Category Archives: Life With IBS

Caution: Toxic Gas

IBS GASDay Two: Of IBS Smooth…ies

All I can say is, I went a whole day with out a bowel movement ( I still don’t know if that’s normal… how many times does a normal person poop in a day?). I haven’t done that for months. I didn’t have to rush to the bathroom after any meal and I only finished half of the shake yesterday. Today, my goal is to drink the whole thing. I am more than halfway through. Today it didn’t taste as gross as it did yesterday…

One of the reasons I don’t eat “green” things such as lettuce, broccoli, ect. is because it gives me such bad gas. I am talking worse than a spartan kicked, dead horse who has been laying to decompose for days. I don’t really get why, but it just happens, and so out of the respect of other people I tend to stay FAR away from those things. It is the one thing that tends to constipate me and usually requires a suppository to release it (any thoughts why??). One of my thoughts was that if I blended in spinach, I might be able to digest it better because it was already pretty cut up (Logical right? Def. not scientific). I think my hypothesis is wrong. Today I had gas that was almost worse than the the spartan kicked dead horse (sorry so graphic, but some of you understand)…and it happened to slip out during work, and I share an office. I quickly started putting on smelly lotion trying to cover it up before my office mate came back in… I don’t know who was more embarrassed the one who tried to cover it up or the one making the stanky face. The good thing was that any pain or discomfort was relieved when the gas passed… I guess a win/lose.

I have received a few great ideas for recipes. I am leaning towards trying oatmeal/oats in my next batch and perhaps strawberries. Should I go without banannas? Or is there something that is really good at covering up that taste? My second thought was maybe take out the green stuff and just add chocolate… why not? I bet I could find some dairy free healthy chocolate at Whole Foods! Keep the recipes coming, I’m going to need them! I tried a few other “food fixes” that are proving to be helpful. But there is no way in hell you are pulling the pop tarts away from me!

Making IBS Smooth…ies

IMG_3614This weekend I hit my breaking point with my IBS. I decided it was time to try something new. I knew that I was lacking some nutrition not only because of my rapid release rate of stool, but because I was avoiding so many foods that scared me. I received a $100 bonus this week and so I went to Walmart, I know not your headquarters for classy, but it was cheap. My goal for the weekend was to make a smoothie that would give me protein and the nutrients I was missing while catering to my IBSD. In my research online, I found that if you are suffering from predominantly diarrhea  than to lay off of the apples, pears, oranges, and ripe bananas. It said to focus on mango’s, ripe (almost brown) bananas, blueberries, and strawberries. On the green side I decided to try avocado and spinach. I was going to add Kefir, but my only bottle had gone bad. I ended up using Almond/Coconut Breeze milk. Now I have never made a shake like this before, so I decided to just go all out the first time to see how it worked. I bought 5 containers so that I could freeze them and pull them out for breakfast on my way to work. It took two full blenders to fill the five containers. I was horrified at first, it was a pretty purple until the spinach hit, then it was absolutely nauseating to look at when it reached the green color. I decided I need to be brave, I would eat it. IMG_3616Once I tasted it, I decided it was not the end of the world. It was time to add the last ingredient that my RD had recommended, protein powder. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to bulk up, I am literally trying to not wither away (see this post for details).  I am using some super advanced vanilla powder. I was shocked when it said add 2 scoops to one serving, but there was no way in hell that was going to happen. I ended up putting three scoops in each blender, and I think it turned out fine. I think the key to my smoothie journey is to go slow. As all IBS’ERS know, it’s better to slowly make your way into something rather than rushing in and finding your body hates it with a passion.

Today I drank my first one, it was a whole pint and I almost made it through the whole thing. Yesterday I was pretty sick and so I wasn’t too hungry today…So I did baby steps. I have always known that my IBS is partially mental. If I have had bad experiences with food in the past, I “think” or “know” I will again and so I am either too scared to eat it, or my body gets worked up and stressed, causing an “outburst” if you know what I mean… I thought this would be a good way to eat green leafy vegetables. I haven’t been able to eat a salad without diarrhea for years, I am wondering if because it is already chopped up that it will be easier to digest and will stay for awhile. Well here is to trying! Does anyone have any good IBSD shake recipes for me to try out? SHARE SHARE SHARE!

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I Wish I Could Get Fat.

skinny womanLast night I heard it again, “Wow, you look skinny, have you been trying to lose weight?” No you blithering idiot I have IBS[D] and am currently suffering from malnutrition. I politely responded with “well thank you!” Deep down I could only think, I wish I could gain a pound or two. You never hear that coming from a a 20 something year old girl who could rock a bikini if needed. Here is the thing though, I wish I could eat and enjoy the consequences of a little muffin top. Instead, when I eat that cookie or chocolate cake, it makes me lose 2 lbs in one trip to the bathroom. I know that it is a weird dream to have, but my dream is have a normal body weight. About 3 months ago I did for the first time in my life, I weighed 118 lbs at 5″3. I looked great, felt even better, and was happy. And then stress hit. I moved, started dating someone, and started a new job. Obviously those three things are stressful. I had just finished doing therapy and thought I had it all under control. I thought too soon, in the past two months I have lost a solid 12 lbs and am still on the downhill. I hit 106 last week, which is my lowest weight since I graduated high school (quite a few years ago). I feel awful, I may look like an anorexic model right now, which is hot, but everyone knows those girls are not happy! My biggest fear right now is what happens if I can’t stop losing weight? I have found nothing that can stop it. I eat a meal and in 60 minutes or less it’s gone. Any vitamins I take get lodged in my stomach for days and do me no good. What will happen when I hit my breaking point? Do I get a feeding tube? Does it make me anorexic? I guess it comes down to, why can’t I gain weight? Please leave me with comments about your experiences with IBS, or if you want to just say “hey skinny B* shut up and enjoy the twig life,” that’s cool with me.

