Health is something that pops up every and now again on my blog – I’ve had a few minor health problems during my life such as gallstones leading to a gallbladder removal, lots and lots of tonsilitis, and lots and LOTS of cystitis. Thanks to surgery for each of these problems, I’m not currently suffering with any of them, but I was diagnosed with IBS a couple of years ago. This didn’t really come as much of a surprise to me as my mum has suffered with IBS for as long as I can remember, so I’m very aware of the symptoms and knew when I started having similar ones that it was most likely that. Not being surprised by it doesn’t make it any more fun though…
It’s becoming more and more common to discuss health issues on blogs nowadays, from psychical illnesses to mental health issues. I’ve seen bloggers discussing IBS occasionally and it always helps me to find out that other people I know are living with the same symptoms I have and understand it. But a lot of people find IBS embarrassing and difficult to talk about.
One of the problems with IBS is that, like many other chronic illnesses, it’s got lots of misconceptions around it. Many people think that IBS means a bit of pain every so often and rushing to the toilet, like you would get if you’d eaten something bad. Yes, that’s one part of it, but for many of us that suffer with it, it can be a lot more.
Personally, it started slow for me. I started with random stomach cramps that would increase in pain then would disappear later on. I ignored these for a while because they weren’t severe and weren’t massively affecting my everyday life. At the point at which I was waking up 5 out of 7 days a week with stomach cramps and setting off late to work because of it, I knew I needed to see the doctors. It was suggested that it could be a result of my gallbladder surgery, as some people experience this, but it’s not something that’s had a lot of research into so is mostly just word of mouth. I was also told to keep an eye on what I was eating and what I was doing in my life when my IBS got particularly bad to see if we could tie down some connections that I could try to avoid in future, while being given some advice on different medications I could take if I wanted to.
Nowadays, 2 years on from being diagnosed, my IBS is fairly similar to how it was then. I go through good and bad periods with it where it will flare up for a few weeks then die back down again. To be honest, I still don’t understand it a lot better than I did when I was diagnosed. I know that really fatty foods can push me into an attack for a few days, in particular eating a lot of cheese or fried food.
I was initially told that stress can make it worse and asked if I felt particularly stressed. There have been times in my life when I was really stressed – like when I was teaching and ill with my gallbladder at the same time, doing school exams and so on. But I have to say that, despite having a lot going on in my life right now, I’m probably the least stressed I’ve ever been in my life! I have noticed over the past few weeks though that it has flared up slightly when I’ve been especially busy and felt that a certain week has been too much for me. I’m a very anxious person naturally and I’m starting to recognise the signals of that more and more as I get older so that I know when I need some downtime, but it tends to tie in with episodes of anxiousness so I need to be really careful with that.
I’ve taken Buscopan quite a lot of times for my IBS stomach cramps, and I find that it helps me a lot. I’ve also taken Buscopan for my cystitis too in the past as it can relax the spasming muscles that I experience in my bladder (we’re not sure why they do this, but believe me, it’s painful) and it works a treat for that too. So when Buscopan asked if they could send me an IBS care hamper, I was more than happy!
The package included a gorgeous basket hamper (I love these in their own rights!), a “Keep Smiling” tote bag, a colouring book and colouring pencils (with my name on them – I never find my name on anything as it’s verging on the side of unusual!) and some information on Buscopan for IBS. It was literally ideal timing as I was experiencing a bad flare up of IBS at the time it arrived and had ended up spending a couple of days working at home during the past week because of it. I’m really lucky that I can do this as it really helps me to be at home, with blankets, hot water bottles, cats etc. and with easy access to a bathroom! I also get bladder spasms when my IBS is particularly bad (anyone else?!) which means I’m in pain front to back and spending the majority of my day in the bathroom (TMI? Well, you are reading a post about IBS!). I love candles for relaxation, and I’ve recently got into colouring (when I have time!) as a menial activity to keep my mind off things, so it was awesome. Thank you, Buscopan, for sending this just when it was needed!
Buscopan IBS Relief works differently to painkillers as it has an antispasmodic action that specifically targets the root cause of abdominal pain to quickly help the muscle of the bowel return to normal. It starts to work within 15 minutes, acting directly on the muscle spasm in the bowel to quickly and effectively relieve the painful cramps and discomfort of IBS. Buscopan IBS Relief is gentle on the stomach and can be used at the first sign of flare-up as needed. Buscopan IBS Relief is priced at £4.99 for 20 tablets and £8.34 for 40 tablets. Buscopan IBS Relief contains hyoscine butylbromide. For medically confirmed IBS. Always read the label.