Log in
IBS Network
25,478 members8,573 posts

What do "normal" people do?

I`ve had pretty constant IBS for the past 5 years - a combination of constipation and diarrhoea - and I honestly can`t remember what I used to do toiletwise before this! Now if I`m in diarrhoea mode I have no choice but to dash to the loo, or if I`m in constipation mode I visit the bathroom whenever I get the slightest urge in the hope of passing something.

Back in the past when I was only going once a day I really can`t remember when this happened. Did I only go when I got the urge, or could I make myself go whenever it fitted best into my day?

Can anyone remind me what healthy people do?! (This is a serious question)

15 Replies

Hi, I often think back to the days when I didn't have IBS, so here goes. When I was at school it wasn't something I particularly thought about, it just happened, but thinking back I was always woken up with a cup of tea in the morning either by my mum or my dad. It was their way of saying time to get up. So I would drink my tea and go for a wee and generally went no. 2's as well. It was something I really don't remember thinking about it just kind of happened naturally. If I didn't go, I would just get on with my day and not give it another thought. I guess I would have just gone the next morning. I never went at school. I did go at primary school once, it was lunchtime so I had to ask the dinner lady if I could go in and use the loo. After a few minutes she came in and asked what I was doing and kept hasselling me to hurry up, I didn't like that so never went at school again. As it got older though and went to work in London (which was about 90 minutes from home) I found it easier to go once I got to work. If I went before I left home, I just needed to go again when I got to work, so decided it was best to wait until I got to work and just go once.

Over the next few years I changed jobs a few times so changed what I did depending on where I was working ie local or London. Never really thought about it much but the consistency seems to change over time but it was never a problem until one morning laying in bed about 5am, I woke up feeling like I needed to go quite urgently. I thought I'll just go back to sleep till the alarm goes off but it got the better of me in the end and I had to get up and go to the loo which was at the other end of the house downstairs. I didn't quite make it. And there my story begins. I've never been the same since.


Hi janke,

I know what you mean, you really do forget what it was like before IBS! I think once you have bowel problems you think about things too much.

I guess everyone is different. Personally I had no problems until I had surgery & menopause about 5 years ago. I think one or the other (or both) started all this. I think maybe we need to try & forget how things used to be & try and find a new normal that works for us. I hate it, I wish I could turn the clock back to the old “eat anything” me. Sorry, having a bad day today.


You are not alone....I can't remember either!

Just had a massive flair, C which turned to D.

Mine started over 10 years ago when I "couldn't make it" during a trip to Munich, to this day I have no idea whether it was simply a coincidence, which I suspect.... or something else.

I also suspect my IBS may be linked to decades of a gradually declining, but undiagnosed, level of T3 (active thyroid hormone) which, thankfully now discovered, has had a huge negative impact on my health.

It seems there is no definitive answer but It would be wonderful to go back to those "normal" days which I can no longer remember!

Wishing you well



Hi. I remember going like clockwork almost every morning after arriving to work about 9:00 am. Thats before my 7 years of IBS-D. I usually had the urge at that time so I did my business then. But if I didn't go or got busy or somthing it was no big deal. Sometimes the urge would go away and I would just go later on. No big deal.

Now it's a whole different scene. It's different for everybody though. My wife goes every 2 to 3 days. She always has. Most people just go when the urge is there and when convenient.


I've had this for 15 years and I think about.it all the time. I used to be a bit constipated when I was younger and had to go sometimes when it wasn't convenient but I always managed.

Mine started when I had 2 small children in the park. I was desperate to go but my toddler wouldn't get out of the swing and I couldn't leave them......

How it's the first thing I think about when I wake up


I know what you mean about it being the first thing you think about. Wouldn`t it be wonderful to not to have to think about it at all


I was never a really regular person but i didn't worry about it. I know through my teens and early 20s i used to go whenever it happened but that wasnt always in the mornings. Probably 4 or 5 times a week was my normal. I remember i was about 23 and i had been on a diet to lose weight and i was having beans on toast for dinner every other day and i felt bloated and miserable and just not right until i gave up the diet. Then when i was 24 i went through another case of not going proper but this may have been because i had a really jealous boyfriend who thought i was texting people on the toilet (madness, didnt even have a mobile) and so he would sit outside the bathroom door. I obviously didnt feel comfortable enough or private enough to go so i stopped going and started with ibs c. In my late 20s and free of the boyfriend i still had problems but orange juice and coffee would help, then started laxatives at 33 and only recently am i trying other things and leaving laxatives alone as much as possible. I am trying to find my new normal and not feel so worked up and anxious about whether i go or not. It is very upsetting. What i do wonder is how much is ibs related to external or internal happenings.


Hi Janke,

I can’t even remember going to the toilet pre ibs. It must have been such a non event. How I would love to be ‘normal’ again instead of going 8 plus times a day and constantly thinking about it when I do manage to get out. Hope we all find our cure soon!