 

***The picture above is a slight dramatization of how skinny I am… I am not quite there yet.”

My Colonoscopy Made the Christmas Card

 

colonoscopyIn the American culture there are distinct milestones that make you feel like you are growing up. At 16 you can get your license in most states, at 18 you can vote,  and 21 you can drink. As you age you experience different milestones. At 40 you get your first mammogram and at 50 you get a colonoscopy. When I was 21 I spent some time completing  church service mission and was put on many medications that made my weight escalated to 128 lbs in 1 month (I started at 108). I had been prescribed Doxepin, to control my anxiety.  I was going through a constipation period (IBSC) and literally could get nothing out. I did not have a bowl movement for 2 weeks straight. My appetite had changed too, I was starving. I ate all of the time, I would even eat my trigger foods and nothing happened. Over-eating and constipation don’t mix. I looked as if I was 5 months pregnant. Even with a regular dosage of laxatives and fiber nothing was moving. It was like two mom’s on black Friday fighting over the last Easy Bake Oven, neither would give in. The Doctor (whom I dislike immensely) decided it was time for my first colonoscopy. It was one of those milestones I was hoping I could wait for. Most people get theirs when they are 50, but no I would be 21.  I got mine the same year both my parents did, we put it in the Christmas card… The colonoscopy itself was not bad. It was the prep that rivaled Satan himself. At the time I was staying in a dormitory with all girls. There was no such thing as a private bathroom. That day everyone got to experience my atomic bomb. It lasted hours, I couldn’t get off of the toilet for anything. When I thought it was over, I finally fell asleep. To my utter embarrassment I woke up covered in what was left of my stomach.  All I could do was cry, no 21 year old wants to acknowledge the lack of bowel control. As a child you are tormented if you wet the bed. All I could think was what will people think of an adult, who craps the bed? It was a very low moment in my life. I threw my sheets away and stood in the shower at 3 am in the morning all by myself. I just cried and cried. This was not what I wanted in life, I wanted to be normal, I wanted to feel good. When I made it to the doctor’s they weighed me, the prep had made me lose 13.5lbs. That’s a lot of food storage for a girl so little. It was Valentines day, and I guess you could say I got some action… From a tube and older aged doctor with latex gloves on… I was just happy I was knocked out for the procedure. All they could find was some spots and bad traction (whatever that means), nothing was “alarming” though. It was reassuring to know I didn’t have Colon Cancer or Crohn’s. No answer’s is always good news, but it also puts you back at square one, it’s a catch 22.

60 Minutes or Less…

outhouseAs I mentioned earlier I have IBS[D]. Which means I have no trouble with constipation. It all flows through me pretty easy, and fast. One of the characteristics of my IBS is that I literally cannot keep food in me. I call it “60 minutes or less.” Here is a common scenario in my life. I sit down for a meal and eat it. I enjoy the family banter for awhile, or if I am on my lunch break I enjoy my book. Once the food settles I begin to cramp. Not just a muscle cramp, but my entire lower body starts to tense up and contract. You can hear noises coming from my intestines, it feels like they are pushing the food through as if it is the fast lane at Walmart. When that happens the only thing to do is find.a.bathroom. Most of the time it is not extremely hard to find one, it is however embarrassing no matter where the bathroom is. At work it means you take a few more minutes in there and everyone knows what is going on. At home it has proven to be beneficial in some ways. I get my own bathroom, and when it’s time to do the dishes I can’t go another second without exploding. Once those cramps hit, I find refuge. Once in the bathroom you just sit there, and then “Old Faithful” erupts. It is not too bad time wise, it only last about 5 to 7 minutes and everything comes out in liquid form.  I know this is all gross, I think it is too. If you are living with IBS, here are some scenarios to make sure you are prepared.

-Road trip- make sure you have pepto and extra underwear….

-Date- Don’t eat… Ever

-If only the oppisite sex bathroom is open, go for it…  When you got to go, you got to go

-Party- Pretend to eat small snacks and slip them in your purse so you can eat them when you get home.

-Family Gathering- if your family knows about your IBS… Eat, and then disappear for awhile, they will never know the difference.

Many people have noticed my regular trips to the bathroom after a meal, I have been asked on several occasions if I have an eating disorder. To avoid that label, I usually tell them my intestines don’t work right. It is an awful horrible, no good, very bad syndrome. I guess I will just live with it. There have been countless times where I have found myself in a “sticky” situation. All I can say is if the people around you at the time are not your friends, they sure will be when you are done in their bathroom.

Trigger Foods

Whenever you see a specialist (I’ve seen many), they tell you to look for your trigger foods. I have spent countless days trying to figure these pesky trigger foods out. Here is a list of food I have cut out because they make me sick…

Broccoli, peppers, onions and most green vegitables- Gives me the most fowl smelling gas and diarrhea

Lettuce- I will eat if on a sandwich, but if it is a full out salad, I only eat it if I am                           constipated, that will clear things out in no time.

Soda Pop- I have always loved the taste of soda, but every time I drink it I get gas for days and diarrhea.

Milk- I take in no milk products, I am lactose in tolerant and it makes my IBS just that much worse.

Soy- Soy messes up the birth control which helps me control my hormones to regulate my stress which is a major cause of IBS

Grease- I stay away from fast foods, anything made with oil and just super greasy things. I lost my gallbladder while trying to determine was my “problem” was and so it makes it very difficult to digest anything fatty.

This list will continue to grow…. I’m Sure