April is Autism Awareness month, and IBS and Stress Awareness month, and all three of these can be closely connected. People with autism often have gastro problems, which IBS is one of, and stress from autism can cause IBS, and this is why I am posting about all three now.
I have autism and IBS. My IBS started when I was an adult in the 90s. Most of the time it is caused by foods. Other times it is from nerves, anxiety and stress.
My tips if it is due to foods is to work out which ones cause the problem and eliminate them for a month, then add them back in to your diet one by one with a few days in between. That way you will get to know what the foods are to avoid. My foods are many. I'm intolerant to dairy, gluten. I can't eat raw apples, carrots, or dark green veg, except a few Brussels. I can't eat too much fibre either. I have since found out that many of these are high FODMAP foods. (Fermented, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monos and Polyols (sweeteners ending in 'ol')).
If you know for certain that a particular food causes a problem eg stomach upset, then avoid it altogether. I avoid all dairy and gluten foods, esp butter which makes me v ill, except Marmite. I esp avoid wheat as I know that does give me IBS flare ups.
So that is what to do if food causes you gastro problems. What if it's anxiety and stress? Read my next post for that topic....
Sunday, 22 April 2018
Monday, 2 April 2018
I have had anxiety with meltdowns, mainly as an adult. I don't know about other Aspie adults, but I have found that my anxiety has got worse as I get older. But I have found ways to cope with the anxiety. Here are the situations I have been in and my tips to cope with them.
1. Shopping – Always take more money than is needed. This was the situation I was in when I had my first meltdown and had gone shopping on my own for the first time. I didn't have enough money to buy the tapestry threads I wanted, which upset me greatly.
2. Shopping with someone else – Arrange to meet at a certain point in the shop or outside if you get separated.
3. Going to a new place - Work out times and transport to get there. Leave with plenty of time, especially if it's for an appointment. When there, take a map. Make a note of any landmarks eg a shop or statue, so you know where you are going.
4. Job interview application – If you feel it will help you, then do put down on the form that you have Asperger's/autism, and explain how it affects you, what they can do to help you in the interview. Eg eyes, questions etc. Familiarise yourself with the place and job. If you don't understand a question, ask them to repeat it but in simple language. I recall the last interview I had when I only suspected I had Asperger's. A couple of the questions I took too long to answer and replied wrongly. If I had asked for it to be repeated simply, I might have got a different outcome – fail. As it was, I didn't get the job. It turned out to be the right thing in the end, as I got the time to find out about myself more and get diagnosed.
5. Appointments running late – This one really makes me anxious and worked up. If your appointment is running v late, do tell the consultant when you see them. They will understand, and hopefully will arrange your next appointment to be at an earlier time in the day.
Do you find anxiety is worse as an adult? How do you cope?