That`s exactly how I feel! I know I must have gone to the loo when I was busy with young children but as you say it was such a non-event I can`t remember how or when I fitted it in!


Fasting. I believe this is the answer. I wrote the linked post two months ago and I am still doing great. Read my advice then...



Yes I know the feeling. Have had mild ibs symptoms for over ten years. Usually start when anxious. Always just before or in the middle of a holiday I suspect when I and my bowel are relaxed!

2 years ago I had pelvic radiotherapy for anal cancer (nothing to do with the ibs). This can have a strange effect on the toilet issues, something recently shared on a Macmillan site I am on.

I am anxious every morning to 'go' before I go out, Then I am anxious to know where the toilets are and some aren't pleasant! This in turn makes me more and more anxious and needing the toilet!

Yes it would be good to remember life without these issues. My cousin and I recently had a conversation about this and had to laugh as we remember our lovely grandma who as she got older was always going on about her toilet visits, we decided we were turning into her, bless her!

Whilst not good to have these problems it is good to share.


A HELL OF A LIFE _ &% - %years into living 6 hours a day. FAMILY & AHAPPY FRAME OF MIND HELP.Keep right on to the end . For me that is 4.30 pm every day. SHIT & SHIT AGAIN> I wake up and stat again LOVELY !!!!????



I believe I have always had a nervous stomach. As a child if I was nervous, scared, had to go somewhere that I didn’t want to go or whatever I had to poo! My stomach would immediately turn and churn sending me running. I think after all the years of this it has taken a toll on my gut. No surprise, seems obvious that the body can only take so much before retaliation!


I`m a bit overwhelmed that so many people bothered to reply. The overall feeling seems to be that in the past we didn`t think about going to the loo at all - and now we think about it all the time!

Even if I am stuck with the symptoms I really hope I can reach a point where it doesn`t dominate my whole life


Hello, I recommend this to everyone with IBS-D symptoms now, because after 27 years of suffering this is now what is working for me, and for the first time I feel that I am in control. It is based on some excellent publications, and also just observing how healthy people live. First, go to the doctors and get yourself checked for intestinal infections, and whatever other tests they want to do. If you are all clear then the first thing to sort out is your vitamins and the timing of your eating. An incident of food poisoning or infection can start you on a cycle that you need to make a concerted effort to break out of. IBS causes vitamin deficiencies which are very difficult to overcome in most people’s diets, especially because you are probably now eating selectively to manage your symptoms. Your vitamin levels affect the health of your guts, and the health of your guts affects your vitamin absorption, so it is a vicious circle that you have to break. Get some really good, expensive, multi-vitamins (ideally constituted for your age) and take them without fail every day before your breakfast. Do not get the ones with calcium and magnesium initially as certainly in large doses these minerals can mess you up as they consume your stomach acid, and you should get enough of these from your diet. If you are on low FODMAPs, go for all lactose free dairy products to boost your calcium. At the same time, sort out your eating and fasting periods straight away. Your small intestine should be practically sterile, and your stomach acid along with bowel cleaning during fasting will usually do this. You need to fast for this to be effective, and by that I mean, absolutely NO eating in between, only water, or tea with saccharin. Imagine that you never washed your dinner plates and just kept putting food on them all the time!, they would be filthy. You need to give your guts plenty of time free of food for cleaning. Eat a good breakfast at say 7am or what suits you and then a good lunch at 12 o'clock - absolutely no food in between. After lunch, no food again for at least 5 hours, and eat well again for your evening meal because it has got to get you through the night. After that, no supper or late night snacks, no food or milk at all until breakfast the next day. In general, do not eat fried or roasted starches, i.e. crisps, chips, roast veg or fried rice. Fried and roasted starches, the high temperature produced lovely crispy bits, are complex polymers that are very bad for you and are very difficult to digest, they feed the bacteria and make you ill. Starches should be boiled, and this is enough. You will feel hunger in the fasting periods, but do not respond to it - only with water and drinks - not fizzy drinks or milk. Importantly, when you are feeling better, do not resort to your old ways, you are still recovering. Start doing some exercise if you don’t already, this will also help with your gut motility. Equally, only eat red meats at lunch time as they take the longest time to digest. Your intestines take time to fully recover, it takes a few weeks at least, and you need to persevere. You then need to maintain a healthy and consistent way of eating and always keep the vitamins topped up to prevent you from relapsing. There is a lot of support for L-glutamine to help with nutrition specifically for your intestinal lining, this means buying some bodybuilder powder and having a couple of tea-spoons of this a day, one before breakfast and one just before you go to bed, and you can have this in a light cordial drink. A lot of this was taken from this GENIUS paper below, but it does fit exactly with what I have experienced, and for the first time I really feel in control and on the mend. Good luck.

Treatment and Management of SIBO — Taking a Dietary Approach Can Control Intestinal Fermentation and Inflammation

By Aglaée Jacob, MS, RD

Today’s Dietitian

December 2012, Vol. 14 No. 12 P. 16


You may also like...