View Full Version : Friend is desperate--IBS D-type?

10-06-2002, 10:28 PM
My good friend has a problem, I think it might be D-type--I have C type and I'm not sure how to help her.

Basically, every time she eats anything, she gets a stomachache and has to have a major BM. She drinks plenty of water, tea, and exercises regularly (perhaps too much). She says that whenever she goes to get food, the same thing happens--she'll put food on her plate, look at it, and have to use the bathroom. She's lost weight b/c everything she eats seems to run right through her, and now she's even getting stubborn to eat, claiming it's a "waste of food".

Last year her doctor gave her Bentyl, and she only used it when she was "stressed out" over exams or boyfriend troubles. I wasn't sure if this was the correct way to use the medication or if she should use it consistently to control all the symptoms. She still has a few pills left, and I got her to take one tonight when at dinner she had to get up halfway through to use the bathroom. She got upset that she *wasted money* on food that went right through her. I'm afraid that it might lead to a dangerous eating disorder or nutritional problems.

Those of you with D-type IBS, what do you do? What are the proper foods? Fiber? She said that for awhile she was eating lots of fiber (using Benefiber if I remember correctly) but that when she stopped the bm's came back. A well balanced diet for D-type consists of what? What could I recommend for her so that she'll believe me? She knows I suffer from C-type.

I also told her that I thought it could be general anxiety disorder. I have this and was using Paxil for a while. She asked me why if I had it why I didn't get the sh*ts all the time, and I told her that it constipated me--just the opposite of what she seems to have.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm worried about her.

10-07-2002, 09:32 AM
Hi Angelene

I'm sorry your friend is having these problems, but I understand what she is going through. It's great that you're trying to help her through this.

If the fiber she was using helped (until she stopped taking it)..she should look at it as a maintenance regimen, not for short term help...but for the long run. Many people do this if fiber helps, and it just becomes a natural part of their day..not a chore. She may have to try new meds if Bentyl doesn't seem to work for her. I can't even remember all the ones I went through with mixed results! And fibers were of no help to me, unfortunately...but that doesn't mean they can't be to some IBS-D sufferers.

Her diet should be relatively low fat, low spice, low carbonated drinks. If vegetables (raw) bother her..most vegetables cooked or steamed are easier to digest. Some fruits can cause problems..so she'll have to experiment to see what might trigger these attacks. Lettuce salads are usually a no-no with most IBS-D people...the originial "salad shooter" you might say.
Has she tried keeping a food diary, so that she can track better which foods/drinks might really trigger the attacks.

You're right about the anxiety. It sounds like she's very down and depressed (and who can blame her)..and that can make the symptoms occur more often and be more severe. Sometimes just the thought of going out to eat, and the thought of 'what if' are enough to actually make it happen. If its possible for her to get a different 'mindset' (a more positive one) it may just help her over some rough spots. It's not easy..I know from experience. But there is such a mind/gut connection with IBS...that she has to watch what stress and anxiety levels she's having and try to counteract those with positive, relaxing thoughts. Sounds hokey I know, but it works a lot of the time. And not eating is definitely NOT going to make things better And empty stomach, is a 'angry' stomach..and that can really backfire on her. Several small meals during the day are much better than 3 regular large, heavy meals. Eating just a little something safe every 3 hours or so might cause the attacks to lessen for her.

Has she been through a complete GI checkup? It wouldn't hurt. And it definitely helps to have some tests run as far as Drs. being able to help better with different medications if necessary. I'm on two different kinds right now, and I'm closer to normal than I've been in 20 years of dealing with this. So I hope she doesn't give up...there's always hope, you just can't feel like giving up and being defeated by this.

Don't know if this was of any help..but I truly feel for her and wish her the best in finding what will help her tackle this problem better. And again, you're a great friend. I hope your IBS-C is under control for you, also.

Katie G
10-07-2002, 11:52 AM
Hi, Angelene. Hope your friend feels better soon. Believe me, my heart goes out to her, because I suffer the "D" kind too, and know exactly what she's going through. I too, wanted to stop eating because everything seemed to go right through me - watery, explosive and uncontrollable. I felt SO bad about this, that I had to start calling in sick to work or wearing maxi pads in case I had an "accident". I went to my doc in tears, and he just said it's IBS, and try this Bentyl. Bentyl calmed me down (I get nice and drowsy on it), but it didn't stop the "D". Eventually, I read about bile salt diarrhea, and felt it fit my symptoms to a "T".

