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To be terrified of my new job (IBS related)?

(26 Posts)
TheSeventhHorcrux Sun 14-Apr-13 10:41:58

I have IBS and not a lot of people know at all because I find it cripplingly embarrassing.

In a high stress situation, where there are no available/easily accessible SECLUDED toilets, normally with strangers, when it's quiet etc my IBS flairs up. When it does it feels like my intestines are swelling to the point of explosion and that I HAVE to go to the toilet right now. I've had this on buses, car trips, planes, meetings, round other people's houses, restaurants, shops etc.
One of the worst bits blush blush is getting to a loo and the noise/smell blush which is obviously why thin walls/shared/busy toilets are a nightmare.

I start a new job in a week that is a great opportunity (promotion, great company, excellent prospects, related to my degree) but I was genuinely considering turning down. About 60-70% of the job requires me to minute large, important meetings... My idea of a hellish IBS situation.

AIBU to be terrified (of the envitable pain, embarrassing myself etc) and should I withdraw my acceptance?

Ps. Tried peppermint capsules with little luck sad

maddening Sun 14-Apr-13 10:48:24

Get those heat packs that heat up when you open them - I find heat can often soothe me when I have an ibs attack.

FriendlyLadybird Sun 14-Apr-13 10:57:51

Do not, repeat DO NOT turn down this job. It was that sort of thinking about IBS that made my DH agoraphobic for 10 years.

A number of things:
- Have you had yourself properly tested? My DH's so-called IBS was actually caused by bile malabsorption. Apparently a lot of people previously diagnosed with IBS actually have this.
- Get yourself some CBT, or read a self-help book and do the exercises. They really help.
- Have you tried buscopan? My DSD also has IBS and says this really helps her.
- A low fibre diet with no onions and twice-cooked potatoes (i.e. no over chips or reheated potatoes) is also supposed to be helpful.

CSIJanner Sun 14-Apr-13 11:02:20

Ladybird summed it up - my family suffer from it, especially in stressful times. Dietary changes, warmth and a structured diet plan once tested by the hospital has helped a lot.

storminabuttercup Sun 14-Apr-13 11:03:09

A few years ago I was the same, I had it for years and years and it made my life hell. My doctor prescribed mebeverine and loperimide and I'm fine now, I go on trips etc with no worries. I also had CBT which worked wonders.

I was unsure about taking loperimide so often and for so long but I use it to control my bowels with no side effects, I never take more than 8 per day and if I'm at home for the day I don't take any.

It's not for everyone but it helps me.

Please don't let ibs rule your life

TheSeventhHorcrux Sun 14-Apr-13 11:15:03

I have been tested (for Celiac and Crohns) but the IBS diagnosis was more of a default diagnosis - its a "well, it's probably IBS" result.

I think changing my diet is going to have to be my next action. I hadn't the energy to properly do it before or the time (excuses!)

BreasticlesNTesticles Sun 14-Apr-13 11:20:59

Use lopermide to control the symptoms if you are going into meetings, is it an anxiety problem rather than IBS?

I ask that as I have GAD and my anti d's work a treat on my IBS, so if you can treat the anxiety (not saying drugs but maybe CBT) then the IBS may improve.

TheSeventhHorcrux Sun 14-Apr-13 11:33:03

I'm not sure because most of the attacks are anxiety linked but there are some that aren't at all.

projectbabyweight Sun 14-Apr-13 11:40:03

I strongly recommend you google the Specific Carbohydrate Diet - it worked for me, almost immediately (colitis). Just have a look at the UK and US amazon reviews of the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle, which is based on the diet.

Do try it, even just for a week, I can't bear the thought of people suffering unnecessarily.

EuroShaggleton Sun 14-Apr-13 11:45:25

You really need to learn your triggers. Mine were mainly dairy and very fibrous things like grape and pepper skins. I found this out by trial and error. And sometimes it did just seem to be random.

It should improve with time. Now, as long as I don't eat large amounts of dairy, I can eat anything with no reaction, no bloating and so on. It has taken about 15 years to get to this point though.

Loulybelle Sun 14-Apr-13 11:51:02

I have the same issues, as you, when im stressed IBS gets worse, so in my handbag, i have imodium and paracetamol, i only take the imodium in really bad cases, and tablets for the cramping, it helps because when your not worried about that, the stress goes down.

Loulybelle Sun 14-Apr-13 11:56:05

Also greasy food is a big trigger of mine, and foods high in salt,

ConfusedPixie Sun 14-Apr-13 13:26:36

Slightly different but I have bladder problems and have similar problems with urgency and the same sort of things ended with me in tears from panicking about getting to a loo.

Don't turn the job down. Don't let it control your life. Once you start you may have many a few moments where you think "I can't fucking do this!" but you'll get through it, and will come out the other side feeling more confident about it, which is enough to take the edge off of it. I found that the more I got used to it, the easier it was to handle RE the urgency and panicking.

I know that they are not the same thing, but I'm betting that the stress it causes and then the urgency from that stress feel pretty similar (and the vicious cycle of the two).

