Posted 09 September 2015 - 02:35 AM
Hi everyone. I'm a 21 year old female and have had a sensitive stomach for as long as I can remember. In the last 12-18 months I have developed some sort of IBS rotating between diarrhea and constipation. I have also sufferered from major depression for the last 5 or 6 years. Long story short, I have been on and off antidepressants and recently started taking Endep 25mg (Amitriptyline) as I saw a lot of positive reviews in regards to IBS. While it had settled my symptoms initially, I think the effect is wearing off (it's been about two months). I'm not sure whether to up the dosage or try something else. My symptoms include explosive/liquid diarrhea, severe stomach cramps, sweat an nausea when passing stools. It's to the point where I am often missing work due to pain and discomfort. I can't leave the house without immodium and while that helps in the short term, I get severely constipated just from half for 3-5 days and usually diarrhea worse after the constipation. I have even considered suicide multiple times as this is very hard to manage.
I'm also finding with the Endep I have a very increased appetite, sometimes eating 2-3 times within two or so hours all day, even though I'm not hungry. I know it probably aggravates my stomach but I can't help it. Sex drive is also gone and I am feeling very down and depressed.
Any advice, medications that you take that have helped or eased your symptoms or just general advice would be very much appreciated.
Posted 09 September 2015 - 04:03 AM
In a recent thread someone recommended Colofac MR, maybe that could serve as a temporary solution? But I want to say that everyone has an underlying cause behind their IBS, you have to find yours, and it's possible. When and how did you get sick?
Antidepressants will most of the time decrease your sex drive, it's a common side effect of those medications. What I've read about antidepressants it can be a little difficult telling what symptoms are caused by the pills and what symptoms would be there even if you wasn't taking the pills, and sometimes it seems like antidepressants can be counterproductive. It's a misunderstanding that they are happy pills that make you jolly, their job is to balance your mood and many people find themselves feeling lethargic and detached instead, and for some they can even worsen the depression, especially in the beginning.
About your suicidal thoughts. You're not alone. I think it's important that you start taking control over your health. Don't trust your life to doctors because they rarely have the time to dig in and go deep to really find out what's wrong with you. You have to do the digging yourself. Don't give up. Honestly. It's possible to get better. IBS can be manageable. So I hope you never actualize your suicidal thoughts, it's not worth it, because you have a disease that may be improvable and in the future you might feel a lot better and when you're there you'll be so happy that you're still alive even though times are tough now. Start digging and read all you can about IBS and it's differential diagnosis's. Knowledge will empower you.
Posted 09 September 2015 - 04:13 AM
Thanks so much for your time and words, Freud.
I'm not sure when and how I got sick. I have a terrible memory. I started my first job two years ago, 6 months after I finished year 12. I'm not sure whether the change in lifestyle from student living at home to working, studying and moving out might have caused a change. I try to keep my diet relatively in check but I find with depression I am often eating what I shouldn't be and when I shouldn't be. There's no particular food triggers for me either - sometimes I can eat eggs on toast no problem, other times I won't even get through them before I am running to the bathroom in pain. I can drink milk and eat dairy products, sometimes it's fine, sometimes it's not. I think it depends on stress and what else I have eaten but there's so much, so many tests to do and things to change that I just don't know where to start. A relative of mine has just been diagnosed with Coeliac's Disease. Unfortunately I live in a very remote area and about 90% of tests for specific diseases and whatnot are about a 4 hour drive away.
This has turned into a bit of a long-winded rant but I am just upset and not coping well at all. My employer is not very understanding of my condition which makes work life difficult too.
Posted 09 September 2015 - 04:50 AM
Aha, but that's major. So you haven't actually gotten an IBS diagnosis yet? Because it's a diagnosis of exclusion and gluten intolerance is one of the things that must be excluded before you can be diagnosed. If you would have Coeliac's Disease that could explain why you react to certain food sometimes and sometimes not, since gluten intolerance creates a chronically inflamed and damaged small intestine. So the symptoms doesn't always have to be coherent.
I'd recommend you to ask/beg your employer for some time off so you can go the 4 hours to get all the tests done. You need to examine this throughly.
