Sick, sick sick of IBS

  1. The very first thing I need to say is that I have scheduled an appointment with a GI about this, and they were so pleased to inform me that they had a new patient opening "really soon!".

    It is on January 26. At this moment, I am writhing in discomfort.

    I know that ours is not a medical advice website. And at the risk of getting waaaay too personal, I will limit my expose to this: is there no attainable middle ground between stopped-up-to-my-eyeballs constipation and can't-stay-out-of-the-bathroom diarrhea????? My PCP gave me some Zelnorm, which helped last year but doesn't now. OTC laxatives provide the necessary TNT to get things moving when I take them. I try not to do this more than twice a week, and when I do take them, large amounts are needed to provide any results at all. I've tried to give all the possibilities a fair shot, and have used Metamucil, Dulcolax, Citrucel, glycerine, Correctal, mag citrate, prunes and their juices, FiberConn, and Miralax, all with good results temporarily. Presently there is a Fleets emema looming threateningly in my bathroom cabinet, but I have not worked up the guts (pardon the pun :chuckle:chuckle ) to go that route yet. I drink tons of water daily and excercise regularly. The aforementioned lax's have the lovely SE of making me nauseated, crampy, and chained to the toilet for half a day. Not taking them means I can stay away from the toilet indefinitely. As a long-term solution, this is INTENSELY uncomfortable, plus it only takes a few days before my clothes don't fit right. The effects of prune juice, sadly, have dwindled to some unimpressive bloating, nothing to write the old folks' home about.

    Does anyone here know anything about this? What else is there to try to get into a normal bathrooming schedule? I swear to all present that it was not until I was sitting in class in nursing school that I first learned that most people go daily. I was truly shocked, thinking, "God, who has that kind of time?? Once a week is enough, isn't it?" A GI dx'd me with IBS last July, which is when I first tried the Zelnorm. I've since changed jobs, moved, married, and now that this is flaring up again I have scheduled this appt with a new GI who can see me in just... 29 days. At my current rate, I will be hauling about 40 extra pounds in spare stool along with me by then, so if anyone out there has any words of wisdom, I have definitely got my ears open.

    Other naturally occurring orifi (is that a word?), unfortunately, remain firmly closed. :angryfire

    Thanks!
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   Katnip
    Quote from TennNurse
    The very first thing I need to say is that I have scheduled an appointment with a GI about this, and they were so pleased to inform me that they had a new patient opening "really soon!".

    It is on January 26. At this moment, I am writhing in discomfort.

    I know that ours is not a medical advice website. And at the risk of getting waaaay too personal, I will limit my expose to this: is there no attainable middle ground between stopped-up-to-my-eyeballs constipation and can't-stay-out-of-the-bathroom diarrhea????? My PCP gave me some Zelnorm, which helped last year but doesn't now. OTC laxatives provide the necessary TNT to get things moving when I take them. I try not to do this more than twice a week, and when I do take them, large amounts are needed to provide any results at all. I've tried to give all the possibilities a fair shot, and have used Metamucil, Dulcolax, Citrucel, glycerine, Correctal, mag citrate, prunes and their juices, FiberConn, and Miralax, all with good results temporarily. Presently there is a Fleets emema looming threateningly in my bathroom cabinet, but I have not worked up the guts (pardon the pun :chuckle:chuckle ) to go that route yet. I drink tons of water daily and excercise regularly. The aforementioned lax's have the lovely SE of making me nauseated, crampy, and chained to the toilet for half a day. Not taking them means I can stay away from the toilet indefinitely. As a long-term solution, this is INTENSELY uncomfortable, plus it only takes a few days before my clothes don't fit right. The effects of prune juice, sadly, have dwindled to some unimpressive bloating, nothing to write the old folks' home about.

    Does anyone here know anything about this? What else is there to try to get into a normal bathrooming schedule? I swear to all present that it was not until I was sitting in class in nursing school that I first learned that most people go daily. I was truly shocked, thinking, "God, who has that kind of time?? Once a week is enough, isn't it?" A GI dx'd me with IBS last July, which is when I first tried the Zelnorm. I've since changed jobs, moved, married, and now that this is flaring up again I have scheduled this appt with a new GI who can see me in just... 29 days. At my current rate, I will be hauling about 40 extra pounds in spare stool along with me by then, so if anyone out there has any words of wisdom, I have definitely got my ears open.

