The worst thing that could happen to me four years ago was to have suffered for more than 6 months of irritable bowel syndrome. Since I moved to my new home here in Australia I was always very nervous about the big change I was facing, and I think that was one of the triggers that made me suffer IBS for so long.
I was never used to living alone. I always lived with my mother and she was the one who did everything to me in our family home. From food to washing my clothes. I was very busy studying at the university every day.
My doctor told me that my diet was a disaster. I was not eating well when I started living alone. It was difficult for me to cook healthy meals and the only thing I did was to prepare fast food in the microwave.
I remember that I had a lot of diarrhea the first two weeks that I moved to my new home. I think it was because of the excessive consumption of yogurt and soda. My breakfast, lunch and dinner were the same. Only yogurt and dietary soda.
At first I didn’t worry, the diarrhea was going to disappear, I thought that every morning I spent almost 30 minutes in the bathroom with diarrhea. I really didn’t know what the irritable bowel syndrome was. I had no idea that there was something called like that.
The diarrhea disappeared for a while, but then a symptom appeared that worried me much more. Abdominal pain with spasms. Those pains were uncomfortable, a real headache going to work with abdominal pains.
I did not go to the doctor in the first or second month with the pain. The diarrhea was gone and I thought everything would be fine. Never imagine that abdominal pain was related to diarrhea.
The third month with the pain in my abdomen and diarrhea once a week, I made the decision to visit a doctor. He was not a medical specialist. He was a general doctor. Luckily for me it was someone who knew how to diagnose IBS.
After the first visit and a week and a half treatment, the doctor told me that my problem was the irritable bowel syndrome. I did not know how to react, I felt some fear (from abdominal pain), but at the same time I thought it was a kind of cancer or worse.
The doctor explained that it was curable with good treatment and a change in my diet. The first person I called to tell was my mother. She got mad at me, she told me why I had waited so long to go to the doctor.
The next six months were difficult for me, I still suffered from diarrhea and some constipation from time to time. But the pains had completely disappeared. With my mother’s help, my diet improved a lot more.
I stopped eating instant food and focused on consuming vegetables, fruits and natural juices. For four long months I followed all the doctor’s instructions and the treatment gradually helped me to overcome the IBS.
Diarrhea lasted a while to disappear. Visits to the bathroom in the early morning continued for all six months. At work all my colleagues knew that I had problems with the bathroom, but nobody knew that it was IBS.
My personal life was strongly affected. The IBS did not let me have a normal social life. If I went out for a long time I knew I was going to feel like going to the bathroom. And I had to find a bathroom quickly or I was going to suffer an accident in my pants.
Dealing with this condition was so strong that I left thinking about how I should improve my lifestyle. I am young and can still do things that can help me avoid such things. But it is difficult for me to avoid all the stress of daily life, and my mother who no longer lives with me keeps calling me daily to find out if I am eating well.
This syndrome left me marked for life. I did not know how sensitive my body can be due to factors such as diet, stress and social life.