Realizing how the vicious circle of IBS works is a major first step towards beating it.
Have you ever had found a solution for one of your IBS symptoms, just to later find it doesn’t work anymore, or that the symptoms have changed? Welcome to the IBS vicious circle!
When IBS flares up, it is a real pain in every sense of the word. You want a quick fix, something – anything just to feel better and be able to get on with what you have to do. You go to the doctor or local pharmacist and take medication – which often deals with the symptoms by covering them up. The pain or discomfort has gone, but the root cause is still there.
So you get back to living your life – and forget about IBS.
Until…. your body reminds you that you haven’t sorted out the problem yet. You’ll get the same symptoms back, which you will treat with meds and cover them up again.
So you’ll need some new pills to get by, and set off in search of new solutions. Until you find the next quick fix – and go back to old habits.
Guess what? Your body still isn’t right, so it will tell you again that it needs support.
And so it goes. This is the IBS vicious circle.
How to stop the IBS vicious circle
Stopping the vicious circle is not easy. But it is possible. Here are a first few steps for you to consider:
1) Sit up and take notice of your symptoms – instead of pushing them away. As you know the cover up job won’t last, try to note down what symptoms you are experiencing and when (what time of day) and how you are feeling at that time. You may be able to notice patterns forming. Not just in relation to what you eat but of different events in your day, maybe conversations, situations
2) Find your main triggers. Look out for food triggers, but also people, places, heat, smells, stress, emotions. If you can, ask a friend, colleague or partner to be a mirror for you. They may well see your triggers better than you.
3) Aim for balance, not perfection. We are only human. If your IBS has made you binge, just try to relax about that and balance it by eating better the next day.
4) Try to become aware of what you’re doing that makes IBS worse, or better. This knowledge will be very useful to you.
5) Know that doing any of this will help you towards your goal.