    Other naturally occurring orifi (is that a word?), unfortunately, remain firmly closed. :angryfire

    Thanks!
    I'm afraid I don't have much help to offer. I do know that Dr. Weil has some dietary advice about IBS in one of his books, maybe on his website. I think one of the things was cutting out gluten.

    Have you checked out other websites? I'm sure there have to be several reliable ones concerning IBS.
  4. by   markjrn
    Quote from TennNurse
    The very first thing I need to say is that I have scheduled an appointment with a GI about this, and they were so pleased to inform me that they had a new patient opening "really soon!".

    It is on January 26. At this moment, I am writhing in discomfort.

    I know that ours is not a medical advice website. And at the risk of getting waaaay too personal, I will limit my expose to this: is there no attainable middle ground between stopped-up-to-my-eyeballs constipation and can't-stay-out-of-the-bathroom diarrhea????? My PCP gave me some Zelnorm, which helped last year but doesn't now. OTC laxatives provide the necessary TNT to get things moving when I take them. I try not to do this more than twice a week, and when I do take them, large amounts are needed to provide any results at all. I've tried to give all the possibilities a fair shot, and have used Metamucil, Dulcolax, Citrucel, glycerine, Correctal, mag citrate, prunes and their juices, FiberConn, and Miralax, all with good results temporarily. Presently there is a Fleets emema looming threateningly in my bathroom cabinet, but I have not worked up the guts (pardon the pun :chuckle:chuckle ) to go that route yet. I drink tons of water daily and excercise regularly. The aforementioned lax's have the lovely SE of making me nauseated, crampy, and chained to the toilet for half a day. Not taking them means I can stay away from the toilet indefinitely. As a long-term solution, this is INTENSELY uncomfortable, plus it only takes a few days before my clothes don't fit right. The effects of prune juice, sadly, have dwindled to some unimpressive bloating, nothing to write the old folks' home about.

    Does anyone here know anything about this? What else is there to try to get into a normal bathrooming schedule? I swear to all present that it was not until I was sitting in class in nursing school that I first learned that most people go daily. I was truly shocked, thinking, "God, who has that kind of time?? Once a week is enough, isn't it?" A GI dx'd me with IBS last July, which is when I first tried the Zelnorm. I've since changed jobs, moved, married, and now that this is flaring up again I have scheduled this appt with a new GI who can see me in just... 29 days. At my current rate, I will be hauling about 40 extra pounds in spare stool along with me by then, so if anyone out there has any words of wisdom, I have definitely got my ears open.

    Other naturally occurring orifi (is that a word?), unfortunately, remain firmly closed. :angryfire

    Thanks!
    The DW had problems for many years - alternating between constipation and diarrhea, with blood, etc. Her problems virtually disappeared with the switch to bottled or very filtered water. It literally has changed her life.

    Good luck.
  5. by   MIA-RN1
    50 mg of zoloft once a day. The SSRI works on the nerves/impulses in the gut. I should know the science but I can't remember it now. It changed my life. Diarrhea is a side effect of the zoloft and I was worried but it didn't happen to me. It just makes things regular and all that awful cramping pain is GONE GONE GONE. My ibs was a combo of diarhhea/constipation but heavier on the looser end of things but I bet the zoloft might be something you might want to try just to see. I can't remember exactly how long it took to take effect because I was not in a terrible flare up when I started it, but I realized pretty quickly that it was working well. I started on 25mg for a week and then moved up to 50. A bit of a zombie for the first week and I still have to take it at bed d/t sedation (idiosyncratic rxn) but that's a plus too. Good luck.
  6. by   ACNP
    Check out the website www.drnatura.com which offers an herbal supplement program (Colonix cleansing) to help with some of your symptoms. IBS is listed as one of the things it supposedly helps with. Even though I don't suffer from IBS, I am currently on the program to help jumpstart my weightloss efforts for the new year as well as get on a regular bathroom schedule myself . So far I have had good results and feel better. Reading the testimonials sealed the deal for me to order it. But, as always check with this GI doctor you are seeing and ask his opinion of using a type of program like this since you have had IBS for so long. Good luck!!
  7. by   nursechick182
    I was diagnosed with IBS at the young age of 9 and let me tell you, it changes your life! It's horrible, and for me, it comes and goes and sometimes is really bad for a few months or so. I tend to get lots of intense cramping and alternate between being constipated and having loose stools with intense cramps. I take hyoscyamine for the intense cramping but since it's anticholinergic, it wouldn't do you much benefit! I have found that regular exercise really seems to help like walking/running. Also, I swear by accupuncture. I starting getting NAET (Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques) and it WORKS. The concept is that there are things/substances/emtions, etc. which cause your body to have positive and negative reactions, throwing off your balance and causing illness, like IBS. The practitioner will test your body for these reactions and then treat them. The accupuncture helps to "lock in" the treatment. It isn't a cure and I have to get it regularly, but it helps me out more than anything else has. I love Chinese medicine and it amazes me to see all the things in the enviroment that throw my personal balance off! It's really cool and you should look into it. I just looked on the Internet for accupuncture providers in my area and found one I liked.

