It's All About the Bananas.
Looking back, I've probably had IBS since I was a teenager. I used to dance, and I'd get so nervous before performances that my stomach would start to rumble... and you know what happened from there. :)
Before I was diagnosed, I went on a date with a guy and we went to the Olive Garden. I love their tiramisu! Unfortunately, I didn't yet know that the cheese in the salad dressing and in the tiramisu triggered my diarrhea. I spent the entire rest of the date in his bathroom! How humiliating. He was really, really nice about it, though.
Since I was diagnosed, I've figured out my usual triggers: dairy products, greasy foods, carbonated drinks (or drinks with a straw), caffeine and stress. I know it could be a lot worse, and I'm grateful that it isn't! I explain that it's like filling a glass with water. The more triggers I consume, the more water I put in the glass. I can keep eating or drinking my triggers until the glass overflows. When it does, that's when the grumbling, gas and diarrhea start. Luckily, when I'm not very stressed my glass is bigger. :)
My doctor recommended eating bananas to help settle my stomach. Believe it or not, it really works! I've actually eaten a banana instead of taking Immodium when my stomach is acting up, and it really does work! Unless my stomach is REALLY bad, anyway. But when it's really bad, even Immodium won't work. Lately, though, I seem to be alternating between diarrhea and a little bit of constipation. I sort of miss the good old days of having normal bowel movements! For now I'll take the constipation part of it, though, because at least then I don't have to interrupt my life by dropping everything and running to the bathroom.
It's a little embarrassing the first time I have to explain my stomach problems to a guy I'm dating, though, especially when it's because my stomach is acting up. So embarrassing to stink up the place when I have gas or to keep running to the bathroom when I have diarrhea! :( I also hate it when I'm doing something important or fun and I have to put life on hold so I can hang out in the bathroom for a while. It sucks when it happens at work when it's busy, for example, or when I'm out doing something fun with my friends or family.
But, what can you do? You just deal with it and remind yourself that there are worse things you could be dealing with.