have a colonoscopy to make sure there is nothing going on inside. You could take an immodium as soon as you wake up for a few days, and see if that helps. Also try taking a probiotic

  • thanks. I've tried a probiotic but all that does is make it worse unfortunately. I'm not losing weight that much - I'm overwweight so can afford to loose abit anyway. I might try taking an imodium each day for a few days.

  • Hi, i really feel for you - it sounds terrible what you are going through. I am a sufferer too but have more constipation than diarrhoea but thats not good either! I also live in Spain and wonder how you found the doctors here. I find they are a bit behind in new treatments etc for ibs, not one has ever suggested the fodmap diet or even heard of it.

  • I find it very difficult with the doctor's here - they don't speak hardly any english and I don't speak much spanish so to go to the doctor I need to take an interpreter with me which I can't afford. The pharmacy is must more helpful - at least they can speak english!!! But all I can get from them is buscopan and imodium and stuff to rehydrate.

    I was suppose to receive my wages today but haven't had anything from my boss to say he's paid it - checked my bank to find that the wages I got last week they immediately took everything I got to pay the credit card so it's left me overdrawn again. I am stressed out enough without worries about the bank doing this. After previous employers not paying me I am finding it hard to trust that my new one will pay me. The first week he paid me no problem. Last week he was suppose to pay me on Friday so it went into my bank by Monday - he was late so finally paid it in Monday so I got it Tuesday = and then the bank took it all. This week I had to ask him on Friday when he was going to pay me - he said he'd do it friday night - but he normally email's me a payment advise to say it's going in. I haven't got it yet. So checked my bank this morning - nothing yet. I hate asking him too much because I'm scared he'll get fed up and sack me - yet he's not paid me yet - and I desperately need him to do it on time. So I'm stressed out about that today now. Why can't anyone just do what they say they will. I only want to get paid on time for the job I'm doing. I've had to ask him again about it this morning - as I say - I don't want to annoy him keep asking but after what others have done I can't trust him.

  • Hi Maz, I'm so sorry to hear what awful time you are going through and that you couldn't stay in the UK due to financial problems. I have had IBS for around 20/21 years now (I was diagnosed in 1997 but sure I had it before then) and I also I have Emetophobia which is a fear of being sick, being around people being sick, this is a debilitating phobia and can ruin your life. I typed Emetophobia into the search engine and found a Programme called 'The Thrive Programme'.

    I have now started Programme which deals with all sorts of anxieties, therefore it is not just Emetophobia and I have bought the book as I have had enough of the condition and found the condition getting much worse because of my IBS and nausea. I kept dithering on whether to buy it or not; the reviews were amazing but there were just a couple of people that were cynical which made me hesitate whether to buy the book or not. The reason why I purchased the book in the end was someone on here also suffered with the condition and bought the book and haven't looked back. The Programme works on your mind and I regularly question myself on things and am starting to get better; this I know is going to change my life as I am on chapter 4 and am already starting to see benefits.

    Here is the link - thriveprogramme.org/

    This is certainly worth looking into as I'm starting to feel the benefit.

    I really hope that things get better for you but in the meantime have you looked on the internet to see if there are any home working jobs in the UK that negate you ever having the need to visit the UK?

    Very best of luck

  • thanks for your message. I have OCD too. I have to check things constantly and it can take me half an hour or more just to leave the house coz I have to check the front door till it feels "right". Also take long time in the shower as I had an UTI ages ago and now my OCD makes me wash and rinses myself lots again till I've done it the required times to feel "right".

    This proramme sounds like it might be worth a try - it might even help with my OCD aswell. Both the IBS and OCD is getting worse - more stress means both get worse. I was on meds for the OCD but have had to go cold turkey now due to not being able to get them from UK and not having any money to afford them here in Spain. I'll have to look into the programme - thanks for that.

    I'm now working from home - appointment setting. I call people in the UK in businesses to try and get appointments for our reps in the UK. At least working from home means I am able to carry on working around the IBS most of the time.

    I've given up eating the last few days - can't see the point at the moment if all it does is give fuel to the IBS. Not that that is the answer but I can't see the point of eating something when all it will do is make me ill for now. Making my life miserable. Wish I could get well.

  • You are most welcome and we are on here to help each other. The Programme is amazing and much better for you than meds and you can then always keep the book and refer to it if you need to.

    So glad that your appointment is settling down now and sounds much better, really pleased for you.

    Don't give up on food as that may in the end make your symptoms worse, just start having a look at what may be affecting you i.e. I know for sure that raw carrots, raw onions (lightly cooked ones as well), sweetcorn and now Lactose do not agree with me. I am slowly but surely working on my diet as that is the only way to handle it.

    Very best of luck to you and I hope things start to improve very soon for you.

  • I'm glad you read my post with interest, it's such a shame that others think it's nonsense!!

    Whatever you try I just hope it works for you as this Programme is working for me.

  • Don't fall for this nonsense. A book is not going to cure you. I get so tired of reading these types of posts because they amount to people taking advantage of others who are suffering and desperate.

