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Old 11-20-2012, 09:10 PM   #1
LaurLaur04
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Disney with IBS....

I have a lot of trouble with my IBS at Disney. The anxiety of crowds and long lines makes it worse. I find myself nervous when there is no immediate access to a restroom. I try not to eat very much but it rarely helps. Does anyone have this problem? How do you cope?
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:19 PM   #2
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Only time for a quick post, but this thread should be helpful.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1590754

Also, get yourself a map of each park or, if you have a smartphone, one of the planning apps that have maps on them - Mobile Magic, Disney Park app (official ones) or the one by Undercover ztourist. Touring Plans will help you to plan to be in the least busy part of the least busy park, which will help a lot.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:44 PM   #3
Maggie'sMom
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I have IBS and mine can be triggered by stress. I agree with Sue that you should get a map of each park so you can find where the bathrooms are.

Also, have you tried any medication for it? I sometimes take an Imodium before eating if I'll be having something that could set it off or if I'm someplace where getting to a bathroom isn't convenient. I used to take Levsin (prescription) and it helped a lot but it also really dried me out. It was an issue with my contact lenses. When I got pregnant 9 years ago, I wanted to stop taking the Levsin. I researched and discovered that peppermint oil can help. Since then, I carry a bag of peppermints in my purse (or in my park bag at WDW ) and I swear they are as effective as the Levsin was. I'll often pop one immediately after eating as a preventative measure, but even if I wait until I feel a tiny bit uneasy and then start sucking on one, I can often head off an attack.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:21 PM   #4
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I will have to try peppermints! My doctor had tried two meds....on number three now. So far not helping. I pretty much know every bathroom in the world now thanks to this and an overactive bladder. I'm on Lotronex now and its not doing much.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:05 AM   #5
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Yup. I carry altoids with me 24/7, and I often sip mint tea. They help immensely. I generally follow a low-FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) diet. That's a little harder at Disney, but the closer I can stay to it, the better I feel.

I also treat my stress and anxiety. Lots of positive thinking, consciously releasing the stress, and the security of pills for a backup. I didn't need the pills, but I needed to have them there, if that makes sense.

I didn't have any major problems while I was at Disney, but I had a slow slide into being more symptomatic, and now that I've been home for five days I just can't get my gut regulated. I'm going to visit family at the end of the year, and I'm hoping to do better. This was only my second vacation since I started having major flares, so there's a learning curve.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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A few other suggestions

I would try a restroom before and after a show. I would do the same for parades and fireworks.

Follow a routine with rides, too. If the line has a long wait time then go to the restroom beforehand to try and afterwards, too.

Before and after eating to me would be a given to visit the restroom.

By following the above and hopefully emptying yourself often, you should be less prone to emergencies that way.

Be aware there are ways to exit a ride queue once you are in one.

Definitely, know where the restrooms are located. Keep in mind all restaurants have restrooms. First aid is another good choice.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:59 PM   #7
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Once I got an anxiety medication that worked for me, my IBS disappeared. Obviously not applicable to every situation, but something to consider.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:30 PM   #8
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I take lexapro every day and ativan as needed. Doesn't do a whole lot for my ibs. I'm starting to think there is nothing i can do about it except never eat!
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:29 PM   #9
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I've heard that anti-inflamatories can be helpful. I haven't noticed a benefit from them, but I also may not have taken them consistently enough and for long enough to get results.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:58 PM   #10
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I so feel your pain. My IBS issues are flaring now and I find I'm having to eliminate more and more food to keep me diarrhea free.

Going on vacation with this creates a lot of anxiety for me. I worry about having to use the bathroom after every single meal or that I'll have those awful cramps the whole time. I've been trying various probiotics and they seem to help a little. But then I'll have a good stretch of time with no issues and bam, back to diarrhea. Not fun. IBS sucks, plain and simple.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:04 PM   #11
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I cannot explain how much I feel your pain. I have had the same issues for over 6 years now, at times more manageable than others. A year ago this week we were at Disney for the night and I was so miserable. in pain/crying, uptight bc I knew I was ruining what was meant to be a fun night of christmas lights and disney moments. I ended up in the ER, and long story short ended up getting no answers even after seeing a GI doc and having an EGD/colonoscopy. I find my anxiety to be the absolute worst part of it honestly. Yes my stomach is cramping and it sucks to be in the bathroom for what feels like forever, but that heart racing, eyes searching for an exit, running for your life feeling is way worse at times. I am so lucky to have a DBF that is more understanding than I could ever imagine, but no matter how many times he tells me it's no big deal, it still upsets me that we have to work our schedules and activities around it a lot of times.