Posted 09 September 2015 - 05:32 AM
At the very least have a good breakfast everyday. You must make time for breakfast before work or near the start. Breakfast builds your hormones and sets the HCL level in the stomach for its max for that day. For example eat 11 almonds or two brazil nuts to set the acid. When you do eat, eat protein first in a relaxed setting with no music whenever possible. Eat nuts and fruit for breakfast. Red ripe fruits eaten with nuts (not peanut) is you highest choice and they are great for BM's. Salt your midday and dinner foods with real salt. I like redmonds salt brand
Posted 09 September 2015 - 11:48 AM
Sorry but I don't know that nuts are going to be a good thing if this is IBS. Generally any kind of nuts set me off for problems as does most fruits and citric acid.
Freud has some good info there. Amitriptyline ( Elavil ) is an old standby tricyclic antidepressant that has a great track record for IBS help. It will pack the pounds on you as it's main side effect. Yes, for some people the IBS effect can stop after time, others no. I would think a dose change may help, but remember it only helps with IBS some, and in some cases of IBS.
IBS can be many causes, bile acid binding issue, Gluten or dairy allergy, SIBO, yeast overgrowth, incorrectly diag'd mild Crohn's, and more. Elavil may help with some, but not with all. For example if you are gluten intolerant and keep eating it, nothing is going to help long term.
Yes, stress at/from work/boss is going to make it worse. Feeling like you have lost control will make it worse. Where are the cramps? What are your worst symptoms besides the D? Sounds like you bounce to C very easily. I do as well, and after C the D is awful for a day with me. I have spasms/cramps in the lower left colon.
I would say this... talk to the doc about upping the Elavil or trying something different.. I would try Remeron. Google and understand the mind to gut link in IBS. Read my thread if the pain seems similar, I have made a lot of improvement through I what I have learned and detail it all. You need to adopt a very controlled diet... uber clean proteins (fish/chicken), no gluten, no dairy, nothing or very little "processed" foods. Lactose free milk is great. Chicken or bone broth when very bad, mashed potatoes (no butter or milk). I use Whey protein with lactose free milk and have no problem with it. Get on L-Glutamine to help the intestine. Use miralax 1 dose only at a time when you have C. With luck the D will decrease as you begin to heal the intestines. Get on peppermint tea from Heather's for IBS 2-3 times daily. That will help shut down the cramps.
My thread if you want to read through.. start at the beginning. http://www.ibsgroup....r-some-answers/
Posted 10 September 2015 - 03:55 AM
Posted 10 September 2015 - 04:13 AM
I tried homemade goat yogurt, homemade almond yogurt and homemade sauerkraut. They all made things worse for me. Nevertheless, I think they are very beneficial for most IBS.
I want to try water kefir.
Posted 12 September 2015 - 04:19 AM
Thanks for your input everyone! I am on a waiting list to see my GP and hopefully try out a new medication. I start my new job in a few days and really don't want to be in pain with tummy troubles while I'm there.
I have probiotic yougurt with granola/fruit every morning, some days I find that calms my stomach and others it really upsets it. That is why it is so frustrating.. It's not just 'avoid this food..'. I will take the time and have the tests done. At least results will give me answers.
Posted 14 September 2015 - 04:47 AM
Hi there - I TOTALLY feel your pain on this! I've been on antidepressants for 4 years now and 2 years ago I was getting really bad tummy troubles especially when I was anxious. It made it hard to work and in the end I was signed off sick for 6 months - the more stressed out I was getting about missing work, the more ill I was getting so it was a vicious cycle. In those 6 months and up until now (fingers crossed) I've managed to control it better and I'm back at work full time now - apart from an occasional day or two when things get worse again. But much fewer and far between than before. Before I officially got diagnosed, I created a detailed food journal and tracked EVERYTHING i ate and drank. It turns out I can't drink ANY alcohol anymore (unless I want to get sick all the next day!) and I know what foods to avoid - gone are the days I can enjoy a burger king and fries! There are tons of apps to use which makes it really easy - i used one called my symptoms - I got the free version, but there are loads. The m.s app creates reports so when I go to the dr, I can show her what was happening. I can't tell you how helpful this was. I only wish more people at my work understood how this illness can be debilitating and not only affect your physical health but also your mental health having to deal with the anxiety of needing to be near a loo, worried about travelling to meetings and the pressures from the boss from missing work.
Anyway, I've only just found this forum, but it's great to be able to share stories - wish I'd found it sooner. Wishing you all good physical health and good mental health - things CAN get better Janet
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