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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HiI have some questions for anyone that can help me out with them.1. I started to get IBS problems about a year ago. I had just turned 18. Why do you all of a sudden you get/have IBS?I have the bloating, Constipation,Diarrhea etc.. Only about a month ago someone mentioned it might be IBS. I did experience more stress then usual when I started to have these pains. (moved 2500 miles, school, job etc..)2. Someone led me to a product called "Calm Colon" (TCM) from SAMRA HEALTH & BEAUTY. (www.samra.com) I got it yesterday and started taking the pills. Already the severe bloating and cramping are gone. Though...something is left:I have the feeling of needing to go the backroom every minute of every waking hour.Its almost an irratation feeling. Even when have a stool, the feeling still remains.I never knew so many people were experiencing the same thing as me. Nice to know, yet scary on the same hand. Is their any hope?Also, does anyone suggest anything else I can try and see if it helps me?Sorry for any errors in my questions. Thanks alot allJ
 

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You're lucky to be so young and get IBS at such an exciting time in science, when so much medical research -- for the first time ever -- is being done for treatment and maybe eventually a cure for this condition. The next five years are going to see so many advances in the way this thing is treated -- from modifying the effect of fats on the digestive system (one of the chief culprits in the discomfort felt in IBS), to modulating spasms in both constipated and diarrhea-people and the constipation and diarrhea itself. The first drug, you probably know, Lotronex, is for diarrhea and abdominal discomfort and will come out this Spring. Others are expected to follow in the next ten months or so after that. And other drug companies are trying to get into the act for what will be a billion-dollar market!! Calm Colon is an herb and thus, like all herbs, doesn't really work right away. They say most herbs take four-six weeks to work (they say the same thing about St. John's Wort, for instance). There is, however, something in Calm Colon, that works as an immediate pain-killer as well as long term ingredients. It has nothing to do with your feeling like you have to go again. Just keep taking it and see what happens.There has been a great deal of success done with early studies on IBS and hypnosis and soon that should get a lot of publicity in the United States when the reports are published. It already is a big thing in England. Eric has a website with a page on a British hypnotherapist and he gives some very good information about the process, as well as selecting one here -- and is currently selling a tape you can use on your own, which Eric himself has had great success with. Whether you decide to go one-to-one with a hypnotherapist or order a tape is up to you. At the moment, there aren't a big feast of hypnotherapists in the U.S. who have experience working with IBS as they do in Britain, and that's the only problem. But that won't last when this new study about IBS and hypnosis is published in medical journals -- soon. So yes, I would say there is hope.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I really appreciate your post Persistance.I did not know about Lotronex. Thanks for filling me in.So can a herb product like Calm Colon get the person back to before IBS set in? I did have a some problems with gas and bloating before, but nothing like I have now.I get depressed reading some of these posts.I seem to be lucky and have it easy compared to some. Yet, I only dream of my former self...J
 

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I know, I know. I only got this a year ago, too and I'm in my 50's. Can you imagine? And the last thing I said to the GI (who I just got rid of for being such an insensitive clod) was, "I didn't say I wanted a new life! I said I wanted my old life back!"Well --sigh. I've been on Calm Colon about six months now and I'd say I'm very, very much better. I won't lie and say that I'm totally without some discomfort sometimes, mainly after at the end of a long day, like now and I did feast tonight at a party. But nothing like the pains I used to suffer or that I'm even aware of, if I'm busy. I'd say it can make you 70-80% better. One girl, LDanna, started a thread on Calm Colon you can find. She is almost completely without symptoms. The original formula which Calm Colon copied is due here soon, too -- and the researcher claims it's better. I, like you, haven't had it as bad as some of these people. I have never had an accident, for instance. My worst months were right after I took the antibiotic which gave it to me and I was very miserable and alone, gassy, nauseous, without appetite. But I've improved. I also still take one Librax per night and intend to get off it, but it does cut out the spasms.We've had long discussions about Lotronex on here, so you can do a search. Don't let some of our bickering about it get to you. Although it "supposedly" works for women best (they are not sure why), that's because men did equally well on placebo, so now they're re-testing men (somehow, your moniker "Farwalker," suggests to me that you are a guy, but I may be wrong!). Anyway, we've had three or four men on this board who were study subjects and they simply raved that they got their old lives back! A few reported about the next drug in line, Cilansetron, which should come down the chute after they finish Phase III of testing and apply to the FDA -- so maybe by fall of next year. So the door is open now. Eric's website (don't know the address) can be reached from "The IBS Web" on "Other Forums" here. He has information on The Future in IBS (click on Help and Tips, and then, Glaxo-Wellcome, the name of the company making Lotronex). He also has some other helpful information there.I bet when other people wake up tomorrow you'll have a lot more answers. I just happen to be a nightbird!P.S. No-one is sure of the cause of IBS yet, not even the scientists, but they now think it is a "disconnect" between the brain and the gut that happens at some time in a person's life -- maybe after some major gastrointestinal problem. Some think it may be genetic. Stress doesn't cause it, they don't think, but the colons of IBS'ers are TRIGGERED more by stress. At any rate, the colons of people with IBS spasm at the wrong times, because of this "electrical short," caused (they have also discovered) by too much serotonin at the receptors. The colon now doesn't "remember" how to function. The new drugs work by blocking serotonin at the site and altering the way we perceive abdominal sensations. I heard Calm Colon changes colon memory, too -- but I'm still not sure of that one. But for sure, that's what hypnosis does!! [This message has been edited by Persistance (edited 12-17-1999).]
 

