IBS is ruining my life (and limiting my career options)

Google lafie
Nov 2 61 Comments

I've been dealing with IBS for the last 10 years. I can handle it on most days but days like yesterday show me how much my life sucks and I just need to vent.

I'm in my mid 20s and I can't go anywhere without checking if there's any bathrooms. Parts of my brain are always busy trying to locate the next one. Being stuck in a car (or any other place without a bathroom) for too long feels like hell and makes me panic.

Yesterday I happened to be in a car and was stuck in traffic. After being stuck for about 30 minutes I realized I couldn't take this for another 30 minutes and stopped at a restaurant where I thankfully could take a dump in peace. In case you're not familiar with IBS - it sucks, it's random and there's not too many ways to control it. In my case, I usually feel the urge to go whenever I'm stuck like yesterday, even if I used the bathroom 30 minutes before - I definitely wouldn't have had to go (at least for another few hours) if there hadn't been any traffic.

I'm in therapy and I've seen specialists but nothing really helps. I got promoted recently, I made some progress towards personal goals etc. but all of it doesn't really matter because at the end of the day my self worth is still at 0 because of this shit.

The only reason I can handle a relatively normal life (if "normal" means rarely doing anything remotely exciting) is because I can get to and from work with bathrooms nearby when I'm on the train.

My management chain has asked me if I'd be interested in transferring to the Bay Area and hell yeah, sign me up except I can't get my shit together (literally, lol). I'm delivering good work and I'm sure moving to the US would help my career (as well as personal) growth, but I just can't in this condition.

I can't make it to offsites, I can't make it to team dinners in the US and I always rely on Caltrain or bikes when I have to get anywhere - I'd rather walk (or bile) 3 miles than drive a car over that distance.

Days like yesterday make me realize how much my life sucks. I can't have any relationships, I can't do trips to exciting places when I'm on a business trip in the US (I'd love to see Yosemite, but there's just no way), I can't take flying lessons and on some days I can't even do something as basic as taking the car for 20 miles without almost shitting myself.

I don't expect anyone to read all of this, but in case anyone has any advice (yes, I've tried FODMAP) I'd very much appreciate to hear that.

Sorry for all the self-pitying, I'm just worn down after living with this for a decade and needed to vent.

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 61 Comments
  • Facebook wdwy
    Employers are obligated to provide “reasonable accommodations” for people with medical conditions impacting their ability to do a job.

    A reasonable accommodation can be anything - from allowing you to work from home, to taking breaks throughout the day, etc.

    You should research it

    (Edit - this is for the US. Not sure about the law elsewhere)
    Nov 2 5
    • Facebook wdwy
      Also this sounds like it could be ulcerative colitis rather than IBS?
      Nov 2
    • Google lafie
      OP
      I know, that doesn't help in the long run though. Work is not the issue, getting there and back is. Living a life outside of work is. What's the point of moving to a different country if all I do is hiding in my bedroom?
      Nov 2
    • Google lafie
      OP
      It's not UC. Unfortunately the diagnosis is IBS which stands for "idk either, life is gonna suck though"
      Nov 2
    • Intel D’s🥜
      A friend of mine with IBS recently tried a new treatment. Basically, she changed diets overnight to exclude most/all food groups. Imagine some terrible mixture of a keto/vegetarian/gluten-free/sugar-free/egg-free (all the fad diets). It was supervised by a nutritionist and she slowly added more food groups back until she experienced symptoms. Now, she just has a diet that is better for her IBS albeit limited
      Nov 3
    • LinkedIn MhcS24
      I second this. I have a family member who tried different diets and is doing much better.
      Nov 18
  • New / Mgmt facebooo
    I have UC and have had it for the majority of my career (16 years ). Many autoimmune diseases don’t have a cure or a sure way of managing symptoms. I have tried everything and nothing has worked for long term remission. My flareups which can last for months are extremely painful, bloody, draining and my “near-accidents” are harrowing and traumatic every time. Here is what has helped me stay sane.
    1. I do everything my medical team tells me to do (I have gone through a few).
    2. Everyone and their mother has suggestions for a cure and stories of how they have managed it. Everyone is different and not everything works for everyone. Now, I just tune out everyone but a medical professional. Yes they are nice, but not helpful.
    3. I stay up to date on medical research. I have a search alert on my condition.
    4. I wear adult diapers. Yes, it sounds gross, but it gives me peace of mind and takes away some of the anxiety and stress. Find a discrete brand that works for you.
    5. Because of all the above, I feel that I have done everything I can as a human and I refuse to let my condition define me any further .
    6. I have never let it impact my career or intimate relationships. Although, I let people (boss, close friends and so’s) know in advance that I suffer from it and what it means. I make sure to share this info even when I don’t have a flare up.
    7. Stress is the number 1 detriment to human health, with or without IBS. I am still working on managing it.
    8. Good night sleep. Everything is better after a good night of sleep.
    Nov 2 1
    • Google lafie
      OP
      Ah man, that has to suck big time. Thanks a lot for sharing!
      Nov 2
  • Amazon / Eng
    UTukMyJerb

