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  • Writer's pictureDr. Corina Kibsey

10 things only someone with ibs would understand

One of the most commonly treated conditions in my naturopathic practice is IBS. It stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. But if you’re reading this, then chances are you already knew that.

What you may not know is that there are 3 main types of IBS. IBS-D, which is mostly diarrhea, IBS-C which is predominantly constipation, and IBS-M, which stands for “mixed” (it alternates between phases of constipation and diarrhea).

All three types of IBS involve abdominal pain and a decreased quality of life. IBS can severely affect your day-to-day life. But… sometimes we’ve just gotta laugh at ourselves and what we go through. I compiled this list below based on patient experiences as well as some of my very own. Can you relate?

1. You’re well-versed in all the best public bathrooms in your area

You know which restaurants and cafes allow you to use their washroom without buying something. Union Station? Last stall on the right is your best friend. You know the quietest bathroom at work or on campus. You even know which friends’ houses have the best washrooms. Years of research have made you an expert on this topic.

2. You’ve cancelled plans more than a few times because of your bowels

And probably lied about why. “Hey, you couldn’t make it to Joe’s party last weekend?” No, I was… really busy with work? (a.k.a. on the toilet all night).

3. Your legs go numb on the regular

Anyone with IBS knows that sitting on the toilet for long enough will make you numb from the waist down. And after all that time you already spent in the bathroom, you need to learn how to walk again.

4. You avoid spicy foods like the plague

Otherwise, you will suffer dearly. “Oh, your mouth can’t handle even mild spice?” No, no. Trust me, my mouth can handle spice just fine. It’s the intestines that can’t.

5. You have to pretend to be sympathetic when someone tells you they have diarrhea for one day

Don’t get me wrong, diarrhea is never fun. For anyone. But have you ever had a friend or family member talk about how they had diarrhea after eating something that didn’t agree with them and you’re just like… that’s it? One time? What is this, amateur hour??

6. Or having to pretend to be sympathetic when someone tells you they had constipation for one day

“I haven’t pooped since yesterday”. Meanwhile you’re over here not having pooped since J.Lo’s last engagement (those happen about once a week right?).

7. You’ve clogged your fair share of toilets

Oh, the horror. That sinking feeling (no pun intended) when you flush and nothing happens. I still haven’t figured out what to do when this happens… just walk away and pretend everything’s OK? Any and all tips appreciated from my fellow IBS-ers on this one.

8. You’ve pooped your pants… as an adult

I think it would surprise you just how many of my patients say this has happened to them. It can make you feel full of shame, but not to worry! You’re not alone in this. People don’t really tell their friends about that time they shat themselves, but they sure do tell their naturopath! So I’m here to tell you that it’s more common than you might think. That is what I am here for, to help you prevent this not-so-fun experience from ever happening again.

9. You hate road trips

“Roaaadddd tripppp!!!” No thanks. Being stuck in a car with other people? Not knowing where and when the next bathroom stop is? Yeah, sounds like my worst nightmare. I’ll take a plane and meet you there.

10. You’ve blamed your fair share of smelly farts on the dog

Dog, cat, friend’s baby? They’re all better than admitting that foul stench came from you.

So, what did I miss? I’m sure there are a bunch more. Let me know in the comments what IBS-related situations you’ve experienced for yourself. Instead of being ashamed of IBS, let’s have a little fun and laugh at ourselves. And if you want to get better control over your IBS, click “Contact” at the top of the page and book in with Dr. Corina, Naturopathic Doctor today.

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