Anyone who suffers with the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) knows how debilitating this condition can be. Read on to learn more about the symptoms, and what has removed IBS from MY life.
But first, you need to be sure to have seen your doctor to rule out other possible causes!
The gut is often a challenge for healthcare providers to diagnose. It’s a complex array of nerves, fibres, blood vessels and muscle and often the pains we experience can be a misrepresentation. Pain felt in one area may actually be referred from another!
Some Classic Symptoms of IBS
I recall from my career as a paramedic how challenging it was to reach any kind of
(differential) diagnosis in those I attended with abdominal pain; it usually takes much clinical experience and then further tests before a reasonable diagnosis can be established.
Do read and print this!
This resource is very useful and can be printed off and shared, but it should not inform you to the point that you needn’t get that professional doctor’s assessment!
I mentioned my paramedic career… Shift workers, especially those who regularly work over 24/7 are an unhealthy bunch, through no fault of their own!
I used to deliberately dehydrate myself on ‘nights’ because often there would be little opportunity for a loo break, especially when you’re a lone worker! Day shifts aren’t much better due to sheer demand but at least when working as a ‘crew’ you might actually get to hospital with a patient and then grab the chance for a ‘wee!’ As a singleton I would simply bounce from one call to the next, grabbing a bite of packed ‘lunch’ on the go!
So, we begin in this example with dehydration and incorrect eating, leading to poor digestion and absorption, or indigestion! Now add ‘stress’ to the equation, poor sleep quality and pattern, an otherwise surprisingly sedentary role as well as exhaustion, we’ve created the ‘perfect storm’.
I suffered IBS symptoms for at least fifteen years, on and off!
What resolved IBS symptoms for me?
In the couple of years leading to my enforced retirement I began to learn Mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness brought me to a greater understanding than in any of my previous years and allowed healthier cognitions and perceptions. I learned to relax more, having made healthier, conscious choices and to think and feel better; to relax again.
This ‘new’ way of being resolved a great deal of the ‘conditioning’ I had absorbed through my life and allowed me to take back control, rather than continuing to believe I was a victim to all that I was exposed. I started to take responsibility and to become accountable for my actions and the results of those actions. I took the opportunity of so much ‘ill-health’ experience, my own and of others, found a passion for mental health advocacy and started re-training.
My journey continues with mindfulness and it will never end in this life. Suffering no more from long sleepless periods and an unhealthy eating regime and the significant stressors that led me to endure IBS for so long means I can now reflect on being IBS free for something approaching five years!”
Will ‘mindfulness’ help you?
I have now successfully assisted a number of clients with whom I have worked to improve their gut issues and IBS symptoms, but there are no guarantees! I wouldn’t see anyone until they had been reviewed by their GP first.
Once food intolerances and lifestyle choices are managed and any other major concerns are ruled out, I believe coming back to a place of greater life-balance, learning ‘to be’ rather than ‘to do’ all the time, you too could see an improvement in your digestion and the effects of IBS. After you’ve seen your GP, I recommend learning the art of Mindful Eating.
If you’d like to explore your own return to a healthier mind and body, call or write today for your exclusive assessment with me.
Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).