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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Message Board

  • just diagnosed ibs. need help from those with experience.

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    Old 08-04-2005, 03:10 PM   #1
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Posts: 1
    jstrum22 HB User
    just diagnosed ibs. need help from those with experience.

    i've never posted anything before, but i have been reading this forum's history for the past month and you've all been so informative.
    i too have had the sonograms, ct scans, hida scan, x-ray, mri and finally a colonoscopy last week and no abnormality has been found. my family doctor and the gastro doctor have concluded ibs.
    i'm 38 years old and i have had MILD ibs (looking back on things) for about 10 years. frequent abdominal cramping relieved by diarrhea. always took prevative immodium before having to eat out, etc. i cope poorly with stress. i obsess, i fixate and suffer from other stress related illnessness like tmj problems and panic attacks.
    i quit a very stressfull job at the end of june and was set to spend my open ended time off fixing up my house and spending the summer with my niece and nephews. instead i began having some constipation intermittant with the usual diarrhea along with constant right side abdominal pain that doesn't go away with bowel movements. it has now been with me every day for the past 5 weeks.
    at first i was consumed by the thought of what terrible terminal disease i had and with each diagnostic test that found nothing wrong i was convinced that the next test would find something horrible. now the doctors are out of tests and have put me on anti-spasmodic medicine and acid reflux medicine. every day now i am so depressed and in pain that i stay in bed medicated with xanax and/or cry.
    when i quit my job it was with the full and generous support of my husband. i had wanted to let him know how much i love and appreciate him by doing his 1/2 of the housework, running all of the errands, doing repairs around the house, cooking dinner for him... and instead i've completely let him down. i don't know what to do.
    i adore my doctor and he has been there with me through the anxiety and the tears, but he can't solve this one. can someone let me know where to begin? i don't want to feel sorry for myself, since i know a lot of people out there have life worse than me, but i can't stop crying.
    what i want help with is: 1. is it unusual to have constant pain instead of some relief during the day? could some of this pain be acid reflux instead bowel related? do the anti-spasmodic drugs work if i'm back to my "normal" habit of daily diarrhea and no logner appear to be having constipation?
    thanks to anyone who can help and sorry my first message is so long.

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    Old 08-05-2005, 02:19 AM   #2
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    Join Date: May 2005
    Posts: 32
    tatootie HB User
    Re: just diagnosed ibs. need help from those with experience.

    I am pretty new here - but I have found that diet changes are the key. For me personnaly, increasing my water intake and taking a fiber supplement, I can manage things pretty decently. This is a great site - Im sure others will chime in


    Old 08-05-2005, 04:08 AM   #3
    Join Date: Jul 2005
    Location: NL, Canada
    Posts: 404
    Angela22F HB User
    Re: just diagnosed ibs. need help from those with experience.

    I'm just figuring all this out myself, and to me it seems that a constant pain is assocaited with IBS, although different for everybody. Ihave a constant pain, but sometimes its duller than others, sometimes its like I'm being stabbed a million times over, others its just annoying... not enough to really cause me grief.
    Theres no "normal" with IBS. Personally I find anti-spasmodics work somewhat. They help but they're not completely relieving. ( I'm on Dicetel ).
    As for Acid reflux, I don't know a whole lot about it, but I think that has more of a burning pain in the stomach, esophagus (sp?) area.
    Maybe if you try cutting out spicy foods you could eliminate the acid reflux problem.
    As for the IBS, I find cutting out caffeinated beverages helps, as well as cutting out chocolate, dairy/lactose, fats ( ie butter/magarine ) and high in fat foods ( ie mayo, ice cream, nuts, etc ), and red meat. As I always say though, a dietician could give you some very helpful insight into what may trigger symptoms and what may help symptoms.

    I hope I was some help, this is a long learning process lol

    Old 08-05-2005, 03:05 PM   #4
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    Join Date: May 2003
    Posts: 818
    bulletinboard25 HB User
    Re: just diagnosed ibs. need help from those with experience.

    1. is it unusual to have constant pain instead of some relief during the day? could some of this pain be acid reflux instead bowel related?

    -Yes, in my opinion it is normal to have constant pain, especially when you have had all the tests done. I have been in the same boat. the anti-spasmodic drugs work if i'm back to my "normal" habit of daily diarrhea and no logner appear to be having constipation?

    Anti-spasmodics, in clinical studies, were shown to be no more effective than the placebo. Does this mean they can't work for you, no. Often times though, these drugs never work.

    I have some questions for you? Are you suffering now with constipation? Is that more of a concern than the diarrhea?