    Amazon Eng

    PRE
    Electronic Arts (EA)
    UTukMyJerbmore
    This thread really is the best of what blind has to offer, support and empathy. Bravo to all here!
    Nov 2 1
    • Google lafie
      OP
      I'm also surprised and really grateful for all the compassion and support. :)
      Nov 2
  • Microsoft
    LVuitton

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Microsoft
    LVuittonmore
    Did you test for H pylori? Anyways, I have had some bowl problems over that lasted a year, went Keto (no carbs or sugars) high fats and eat a yogurt every day. All my bowl problems went away. Try playing with your diet.
    Nov 2 5
    • Google lafie
      OP
      I can eat the same thing for weeks and randomly have days where it's an issue and days where it isn't. I wish it was that easy to fix, believe me. :(
      Nov 2
    • Microsoft
      LVuitton

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Microsoft
      LVuittonmore
      Seriously give Keto a try, no carbs, no fruit, no sugars...eat under 20 grabs if carbs a day. Try it for a couple weeks, see how you feel in the 2nd week. Also, you will lose a ton of weight.
      Nov 2
    • Nintendo hvccvb
      Agreed I have stress activated ibs went keto and as long as I stay away from the fake sugars everything is great. Fat bombs with xylitol was an awful mistake, if you do opt for fake sugar use monk fruit and even then use it incredibly sparingly.

      Anyways in short it helped me, but that's my story, worst case though is that it doesnt work for you but what's it hurt to give it a couple months worth of try.
      Nov 2
    • NVIDIA kill9
      Lvuitton, what was some bowl problem and did you show to doctor? My problem is I had to poop half hour after lunch everyday.
      Nov 2
    • Netflix Pablo.E
      I had a moderate version of this exasperated by stress anxiety. Low carb plus fasting has dramatically reduced my issues. I hated traveling for this very same reason.
      Nov 3
  • Oracle Sockets
    I don't have IBS and no useful advice.

    But, boy, can I totally relate with a situation I had today.

    We had spicey fried chicken then I stupidly chased it down with a double expresso w milk.

    Was out and it hit me. tried to drive back home but couldn't make it. Had to stop by a neighborhood park/playground for the bathroom but you needed a key card for the bathrooms. Wtf?

    Asked a few families if I could use their keycard. No success.

    I ended up hiking into the bushes and taking care of business while being surrounded by families and playing kids.

    As I was driving away the cops showed up. Someone f'ing called the police on me.
    Nov 2 1
    • Google lafie
      OP
      Yet another reason not to move to the US for now, lol
      Nov 2
  • PayPal kefir
    Sorry to hear! Have you tried testing your feces for your microbiome composition? I’ve read about this and some companies claim they can improve chronic diseases’ symptoms by recommending specific diets.
    Nov 2 0
  • Cisco 1029384756
    Research Triphala - Ayurvedic medicine that works like magic for IBS (and a host of other things). Basically take 1-2 teaspoons with warm water first thing in the morning (add honey if you like - more to make the taste better but completely optional). You could even take twice a day during the first week. That should be enough to make you feel better.
    Nov 2 2
    • Facebook
      kboU62$;

      Facebook

      PRE
      Google
      kboU62$;more
      Uh... “
      In some cases, Triphala may trigger gastrointestinal side effects such as gas, stomach upset, and diarrhea. Triphala supplements haven't been tested for safety.”
      Nov 2
    • Cisco 1029384756
      Try looking in an IBS forum for people who have used it on a regular basis and swear by it.

