Friday, 30 September 2022

Irritable B*****d Syndrome

Good news and bad news.

Henry Law (of the LVT Campaign, but that's not relevant) and I were chatting last weekend. I had a moan about my condition, which started pretty suddenly on 5 December 2021 (I remember the exact date - I ate an overdose of Dorito's in the car on the way to visit our daughter in Bath) and has spiralled downwards since.

He reckoned it was Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I can't eat much because of fairly immediate stomach cramps = no energy = tired a lot, but can't sleep properly because of pains waking me up = further lack energy = unable to eat properly = I'm down to 9.5 stone (at 6' tall) etc. Four or five people have told me recently that I look like I'm at Death's Door, which I'm not.

I even had to pack in the booze almost completely two months ago - I can deal with hangovers, because you can worry about them later, but if you take a few swigs and the pain sets in almost immediately and before you've got any sort of buzz on to numb it, it's no fun. 

Henry recommended the Monash Univ site/app. Best £5.60 I've ever spent. I have been following the rules as best I can for a few days and I feel much better: slightly more energetic, not tired all day, stomach and back ache still there on and off but not crippling, I have even managed to sleep four or five hours at a stretch rather than waking up every two hours or so. Not fit and well by any means, but up from about 25% of normal to over 50%.

So at least I know what it probably is and how to ameliorate it, and it's not a terminal condition (I hope). That's the good news.

The bad news is that IBS is one of the un-coolest conditions to have. Broadly speaking, IBS is for people who are super-fussy about what they eat, moan a lot and fart a lot. I'd have preferred a proper malingerer's condition like Long Covid or somethingvague to do with auto-immunity (provided it's treatable). I'm now busy thinking up a euphemism for IBS that sounds a bit more mysterious and gets people's sympathy rather than triggering mirth.


Lola said...

You sure it's not stomach ulcers?

Bayard said...

It used to be called "colitis" (as in the mondegreen "the girl with colitis goes by"), You could try that. Alternatively, find out who first came up with the term it and call it X's Disease.

RdM said...

Sorry to hear that.
(I did once think of SBS, "Squirty **, but you didn't want humour.)

However, diet. Could these notes be helpful?

Lola said...

Lansoprazole is what's prescribed for my ulcers (nothing as serious as the symptoms you describe, mind. Mostly I control mine with diet.)

Lola said...

On the subject of diet, I find that it's processed foods that are the worst. Things like those bottles sauces you buy to make pasta with. And all the rest of it. Best just to cook for yourself from ingredients you know work. As time goes by you learn how to manage ones condition.

ontheotherhand said...

I'm sorry to hear that you've been suffering. Have you heard of low dose naltrexone LDN? It has certainly helped my wife moderate her Hashimoto's thyroiditis (where the immune system attacks the thyroid). If your immune system is causing your IBS it is worth a try. There is a dispensing pharmacy based on Glasgow that can send it to you.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, ta, keep trying.

RdM, IBS is a first world disease. There are probably as many causes as there are answers or sufferers, different things work for different people. I'm sticking with low FODMAP for now.

U, that's up to the GP. The gastroscopy said no ulcers.

Second U, that's the weird thing. The App says tomatoes bad, but ketchup fine. Pasta sauces fine as long as no onions or garlic in them (these are bad).

OTOH, My last blood test said something about thyroid. Maybe the GP will prescribe something along those lines?

RdM said...

"Things like those bottles sauces you buy to make pasta with"

All have canola oil in them, as do even cheap breads or 'pesto' or dips.
To be avoided. Read the small print in the supermarket.

Better to have saturated oils & fats after all?

I used to get this chaps newsletters for a while.

I now use extra virgin olive oil, sometimes coconut oil, a sludge at room temp.
Great with fish! I've even found crackers with the politically demonised palm oil.

I should find more references, this is just spontaneously off the top of my head ;-

Essentially - beware of seed oils - read all about it when you can.

Omega 3, 6, polyunsaturated, all that.
Sorry to be so quickly vague on the details.

Look these things up... best wishes!

James Higham said...

Get better.

Derek said...

Sorry to hear this, Mark. These things can be the devil to get to the bottom of. Hope it doesn't take to long to identify the safe foods for you.

Sounds like you're making some progress anyway. Long may it continue!

Mark Wadsworth said...

RdM, ah, you speak from bitter experience. FODMAP app says just about all oils are fine, including canola. This is all trial and error. Bread is bad, all gluten is bad (but I'd cut those out anyway as a try and I haven't eaten wheat bread for 20 years). With dips, it depends on what they are made of, etc. All very tricky.

JH and D, ta, fingers crossed.

Bayard said...

"Bread is bad"

Even rye bread? That's sad.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, yup, all wheat or rye bread. I'm used to that after 20 plus years. The gluten free stuff you get nowadays is fine though, so no biggie.