Saturday, 13 October 2012
IBS..a vicious circle
IBS sufferers all have their own triggers. A flare-up can be caused by many things, including diet and stress. It can also run alongside depression. In many cases symptoms can be quite mild and they don't interfere too much with daily life. Some people can have quite nasty attacks (me included) and it can be very debilitating, with chronic stomach and back pain, nausea and fatigue.
I manage mine pretty well most of the time. I try to be careful with my diet, and I'm not someone who likes to use medication unnecessarily. However, my trigger is stress and anxiety. This leads to a bad attack that can last for weeks. Which makes me tired and depressed. Which leads to more anxiety. Which means an attack can go on and on and on...until the cycle is broken.
Occasionally my IBS attacks result in a bowel infection and necessitate a visit to the hospital, where various tests are carried out, antibiotics and other medication are prescribed, and this helps.
My current flare-up has been going on for a couple of weeks. It started when Mr A's job finished earlier than expected. He was home for a week but he was very stressed and grumpy. This in turn causes me stress. It got worse when he set off for Antalya last Monday to work in a hamam for the rest of this month. Antalya is so far away and although I am used to being here on my own, it has made me realise just how isolated I am in this village....and this makes me anxious.
I hate visits to the hospital. It's difficult enough to get through the system if your Turkish is fluent. When it's not, it's almost impossible. Believe me..I've attempted to do it on my own. I need Mr A with me, and he won't be back until the end of the month.
I have got to know a lovely pharmacist in Milas who speaks English. I went to see him on Wednesday and explained my problem. His wife also suffers the same condition so he knows what he's talking about. He felt sure that I had an infection so suggested a course of antibiotics (having researched the internet for the one he felt best for me) and some antispasmodics. I'll give them a go and hope that they work. Otherwise, I will just wait until Mr A returns and make another trip to the hospital.
He also mentioned the benefits of pomegranates. A small amount of juice each day apparently helps. His wife also boils the pomegranate skin and drinks the water. She swears by it. I'll try anything!
IBS is a common condition, so I feel sure that some of my readers are sufferers. I wondered if you would share your experiences and any tips you have for dealing with it.