So, I think I’ve made it pretty clear that having IBS sucks. It’s definitely not something that you would want to happen, even to your enemies. But the good news is that you can live with it and cope without allowing it to alter the quality of life that you enjoy.
The first step you need to take is to see your doctor. Your doc can help you figure out which treatment or treatments will help your particular IBS.
Learn about your disease. Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge is power. Read as much as you can about IBS and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor any and all questions you have, no matter how stupid or embarrassing they seem. The more you know, the better you can cope with your condition.
Keep a journal of your symptoms and triggers. Also, be sure to keep track of what you eat. This way, you can figure out what your individual triggers are and learn to avoid them.
Don’t be embarrassed! Talk to friends, family members, and co-workers to help cope with this disease. Your peers are great support for you, and you deserve and need all the support you can get. There are also IBS support groups online such as www.ibsgroup.org. Sometimes, it can help to just talk to others who are dealing with IBS and to know that you’re not alone in what you’re dealing with.
Be prepared. We’ve all heard of embarrassing situations where people have literally lost their crap due to a bowel issue. Acknowledge that you have a disease, and always know where the nearest restroom is. Trust me—preparation is half the battle.
Do what you can to stay stress-free. Exercise on a regular basis—this is a great stress reliever. If you need to, go see a therapist or stress manager to help cope with your illness and stress.
What do you do to cope with your IBS?