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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Message Board

I am in dire need of some help/advice, please!

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Old 09-09-2003, 08:16 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: KY
Posts: 5
fishfan HB User
Post I am in dire need of some help/advice, please!

I'd like to start off by saying that this site is very imfomational, and quite helpful; however, I am in need of some help.

General background info: I am 29 and both my mother and sister have GI problems. My sister, (now 34), was diagnosed with Chrons when she was my age (29). My mother was recently diagnosed with IBS within the past 1-2 years (I don't remember exactly). Anyhow, here goes:

I have been battling stomach aches from eating foods for about a year now (It's been so long, I don't remember the exact time frame). I have always had bloating and constipation. For the past two months, it's worse. It now hurts pretty much after every meal. For about 2 weeks now my stomach has constantly hurt. I have had EXTREME, extremely BAD gas for about a year. Quite embarrasing, but I can "toot" ALL DAY LONG, and the oder, is the same, 24/7. It is so bad, it makes me gag at times. THank goodness I have an understanding husband. He has been telling me that something died up there and to go to the doctor. I made an appointment for 9/17 with a GI that took me two weeks prior to make, but this morning was the last straw; I had to see someone, an Internal Meds doctor to help me until my appointment next Wed. I have been so bloated to the point where I look pregnant and this morning my pants unsnapped 3 times before I ended up changing into something else. I started crying because I can't take this anymore and decided to call the intern.

Most of my clothes are a size 1 to 2, and I look like I am 5 months pregnant. The pants I had on were a 3 and I ended up busting out of those.

I know I am rambling, but my symptoms are:
- beginning ocassional abdominal pains; past two months; all the time .
- Excessive, excessive gas (tooting); I can toot 24/7 and the oder will (embarrasing to say), kill you.
- stomach noises
- EXTREME bloatedness
- do not sleep well
- rare, but at times I am either about to have diahrea or throw up. It is usually diahrea, and the naucousness disappears after my BM.
- CONSTIPATION - this occurs more than the one above about having to go or get ill. I am ALWAYS constipated.
- Wake up at night lately HOT, having to turn the air on, but yet during the day I am COLD at the office and at home I have a blanket (I am in KY, very warm).

I am a healthy eater. And when I want something sweet for a dessert, I eat, (ready for this?), Frosted Shredded Wheat for my sweet tooth. I also eat a nutri-grain bar for breakfast, so I am eating FIBER.

The intern gave me medicine for 14 days (to get me through until I see the dr next week and a few days afterwards). He said it sounds like IBS. He gave me Amitriptyline (generic vs).

Can anyone make sense of this and attempt to help me? Does this sound like IBS, or something similar?

thanks in advance.

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Old 09-09-2003, 09:41 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 317
6th_sense HB User

Hi fishfan,

What you have definitely sounds like IBS. However, it is important that you have all of the tests done... IBS can be judged using the Rome Criteria - which is what many doctors do - see the post on this site regarding the "Must Read for All IBSers". Nevertheless, it is better to have all the tests done. I have heard from this and other sites, how numerous people who were initially thought to have IBS by the MDs, have their diagnosis change to something either more or less serious as a result of extensive testing. There are so many problems out there that mimic IBS that it is not safe to say you have IBS from the symptoms alone... Nevertheless, I suppose there is no harm in treating yourself to the simple home-made rules and cures that the patients here describe, (the ones that don't require a prescription) using the assumption that you have IBS (while you wait for a more accurate description of the problem).

Most of the things discussed here are mostly regarding maximizing your health through diet etc.. and how to avoid getting into trouble with IBS by avoiding certain problematic food varieties.

It is often noted on this site that live yogourt (ie Yogourt that hasn't had the bacteria that created the yogourt destroyed. eg: Stoney field Farms Yogourt), is good because it soothes the intestines and it helps replenish the stomach with helpful bacteria that are needed during digestion. Yogourt does not contain lactic acid - as that gets destroyed during the conversion process - so its good for those who suffer from lactose intolerance and it also contains the same quantity of calcium that milk does -very important.

To add my two bits to this I've learnt a considerable lot about my bouts of IBS and I usually use a mind-based technique to help reduce my pain and suffering. One such technique that may/may not help you is to imagine a pin entering your intestine, right where you feel it is bloated - it may help you relax a lot more.

