An uncomfortable topic

(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?

 

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8 comments

  1. Oh dear I’m so sorry that you’ve developed such an annoying disease but at the same time, at least you now know why you are in pain a lot of the time after eating. Now you know how to avoid it.

    When I tell people that I’m intolerant to milk and cream (ice cream being the major one here) they think it’s because I’m trying to avoid these foods due to my history with an eating disorder. If that was the case, then wouldn’t I just flat out turn vegan? That would make it so much easier and less embarrassing. When I tell people I’m lactose intolerant they actually laugh because of what they see in “funny” movies. It’s not so funny when you feel like you’re going to pass out from the pain, though.

    Thank you for talking about this 🙂

    xxx

  2. What a great post! This is very interesting. I think my bf has this but he wont admit it. Never be afraid to post things like this, we are here to support you. Plus, it could help a lot of people! 🙂

    Whitney

  3. Girl, first off, I want to tell you how amazing you are! You are so bright and cheery all of the time, and I want to thank you for that! It must be really hard with IBS. I have lactose intollerence and people think it must be hard for me, but just like you, I have just become accostumed to not eating those kinds of things, like dairy and such. I won’t deny it — I have had some weird looks from friends when they see what I eat sometimes, but they just don’t understand! Peanut Butter on Oatmeal tastes SO good! Green Smoothies are so delicious and don’t taste like “disgusting green stuff.” And yes, my morning bowl of oats is something I want everyday — it just tastes so amazing! And when people ask me why I don’t eat dairy, I explain my lactose intollerence to them. But I used to use that with my orthrexia too — avoiding sweets because I was “afraid” it would have dairy in it, bringing my own food for a dinner, etc. I’ve been working on it, but yeah, I get you on those situations. That’s what I love about blogging — you find people that know exactly what you are going through and get your “terminology” with stuff.

    Oh, and btw, have you ever heard of Nutrition By Natalie? She used to have IBS and has reversed it and loves nutrition. She’s a dietician and is one lady that really kickstarted my love of health. I love her so much!

  4. Sorry to hear about your IBS. I think it’s such a forgotten disease which people write off as someone moaning.

    I have had some judgement passed on being vegetarian. People look at me like I have a problem. They always ask why, as if they are expecting some sort of girlie “I don’t want to eat lambs” response. It used to irritate me no end.

  5. I’m sorry to hear you developed that. It’s no fun.

    I’m always judged by my eating habits and they aren’t even particularly strange. If I feel like not eating at the moment because maybe I just had a big meal, people look at me like I’m weird and have a huge problem. Or they think I’m relapsing when I’m just not hungry.

  6. i’m glad you posted about this because i’ve been having a LOT of the symptoms of IBS lately and i’m not sure whether it’s my lactose intolerance flaring up or IBS – id love to talk to you about this sometime!

    • Feel free to write if you have any quiestions. I’m definitly not the expert, but I can definitely tell you what I’ve learned from personal experience.

  7. Oh yes, I am judged. It’s almost like if you have a history of anorexia you suddenly aren’t allowed to eat a carrot.
    Also, people push things like ice cream and pasta on me and I’m on a sugar-free flour-free diet that was part of my recovery meal plan.
    They don’t understand that I will purge those foods and then purge them so it is better not to have them.

    PS- Heating pad is my best friend.


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