With our friends and family suffering illnesses and death around us, we often times get scared when we start to feel the slightest symptoms that could be the very warning signs of a stroke or heart attack. And even though many suffer from these things, there are other, more treatable illnesses that can cause these same symptoms.
I suffered from IBS for close to 7 years before it was ever diagnosed. I could not eat, sleep, or sit comfortably because everything I did was of noticeable discomfort. It got so bad that everything I ate made me feel bad. So I stopped eating regular foods and put myself on a more liquid and bland diet.
Thank God for that intrigued and very caring resident doctor I had. After realizing that the Protonix I was taking for GERD was not working, she up'ed the dosage. No help. By this time, I was malnourished because my diet consisted of literally, water, cream of chicken soup, cream of wheat and, well, oh, italian ice. I got to a point where I finally went to the doctor...in tears. "Please help."
My doctor advised me that she had performed some research and that she thought it may have been IBS, but needed to do labs to prove it. I advised her, I have no issues going to the restroom. No real constipation, no diarrhea. She said, "I know."
She went on to explain how the contraction of certain body parts, in my case, my colon, was causing spasms, which caused palpitations and fluttering. I mean I was seriously thinking I had heart problems. Finally, she prescribed a drug called Dicyclomine. Dicyclomine is used to treat a certain type of intestinal problem called irritable bowel syndrome. It helps to reduce the symptoms of stomach and intestinal cramping. I cannot tell you how I suffered for years, not even looking at food because I became depressed just knowing it was just another something I could not eat. Needless to say, she sent me home with a few of the "blue pills". OMG! The first time in over 10 years I was able to digest a piece of meat without feeling like I was going to have a heart attack. My symptoms were excessive belching, pain in the upper middle-to-left side of chest, palpitations, fluttering of the heart, nausea and extremely bloated. This pill saved my life and I would have never guessed any of it was related to IBS.
And the good thing is, IBS although they say you can never "cure", I was off the pills no sooner than I changed my lifestyle and started eating better. To help with IBS symptoms:
- eat less per sitting
- eat smaller, more frequent meals; this lessens the air trapped in the body from meal to meal
- avoid alcohol and caffeine long enough to allow body to heal
- get plenty of rest
- avoid spicy and fried foods
- do yoga, or some other form of destressing
- drink sips of water in the morning before getting out of bed
- try to avoid taking meds on an empty stomach, unless of course directions specify this
- jump up and down in place early morning to help pull your stomach down
- slow breathing: inhaling through nose, exhaling through mouth
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