lifestyle

It was the most beautiful night with my girlfriends. And then this happened

By EVA BOTANY.

It was the most beautiful night.

A friend’s dinner party – full of love, laughter and the kind of conversation that can only be managed when there are seven girls all crowded around one very small table.

And of course, there was food. We gorged on spaghetti, freshly baked bread, luscious salads and a gorgeously light chocolate mousse to top it all off.

Driving home, I was feeling pretty great – full, but happy – and I was waiting patiently in traffic, singing along to my iPod.

And then I felt it.

The slow, dull ache taking up residence in my stomach and lower intestines. The bloating of my stomach. The pain of the gas building up inside my body.

I was dangerously close to tears. Not because of the pain – I was used to the pain.

I was crying because Irritable Bowel Syndrome had ruined yet another evening for me.

IBS is the kind of syndrome where it feels like no one knows what is wrong with you.

IBS can cause bloating, gas, stomach pains, constipation and the all-too-unpleasant diahorrea. It also makes me too scared to leave the house. You never want to go anywhere unless you know that there’s a bathroom in very close proximity. Car trips are almost completely out of the question.

Sometimes it can feel like this

With my doctor’s guidance, I tried a whole lot of things to help with my IBS – or at least improve my gut health so that I could go back to living the same life as all my 22-year-old friends.

Lactose was the first thing to go. I cut all of it out of my diet – but when that failed to make much of a change, I also cut out gluten.

If you’re wondering what is left to eat when gluten and lactose are cut… there are really not a lot of possibilities in my opinion. Going out to dinner was a nightmare. Rice, chicken and vegetables essentially became the staple items of my diet.

I started keeping a strict food diary, but it didn’t show any patterns. Sure, stomach upsets often happened after I ate cheese, but they were also aggravated by sushi and apples and doughnuts and dumplings and everything else you can imagine.

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I cut all alcohol, all artificial sweeteners, all foods my doctor told me to avoid (which was a lot). But I was still getting IBS symptoms more often than I would have preferred.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Flordis. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

There is a happy ending to this story. About a year later, I reduced my IBS symptoms – and this is because I’ve developed a system for taking care of my body. It may not work for you and your body, but here’s what has worked for me better than cutting out any food groups…

1. I’m gentle with myself.

My gut needs to heal, and that’s a time-consuming process. To help it along the way, I still eat relatively plain foods – nothing that’s very spicy, rich or heavy – and I drink plenty of water. I never overeat and I limit my alcohol intake – alcohol always makes a huge difference to how happy my gut is. However, I no longer cut out anything in particular, including lactose or gluten. My food diary showed, it wasn’t either of those things causing me problems, and so I believe there is no need for me to limit them.

Yoga, meditation and breathing exercises have helped Eva reduce her IBS symptoms

2. I don’t panic.

I used to freak out anytime that my stomach made even the smallest rumble, and the panicking just made a bad situation worse. But yoga, meditation and breathing exercises have taught me a lot about stopping to just take a moment, breathe and listen. If I listen to my stomach, I know that it’s usually just hungry or digesting – it’s not necessarily going to go pear-shaped.

3. I take medication when necessary.

Iberogast has been a great natural relief. I always have it in the cupboard, and in my bag for when the symptoms start and find it helpful on holidays, when I might be keen to try food that I know may not necessarily react well with my stomach. And I’m not scared to eat out and socialise with my friends anymore because the IBS symptoms; gas, cramping and bloating – are significantly reduced.

What do you have to deal with on a daily basis that is uncomfortable or embarrassing, and how do you deal with it?

For nights when you do want to go out with friends, try these whacky food joints…

Flordis Iberogast is an all-in-one natural medicine clinically proven to treat IBS or indigestion symptoms, such as heartburn, cramping, fullness, nausea, gas, stomach pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea. Talk to your pharmacist, doctor or naturopath about Iberogast. Don’t be caught off guard, always keep a bottle of Iberogast in the cupboard.

flordis.com.au

Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.

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