My Current Treatment Regimen

I use a couple different things to manage my symptoms:
  • Imodium: I take a half tablet by mouth every evening after dinner. If you are thinking about trying this, please read the entire post I wrote about it so you know the ups and downs. The limit for this is 16mg per day, but be careful if you're reaching this limit and make sure you're talking to your gastroenterologist if you're getting close to that dose.
  • Avoiding my trigger foods: 
    • I keep a food diary on This is helpful not only because you can compare what you ate to when your symptoms occurred, but it helps me make sure I'm getting enough calories to maintain my weight since my diet is so limited. 
    • I also keep a symptom diary in Excel that lists my common symptoms, and I put in the severity of each (from 1-5) if I experience it that day. That might sound confusing- basically I list my common symptoms in the first column, then I list the days of the month in the subsequent columns in the first row. Hopefully that makes sense. If not, email me and I'll send you a template. 
    • Obviously avoiding your trigger foods is key, so figure out early what foods cause you to have symptoms you don't want to have and cut them out. If you get better, it's most likely a trigger food. Make sure you eventually try to add this food back in when you're comfortable. I've found that foods that triggered my symptoms are perfectly fine for me weeks or months later. You don't want to get in the habit of cutting out foods and never trying them again or you'll end up like me- eating bagels, cereal and rice all the time too afraid to try anything else. 
  • GasX EX: I take these when I can't stand how bloated I am...usually when it becomes painful and I'm having a hard time passing it. I don't take it very often, but when I do I take, at most, 1 or 2 chewable tablets a day. Be aware there's a limit to how many you can take, so make sure to read the box.  
  • A heating pad: I'm not sure where I'd be without this thing. I use it for my abdominal pain, and this is a HUGE help. Make sure you have at least one layer of clothing between your skin and the heating pad because it could burn you. 
    • Having friends that understand: This is huge. If I had to hide my IBS from my friends/boyfriend, I don't know what I'd do. It's so much easier to say, "I'm feeling really sick after dinner, so I won't be able to come out," instead of trying to make something up when you have to back out of plans. I'm incredibly open about it with my boyfriend (poop descriptions are fair game even...seriously), and that helps me feel like I'm not alone in this.
    • Exercise: This mostly helps me feel more "alive." It also has helped me because it's an outlet for the anger I have towards IBS since it's basically ruining my life.