  • can't afford it anyway - I've tried other help books before and they've never worked - so sceptical. I just want to be well again but I can't afford to buy something that doesn't work. What do other people think??

  • I have found a lot of self help books to be useful but you have to face the core trigger and work on it - in your case whatever has caused your anxiety and OCD you really need counselling/cbt from a professional. We are in a support group and we all have good intentions here and will with good intention advise you based on our own knowledge and experience and what has worked for us. In experience it is trial and error until you find what works for you. I think it's a shame that one or two negative people on here are rude enough to dismiss a genuine persons supportive advise. Be open to advise and use your instincts on what feels right for you. Good luck x

  • Thank you Nicki and I'm glad you can see that all I am trying to do is help. Believe you me I have had many many issues over the years with confidence etc and this book is really starting to help me - it has also helped someone else on this site. The book also has a section on self esteem and I know from posts on here many people have a low self esteem including me.

    Once again thank you and you've made me feel better today with your post.

    Alicia x

  • No problem I don't see the point of negativity on here especially when we are genuinely trying to be supportive. Have a nice day! X

  • Thank you Nicki and I appreciate it, I have to say that the comment did throw me yesterday as I am trying to overcome not only Emetophobia but also self esteem issues, comments like that do not help.

    Have a lovely day and it's sunny here so now out on a powerwalk - very good for the body and mind.

    Alicia x

  • I had the same last week a genuinely supportive comment of mine was ridiculed by someone you thought they knew better! I suffer anxiety and also struggle with being made to feel like it I didn't respond as didn't want it to eat me up. Now I see it happening I decide to stick up for others it's not nice. Enjoy your walk x

  • Well it's working for me but if you want to be cynical then that's fine!!

  • I'm always cynical - coz I never believe anything will work - but I'm always open to try new things so I just might give it a try when I can afford it - thanks for your help, I appreciate it xx

  • I think that's the trouble with anxiety and also IBS, we never think that anything will work as we try all sorts of things and it seems nothing helps.

    I really hope that you find what works for you.

    Take care

    Alicia x

  • Being discerning and being "cynical" are two very different things.

  • We are only trying to help each other on here and what works for someone else is worth sharing and comments like yours above i.e. don't fall for any nonsense does not help and is very negative.

    I will finish here

  • Agreed. But we are not helping each other when we constantly tell struggling people to buy a book or buy a program etc.

    This becomes a place where discernment is required. A place where suffering people have to determine whether someone may be trying to sell them a product.

    If you are not trying to sell something, then I apologize for my post. I mean no offense to anyone who is trying to share information. But "buy this book - that's what helped me" is not helpful. Why not just share the information you found helpful in the book or program?

  • No one is trying to sell something we have been recommending books or ideas that have worked for us it's quite common to do so on this forum. Many of the self help books I have read are detailed so not really practical to describe on a post! For example I would recommend someone to take Imodium but I'm not pushing them to buy it it's what works for me. Recommending a book that helps is no different. Think before you speak to criticise just because it's not something you would try as you can offend people.

  • "No one is trying to sell something"?

    I would disagree.

    You may not be trying to sell something. But there are people who have tried to do so. Discernment is all I'm advocating here.

  • No one as in myself and crazy Fitness I'm talking about this post and your criticism of one persons advice on here. I'm done trying to explain

  • Thank you Nicki and I totally agree with you. This forum is here to share information i.e. remedies that have helped certain people which could possibly help others; it's also here for people to vent their frustrations with their illness, if for instance they are having a really bad day - I did this a few weeks back when I had bad nausea and diorrhea and I just needed to get it off my chest as I was feeling so poorly at the time.

    Also, in relation to the book I have purchased it was someone else on here that had put a post to which I replied to. I had said this condition doesn't help when you also suffer with Emetophobia and that is when they replied and said you ought to try this book hence me purchasing the book.

    Thank you for your support.


  • I can't not go through chapter and verse on what I found in the book so far as if I did that I would be on the computer for far too long and wouldn't get anything done. I am not trying to sell anything whatsoever, this was a personal post. I have struggled enough with things that have gone on in my life and not only suffer with Emetophobia but also a low self esteem (now that is also covered in the book).

    Also, I have to say when someone is what I would say negative then people like myself that suffer with anxieties/phobias makes them feel 'down' even more, it's not helpful at all. When I read your response for the first time I have to say it affected me and I even started to question myself. Unless someone asks through a post on here what people really think and ask for honest opinions then I think it's better to keep quiet, after all we can make our own informed decisions and if we decide to buy something then that's our choice.

  • crazyfitness - I'm sorry if others have made you feel bad. I didn't put my post on here for people to use it to attack others. I was just new and wanted to post my story and ask people's advice and help because I am going through a very bad patch.

    It is never acceptable to me to attack others simply because they offer some personal insight or help. Just saying that the book helped you and that I might consider giving it a try is just you trying to be helpful. NOT trying to sell the book. I think we can all make up our minds if we want to buy it or not and negative comments from others does not help any of us.

    Please can we be nice to each other.

    We all have a lot to deal with and we should be supporting each other not attacking others.

