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Hey to everyone!

I've had IBS-D for over 14 years, it started when I was in my early teens with constant changes throughout my life so far, in the way it manifests itself.

  • The first 8 years were terrible, because I didn't know diets played a massive part.. Plus I kind of wanted to think I was the same as everyone else and could eat a pulled pork burrito and get away with it.. I had constant abdominal pains, bloating and needed the toilet many times a day.. It just seemed to get worse..
  • Then I started doing a food diary (mentally because who has the time to write these things down).. It got a lot better, and the severe pains started to go away because I wasn't eating foods that caused it (greasy foods, tomato's, onions, fatty sauces, BBQ meats, peppers, chillies, etc..)
  • Then I went to China for a year and got incredibly ill. First from food poisoning, then just from the food (Chinese food is high in MSG, Oyster Sauce and other highly greasy ingredients, plus short grain rice is not good for people with IBS).

When I was in China I started using Psyllium Husks, Calcium Carbonate and SMECTA.. Not at the same time, I just tried them all to see what help they would give.. Psyllium worked the best after about a month.. But then after 7 months on it I realised it was causing inflammation of my gut and causing severe Pruritus ani. I stopped.

Over the past few months I have been making positive changes to my life through a few simple ways and with little to no medication (imodium, smecta), etc..

Here's what I have found and why I think you should try it out..

IBS for me seems to get worse with the quantity of food that I eat in a day.. As well as of course what I am eating.. We all know that eating little and more often seems to help symptoms, but what does that actually mean? You need to eat the basics, to keep your body alive and healthy. When people with IBS experiment with food, they usually cut out everything and then start from the basics. This means you build a food diary (FODMAPS does help somewhat I know) to find out what you can / can't eat. But I know that a lot of people on this forum end up getting worse, because they aren't getting the basic nutrients and that makes things worse..

I started a new daily regime, because having a rigid eating schedule and eating the right portions of food at every meal makes a BIG difference. I've spent a long time working out the perfect daily regime for myself and this will not work for everybody, because IBS-D is different in every single person. However, for me.. I wanted to eradicate the main triggers...

  1. Stress / Anxiety (if your mind is relaxed, your body follows suit)
  2. Nutrient Deficiency (having bad stomachs just flushes these out of you, making it hard to get into a good rhythm)
  3. Fibre Intake (For making my gut work tick-tock and to a better schedule and helping complete bowel movements)
  4. Eating too much (We just can't eat as much as other people, our guts are fragile at the best of times!)
  5. Undigested foods (If foods aren't mostly digested before they hit your gut, then what's the chances it will ever be??)

In the morning:

  • I wake up and drink a glass of water. This helps wake your body up and rehydrate it after spending 6-8 hours of no water. It also kicks your stomach into gear as well!
  • I brew a lemon tea (lemon teabags), which helps get the acids in your stomach working, ready for your first meal.
  • I have 2 bananas for fibre, vitamins and nutrients. When you have diarrhoea a lot, your body is deplete in many essential salts, minerals and nutrients. Having bananas helps with giving these back to your body, in an easy to digest way. Do you ever get muscle cramps in your legs at night-time? Well this is common when your body is deplete in essential nutrients (potassium) and dehydrated. Bananas help this and they are well tolerated by people with IBS-D.
  • To reduce stress and make me more relaxed I put on a nicotine patch. It does work!

In the afternoon:

  • I drink plenty of hot drinks, such as lemon tea, chamomile tea, etc.. Lemon tea works to keep stomach acids going and chamomile makes me cool as a cucumber :)
  • Lunch is a soup, most I can tolerate as they are processed already, pre-cooked and light on the stomach. I have some fresh minimally processed bread with it as well to keep me full. Also most soups are loaded with vitamins and the good sort of fibre. (well in the UK they are at least).
  • Have a small snack that you can tolerate if you get peckish. Just nothing big, as the diet is about reducing quantity of foods you are consuming.

In the evening:

  • More hot teas.
  • A simple meal of your choosing. I've found because my day consists of eating smaller meals, I can eat more variety for my dinner. Even microwave meals seem fine, pizza's, pasta, etc..
  • I have a natural yoghurt for dessert, not low-fat, not greek style.. These things are loaded with sugars or just simply not good for us! Natural Yoghurt, meaning without added sugars and the ones that tastes sour. They usually have a higher fat count, but it's the good sort of fats! Also it helps with building intestinal flora (still unproven, I remain sceptical on this stuff).
  • An hour after your dinner, if you do feel a little uneasy, have a SMECTA (Dioctahedral Smectite), it's a natural clay that removes toxins from your bowels without any adverse affects or long-term problems. It doesn't slow things down.. It simply binds to bad bacteria and toxins, which people with IBS are overloaded with.

I know it's just what's worked for me.. And we are all different, but I can't believe how much better I feel. I have more energy, I go to the toilet just once a day, have no abdominal cramps and complete better when on the loo.

I think the secrets to combating IBS is simply eating less, at regular times.. Also I found taking more time chewing my food helped A LOT!! We don't need to constantly take Immodium to slow things down, nor do we need all these vitamins, calcium and fibre supplements. Sometimes the best solution is the easiest one and for me, this is really really easy.. I've even lost a bit of weight from it, but in a good way.

Try it out, tell me if it helps you? Maybe takes a day or 2 to make a big difference..
 

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Woah, I first acquired my illness in China too! I got sick several times, and every time after I recovered I noticed by gut was just a little bit worse than before (went from only needing 1 imodium per day after the first time I got sick to up to 6 after the final time). Eventually I had to come home, but I still really miss it over there. Would really love to figure out my condition so I can go back some day. We should compare notes sometime.
 

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Thanks for sharing what has helped you Eric!
 

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Good advice and thanks for sharing.

I do agree about smaller more frequent meals.....when I get hungry I get cramps and gas. A little food seems to help. The water in the morning helps to put the fire out that I wake with on my worst days.

I take charcoal to help remove toxins. I will look at the clay you mentioned.
 

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Hi. Thanks for sharing your regimen. Have you ever tried Lotronex? So many people have never heard about this product and it has been a real life saver for those who have. It is for IBS-D for women only. Just curious if you have even heard of it.

Thanks,

Gehri
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Gehri, thanks for the tip on that medication. I haven't heard of it, but then again I gave up talking to Doctors a long while ago as it never seemed to help sort out my problems. There are so many drugs out there for managing IBS symptoms.. I think one day we will realise that IBS is a multitude of different diseases that will need to be managed by a multiple-action type of medication. Or maybe it's a result of our modern lifestyles?

The thing is, back 80 years ago there was less of this sort of stuff going on.. My diet consists of heart-attack ingredients now that my Nan would cook with. When I cook, I use pure butter instead of vegetable oil, when I have milk, I have full fat.. It does make a difference, given the right types of fats move slower through our digestive system.. That's why if you give up your skinny latte in the morning, and go with full fat, you'll get less problems.. the less fat there is in milk, the faster it goes through you! Same with a lot of things out there, I think vegetable spread is the devil!

As an update to my original post, I'm still feeling healthy.. This is kind of scary.. I haven't felt this good in 14 years!
 
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