Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or health professional. Please, always seek help from health professionals.
You can read my previous ibs post here.
In the last three years, anxiety and ibs have completely taken over my life.
The problem with ibs is that doctors still don’t know what exactly is causing it and how to fix it. They usually go with stress handling and diet change, and it’s all fine by me, but I was wondering if there’s more to it. Stress handling, diet and meds didn’t help that much in my case and I was feeling more and more trapped in my own, imperfect body.
IBS added a lot to my anxiety and agoraphobia issues. In the last couple of months, I’ve been afraid to go anywhere (even places I consider ‘safe’), in case of the sudden urge to use the toilet. I couldn’t go ahead with any of my plans and it made my anxiety so much worse. Because of constant IBS flare ups, I couldn’t enjoy even simple, gluten-free meals. It seemed that my guts simply stopped working.
‘Rebuilding’ your gut?
I hate to be ‘wiser than the doctor’, but how can I take 8 antispasmodic tablets (buscopan) a day without asking about the root of the problem and without wondering how can I fix it ? It’s like constantly taking painkillers without asking why it hurts.
I thought: ‘something must be ‘damaged’ in my guts and there must be a way to repair it’. It turns out there is. While googling ibs treatments, I’ve found this site. It turned out that there is something called Symprove (water based formulation containing multi-strain live and active bacteria-from symprove site) that can help you restore your gut flora (flora, that is probably damaged because of all the stress & bad eating).
Well, that made sense to me, so I asked doctor about it. GP told me that there’s ongoing debate about probiotics (live bacteria and yeasts), and that some people say that they make no difference. Here in the UK, probiotics are treated as food, not meds. They are not under meds regulations, so doctors can’t prescribe them (which is ironic, because meds that can be prescribed, won’t heal your gut, just reduce the symptoms!).
Please note that symprove is different from other probiotics, it contains 4 unique strains of live activated bacteria, that can (unlike the others) survive and multiple in your gut! The whole programme lasts 12 weeks (that’s the time you need to restore your gut flora). All you need to do is drink 60ml (measuring cup is provided) of the liquid every morning (at least 10 minutes before you eat or drink anything else) and then carry on as normal. I was sceptical and I ordered only one bottle (just to try it out), but after feeling instant improvement, I decided that I want to join the programme.
So here we go, a little diary I wrote during past 4 weeks of treatment. Disclaimer: I contacted Symprove and I received my 4 bottle pack for free; all opinions are my own. I drink ‘Symprove – mango & passion fruit flavour’. There’s an ‘original flavour’ available too.
After the first dose I felt very nauseous and I felt gurgling in my stomach. It must have been a real shock for my gut – imagine all the live bacteria! It was was obvious that SOMETHING was happening. I felt nausea and bubbling in my stomach all day. I read in the leaflet that you can have problem with diarrhoea during first days of treatment, as your body is adjusting to all the bacteria, but I didn’t experience any problems. I didn’t take any antispasmodic tablets either (and normally I take 8!). The second side effect was hunger! Oh my, the hunger! It was like my digestive system started to work properly all of a sudden.
During this first week, I was craving everything from the forbidden ibs list. And to be honest, I was able to get away with almost anything (except chorizo and super spicy foods). I DON’T ADVICE YOU TO CHEAT ON YOUR IBS FRIENDLY DIET, but I must admit it was nice to finally treat myself. I just hope, I didn’t slow my healing process in any way.
I felt a bit nauseous all week. I took buscopan only few times during the first week of treatment.
I didn’t feel nauseous, but I was still very hungry! I didn’t experience any other gastric problems.
After craving lots of empty calories during second week of treatment, I was feeling a bit bloated and decided to increase the dose of antispasmodic meds for a few days. I was still quite hungry, but tried to make some positive changes to my diet. My stomach didn’t react well to fruits in the past 2 weeks, but I’ve noticed smoothies are agreeing with me. Everything with a skin (grapes, apples) was a no no, so I went for a skinless option: smoothies, fresh pressed juices (citrus juices excluded), plenty of water, veggies when possible (I was fine with cooked beetroot and pumpkin juice), white tea, mint tea. I was also eating plenty of chicken (skinless chicken breasts with rice) & some gluten free treats.
In the week 4 everything have calmed down. Excessive hunger stopped and I was able to enjoy my new, balanced diet (see below for menu example). Everything was back to normal (well, to ‘new normal’, because bloating was gone!). I’m very pleased that I went from 8 buscopans a day to 2 or none, in that short period of time! I thought for a moment that I’m stuck with that medicine forever!
Breakfast: decaf coffee with dairy free cream, gluten free toast with light turkey ham
Lunch: blueberry smoothie, gluten free coconut macaroons
Dinner: chicken breasts baked in their own juice (with the splash of olive oil & pinch of paprika and dried herbs), brown rice & grated, cooked beetroot
Dessert: 2 chocolate rice drinks
Let’s see how it goes later on during the treatment! See you next month ibs sufferers !
I recommend for ibs:
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