    Please let this be the end of the negative hurtful things said here.

    crazyfitness - I thank you for your help and advice. Please don't let the negative and hurtful things said here upset you - you have enough to deal with and it won't help you to be well. Love and hugs to you xxxx

  • Thank you so much Maz and I know it's rare that this happens on here but it was hard to deal with all the same and I thank you so much for posting on here again in support. Yes the book is definitely helping me and I certainly hope it helps others.

    You have made me feel better and I thank you for that.

    Alicia xxx :)

  • The only advice that I can offer would be to try and lessen the impact of stress. Mindfulness might help in this area. Google Jon Kabat-Zinn. (Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.) There are CDs you can buy or free on YouTube.

  • I'm inclined to think that IBS is most often a symptom of something underlying rather than a condition in its own right. So finding out what is causing it and addressing this has to be the most important thing - whether this be OCD/ anxiety or a systemic illness, IBD or an infection, food intolerance or other. I don't think there is any point in reading books until you've had proper tests to find out what is causing yours. It's such a shame you aren't able to seek out medical advice where you live because of lack of insurance. Have you any close family in the U.K whom you could visit perhaps and see a GP as a visiting patient just to get some basic testing done?

    If not then the only diet I know of which is recognised by the NHS for IBS is the Fodmap diet. My GP has just suggested that I try it. Perhaps you could download it off the internet and give it a go? - I don't think it could harm you although apparently it's quite difficult to stick to. But it's free and many with IBS or related issues find it very helpful I believe.

  • Hi there your IBS most certainly sounds like it's anxiety/stress related. If you want to improve your IBS you will need to work on your anxiety/stress/OCD.

    Counselling and meditation would help you im not sure what is available where you are.

    I would suggest being tested for bacterial infections and rule out other things too. To manage your symptoms daily can you get mebeverine where you are? It sounds like you have a lot of stress factors going on where you are and I hope your situation improves soon xx

  • I have already had CBT therapy twice and I have been on medication for years for my OCD. Have had OCD for over 10 years. Unfortunately the CBT therapy has not worked for me. The medication helps to calm me and makes the OCD less all consuming but it never goes away. Unfortunately I have run our of the meds - can not get them from the UK anymore and here in spain you have to pay for alot of meds. With my situation re jobs and no money I can't afford them at the moment - so I'm on my own. I only have my mum back in the UK. I can't get back to the UK to see her again as I can't afford it. It's not just the flights. My sister and brother in law live with my Mum so she can't put me up. Also sister and brother in law are horrible and I don't speak to them or get on with them so another reason I can't stay with mum. So to go back to UK I'd have to pay for flights, accomodation, transport here and in the UK. I just haven't got any money to pay for that. I haven't seen my mum since we left to move to spain nearly 3 years ago. I've had test done years ago re IBS but other then saying it's IBS and recomending a few things that haven't helped me that's that. I've tried to change my diet over the years - have found a few things that I can't eat. Mostly fruit, salad items. Strawberries, peaches, oranges etc I just can't eat. If I eat too much salad that upsets me. Can't touch chocolate anymore either. It makes it very difficult to eat healthy - so many people say to me eat lots of fruit and vegs but there is alot of that I can't eat. Can't eat anything spicy either - indian's are totally off the menu. So hard when alot of the things I'd like to eat I can't. Will have to try to look into the foodmap diet. Maybe try cutting out different things and see what difference that makes. Would help if I could get back on my OCD meds and if I could lower my stress levels but that isn't possible at the moment. Thanks for all advice - I know all advice here is to try and help - so to the person who said try this book - I appreciate your help and I know you are only trying to help - it can work for some people and not for others and I'm open to any possibilites. xx

  • Hi again Maz, it was me who recommended the book and I am finding it's helping with my Emetophobia and I recommended it as the Programme also has other books to cover all sorts of anxieties etc.

    Re diet though, I agree with you in that it's getting increasingly difficult to eat healthily as I found out a few weeks ago. I've always been able to eat salad but after eating a nice plate of salad I have the most awful stomach cramps. I also ate a lovely bowl of fruit a few weeks back which had banana and peaches with a small amount of ice cream on top and yes, again I had the most awful stomach cramps and had nausea. I think the nausea was because of the ice cream as since that day I have had ice cream about 3 more times and get either indigestion or nausea. I have since been buying Lactose free milk and that makes me feel better. I think I am also having problems with caffeine as I had coffee when our car was in the garage being repaired and they had complementary coffee (who could resist) and I had a couple of small cups. I felt very strange after the coffee, which I never used to get. I will now be going caffeine free.

    The other things I know for sure affect me are raw carrots, both raw and cooked onions, sweetcorn and of course salad, I can also only eat a small amount of broccoli. Agree with you 100% in that it's difficult being healthy.

    I have printed off the FODMAP food list and to follow the diet you remove:

    Dairy (you can have milk by buying Lactose free); Gluten; Wheat; Sweeteners to name but a few.

    I need to work out a menu plan before I follow the diet properly as I find lunchtimes the hardest one of all as I kind of live on sandwiches at lunchtimes.

    Very best of luck to you and I hope that you find something that does work for you and that your job and your future go well.



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