A pre warning, yes I’m going to talk about poo. Why? Because it’s important. Some of you might see it as over sharing, but to be honest, the more we talk about it the more people will find help for something that really affects their lives.
Once upon a time there was a little girl with beautiful shiny brown hair in a questionable bowl cut. This is my story.
I don’t remember it starting. But my mum does. I was a toddler and learning to use the potty. Apparently I would struggle to go and then golf ball sized poos would appear with a lot of pain and discomfort.
I don’t think I really suffered with IBS though after that until I was at university, learning how to fend for myself, remembering to eat and new routines all made for a tricky time for my tummy.
I would bloat up massively if I didn’t eat at regular intervals. Having to share a bathroom with others made it worse as if I didn’t go as soon as I needed to it would then lead to constipation. Not drinking enough water, too much alcohol, not enough fruit and vegetables all made matters a lot worse. By bowel was like an angry, grumpy monster.
Do you have one of those?
But even when I left uni, moved into my own house, learnt how to cook proper food and look after myself I was still struggling. The monster was still haunting me.
Going out for dinner was hard, to the point where I would avoid it. I needed to eat by 6pm and if I didn’t, my tummy would start to ‘digest’ anyway. So if there was nothing in there it would produce acid and gas. If I was going out later than that I looked pregnant by the time I got there and felt so full from the gas that I couldn’t even eat. If I did eat I would be in a lot of pain.
Teaching made things tricky too. You can’t go to the toilet when you want to, let alone need to. Stress makes IBS worse as well. So a combination of that made for constipation again and lots of pain.
I was also ill a lot. Not because I wasn’t eating properly, I really was. But because my bowel was ill and not absorbing the nutrients correctly. This is what gets missed a lot.
Things got a bit better when I left work to have my girls. I could go to the toilet when I wanted, I was less stressed. I certainly wasn’t really going out for dinner!
Then it got worse again. When I started to diet. Restricting foods, eating ‘diet’ foods full of aspartame made me bloated again. I lost weight, but my tummy stayed bloated. There was often a different in 6-8cm during the day of my tummy size. I looked pregnant. And I was poorly lots too.
So is there a happy ending?
Digestive enzymes have been my night in shining armour. My bowel is now not irritable in the slightest, in fact it is very happy indeed. It absorbs the nutrients I put in it and deals with things like eating out at random times so much better than it used to.
Other things have helped along the way, learning what foods affect my body in what ways so I can make informed choices. Learning about how to nourish my body by eating foods that add value instead of destroy it. These have been the supporting roles in the story.
But yes, the hero is the digestive enzymes, if you think you need these in your life, or know a loved one who does, please get in touch. Because everyone should be living their happy ever after story.