Re: I need help and reassurance!
Hi there - so sorry to hear of your problems. It's important to get a specific diagnosis from your doctor to rule out many gastro problems that cause diarrhea. If the doc comes up with a diagnosis of IBS (which is often the case if other tests don't reveal anything), there are some different things you can try to help your problem. You cannot cure IBS, but with some treatments, you can get relief from your troublesome symptoms. First off, try increasing your fiber intake either through diet or supplements like Metamucil, Fibercon, Citracel. I especially like the Metamucil wafers - they taste good, and you just have to be sure to drink plenty of fluid with them. Some readers on this board have gotten relief by taking Caltrate + D 2-3 times daily; the calcium has a constipating effect. However, the calcium only worked a short time for me, as did the increase in fiber. Although I have continued with fiber and calcium since my body needs these anyway, I got the greatest relief from taking Coletid. Your doc will have to prescribe this - it's actually a medication for high cholesterol, but has a constipating effect and I've been regular with it for the last 2 months.
I've had IBS, the "D" kind for 20+ years, but in the last 4-5 years, it has worsened considerably after gall bladder removal in '97, and anti-reflux surgery in 2001. I would have "D" all the time after meals, several times a day, and if it was really bad, sometimes I couldn't get to a bathroom in time. How embarrassing to have to leave work or be away from home and need a change of clothes! So after reading several posts on this board and others related to IBS, I tried the calcium, and then increased my fiber. Both remedies were short-lived, until I read information about "bile salt diarrhea" and taking Colestid (pill form) or Questran (powder form) which is a bile-binding resin that helps form stools for those with diarrhea. My doc has been treating my IBS for years, and he had never heard of this medication being used for "D", but was willing to give it a try. And so far for the last 2 months, I have not had one urgent, loose stool. Even when I had a stomach virus, I could still make it to the bathroom in time.
It's importatnt to have your doc rule out everything else before you start any kind of treatment for IBS, and what's working for me, may not work for anyone else. That's the aggrevating part of this condition. Hopefully others will respond to your messag and give you advice as well, that you can determine what's the best for you.