Can you really stop IBS symptoms?
If you’ve been struggling with IBS for any amount of time, I get it. You just want to get back to normal.You just want all that pain and all those symptoms to go away.IBS is tiring emotionally, mentally, and physically. Symptoms feel unpredictable and uncontrollable. After a while you may even give up hope of ever getting your IBS symptoms of pain, bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhea resolved.
Is this just your life? Is IBS something you just have to live with?
Well in my own experience and after working with clients inside of my online hypnotherapy programs for IBS, I can honestly say that no.
You don’t have to live with IBS. You can do something about it, and it is possible to stop IBS symptoms.
So let me share with you my own IBS story, and how I was able to stop IBS symptoms, together with all the frustration and confusion after over a decade of suffering.I hope that my story will inspire you to believe that this is possible for you too.
Being diagnosed with IBS
I was 15 when I experienced my first IBS flare up. Crippling pain, bent over double in absolute agony and feeling like I couldn’t breathe. At the time I was at a friend’s birthday party, a party I had been looking forward to for weeks. And here I was in a blur of pain with only one thought on my mind – I have to get home.
After that initial IBS episode of severe pain I began to experience flare ups more frequently. Each time felt as if someone was squeezing my intestines and wringing them inside out.
That pain would last for hours, sometimes a full 24 hours. Afterwards I would feel as though someone had used my stomach as a punching bag – it was extremely sore and tender.
After experiencing several more painful IBS flare ups, my parents took me to the doctors.
It was then that after several tests came back as “normal”, I was given the diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The Doctor explained that these painful spasms inside of my gut were likely being brought on by emotional stress. At that time in my life this was a combination of school exam stress and my parents’ divorce.
As I sat there listening to the doctor, I remember not fully understanding what he was saying. What was IBS? What did he mean there was nothing I could do about it?
My IBS symptoms continued to get more painful
Once the doctor had finished explaining to me about IBS, I got up leave. As I did, he handed me a prescription for peppermint capsules and told me to take them an hour before having anything to eat to help relieve the pain and bloating.
And off I went.
Unfortunately, as the weeks and months went on my gut became more and more sensitive.
Foods that I had previously eaten were now causing extreme pain and bloating. Fatigue was also now creeping in, and I just felt terrible all the time.
I was still taking the peppermint capsules I had been prescribed, but they barely seemed to help. It was also becoming more and more challenging to plan out when I took them. It also meant spontaneous meals out were a thing of the past.
I often thought to myself, ‘’how is this my life?’’
It all felt so horribly unfair. Perhaps you’ve felt this way too?
Throwing away the IBS label
Far from improving over time, my IBS symptoms seemed to just escalate. By the time I reached my early 20s my life felt completely controlled by my bowel.
Extreme bloating, severe gut pain, and inconsistent bowel movements were all making my life miserable.
It was also around this time that I started to see sizeable amounts of mucus in the toilet bowl. I knew my gut was miserably unhappy, but I had no idea what to do about it.
And just like with so many of my clients, my IBS symptoms didn’t just affect my gut. They impacted my sleep, my social life and my confidence. I got stomach pains if I ate, I got them if I didn’t eat, and nothing seemed to help.
Of course none of this was helped with the frustration of hearing the same thing at the doctors each time I went back… “it’s just IBS and there’s nothing we can do’’.
But after years of debilitating symptoms, I reached a point when I refused to accept the IBS label any longer.
That decision marked the beginning of a whole new chapter of my life.
Taking back control of my gut and IBS myself
From that moment on I read everything I could about IBS and started to understand what was really going inside my gut. I started to put two and two together with what gluten was doing to my body, and the extreme fatigue I felt after eating it.
I was tested for celiac with an endoscopy and after 8 biopsies came back negative, I was told by the gastroenterologist that they had no idea what was causing my symptoms. They also had no answers as to why gluten affected me so badly, but simply recommended to stop eating it!
Now if you’ve ever spent your life eating gluten, this is easier said than done!
It was after those appointments with the gastroenterologist, that I realised that I was going to have to take control of what was happening myself. None of the doctors were able to provide me with real answers, and I knew I couldn’t continue on the way I was with IBS symptoms.
So I kept on making small but significant changes in my life.
In addition to removing gluten from my diet, I also started to look at foods I was eating in more detail, how I was handling my stress and the lifestyle choices I was making.
I went through many months of trial and error, confusion and frustration.
Yes, it’s possible to stop IBS symptoms
When I look back at my first gluten free cooking creations I have to laugh, they were a disaster! But I kept on experimenting and putting into practice everything I was learning. This included how I dealt with my emotional stress which in the past would nearly always send my stomach into severe spasm.
And slowly but surely things started to change for me.
My brain fog began to lift, my energy levels started to return and no longer would I just want to sleep all day. The bloating in my stomach started to reduce and painful spasms became a thing of the past. No more mucus in my stools. My gut became calm. My bowel movements regular and pain free.
Once my symptoms went into remission, I was still left with so many questions…
Why did it happen to me and not someone else?
How do I make sure those IBS symptoms didn’t come back?
What could do to keep on feeling better and better and take control of my health?
Digging into those questions and finding out the answers lead me to what I do today.
They kick-started my journey and training in wellness coaching and hypnotherapy – becoming specialised in gut-directed hypnotherapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for IBS.
These skills together with my own first-hand experience of IBS helped me to create a solid roadmap of the steps you can take to regain control of your IBS symptoms and the many factors which are impacting upon your gut.
So I want you to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
And I hope that by sharing my story you’ll stop believing there is nothing you can do, or you’ll always experience IBS symptoms because that is simply not true.
Do you need help with your IBS?
If you’re tired of struggling with your IBS symptoms alone and you don’t know where to turn next, then you’re in the right place. I work with clients all around the world inside of my gut directed hypnotherapy programs, and with almost 40 years of solid evidence behind it, gut directed hypnotherapy has been shown to reduce IBS symptoms in more than 70-80% of people.
If you’d like to explore whether my program will be the right fit for you, then book your free 30-minute discovery call here, and let’s talk.