IBS is an interesting diagnosis, isn’t it?
I’ve heard from many people that when they’ve been told they have IBS it’s felt like code for ‘we don’t know what’s wrong’ and like they were being blown off.
So many of my clients were told that they just had to live with constant stomach pain, gas and diarrhoea every day and this is so frustrating to me because it’s not true.
I know it’s not true because they now aren’t living like that.
You are never doomed to live your life in pain.
And here’s the thing – IBS is not real.
By that I don’t mean the symptoms aren’t real or that it’s all in your head.
Quite the opposite.
I mean that IBS is a convenient diagnosis used to give to people some kind of explanation.
It’s disempowering because it discourages both the doctor and the patient from exploring further and it’s a mask hiding what is really going on.
Your ‘IBS’ started years ago. You didn’t suddenly wake up one day and have IBS.
IBS isn’t what causes you to have gut issues.
There is something happening in the body, many somethings, which are causing your gut to behave in this way, and IBS is the diagnosis you have been given by way of some sort of explanation.
Often in IBS, you’re told to follow a low FODMAP diet, stress less, and maybe even take antidepressants.
But no one investigates what created the IBS and you’re just left to live like that.
Your diet becomes more restricted and your symptoms often flare up for no reason.
Because this protocol only aims to relieve symptoms and doesn’t address what caused you to have gut issues in the first place.
Investigations should be ramping up now and yet this is when they stop.
The attitude is that ‘your IBS is why this is happening’.
You have something wrong in the body and now you’re being discouraged from searching further, and you’re being fed the belief that this is how your life has to be now.
Which is not true.
It was never true.
Your gut is trying desperately to communicate with you that things are out of balance physically, emotionally and energetically.
This is why gut issues tend to start off as some minor bloating and pain and then, left unaddressed, escalate over months or years.
It’s like holding a candle against your skin – at first, it’s a minor irritation but the longer it’s there, the more it burns and the more damage it does. Eventually, all the skin is gone and some serious repair is needed.
You know your body and you know when something feels off. And it’s very disheartening to be told it’s all in your head.
I’ve been through this as well, both before and after my coeliac disease diagnosis. It was hard to get diagnosed, and then it was hard to recover after being diagnosed.
Because it was ‘just IBS’. That was why I still had symptoms despite not eating gluten (apparently).
It’s hard to stand your ground in the face of professionals telling you something that your gut tells you is not true.
But you mustn’t give up.
Don’t accept that you’re doomed to live this way forever because you’ve been diagnosed with IBS.
If you’ve been told you have IBS, or ‘we don’t know’, this is an invitation to go deeper, not to stop.
I’ve seen people overcome years of gut pain who are living now free, happy and healthy lives and that’s possible for you too.
You just need someone to treat you like a person rather than a condition, and someone who will listen to you instead of brush it off because what you’re saying isn’t convenient for them.
Be your own best advocate. Keep digging past the diagnosis and you’ll find what lies beneath.