Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Living With IBS: An Update (+ The Clever Guts Diet Giveaway)


IBS Bloggers UK

It's been a few months since I last discussed my health either on here or social media and well, a lot has happened. I do have another two hospital appointments scheduled for the start of September so no doubt, I will have more to share in a few weeks or months time but here's a little update on what's been going on and why my blog and social media posts have been a bit more sporadic;

Another diagnosis?

It looks as though after years of tests, hospital appointments and a hell of a lot of waiting, we might have finally come to a proper conclusion as to what has been causing my symptoms. If you have or know someone with IBS, it's very much a 'we've ruled everything else out' kind of diagnosis and a lot of the time there's no explanation as to why you now have it. But we might have made some headway in terms of treating the worst of my symptoms.

If you don't already know, I had my gallbladder out when I was just 19, back in 2011. It was recovering from that operation that inspired me to start my first blog, which didn't really go anywhere to be honest but gave me a taste of what was to come with sharing parts of my life on the internet.

I was the youngest person that the surgeon had ever performed that operation on. And whilst you can certainly live without that organ your body really does need it so function correctly. None of this was ever told to me when I had the surgery but to be fair, it was pretty much a 'if we don't take this out of you right now you could one day not be so lucky as to make it to A&E' kind of situation, as the stones were frequently trapping the entrance to my liver and stopping it from functioning, making me jaundice and incredibly ill within hours. A lot of fun, as you might expect. Without getting too technical, your gallbladder helps to break down fatty foods in particular, flushing bile out when you eat something. Because I no longer have one, bile just continually flows out and as it has nowhere to go or anything to break down it then gives me bloating, trapped wind, sore stomachs, acid reflux and more. As a result of my last trip to the gastro department, I was given new medication to try.

Trying out new mediaction

But isn't it just my luck that as soon as a medication starts to make a massive difference to my symptoms, pain and just general day to day life that of course it ends up getting discontinued, at least for right now!

I've been rationing my sachets and hunting down the last ones on the shelves of pharmacies all across Glasgow in a bid to delay the inevitable; that I need to try something else. The alternative is honestly the grossest and grittiest textured soluble that I've ever tried so much so that the instructions recommend you add it to a thick soup to disguise it. Yuck!

In the meantime I've been relying on my trusty Buscopan tablets and looking at introducing probiotics into my diet.

IBS Probiotics

Diet

I have an appointment with a dietitian in a few weeks time to hopefully make the whole process of eating new foods and introducing probiotics a bit simpler. When the team at VSL#3 found out that I was finding it difficult to do that, in the meantime they kindly shared this infographic with me, which I thought might be of interest to those of you in a similar boat.

Using 'good' bacteria to help to counteract or balance the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut is what probiotics are all about. VSL#3 contains eight strands of beneficial live bacteria and can be integrated into your diet either by mixing it into water or diluted juice or sprinkling it onto yoghurt, so it's not as tricky as I initially thought it would be to add it to what I already eat and drink.

the clever guts diet review

I've also started reading The Clever Guts Diet by Michael Mosley, which I've also found really helpful, so much so that I have another copy for one of you to win on here, all you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter form below;

a Rafflecopter giveaway There's also another chance and book to win over on my Instagram.

There will be two winners picked at random - Prize issued by me - UK only

Do you know anyone who suffers from IBS or digestive conditions? If so, how do you/they deal with it best? And just in general, do you struggle to keep a balanced diet?
Written in collaboration with VSL#3
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