Hi, all! It’s IBS Awareness Month.
And in honor of IBS Awareness Month, registered dietitian nutritionist and IBS expert Kate Scarlata has created the campaign #IBelieveinyourStory.
This is the perfect hashtag for IBS Awareness. On the one hand, IBS is a relatively benign condition in that it isn’t fatal and doesn’t usually have any serious complications or consequences besides just, well, feeling crappy. The exception, I’ve noticed in reading a lot of accounts by people who have IBS, is that it seems to sometimes cause unhealthy weight loss, even among those who don’t have any anxiety about food and weight.
But on the other hand, whether or not IBS leads to any serious physical consequences, it can seriously diminish a person’s quality of life, as I wrote about a couple weeks ago. It can be intensely painful; the worst IBS flare-ups I’ve had were more painful the time I broke my finger. And it can be can be super awkward; you don’t want to have to explain to your boss that you had to abruptly run out in the middle of a meeting because you had diarrhea.
Unfortunately, IBS is too often misdiagnosed or unrecognized. This client of Kate Scarlata’s, for instance, wrote that a number of doctors “diagnosed — really dismissed — my condition as ‘just IBS’ without real long-term treatment plans which left me frustrated AND belittled.” I 100% relate to what this client is saying; in fact, a gastroenterologist once flat-out told me that my condition was imagined.
This, in my experience, is where the most awareness of IBS needs to be raised. Thank goodness IBS is not a particularly dangerous condition, and for that reason, I understand that it’s not nearly as urgent to research and treat as much more dangerous conditions. That being said, IBS sufferers do want our stories to be believed, especially by our doctors, and we want those doctors to take seriously the task of helping us find a way to live with it.
Fellow IBS sufferers can participate in the campaign by posting to social media (i.e. those things I’m super-oblivious about like Twitter and Instagram) with the hashtag #IBelieveinyourStory.
And on that note, here’s what I ate on Wednesday. Thanks to Jenn, Arman, and Laura for hosting the link-up. (I continue to be a very hungry caterpillar and find myself eating about every two hours or so. It’s exhausting but I know I need to respond to that hunger.)
Breakfast: Cheerios with lactose-free milk, half a grapefruit, and two vegan soy sausages. I’ve discovered I like this brand of soy sausages much better if I cook them in a pan with a little oil rather than just microwaving them. Went back for a little more Cheerios because I was still hungry.
Lunch: Turkey sandwich on gluten-free oat bread with avocado, baby greens, and half a tomato. I’m experimenting with avocado because, even though I don’t tolerate sorbitol, like, at all, the two different organizations who test FODMAP content have found different levels of sorbitol in avocado, so I’m giving it another try. String cheese and some carrots on the side.
Pre-workout snack: Two rice cakes with almond butter and psyllium husk powder on top. I’m getting gradually more used to the psyllium husk powder my dietitian recommended I add for fiber, but I still find it pretty funky.
Supper: I made this delicious Chicken Tikka Masala from Strength and Sunshine. I made my own curry, guys! I felt so badass. Plus rice that I’m still bad at cooking–how can something so simple be so difficult?–and broccoli.
Have a story you’d like to share about IBS? Feel free to leave it here in the comments section! (Or, even better, head over to Kate’s blog and leave it there.)
Ever worked with a medical professional who didn’t believe your story? (about IBS or anything) So frustrating!