“I have had this condition for 40+ years and in that time I have tried every conceivable diet, medication (both traditional and alternative medication), supplement and who knows what else to try and control the condition. I have lost count of the amount of money I have spent over the years trying things that promised to bring relief.
Even having been referred by my doctor to a consultant gastroenterologist hasn’t been the answer. Without wanting to sound ungrateful, I was exposed to numerous mostly unpleasant and sometimes very invasive tests, finally being diagnosed with bile salts malabsorption, prescribed the “correct” medication and sent on my way. And that was that. I don’t blame the doctors, as they have hundreds, if not thousands more waiting to be seen.
But if the prescribed medication doesn’t really work, you’ve nowhere else to go. You’re back to having to find your own cures and what works for you.
Although I had been told that stress could make things worse, it took me a long time to realise exactly how much worse, and how only small amounts of stress, which I was ignoring, were having an immediate and significant effect on me.
I soon came to realise that, for me, stress was the overriding factor that caused the medication, the diets, the supplements and anything else I tried not to work. A change in diet, for example, would work initially and I thought I was onto something, hoping, praying it would work, but after a short while, things deteriorated back to what they were.
I now know that what caused the deterioration was stress. Even relatively small amounts of stress, and things I wasn’t even aware of such as a family disagreement, unsettled me enough to cause a flare up.
It was only when I started talking to a therapist that I realised that there are two distinct aspects to this. There’s the physical side with all the symptoms, the medication, the diet and everything else, and there’s the emotional side, our thoughts, our emotions and how we talk to ourselves.
I had spent a lot of years and a lot of money concentrating my efforts on the physical side, while largely underplaying and not realising the importance of the emotional side. Yet, for me at least, the emotional side has been the much more powerful and destructive side, and is the reason why nothing I tried on the physical side worked for any length of time.
I urge anyone struggling with IBS in any of its many forms to seriously consider talking to someone professionally qualified to help you get the emotional side under control.”
With this client we talked about the importance of learning to love ourselves, and seeing every part of us, including the parts we don’t love, as part of us. If we don’t love an aspect of ourselves, then we don’t love ourselves.
Change will come when we can fully accept ourselves and love ourselves. Self love will heal us.