I've tried anxiety meds and find that some times they work, but more than anything just make me tired, plus i really don't want to rely on meds for relaxation. The mind is such a powerful thing, and I know that more than half of my problems are brought on by that. Sometimes I'll bring meds to the park with me, just in case I go into a full panic mode, but I always bring Imodium too. I always adjust my diet while im there, avoiding fat and rich foods as much as possible, a lot of times bringing my own stuff. In general I try to just relax myself with slow breathing and positive reinforcement, but it feels impossible sometimes and really makes it hard to enjoy the parks at times. I'll Go on any ride that's a walk on but even then I'm not 100% secure, all it takes is a ride breakdown for everything to tart back up. We got on the express monorail at TTC, the doors closed and then nothing happened. The air turned off, it was hot, and I lost it. I was trying to figure any escape out and even pulled out the emergency phone in the monorail car, to no dial tone or ring, we were trapped until the doors opened 8 mins later. My DBF just held me and tried to help me with my breathing and thoughts, and if it wasn't for him idk what I would have done. I felt so stupid after with everyone in the car having witnessed it.

All I can say is everyone is different and it takes lots of experimenting to see what works for YOU. We all have to remember that no one is perfect and we all have our issues. I'm so relieved to hear that others have experienced this though, one of the worst feelings at the happiest place on earth lol
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:18 PM   #12
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My wife, my mom, and I all have restroom-related issues, so I think we know every restroom in WDW, Disneyland, and every mall on the eastern seaboard!

Here are a couple of my own tips:

1. If you see a bathroom, GO. You probably know this one already, but do not pass up an opportunity to go to the restroom when you see one. You never know when you are going to find an unexpected line in a restroom.

2. Have a map with you at all times, even if you where the restrooms are. Sometimes you may have to find an alternate restroom (lines, renovations, etc), and you may want a map to help you find the quickest route.

3. In an emergency, you can go to First Aid and ask to use the restroom there. I do this when I am having a bathroom emergency and there is a line.

4. This is my most important tip: Know how long attractions are and when you cannot leave them in the middle. Ellen's Energy Adventure is 35 minutes long! If you try to leave CoP, you will cause the attraction to stop and reset, making everyone else re-watch that scene. This will not make you loved.

5. Know your triggers - stress, certain foods, whatever. Take it easy. Check menus online ahead of time so you can find easy foods for unhappy tummy.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellerissa View Post
I've tried anxiety meds and find that some times they work, but more than anything just make me tired, plus i really don't want to rely on meds for relaxation. The mind is such a powerful thing, and I know that more than half of my problems are brought on by that.
Many of the traditional anti-anxiety meds do cause fatigue, but some anti-depressants also help with anxiety and aren't as likely to cause fatigue. You would need to take them consistently, but you may find them helpful.

If you haven't already, look into yoga as a way to relax and deal with your anxiety.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:19 PM   #14
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I completely feel your pain! After years of dreading leaving my house or somewhere known I finally seem to be on an upswing. I have tried several different medications and finally my patient amazing doctor suggested trying a low dose anti depressant that is actually been on the market for a long time (I take 30mg a day a dose for it as an anti depressant is 300mg a day) and I have found I am almost normal. Do I have flares, YES!!! I have identified garlic as a major food trigger but otherwise I have yet to find a food cause. Stress makes it really bad for me.

As someone suggested, I always know the length of a ride, basically how long will I be "trapped" with no control. I find knowing helps me stay calmer (weird I know).

Good luck and know you are not alone!
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WsPrincess View Post
I completely feel your pain! After years of dreading leaving my house or somewhere known I finally seem to be on an upswing. I have tried several different medications and finally my patient amazing doctor suggested trying a low dose anti depressant that is actually been on the market for a long time (I take 30mg a day a dose for it as an anti depressant is 300mg a day) and I have found I am almost normal. Do I have flares, YES!!! I have identified garlic as a major food trigger but otherwise I have yet to find a food cause. Stress makes it really bad for me.

As someone suggested, I always know the length of a ride, basically how long will I be "trapped" with no control. I find knowing helps me stay calmer (weird I know).

Good luck and know you are not alone!
Garlic? Me too! Add to that onions, broccoli, cabbage, legumes, red meat and most spices and there you have it.
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