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Identifying triggers - at my wits end

ibs-d triggers transit

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#1 Nessa1

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:07 AM

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I am really struggling to understand what triggers my IBS-D flare-ups (and hence get some control over my life back).  Because I don't have constant daily/weekly attacks it's really hard for me to work out.  Sometimes I can go 3-4 months free of any attacks, then just when I think I'm Ok again, wham - off it goes.  Othertimes it's maybe every 4-5 weeks, then down to every 2 weeks, weekly - twice a week.  Really bad bouts I just give up & stop eating for 3-4 days until it subsides, then gently start really plain foods (boiled check breast & rice, etc.) Usually helps until the (random) next time.

 

Symptoms for me are usually sudden urgency & swift very loose bm, followed by another 2-3 over the next hour or 2 (unless I take immodium immediately which curtails it).  Dont usually get cramps - although I get a real 'bruised/tender' + 'being squeezed' feeling in my abdomen after which makes me feel weak and I just want to do absolutely nothing for the following day or so.  Like that fear feeling you get 'in the pit of the stomach' when you miss your footing on the stairs and think you're gonna fall.  I also get a lot of gas lately - usualy in my gut, but sometimes in my tummy too, with some acid belching.  Doctors have, I feel, just written me off as 'you have IBS' - take the anti-spasmodics & get on with it'.  I've had both ends 'oscopies' with -ve results.

 

Tried researching trigger foods - particularly FODMAPs - which seem to make a lot of sense to me, since very often I have D sessions after eating foods over the previous day, or 2 which I know I've eaten the prev weeks & been fine.

 

Problem with any exclusion diet for me is, given I can go 3-4 months without a bout, exclusion would have to be at least that long per phase - by my calculation would take several years to come up with any definites.  I did try keeping a food/bm diary for 3 months once - but it wasnt very conclusive.

 

What is driving me nuts is how to work out WHEN I ate something that caused the sudden D attack.  Mostly these happen 1-1.5 hours after my evening meal (sometimes a couple hours after lunch). I've been trying to relate these back to either my meals earlier int he day, or the previous day - but can it be what I ate for the recent meal? is it just that processing the food causes the gut to start moving and flushes the previous lot of food into the bowel and that causes it? Can food really get from stomach to large intestine in 1-2 hours?  Or is it something (some chemical component) in the food causing a rapid 'flushing' effect - like the bowel cleanser (fleet soda) I had for the colonoscopy - that hit within an hour!

 

This q came up again for me yesterday - I've been off work with bad flu' all week, and hardly ate at all.  On Wednesday am I had a small bowl of oat cereal (I switched to lacto-free milk in case 2 years ago - even tho' I seem to be able to consume milk products with no effect many times) + a little clear chicken  soup.  Thurs am I ate just the cereal, then nothing until 3pm Fri when I had a bowl of mushroom soup.  4.30pm Fri I had extreme D again - like having the fleet soda.  Felt emptied & drained and like giving up (esp on top of the lfu')

 

Sorry for such a long preamble to ask the question, I do understand that for many here once weekly would be a welcome relief, but hope you can understand that the unpredictability still operates for me in that I still never know when I am going to be able to plan normal life & when it's going to strike and destroy any hope of ever getting there.

 

 

 

 



#2 Goofy3987

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:58 PM

Keep a food diary for at LEAST a month. This is how I figured my triggers out. Write down every little detail of what you eat, drink, when you have a BM, the time of day, how you felt ......this is what helped me

#3 windemere

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

I've had a similar issue. I can be fine for weeks then all of a sudden I get a severe flare. I've tried a food diary but its all over the place. Foods that are fine for me one week cause problems the next. Its very random. I hope you can find a solution soon.
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#4 Trudyg

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:55 AM

Keep a journal.  I think we've all noticed that, no matter how careful you are, sometimes you get a flare even tho you've done everything possible to prevent it.  It just happens, as if you are cursed.  Okay, your journal needs to also record emotions (stress, anger, sadness, overwork) and how you handle it.  I can handle just about anything, but when I talk to my mother I'm in the toilet the next day, count on it.  Can't avoid it, but I can often limit time, place, what I consume during that time, etc.  Your journal will show a pattern, but only if you record things every day, not just bad events. 



#5 rels

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:25 AM

I saw a dietition and have been placed on a Low Fodmaps Diet for 8 weeks to eliminate trigger foods. One week and I feel fine and no IBS attacks or diarrhoea which is fantastic.

 

In Australia the diet was developed by Dr Sue Shepherd (Shepherd Works), Dietition and Monash University. They are world renown for their research here in Australia. They have a Low Fodmaps Diet application on itunes for the iphone which I've downloaded.

 

I've had IBS since 2000 because going overseas to Vanuatu and drinking local water ending up with guardia in hospital. I take Imodium (Gastro Stop generic) daily.

 

I've tried all types of things over the years - peppermint oil, yakult, but the only thing that is keeping it at bay is eliminating the foods in my diet.

 

It is Lactose Free, Wheat Free - there are a lot of trigger foods - for me a tub of yoghurt, bowl of icecream, junk food (french fries or potato chips), coke (soft drink), artificial sweetners, orange juice, onions, pork meat, toast with margarine, garlic, frozen foods (meat pies, sausage rolls and pasties).

 

I make a lot of my food now - it takes longer but I know it is okay.

 

I have lean chicken with rice breadcrumbs, gluten free biscuits, pancakes, cakes and bread. Blueberries and strawberries. Lactose free milk (Zymil). Salad vegetables (lettuce, cucumber, celery, carrot), gluten free muesli bars (fruit free). I have gluten free bread and strawberry jam for breakfast. Gluten free pasta and rice. Gluten free flour for cooking or rice flour.