In a nutshell, the only thing that has saved my sanity and self-esteem was to ask my doc to put me on a prescription drug called Colestid. Now, this may not work for everybody, but for me the last 8 months has been incredible. I was so depressed before, but now I don't have uncontrollable "D"; every day or every other, I have 1-4 formed BM's.

No more shame, humiliation, and getting anxious over whether my bowels were going to cooperate or not. Anxiety can cause a worsening of IBS, and bouts of "D" can worsen anxiety. It's a viscious cycle, and I can relate to your friend.

To also keep me regulated beside the Colestid, I eat Metamucil wafers, take calcium supplements, exercise, and take acidophilus capsules. I finally feel normal again, and my days do not revolve around the nearest toilet.

Good luck to your friend, and keep me posted,
Katie G

10-08-2002, 08:48 AM
Hi Katie

I'm on Questran..the powdered form of Colestid.

Like you, this is THE major thing that turned my symptoms around. A real God-send.

I had IBS-D before..but after my Gallbladder surgery it was 10x worse...finally after several years, a GI suggested Questran...and the rest is history. It didn't help with the urgency/frequency issue..but certainly did with forming the BMs. I started taking Elavil (12.5mg at bedtime) and this has conquered the urgency/frequency symptoms quite well...although, of course, stress or bad diet will/can cause breakthroughs..so I have to watch the two of those. Also helped me to sleep a lot better at night, which I was having a horrible time with for a few years.

I've been able to cut the Elavil down to about 6mg a night now, and its still helping. Its not something I want to be on longterm if possible..but I realize the dosage is miniscule compared to that given for those with clinical depression.

Katie G
10-09-2002, 09:30 AM
Hi, dennie. So glad the Questran has helped you. Like you, Colestid was a god-send for me, too. I too will still have urgency and frequency, as well as abdominal cramps because of my IBS. However, even with the frequency/urgency, I can hold it better since it's formed. Once in awhile, I will have loose stools if I eat something or drink coffee too soon after taking the Colestid, but I'm learning about medication/eating timing. Occasionally, anxiety will interfere too, but since my bowels are under much better control, so is my anxiety level.

I also take Elavil - mine is for fibromyalgia pain control/better sleep. I take 25 mg at bedtime, but have taken it for 10+ years, so it really doesn't help my IBS control.

It's nice to see others on the board that have success controlling their IBS. Have you heard if we can take Questran/Colestid forever? I'm always concerned about long-term effects, but at this point, I don't care. I'm just glad to have my life back.

Katie G

10-09-2002, 11:32 AM
Hi Katie

A few years ago, when I first started on Questran, I asked my GI exactly that question, and he said yes..being on long term(life-long) should be no problem. My father was on it for lowering cholesterol, and his pharmacist at the time said the same thing. That doesn't mean that I hope in the future they can't come up with something that will be of even more help.

My PCP wouldn't let my try Colestid...for whatever her reasons were. I wanted to, for the convenience and not having to drink this 'sludge' twice a day. LOL BUT, as long as it works the way it does for me, I'm not going to complain about its less than delicious taste and consistency too much.

My Dr. gave me a 25mg prescription for the Elavil..but the first day after taking it the night before..I was pretty much walking into the walls..or falling asleep sitting in a chair. SO, I started cutting it in half after that first day, and although still groggy in the morning it was much better. Since it seems most people can gain weight on Elavil (and I noticed that myself before learning from others), I've now got it (25mg) cut into quarters (no easy task, with that teeny green pill). It doesn't help as much as the half pill, but its still having a positive effect on the urgency and frequency. Before a stressful situation, I would certainly have no qualms in upping the dose to the original strength, since stress does some to override the medication for me.

Sorry the Elavil isn't doing the same for you..but like you said...things are much better than in the past.

Hope you're having a great day.....along with everyone else on the board.

10-27-2002, 07:55 PM
Have any of you tried calsieum for the IBS with D?

Katie G
10-30-2002, 09:17 AM
Hi, ldt. Yeah, I tried the calcium (am still taking it) and got relief from "D" for about 3 weeks; then I increased my fiber + calcium, which worked again for a few weeks. The only thing that has continued to work for me is adding Colestid; I've been on it now for probably 8 months, and life with IBS has never been better! I still take the caltrate + D twice a day, eat Metamucil wafers twice daily, but adding the Colestid too, has been the only thing that's worked for me.

Katie G