Friday, 13 March 2015

The Realities of living with IBS - IBS attacks

I’ve been debating doing this post for some time now, due to the very nature of it. But really, this is a reality for so many people. It's estimated the 20%-25% of the population suffer from IBS. But i will tone things down a bit for those of you who haven’t had to put up with any sort of bowel problems before.

I definitely think there are varying degrees of IBS, for those who don’t know 
IBS = Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 
The mere fact that it is labelled a syndrome suggests you have it on a permanent basis, however i do believe i have quite a severe case of it.

If you want to find out more about IBS check out this Bupa article

Honestly, it’s all about managing it. But like anything, it’s hard to keep on top of and maintain control. About 18 months ago, after suffering really badly with it, i realised i actually get IBS attacks. Within a week i had two of these attacks, one i suffered on my own but the second, my parents witnessed and were on the brink of calling an ambulance. 

It made me realise just how life altering a syndrome this is and something that needs to be talked about. 

Here’s where we get icky… stop reading if you are easily grossed out. 
I thought it might be helpful to quickly sum up an attack as you might relate to it if you already suffer from IBS or its sounds similar to something you're going through and you may want to run it past your GP/doctor.

First off, is major pain in my stomach coupled with extreme tiredness. Then something similar to gastroenteritis (diarrhoea/vomiting), which you’ll know is always awful to go through. But most of my symptoms don’t fully develop till about 5 mins later. I always become light headed, i struggle to stand up, very often i loose my sight or black clouds form infront of my eyes. I start shaking and i mix between being too hot and too cold (similar to a fever).

These attacks are really scary to go through, especially for the first time and if you don’t know why it’s happening. But when i know I'm going through an attack there are a couple of things i try to do, at the very least i sit down. But quite often if i can make it, i’ll lye down on my bed and get under the covers to counteract the shivering. I try to drink some water if i can. What i hate most about these attacks is the mental confusion, whilst going through it, i find it very hard to talk or communicate with my family about what’s happening or how i’m feeling. Also, my body usually goes into a state of shock afterwards, i usually lay in bed or try to sleep for up to a couple of hours afterwards.

I think it all sounds horrendous and scary, but once you’ve realised whats happening and why, it helps you to cope.

I feel it really necessary to share this as i've yet to find much information about these attacks. I feel like people are maybe too embarrassed to share this, but for me, its my life. If i can help anyone by writing this, then it'll be worth it.

Don't worry, i'll be back to my usual posts soon :)

Much love, Beth xxx