    If you are constipated, I would suggest an anti-depressant such as Zoloft...

    If you are more concerned with diarrhea, I would suggest an anti-depressant such as Tofranil or Elavil. These types of antidepressants are referred to as tricyclics. Imipramine(the chemical in Tofranil) was actually first discovered accidently in 1950. It has been around for awhile. They have several anti-muscarinic properties like decreasing intestinal motility and secretion, which leads to constipation as a side effect.

    Elavil is actually prescribed for people with chronic pain issues.

    Neurontin is frequently prescribed offlabel for nerve pain. Elavil/Neurontin might be a combination to ask your doctor about.

    Over the counter remedies I can think of:

    Fiber... Fiber is so important in the regulation of the intestines. A person needs 25-35 grams of fiber per day. Soluble Fiber is typically better for IBS'ers.

    Calcium... You are a female anyways, and they say it's good for bone health, but Caltrate Colon Health works wonderful in helping bulk up stools. Calcium Carbonate is the kind of calcium found in Caltrate. Citrate is another popular kind of calcium, but carbonate works better. It's actually funny, calcium carbonate works for IBS by not working actually. The carbonate form of calcium has the lowest absorption rate of any form of calcium, all the excess calcium makes its way down to and through the intestines soaking up water along the way.

    Probiotics have been shown to be beneficial to some with IBS. I haven't seen tremendous results from this kind of therapy, but what works for you might not work for me.

    Peppermint can be very soothing to the intestines. You can get encentric coated capsules that won't dissolve until they reach the intestines.

    Those are a few suggestions for now, any questions?

    Old 08-20-2005, 04:55 PM   #5
    Join Date: Aug 2005
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    ingyk HB User
    Re: just diagnosed ibs. need help from those with experience.

    Dear jstrum22: I just joined the board because I just had to answer your question. I've had IBS for almost 13 years now. It certainly has its ups and downs but one thing that I have to tell you is if you stress about your condition, it will only make it worse. Example: Your out shopping and you feel a little twinge. Suddenly you are really stressed because you aren't near a washroom. The stress and nerveousness is guaranteed to make it worse. So in a nutshell, the brain-gut connection is a very strong thing with this syndrome. Your bowel has so many nerves it's bound to react to your emotional state. So how do you cope? Well one thing is please please avoid drugs as much as possible. In the long term they only make matters worse. Unless you have to, use natural remedies as much as possible and here are some suggestions. The amino acid 5-HTP is an amazing product, available at your health food store. It raises seriton levels and reduces the stress hormone cortisol. It will also help with depression but you can't take this stuff with anti-depressents. Second, pepperment oil will calm the smooth muscle of the bowel reducing spasms. Camomile will also calm the spasms and help with diahrea and constipation. It is good to keep taking probiotics and if you can affod it, aloe vera juice sooths the intestinal lining and makes you feel good too. I find these things have helped me tremendously over the years. Don't rule out accupuncture - it has a high success rate for IBS and self hypnosis and exercise (yoga is wonderful). Diet plays a big role here as you may have food allergies. Try cutting out dairy and see how things go. You can pick yourself up by telling youself you aren't going to let it bring you down. You can do it. Take care and I hope you feel better soon!

    Old 08-21-2005, 05:15 AM   #6
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    Join Date: May 2005
    Posts: 32
    tatootie HB User
    Re: just diagnosed ibs. need help from those with experience.

    I would not suggest Zoloft - Zoloft contributes to constipation...

    Old 08-21-2005, 05:32 AM   #7
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    Ellecram HB User
    Re: just diagnosed ibs. need help from those with experience.

    The following have been helpful for me - I have had this for over 20 years (along with other conditions!)

    I always carry a pack of Immodium with me. When the "urge" strikes - I have very little time .......

    I always have some level of pain in the abdomen - sometimes worse - sometiomes its PainLite - diet does seem to play a significant role. The kinds and quantites of foods are something you will need to explore. Eating 12 grain bread instead of white helps - drinking less caffeine helps - I pretty much had to dock my coffee drinking - one small cup in the AM is about all I can handle. Also - Crystal Lite seems to really bring on the symptoms of both IBS and interstitial cystitis.

    Anti spasmodics have not helped me. I have Anti anxiety RX which I take a couple times a week if symptoms are particularly wretched.

    I always map out bathroom stops wherever I am headed ( I have interstitial cystitis as well and somedays I practically need to be transported on a commode on wheels to get thru the day .....)


    Last edited by Ellecram; 08-21-2005 at 05:32 AM.

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