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Hi Farwalker, and welcome to the Board.Persist has given you some really good, detailed info!
Like her my problems started after taking antibiotics this past year. I've only been on this Board since about October and have learned more from the people here than my doctor, who, basically told me to eat more fiber, drink more water, and that was it.Anyway, welcome to our family! Come over to "The Meeting Place" forum some time for jokes and fun. Bettie is our official Board Grandma and posts the best jokes! She keeps us all lighthearted.
Jean------------------"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way." Babe Ruth. And I'm also Praying with Bettie for a cure for this NASTY IBS! Jean
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all for the warm welcome and the great info Persistance.I have some follow-up questions.Persistance said: " The original formula which Calm Colon copied is due here soon, too -- and the researcher claims it's better. "Where can I get this product at? Or am I not understanding the question..Right now, after a few days on the Calm Colon most any form of bloating and Diarrhea have gone away. BUt now I am really constipated and have the feeling of needing to the bathroom 24/7.Should I start taking something for the constipation? Or just wait longer for the Calm Colon to fix my bowel problems etc...?Also, does anyone know what its called when you have the feeling of need to go the bathroom all the time and yet know you won't be able to go? (not constipation but..)Is their anything I can take to elminate the irration of feeling like you need to go every minute?Well, thanks again everyone. Nice to have so many caring and smart people around to help out a newbie...means alotJustin
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Welcome! I am 20, and started having major problems with D and sometimes C and a LOT of cramps, and pain over a year ago now, maybe 2 years. BUT, I did have IBS as a kid, but usually only when I was under major stress. It would often be gone for years at a time and was related to severe anxiety and depression, and social phobia. It started again when I was older from severe emotional stress, major weight loss, diet change and more from another illness I had. I find that when I am totally calm for a while,and If i eat very healthy that I don't have many symptoms, but I have found that I am sensitive to a lot of foods. I guess IBS starts for many people because of a mental imbalance, or a severe life change, good OR bad stress.Can you link you IBS to food poisoning?? You have probably had a lot of stress, and one theory is that you have internalized your feelings and your stress. I found that once I stopped panicking outwardly so much, that right after, I started to have stomach pain, and IBS problems. When I went to more therapy and exercised more I started to feel more normal.... since you have had life changes, you should see a therapist to deal with your stress if you have the insurance or the $money for it. good luck
 

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Oh Persistance, what a great way you explained the new drugs. After all the reading on other posts, I still didn't get it. . . until just now. Justin, I too have that same feeling. For me, it's kinda like an irritation, but more like a 'nervous stomache'. Like the feeling of having to go, but more anxiety like butterflies. I hate it. To be honest with you, i have only started getting this 'nervous' feeling since I stopped taking Paxil. My doc gave me a new perscription for it, but emotionally, I am doing so well. Antidepressants, (along with the new alsoetron/cilansetron) have been highly effective in treating many symptoms of IBS. I would never condone drug use (legal, of course hehehe), but I would look into it. Even effective at very low doses. ALthough, i really know the stigma associated with menatl drugs. You could say, "I'm only a little mental, I take a Really low dose"
LALA
 

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Hi Farwalker:I think the term you're thinking about is "incomplete evacuation". Someone please correct me if I'm wrong!
Jean------------------"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way." Babe Ruth. And I'm also Praying with Bettie for a cure for this NASTY IBS! Jean
 