      I suffered from IBS symptoms for over a decade and nothing helped until I tried Triphala. Best thing I did. I guess you could a) try it and see if it works for you, or b) just find bogus articles that creat FUD and go on suffering. Your choice.
      Nov 2
  • New / Eng lHpK84
    Had an ex-girlfriend with IBS. She switched to an Atkins/keto diet (unrelated reasons) and her IBS went away

    Edit: reading another post, hers may have been colitis (was 20 years ago), but someone suggested yours might be colitis so...
    Nov 2 1
    • Microsoft
      LVuitton

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Microsoft
      LVuittonmore
      Same here!
      Nov 2
  • Facebook ⭕️v⭕️
    I’m praying for you. I’m also going through an accident that makes me want to die.
    Nov 3 0
  • Salesforce cattleman
    My gf has the same issue as you, exact same way you describe it. We’re still trying out different things. Nothing has stuck long term. Here have been the most effective things so far.

    1. Tried visbiome, a renowned probiotic with highest concentration of bacteria in a single serving. These helped for a while a she could go for several weeks at a time without an incident. Now it’s not working.
    2. Calcium supplements and vitamin D. This seems to take the edge off, allows her to not have the urgency but still has to go often.
    Nov 2 0
  • Microsoft
    Tier 1

    Microsoft

    BIO
    #1 in Prestige
    Tier 1more
    Keep trying more specialists and different meds/treatments. In healthcare sometimes you have to really push to get your doctor to try everything or to refer you. Your best advocate is yourself.
    Nov 2 3
    • Google lafie
      OP
      I started seeing this specialist in the city I moved to. They're probably going to try hypnosis next - I'm desperate enough to try anything at this point.
      Nov 2
    • Microsoft
      Tier 1

      Microsoft

      BIO
      #1 in Prestige
      Tier 1more
      Yeah I doubt that would work. Are there not more drugs or diets or something they have recommended that you haven’t yet tried?
      Nov 2
    • Booz Allen Hamilton billyglob
      Hypnosis works for anything. Op- your condition may be anxiety-driven. Please see an excellent hypnotherapist as well as a few specialists to get several medical opinions.
      Nov 2
  • Apple cxzasd
    Didn't even know such a thing existed. Sorry don't have any advice, but just wanted to say most of us look at the empty half of our lives. You can find a partner who would understand you. Just see how many people on this post shared empathy. There are people with more serious and horrible conditions and they still find partners. Don't even think this would make you not find one.
    Good luck.
    Nov 2 2
    • Google lafie
      OP
      Thanks - it's not that there isn't anyone who could be understanding of my situation (even though I still wouldn't want to be the burden that I currently am) but that I don't even know how to meet anyone, what the first steps look like etc. The one time I dated someone (didn't work out for other reasons) I realized how limiting my condition is.
      Nov 2
    • Google lafie
      OP
      + the whole 0 self-worth thing doesn't really help either, lol
      Nov 2
  • Qualcomm libertarin
    I assume you are female? My wife got rid of ibs by improved diet. Unrelated to how she got well, I find water intake, excessive milk, oily food intake, excessive alcohol intake can each increase poops for me.
    Nov 2 2
    • Google lafie
      OP
      I'm male. I don't drink because of my condition and I have the magical ability to produce urgent fat turds after barely eating anything for days. :/
      Nov 2
    • Qualcomm libertarin
      3 or 4 gasx for farts works for me.
      Nov 3
  • New wrIq31
    Don’t discount the effect your mental health is having on your IBS. Take care of any related mental illness as well. Taking into account the mind-body connection as well as changing my diet as helped tremendously. I’m doing the curable app right now to help with chronic pain too! Go see a therapist just help you work through some of this.
    Nov 2 1
    • Google lafie
      OP
      I'm already in therapy. Currently starting to explore options for medication
      Nov 2
  • Microsoft GChX27
    I developed IBS after coming to US. I didn’t even know about the condition, my BF diagnosed it based on his experiences with his mom. I did a lot of things and honestly it felt like nothing worked and seemed like it was just getting worse. I know for each person the cure could be different so this may not apply to you, but just sharing my experiences in case something helps:

    1) I spent hundreds of $$ doing all sorts of tests, medications, specialists, FODMAP diet but nothing worked for me.

    2) By the end of it I was so restrictive about my diet that I had basically cut all carbs, breads, sugar, fermented foods.

