Irritable Bowel Syndrome sucks when it flares up. You feel like you have a giant balloon in your stomach. You feel like a whale waiting to explode. The cramps can vary in duration and location. The pain can be generalized or localized to one area in your abdomen. The truth is IBS can be triggered by stress and many other variables. I had a flare up this week and it all started with a prescription for an injury. I had forgotten that sometimes prescriptions are laced with corn starch. I am extremely sensitive to any corn product and the problem only got worse from there. I went to bed that night feeling bloated a few hours after taking Flexeril. It was a week out of the norm with a ton of work to due and added stress. I was appearing on my first ever TV appearance. It was exciting and nerve racking all at the same time. If you have IBS then you understand that any added stress on a tummy that is already acting up is a volcano waiting to erupt. I woke up every morning this week feeling bloated and filled with gas. I had some cramping but it wasn’t too bad. My usual routine when IBS flares is oatmeal and brown sugar for a few meals until everything settles. I also drink Kombucha to help build my probiotics and get the excess gas out. The day of the show I woke up in pain and bloated. This was definitely stress related, I know because I usually have presentation anxiety with stomach ache. That was a pattern for me most of my life since childhood. Thankfully meditation and relaxation brought the bloat down before the show. I desperately wanted it to disappear so I could wear my red dress. It did and the show went well, nerves and all. That night I ate a delicious fish and lobster dinner. I went to sleep fine but woke up a few times thinking about my TV appearance and things I wanted to do better. And of course, I woke up bloated. An added issue to my flare up was my daily Aloe for autoimmune disease had run out a week ago. Stress + corn + no aloe was a bad mix for me. Today, I woke up feeling like a whale with sharp pain on my right side (liver and gallbladder). I knew that if I wanted to get better my diet needed to be simple and I needed a little help. Listening to your body is the key to staying healthy. I knew it was time for acupuncture so I reached out to a few friends. Thankfully one was working and I was able to see her. I could feel my intestines jumping and moving during the session. The bloat and pain took a little while to relieve but now I am much better. I definitely learned to monitor my aloe medication, read my prescriptions and keep my diet bland when I need it. If you have IBS learning your body and being prepared is essential. Thank you Michelle for taking care of me today. I am thankful for having a variety of friends to help me tackle my flare ups.