MY BIOME IS MY HOME

My Journey on a Quest to Healing

IBS, or IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME, IS A CONDITION IMPACTING 10-15% OF THE WORLD POPULATION.

IBS is a condition involving disordered bowel habits. Flares are usually triggered by food and/or stress, which disturbs the interaction between the gut, brain, and nervous system. The cause is still unknown.

  • 2/3 of IBS sufferers are women, 1/3 are men
  • IBS comes in three main forms: 
    • IBS-C (constipation), IBS-D (diarrhea), or IBS-M (mixed)
  • Symptoms can range from mild to severe, some of which are:
    • Abdominal pain, bloating, belching, nausea, vomiting
  • IBS disrupts lifestyle, mood, mental-health, and can induce other physical  health complications
  • Only 50% of patients seek medical care
  • There is no standard treatment for IBS; patients must learn to cope with their personal symptoms

INSPIRATION

A few years ago, the ghostly demon that is IBS entered my life. Over the past year or so, this demon has taken control of me in unprecedented ways that I would have never imagined. Through my blog posts about mental-health, anxiety, and student wellness, it is evident how stress has taken a toll on my being as one of the predominant causes of by IBS. Today, although I don’t feel anxious, IBS still impacts me on a daily basis.

My experiences have inspired me to raise awareness about the pain that IBS causes me both physically and emotionally. Although this illness is truly invisible to those around us, we often have no choice but to reveal it at some point— at least I have, and it hurts. Most importantly, I have learned that we should never hide behind our pain: we must embrace it and know that we aren’t fighting it alone. There’s nothing to hide, only something to gain— like me, by sharing your story, you can find an unconditionally supportive circle whose knowledge-base, resources, and care are a step toward balancing your inner-harmony. 

My blog posts will take you through my journey with IBS, ranging from my interactions with doctors to the raw expression of how this condition impacts me. Through sharing my stories, I hope to empower those battling any challenge–medical or not–to be their own doctor, advocate, and ultimately, healer.

Doc. Attacked, I Pushed Back: My Experience with Medical Gaslighting

Along my journey, I sought an OB/GYN specialist’s guidance to understand the link between female hormones and IBS among other complications. I waited six months for a visit with the “best OB/GYN” in our county, having consulted with two others in the past who weren’t of much help.  Due to COVID rules, my mother was […]

Colonics: Experts Said No, I Said Yes.

* This story is continued chronologically from my previous article, Be Your Own Doctor. After four tortuous months of waiting for a gastroenterology appointment, I was relieved to finally find myself in good hands. The doctor asked me questions about my medical history, lifestyle, and stress levels; NOT ONCE did he ask about my nutrition […]

The Wrong Doctor, The Right Process

Process Over Protocol

Since the age of five, my mother has raised me under the belief that authorities aren’t always right. A close friend and I laugh over the “so-called experts” who staunchly demand that we follow their A-grade guidance only until they’re proven wrong, or until we find a discrepancy between their words and their actions. Then […]

My Biome Is My Home: Living With IBS

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on my blog, but I’ve been working on a long project (a book I’m trying to get published!) and dealing with tremendous pain over the past many months. Today is IBS awareness day, and for those of you who know me, I’ve certainly brought it up or you’ve […]

Be Your Own Doctor.

A few weeks ago, my IBS and acid reflux emerged stronger than ever before. Unabated episodes of belching, extreme bloating, and burning in my stomach exacerbated daily. Lying on the couch curled up in pain, my parents and I called my primary care: I was eager to see a doctor. He told me we could […]

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