(First off, because this is the most important thing I have to say, I wanted to thank you all for the encouraging comments I got on my last post. To be honest I was wondering why anyone would bother reading it, as it wasn’t the most “happy” of posts. I was totally blown away by the response I got and I want to thank each and every one of you, for your understanding, encouragement and support. )
Now, moving on…
Today I want to talk about something that most people wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about. Heck- I don’t even feel particularly comfortable talking about it, but I think it might be something that some of you struggle with that you can relate to.
Because of my past disordered eating habits I have unfortunately developed a condition known as IBS. Some of you might know about it, most people don’t.
IBS or Irritable Bowl Syndrom according to the NDDIC is “Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder characterized most commonly by cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. IBS causes a great deal of discomfort and distress, but it does not permanently harm the intestines and does not lead to a serious disease. Most people can control their symptoms with diet, stress management, and prescribed medications. For some people, however, IBS can be disabling. They may be unable to work, attend social events, or even travel short distances.
As many as 20 percent of the adult population, or one in five Americans, have symptoms of IBS, making it one of the most common disorders diagnosed by doctors. It occurs more often in women than in men, and it begins before the age of 35 in about 50 percent of people.”
As you can see, this disease is actually pretty common, but a lot of people don’t like to talk about it. I don’t particularly want to go into a detailed description of the symptoms – but sufficed to say they are unpleasant. Although this illness is untreatable, the affects can be minimized. For me personally that means avoiding milk and limiting my dairy products, avoiding most oily foods and carefully balancing my meals and trying to avoid eating “on the go”. I have taken medication in the past, but that hasn’t helped too much. So I stick to doing things the “natural way” and so far that’s worked for me.
Of course explaining this to others isn’t always easy. Some people assume I invented IBS to explain away my odd eating habits. To be honest little could be further from the truth. I wish I could sit down to and enjoy a meal cooked by someone else without worrying if I’d be in pain for hours afterwards. I wish I could avoid the hushed whispers and covert stares of people who don’t believe my condition is “real”. I wish that I could eat as many dairy products as I wanted and not worry about the negative consequences. But this is a part of me I can’t change, and a harsh daily reminder of the negative consequences of an eating disorder. In a way I’m thankful that the medical result of the way I abused my body in the past is limited only to this. On the other hand I truly regret what I’ve done to my body (for many reasons) and wish I could turn back the clock. But I can’t so all I can do is hope that in time things will get better and that others will accept me the way I am.
Have you ever been (or are you) in a situation where people judge you for your eating habits? How do you deal with those types of situations?