I occasionally suffer from IBS-C variety myself. My personal belief is that there are two nerves in the brain that get irritated in IBS patients (and some others too), that cause the gall-bladder to hurt and to misbehave or some combination of the two. (ie doesn't hurt but misbehaves...). The gall-bladder's essential function is to put bile in to the intestinal tract to help with the digestion of fatty foods. However, it also helps in retention of water in the stools or the lack of bile causes the reverse. It stands to reason that a little bit of supplementation/removal can assist the digestion process. So, I personally take a quarter of a pill of bile salts with my meals to help with constipation. Nevertheless, it should stand to reason that if you are going to suffer from a bout of "D", you should avoid it because it will only make the episode worse not to mention accompanied by pain (the bile acts as an irritant to the large intestine if it is not absorbed - too much means it won't all get absorbed). Too much bile supplementation can also result in an episode of "D" with pain as well - so be very conservative when you decide what quantity to take if you do decide to try it. Also, never take it outside of a meal - because it won't get spread in the food other wise and taking it long after a meal means it will help the digestion of one end of the food train, but the front end of the food train will be blocked, causing a back up and huge bloating.

Decidedly, it seems people are reporting that they take less caffeine (less pop drinks like coke etc - which contain caffeine and less chocolate bars - a lot of which contain caffeine). Highly acidic drinks tend to irritate the gall-bladder, so people usually avoid them too.

Don't take calcium supplements - calcium will cause you severe constipation - when you suffer from constipation, and will help considerably when you suffer from bouts of diarrhea.

Well, I'm sure I probably missed something or mis-wrote something in my long post - I hope someone else will point it out if I have.

Cheers, Raju.

Old 09-10-2003, 02:38 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: KY
Posts: 5
fishfan HB User


Thank you for your input and help. When I wrote that last night, I had taken the Rx and was "out of it". Sorry for all the mispellings, I remember it hitting me quite fast.
My stomach felt good as far as the pain when I woke up this am, but it came back this afternoon. Of course the bloating is still noticable; I am sure that will be some time before it goes away.

Thanks again,

Old 09-11-2003, 12:37 PM   #4
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Charleston
Posts: 5,515
Harry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB User

Hi J,
The bloating is usually caused by not having your intestinal bacteria in balance. It could have gotten out of balance for one of any number of reasons -- from taking a round of antibiotics to eating too spicy food or too salty or sugars even alcohol. It is sorta like a yeast infection!!!

At any rate you are not digesting what you eat properly. You need to re-balance your friendly bateria by taking a probiotic supplement twice daily on an empty stomach or eating a good brand of yogurt with active live cultures. Cut out the sugar --- the unfriendly bacteria thrive on sugary foods and simple carbs. IF you like Kefir ---it's very good. All these are bought at a health food store.

To regulate your bowels you need to intake 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily. There is soluble and insoluble fiber. I think you need to intake more of a water soluble fiber like Metamucil ---it'll help. At first it will produce GAS but as your intestines get use to it then the gas will go away. Drink enough water like it says on the container.

God Bless---Harry

Old 09-11-2003, 07:20 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: KY
Posts: 5
fishfan HB User

Hi Harry,

Do I eat enough fiber? I eat either 1 1/2 cups of shredded wheat a day or a Nutri-Grain bar.

I don't eat much foods that are high in fat, or that are bad for you. I eat for breakfast usually some shredded wheat (dry no milk), or a slimfast bar. Lunch I eat 99% of the time Healthy Choice Soup and a nutri-twist bar as a dessert. Then for dinner I will either have grilled chicken/porkchop/or steak, a veggie (black-eye peas/butter beans (lima beans)/corn/green beans/carrots, or regular peas, and usually rice. We eat salad 3-4 days of a week with our dinner. We limit our bread intake to maybe making it once to twice a week. I don't snack, but if I am really hungry, I will either chew gum or eat shredded wheat or kix for a snack. Sugar as far as sweets (ice-cream/cakes/pies/cookies, are VERY rare for me to consume.

I don't take any vitamins and don't drink a lot of water as I really don't care for it.

My blood tests came back today as in the normal range, so they ruled out my thyroid and anemia, but I wonder why I am always cold; I am skinny, but I DO have meat on me.

I like yogurt and will try eating more of it.

Thanks Harry,

Old 09-14-2003, 12:04 PM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2003
Location: new york, ny, usa
Posts: 29
katalina999 HB User

Hi Fishfan,

I also have IBS, with alternating C and D, and, like you, my family has digestive problems. My middle sister developed Crohn's when she was 15, my oldest sister was diagnosed with Colitis when she was in her 30s, and now myself, I was diagnosed with IBS C/D.

