This post contains paid promotion. Thank you to the team at Enterosgel for helping to raise awareness about IBS and for supporting the blog. All opinions are my own.
He diagnosed me on the spot with diarrhea prevalent IBS and prescribed me some peppermint tablets to take. He told me that it was worth keeping an eye on what I ate in case I could find a link between certain foods and future episodes. He also told me that they didn't really know what the causes of IBS are and how they're different for each person.
I was to struggle with the condition for another 17 years. That's a long time.
There were days I didn't leave the house. I'd given up eating out at restaurants (an attack usually happened shortly afterwards) and my quality of life was pretty low. Most of the time I'd just keep quiet about it and stay in, because I found it really embarrassing to talk about it to anyone, or reveal the real reason I didn't want to go out for lunch with them.
Once I cleaned up my diet in my mid-30s, I had far fewer episodes - I have an attack very rarely now, because I've got to grips with what causes it, for me. But those days, now I look back, were pretty harsh and really did knock me back a bit.
So when Enterosgel contacted me to tell me about a new campaign they're running this month to help raise awareness of IBS, I thought this was a great idea.
In case you don't know, Enterosgel is a clear gel, which you dilute with water and then drink. According to the information on their website, the gel passes through the digestive system and binds to any bacterial toxins or certain allergens that are lurking in there, causing your stomach upset, taking them out with it and allowing you to heal and overcome your digestive distress quicker. I'm told that the body doesn't absorb the gel at all, it just passes through. That's why it's classed as a drug-free, medical device rather than a drug. And people do use it for all kinds of reasons when they have diarrhea or an upset stomach. You can find lots of testimonials on their website.
The great thing about this campaign is that by encouraging people to talk about IBS (and particularly IBS-D), it kind of makes it less embarrassing and helps people feel more able to go to their doctor and ask for help.
Always check with your doctor if you're unsure about taking new treatments and medicines. Your doctor will help pinpoint you in the right direction, and do be reassured that it's estimated that one in five people are affected by IBS at some point in their life.
Check out my video below to find out how you can get involved in the campaign this month and help spread the word, using the hashtags #myIBShandbag #myIBSbag #myIBSstory and #IBSgodrugfree.
Are you a sufferer of IBS? Has anything helped you? Let me know in the comments below.