I have gut problems (though not to the extent of IBS at all) as well and discovered that gluten is a big trigger for me. I cut it out 6 or so weeks ago now after a particularly bad day at work with it and the change has been amazing gut-wise. I went from very urgent, windy, painful 'movements' that were messy and smelly and within a week it regulated. It seems to have been by biggest trigger but I've been noting down what I've eaten if I have had a weird movement and nightshades are another trigger for me. They are both meant to be quite common triggers for people with funny guts.

I second the SCD diet, I'm not on it myself but work with children who are on it and it's really interesting.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 14-Apr-13 13:28:53

This may be a stupid question which has already occurred to you, but have you already checked whether they have a disabled toilet?

TheSeventhHorcrux Sun 14-Apr-13 13:34:53

I didn't think to check Re: disabled toilet.

It's a big company in a big building so I imagine so.

I think the new job being so full of "triggers" may push me into really making the effort to limit my diet and see what does and doesn't make it worse because I've tried before but very half-heartedly because it is such a mission to record everything you consume and control it on the long-term (i've never been able to diet for weight loss either!)

It's good to know that I'm not the only one who has it though, it is very embarrassing and very alienating.

ConfusedPixie Sun 14-Apr-13 13:42:24

Have you tried cutting out the common triggers for short periods to see if it helps? I can never be arsed to do the full food diary/record thing which is really lazy of me but I do keep a track of the big ones: grains, dairy, salt, alcohol, garlic, gluten, there are other big ones but those are the ones I remember. Red meat as well I think, I'm a veggie so don't track that one. Apples can be for many (it's one of the first things you cut out hen you do the SCD diet) and chocolate too.

Obviously you should try to talk to a dietician about it, I'm having enough trouble trying to get the doctor to see me let alone refer me for anything so I just got rid of the biggest of my triggers!

DeskPlanner Sun 14-Apr-13 14:57:20

No advice, but it sounds really difficult for you. thanks
Good advice from the pp. There should be a disabled toilet there, and you should use it. Please try not to worry. Good luck in your new job, more thanks .

thetrackisback Sun 14-Apr-13 15:24:21

I found a high protein low carb diet the best. You can also get better medication than peppermint and also pro and pre biotics really help. The main thing is to sort out the anxiety as the is probably going to make it worse. Maybe cbt or some kind of anti anxiety medication could help. I also find brazenly saying phew somebody has made a right smell in here helps too!!!

MistyB Sun 14-Apr-13 15:31:58

No dairy, no grains (except rice) and twice cooked potatoes (refrigerating the cooked potatoes overnight changes the proteins). Look at the Paleo diet threads for info.

ConfusedPixie Sun 14-Apr-13 16:01:26

Misty: Do you have any links to the potatoes thing? That's really interesting. I'm going to look at the paleo threads too, never realised there were paleo-eaters on here!

MistyB Sun 14-Apr-13 16:17:35

No link I'm afraid. Just a discussion and nutrition trip from allergist / immunologist.

montage Sun 14-Apr-13 16:35:49

The new fodmap diet for IBS was tested on a huge scale in Australia and worked for 75% of people.

I started it a few weeks ago, have never had such a long period without an IBS attack in 20 years and have had many (many!) of the normal triggering situations - but without IBS. Which amazed me.

I just eat the foods on the "low fodmap" list and avoid the high fodmap" ones basically.

And because it is so specific, telling you exactly which veg, fruit, grains, sweetners, treats etc you should and shouldn't choose it is easy enough to follow. Slightly boring for the first few weeks (after which you can reintroduce foods to work out which ones are ok for you). But that's a small price to pay vs IBS!

projectbabyweight Sun 14-Apr-13 17:42:11

Incidentally the paleo diet and SCD diets are very similar smile

Orangerevel Sun 14-Apr-13 19:18:34

I suffer with this too. I am moving offices soon and there are few toilets between a lot of staff. I am dreading it. Good luck with your new job, hope it goes well for you.

Doubtfuldaphne Sun 14-Apr-13 20:05:08

I know exactly how you feel sad
I've had it for 6 years and it is nearly all anxiety related. I left my job because of it and didn't go out unless it was in my safe little window of a few hours in the day. It got too much and I just decided I'd had enough of it ruling my life
It's still a struggle if I stay away from home or eat out but I am fighting it. First I had blood tests to rule out coeliac, ibd, thyroid, etc then ha a referral to a gastroenterologist who reffered me for a gastroscopy and endoscopy AND I got a referral to a dietician!
So please make sure they do every test they can to diagnose ibs.
I have tried all the drugs going but found anti spasmodics didn't work.
The only thing I find helpful is codeine. It hasn't cured me but its helped a bit. If I have a big occasion I take a few Imodiums to get me through the day bit it can make you feel crampy and bloated for up to a week later if you're like me
I have now started working again but only on a casual basis so I can take the Imodium or codeine for that day then recover before I need to work again
I would say fight the ibs and take the job because the more you give in to it the more it takes hold of your life.

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