    Good luck!!!
  8. by   Lisa CCU RN
    I read that some people think that chlorinated water kills the good bacteria in our digestive tract as well as killing pathogens. This is supposed to throw everything off and cause problems. Maybe that's why the other poster's wife's symptoms subsided when she began drinking filtered and bottled water ---little or no chlorine. I don't know how true it is, but it's something to look into and think about.
    do a google search on on it. It certainly can't hurt to change your water source to see if it works. http://www.cfsn.com/ibs.html There is one link I found.

    I hope you feel better.
    Last edit by Lisa CCU RN on Dec 28, '05
  9. by   cassilee30
    [QUOTE=TennNurse]The very first thing I need to say is that I have scheduled an appointment with a GI about this, and they were so pleased to inform me that they had a new patient opening "really soon!".

    I suffered with mostly diarrhea IBS for 13 years. I would have diarrhea up to 40 times a day. It was horrible. I did three things to get rid of it...and now only have about two bouts of diarrhea a year. First, I had a hysterectomy....because the times I had the most diarrhea (the 40 times a day times), I was either ovulating or had my period. That took about a year of tracking to get the insurance to pay for it. Then I got rid of dairy...I mean ALL dairy. Most people aren't willing to go to extremes, but it's casein that sets me off (dairy protein) It may be something else that sets you off that you may not even know about. I'd see a natural path or homeopath if I were you, because nutritionist, I found, were totally useless. I told one that I was allergic to dairy and she suggested that I could try yogurt...huh? Anyway, the third component was I got a divorce, which demonstrates the stress component (you're in nursing school, right?).

    Anyway, I found the most stress must have come from my ex because I am also in nursing school and the only times I get sick now (only 5 times in the last 4 years) is when I somehow, accidently, get dairy. Trust me when I say, it's not easy living without dairy...not cause I care, but for some reason, other people seem put out by me not being able to eat what they think I should eat. IT's a weird concept that someone else should think I should eat a piece of bread and I won't because I can't read the package to see if it's safe or not....but it's worth it to me

    I'm sending you hugs cause I truly and honestly know what you're feeling and only those who've suffered can really understand.
    (hugs), Cassi
  10. by   txspadequeenRN
    UGGGGGG IBS!!!! I thought I would just lay down and die several times. I coulnt even sit up straight. I would be in the bathroom every hour with diarrhea then constipation... GAS BLOATING UUUUGGGGGGG!!!! I didnt have any money to see the Doc and surley didnt have the money for a RX. So I went to Walmart and there is some OTC stuff for IBS ,it is in the laxative area and it completly relieved all symptoms within a couple of hours. Maybe you could try that.
  11. by   Jessy_RN
    I am so sorry about your discomfort, I know the 26th cannot come soon enough. Best wishes to you!
  12. by   suzy253
    I had IBS several years ago--all stress related as I had just had a hysterectomy r/t endometriosis. The only thing I took was added fiber.

    I would definitely NOT recommend colonic cleansing. Yikes.
    Colon perforation, F&E imbalances. Why in the world would colonic cleansing help IBS???
  13. by   PennyLane
    I also have GI problems, but they are of the upper GI variety.

    I would strongly recommend acupuncture. That has helped me more than anything. I'm now down to about 1/2 of the meds I used to take, and I can now eat and drink the things that used to cause me pain.
  14. by   ZootRN
    I use to have IBS with diarrhea and awfully painful cramps. Now I put it well under control by staying away from fatty and acid foods, also eating fiber rich foods in moderation. I love salads and fruits, but during flare ups I stay on pasta and cooked vegetables, and it works.
    This is very good web-site, where you can read more about controlling your IBS with the diet, it really helped me.
    http://www.helpforibs.com/diet/how_to_eat.asp

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