I also have a lot of gas, and this year it became so bad that it was uncontrollable. My mistake was to leave out a lot of foods, which I thought were making me sick. I have now gone back to eating healthy, including high-fiber cereals, vegetables, and some fruits, and, most importantly, yogurt and probiotic supplements. If I don't go crazy eating processed foods or too many carbohydrates, I can actually have days where I am gas free for almost the whole day. I think, my problem is carbohydrates. Maybe I can't digest them well. So now I am trying milk thistle to clean out my liver, which will then work better, and increase the bile flow of the pancreas. Maybe this will help to improve my digestion. From what I read you do eat pretty healthy. Maybe your gas is caused by a sensitivity to flour, or tomatoes? Think, when your gas starts. Maybe you can find the cause. (I am still looking for mine). Greetings,

Old 09-14-2003, 08:00 PM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Henderson, Ky.
Posts: 5
kycly HB User

Hi Fish Fan, I'm from Ky. too! I live in the Western area. I also have had IBS, I wasn't diagnosed but just figured it out by talking with friends. I never had a lot of pain, some cramping, mostly just alternating C and D. About 2.5 years ago I had a bout with a flu and I guess the infection settled in my colon and I got really sick and was told I had divirticulitis. Haven't gotten that sick since. I do take fiber along with my daily supplement. My fiber is soluble and insoluble I get 20 grams a day, it has helped me very much with my IBS and circulation (no more cold feet). I can eat any kind of food I want, just don't pig out on it. I still eat peanuts, popcorn, Mexican and Oriental foods without any problems. I think fiber is the key. My husband got help from chronic constipation too!

Old 09-15-2003, 08:15 PM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: KY
Posts: 5
fishfan HB User

I am in Paducah! My lower back is hurting now, like when I am about to get my cycle. I go to the doc on Wed. I took a pic and emailed to my sister and she was shocked. I am a 1-2 and look prego. I am getting so depressed,I can eat the smallest thing and I instantly swell.

Old 09-15-2003, 10:30 PM   #9
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Charleston
Posts: 5,515
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You need to take a water soluble fiber supplement like mMetamucil to make you regular and gentle BMs. But, you also need to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily-- Your body is made up of 70 % water and you need to keep hydrated.

The biggest cause of bloating is the bacteria in you intestinal tract is NOT in balance. You need to re-balance the friendly bacteria.

You have to change your life style or you will have a life of problems just because of the choices YOU make--

I wish you well---Harry

Old 09-17-2003, 03:59 PM   #10
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: KY
Posts: 5
fishfan HB User

I went to the doctor today and they said it sounds like IBS-C. He wants me to continue to Elavil (taken at night before bed), and a new pill for women Zelnorm twice a day. We'll see how that goes. We want to try for baby #2, and I don't know if I can be on these meds.

Harry - I am going to try and do what you said, but I am not a water drinker. I am a diet Coke drinker. I will try...

Old 09-18-2003, 03:53 PM   #11
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: lyons,ny usa
Posts: 3
john40 HB User

Hello everyone,

I finally got the courage to ask you your opinions. I've been to 2 G.I's and have found out nothing. I've had 2 endoscopies, a CT, Barrium swallow, and ultrasound. I've had pain(sometimes severe), all through my abdomen, and what appears to be gas & acid rushing up to my esophagus. I've had acid reflux before, but never like this. I can't eat anything, and have lost 36 lbs. When I eat, it feels VERY heavy in my stomach, and comes back up to the esophagus. I've also had a lump in my throat, and difficulty swallowing. This has been completely debilitating, and I've been out of work for 6 weeks. Could this be slow gastric-emptying or IBS. I'm sorry to be so long-winded, but this is very frustating. ANY input would be appreciated. Thanks.


Old 10-04-2003, 04:57 PM   #12
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 852
lovemythreeguys2002 HB User

Fishfan,...the coldness and the C sound like thyroid. The diagnosing criteria has just been changed, I have thyroid disease but they told me my tests were 'normal' wasn't until I found a good dr that I got a diagnosis.

I would ask what your numbers were with the ranges, you have the right to know by law, then post them and maybe I can help you.

Old 10-04-2003, 05:15 PM   #13
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 11

Oh yes,I was extremelly bloated when I had C.difficile+blastocysts hominis infection.It was not a joke!Constipation was present as well.
check for parasites+c.difficile in 3 stool samples in liquid fixative.
Good luck!

Old 10-10-2003, 08:12 PM   #14
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: dover,de,usa
Posts: 1,654
suzyshop1 HB User

John40 it sounds like the symptoms of gerd at least too me.With the pain in the abdomen do you have any diarrhea or constipation?


Old 02-02-2004, 04:19 PM   #15
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: austin,tx
Posts: 25
peaches HB User
Re: I am in dire need of some help/advice, please!

hi, i know you posted your problem a few months ago, but i was wondering if the diet helped at all? i have been suffering from the same gas/bloat problem for about 8 months now. after many dr visits, and various procedures, i think ive come to the conclusion im lactose intolerant (this is after being told i had ibs) i stopped drinking milk, and my abdominal pain lightened up a lot. but seems like after the pain went away, this is when the gas started. it is really getting annoying and embarrasing. and advice would be greatly appreciated.

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