I have FGID every day. My stomach is never quite right. Still, some days are worse than others, and after twenty years, I’ve got the symptoms that indicate a bad day down pat. Put another way, there are things that happen that send an OH-MY-this-is-gonna-be-BAD message straight to my brain. Here’s the short list for figuring it out (at least in my case).
- Something stressful occurs. An argument with a friend, bad news, a big bill, a big presentation coming due at work. Sometimes it’s just a bad day.
- Next, my back will start to hurt, and I’ll feel pressure in my gut.
- An hour or two later, the mouth farts begin. These will last anywhere from 3 hours to 2 days, slowly increasing in intensity.
- Next comes moaning on the bathroom floor by the toilet, begging for mercy.
- Finally, the throwing up begins, the pressure eases, and I can take my bruised & battered body to bed.
I’ve found that if I’m really attuned to the symptoms, I can catch the attack at stage 1 or 2 and stop it from progressing by moving to an ALL LIQUIDS diet. This means soup (ramen noodles, light broth), milkshakes & protein drinks, maybe some eggs if things aren’t too bad. If I stay on that for a day or two, I can usually pull things back from the brink.
Things go really bad if I miss the signals and move into stage 3. Usually by that point it’s too late to stop it. When I’m having a particularly bad month (or months), I’m aware enough to catch it almost every time. It’s the “good periods” that I get lazy and stop watching the signs. That’s when I get caught unaware.
None of the actions above are a guarantee though. Sometimes the stress is high enough, or the functional response is fast enough that I can’t catch it. My doctor has prescribed anti-cramping and/or anti-nausea meds for these cases, although I usually have to wait for at least one round of symptoms before I can keep a pill down long enough to have an effect. These pills come with side effects too — most of them will knock you out for a day.
So what do you do to control your FGID? Tell us more in the comments below.