    3) For me what really turned the corner was carefully fine-tuning my diet to only those that didn’t cause inflammation, ginger tea, and daily yogurt with probiotics. Also, I had doubts if I had H pylori so I had a really oily side of hashbrowns as an exception to my diet and it made me finally sleep after many nights of pain.

    4) I was extremely embarrassed about this initially but my BF was super supportive and went out of his way to help out and wasn’t judgemental about me struggling with constant stomach issues. All I am saying is there are nice people out there, don’t lose hope and honestly people who are ashamed of you (regardless of your issues) don’t deserve to be in your life. So keep trying and you’ll find someone who can accept you for who you are. This is a terrible condition and so my sympathies, its hard having a day to day life with so much stress. Stay strong!
    Nov 2 0
  • Oracle _foobar
    I’ve IBS. I am able to relate to your pain. Only few things that have helped me so far:

    1. Ayurvedic medications - they work as long as you sincerely take them. When ever I go to India for three weeks, I have them and feel no issues. I don’t carry them to US back with me and then it all starts again.

    2. Yoga - the best way to reduce effects of IBS. I have tried so many things, but nothing came as close to as yoga. Works like a magic. I went to a yoga master and got a customized workout plan mainly for IBS.

    3. Healing - basically healing your stomach with probiotics. Yogurt with active cultures is your best friend. Also clarified butter (desi ghee) helps a lot. Don’t over consume the butter, you’ll explode in weight. Two spoons a day helps. I add it to my food.

    With these three things I’ve reduced the pain. But I still haven’t got to a place where I’m completely out of IBS.
    Nov 2 0
  • NVIDIA kill9
    Op, feel sorry for you. I hope you find the cure soon. Just keep trying different things and doctors.

    Since all gastro gurus are here, I want to know if anyone had this problem and have cure for it? I have to poop everyday in office after half to 1 hour of lunch. At home on weekends I don't have to. My routine is after lunch I go to walk for a mile. I eat home made food mostly. Also, in morning I don't feel I am emptying my stomach completely. Any cure for this? Appreciate for your comments.
    Nov 3 1
    • Microsoft GChX27
      Try spiced ginger chai tea if you can in the morning, the spices helped me a lot.
      Nov 3
  • Baidu / R&D gitsbn
    I had IBS since 15. Medicine like Trimebutine helps, but in the long run you have to adjust your habits. Try drinking hot water all the time. And mental conditions have an impact, too. The more anxious you are, the more often you need to visit the bathroom. You can consider taking a few months off. Maybe go back to school to get another degree if possible.
    Nov 2 1
    • Google lafie
      OP
      It also hit me when I was 15. Sucks, right? It's true that anxiety amplifies the effects, working on that with my therapist. Taking a few months off won't change anything (at least work gives me some sense of purpose), I did that in school. I'll look more into Trimebutine, thanks!
      Nov 2
  • Intuit c9a4b
    Would a remote work job be an option for you? It’s totally possible to have a rewarding career working from home.
    Nov 2 1
    • Google lafie
      OP
      Not really, it wouldn't change anything
      Nov 2
  • Twitter silvrfox
    I know you said you’re in therapy already, but have you considered medication for your anxiety?

    I’m asking because SSRI’s were a game changer for me. Could be different for you, but it’s worth a shot! They take a while to adjust to and can be tough at first, but it’s worth it, especially if you said you’ve tried it all before.

    Also, try taking a layered approach. No one thing is going to be the silver bullet, it’s likely going to be a combination that works for you. (Both on the IBS and anxiety front)

    My recommendations are:
    - talk to your doctor about addressing anxiety with medication
    - continue working with your therapist (only if you actually feel a connection with them - it’s counterintuitive to go to therapy if it’s not a good fit)
    - start a more restrictive eating plan and maybe mix in intermittent fasting
    - be vigilant about going to sleep at the same time each day
    - drink 2 L of water each day
    - look into Buscopan, which is sold over the counter in Canada, UK, Mexico, and the rest of the world. But unfortunately it is in a class of drugs that is outright banned in the US. It’s the only drug that’s ever helped me with IBS symptoms, and it works in 15 min. Amazon has it.

    You’re dealing with a lot my friend. I’m wishing you the best of luck. And be kind to yourself, you deserve to feel better and I am rooting for you!
    Nov 30 0

Salary
Comparison

    Real time salary information from verified employees