 

There are so many products in the supermarket and you can purchase online.



#6 ahmieahmie

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 02:09 AM

i read that symptom can be more intense around a woman's period. since i read that i learned it is true for me. so fun to be a girl:)



#7 Sapphmonster

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 07:09 PM

I'm the same with the frequency of attacks! Right now it seems pretty constant due to stress and other bouts of illness :( Rels, I'm glad to see another Aussie on here! I am definitely thinking of trying the low fodmap diet! I will look for that app!

#8 neild7744

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 04:15 PM

I feel your fustration...i was EXACTLY the same! It annoyed me soo much not knowing. I thought initially a quick trip to see a doctor would fix this...3 years later and its still on-going to some degree.

 

As mentioned above you need to keep a diary of exactly what you eat. I did this a few weeks ago after i went from being 'normal' to having bad diahrrea. Then i found every ingrediet in the meals around the time i was bad and cross referenced them. I came up with common ingredients. Mine happened to be gluten, yeast, wheat sorts of things and already had a fair idea from keeping a mental note of things that irritated me. I started a gluten free diet and the results have been impressive. I feel loads better.

 

I do feel your fustration though...i was convinced i had an issue with sugar, soft drinke, caffine...etc and cut those out with no improvements and was quite down and low about it. In fact i also tried a gluten free diet, but because i kept drinking beer etc and didnt commit 100% i also thought the gluten thing was a load of rubbish...now i have stuck to it 100% im hoping with the improvements ive seen so far that i can soon pin point exactly what irritates me down to an ingredient.

 

What ive learned is that ibs is one of those things you need time to trend a slef learn your own body and gut. There is no point in me saying i eat 'this, that and the other' as everyone is different and reacts different. Ive spent hours and hours googling my symptoms and trying different things to make improvements...to which some have worked and others havent.

 

Hope this helps.



#9 socal_nana

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 04:10 PM

OMGosh-  my triggers are...food-  blush.png  It doesn't seem to matter what food or when- 



#10 Jazz8751

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 05:22 PM

I noticed that ice cream (even lactose free) after a meal will give D. Anybody experienced that ? Looks like icy cold stuff is like a shock to the stomach



#11 urbanfresh

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 06:32 PM

I noticed that ice cream (even lactose free) after a meal will give D. Anybody experienced that ? Looks like icy cold stuff is like a shock to the stomach

 

I rarely have ice cream but when I do I always make sure I'm having a good day and usually it sits well. As far as triggers go...it is sometimes impossible to tell what they are and personally I think they can change from day to day, especially if you are highly strung like me. And I also find that doctors just pass you off with IBS 'get on with it' but I think the day is coming that they will really have to address this problem, as will science, as IBS is only on the rise. At the same time, I DO understand why IBS is perhaps not given as much attention in scientific research as if diagnosed correctly it should not be harmful to your health unlike so many awful illnesses out there.



#12 looby_loo

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 03:15 AM

This bolded bit below (sorry, couldn't work the quote!) is what I often wonder about too. Does anyone have the answer?

 

What is driving me nuts is how to work out WHEN I ate something that caused the sudden D attack.  Mostly these happen 1-1.5 hours after my evening meal (sometimes a couple hours after lunch). I've been trying to relate these back to either my meals earlier int he day, or the previous day - but can it be what I ate for the recent meal? is it just that processing the food causes the gut to start moving and flushes the previous lot of food into the bowel and that causes it? Can food really get from stomach to large intestine in 1-2 hours?  Or is it something (some chemical component) in the food causing a rapid 'flushing' effect - like the bowel cleanser (fleet soda) I had for the colonoscopy - that hit within an hour!



#13 Dianaearnshaw

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 06:13 AM

You may have a candida overgrowth. Yeasts eat sugar and ALL carbohydrate foods are broken down to sugar by the body ready for absorption.

 

Try a few days of strictly no concentrated carbs. Eg.:
Breakfast - cheese or ham omlette cooked in a little butter.
Lunch - Big salad (with no beetroot) with full fat mayo or olive oil. plus cold chicken or fish
Dinner - meat or fish with non-starchy veg
If you want a snack have a piece of cheese - if you are usually ok with it.
No sweet fizzy drinks. Tea or water only.

 

If you find that the D stops or slows down, you could have candida overgrowth.


 


#14 looby_loo

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 01:07 PM

You may have a candida overgrowth. Yeasts eat sugar and ALL carbohydrate foods are broken down to sugar by the body ready for absorption.

 

Try a few days of strictly no concentrated carbs. Eg.:
Breakfast - cheese or ham omlette cooked in a little butter.
Lunch - Big salad (with no beetroot) with full fat mayo or olive oil. plus cold chicken or fish
Dinner - meat or fish with non-starchy veg
If you want a snack have a piece of cheese - if you are usually ok with it.
No sweet fizzy drinks. Tea or water only.

 

If you find that the D stops or slows down, you could have candida overgrowth.

Diana, would the candida overgrowth be sorted by taking the oral version of Canesten or would it need something stronger?



#15 Dianaearnshaw

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 02:14 PM

I can't be sure you have it - or even be reasonably certain without a history so I really can't advise this. I tend not to advise meds anyway. You need a proper clear out of bad microbes, a reseeding with good microbes and when you have been absorbing nutrients properly for a while, your immune system and the good microbes. Get these from live sauerkraut (Google it) which in my opinion, is the best source of probiotic bacteria.

 

Diana
My website: www.yourgoodhealth-naturally.co.uk


 






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