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Hi, and welcome to this BB. You will, or have already, found out how friendly and helpful these BB buddies can be!Yes, the term is "incomplete evacuation," but gastro professionals have come to understand that, most of the time, the bowels are completely evacuated. In IBS, it appears that the nervous systems "signals" in the bowel are all screwed up. You bowels are probably actually empty, but you are receiving messages that you have to go again.Here are the John's Hopkins Hospital's questions in evaluating IBS:"During the past three months have you experienced continuous or recurrent symptoms of:1. Abdominal pain or discomfort which is: relieved by defecation? and/or associated with a change in frequency of stool? and/or associated with a change of consistency of stool? and2. Two of the following at least 25 percent of occasions or days?- altered stool frequency (more than three bowel movements/day or fewer than three bms/week)- altered stool form (lumpy/hard or loose/watery stools)- altered stool passage (straining, urgency, or feeling of incomplete evacuation) passage of mucus- bloating or feeling of abdominal distension?"Here's more relating to some of your questions:"In IBS, the factory is out of sync.Schuster and his colleagues conducted a series of studies in which volunteers wore tiny pressure transducers that recorded the pressure of the muscles lining their colon and rectum. Recordings were made over a 24-hour period, while volunteers went about their normal daily routines.The researchers found that many IBS patients have disorganized and significantly more vigorous contractions.The muscles tend to spasm. "There's a more prolonged contraction, over a larger area," says Schuster. "It's like having a Charlie horse in the gut."The Hopkins team found that while healthy volunteers hadbetween six to eight peristaltic contractions in their colon within a 24-hour period, IBS volunteers who tended to be constipated had almost none, and volunteers who frequently had diarrhea had as many as 25 peristaltic contractions per day.There's no magic bullet for IBS.Treatment for IBS often comes "as a package," says Schuster. Patients may need to try a combination of the following measures:Get diagnosed, says Nancy Norton, "just for peace of mind. Getting a diagnosis validates that there is a physiological basis to the problem. Then you're in a position to get control."Establish a good relationship with an empathetic physician, advises Schuster. "It's important for physicians to educate patients that IBS is a chronic disease--like high blood pressure, arthritis, or diabetes--and that there are ways to manage it." Physicians should also make clear that "there is no single magical cure for IBS," he says. "If patients are looking for a cure, they'll be disappointed." Many physicians now use a biopsychosocial model in treating IBS patients. "This model recognizes that biological, psychological, and social factors work together to trigger or perpetuate the symptoms of IBS," says Schuster.Bayless always describes the physiology of the illness to his IBS patients, drawing many diagrams of the digestive system to illustrate his points. Patients benefit a great deal by visualizing what is happening inside of them, he says.Eat more fiber. This idea may seem counterintuitive. But according to a rule of physics called LaPlace's Law, the tension in the wall of a cylinder is inversely proportional to the cylinder's diameter. Thus, fiber, which gently stretches the bowel wall, actually decreases the tension in the bowel, says Schuster.A high-fiber diet will probably produce gas at first, but that usually lasts for only about three weeks, says Schuster. He advises patients to increase their fiber gradually, since adding too much fiber too rapidly will cause persistent gas pains. (About 15 percent of patients cannot tolerate a high-fiber diet.) Although bran products may help some patients, others cannot tolerate them. Some physicians recommend bulking agents made from psyllium seeds. Schuster also advises against laxatives. Getting enough sleep and physical exercise also helps keep the bowels regular.Avoid culprit foods. Fatty foods aggravate symptoms in many people with IBS, says Schuster. Fats slow down the digestive tract, gumming up the works in an already irregular system. But with the exception of fats, it is unclear whether particular foods exacerbate symptoms. Some patients and physicians suggest avoiding the traditional gassy foods (cabbage, coleslaw, beans), fructose (found in figs and dates), sorbitol-containing gums and candies, bran cereals, and anything high in gluten (even apple juice has it.). Milk can trigger symptoms in people with IBS who are lactose intolerant. Some patients appear to have their own idiosyncratic problem foods. Nancy Norton says carbonated beveragesand caffeine are her culprits. Medication. Drugs prescribed for patients with IBS include antispasmodic medications (also called anticholinergics), which temporarily relieve abdominal cramps. In severe cases, patients can benefit from antidiarrheal drugs or laxatives, but in small doses and for the shortest time possible, says Schuster. Certain antidepressants relieve pain and improve the motility of the digestive system.A handful of experimental drugs are currently being tested for IBS. At Hopkins, Crowell is studying a new drug that blocks receptors for one form of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in the pain pathway. The drug may dull the perception of intestinal pain, and thus could benefit those IBS patients who appear to perceive sensations in the gut more acutely. Another medication called fedotozine acts to numb sensory nerves, and is in clinical trials.Reduce stress. "In the treatment of IBS, emotional catharsis is often more beneficial than physical catharsis," says Schuster.Although IBS is not "all in the head," stress can aggravate symptoms, and often in a complicated way. "There is an anticipatory response," says Norton. "You feel a lack of control--you don't know what your body is going to do. I remember thinking, 'Is today going to be a problem day?' The anxiety, in and of itself, increases your stress level." Many IBS patients have benefited from relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, or meditation. Others have tried hypnotherapy, and there is some evidence demonstrating its effectiveness, according to Schuster. Finally, reducing stress may warrant psychotherapy or another form of counseling.What IBS isn't.IBS is not colitis or cancer, and IBS patients do not have a greater risk of developing those illnesses. However, Schuster cautions that patients should be alert to any changes in their symptoms, which could indicate a new illness."Hope this helps.Oh, I wouldn't start taking stuff for the constipation. You will set up a viscous cycle with that. Get some Perdiem, or other fiber supplement and start to take it gradually. That will help you with both your C and D. Good luck! ------------------"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself." (Soren Kierkegaard)
 

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Great info, Lefty! Thanks, I tend to forget stuff if I don't read it over and over. What would you interpret, "Reduce stress. "In the treatment of IBS, emotional catharsis is often more beneficial than physical catharsis," says Schuster." to mean?Do you think it means that to express the emotions openly is better than not? I'm interested because I have a stressful situation at work and until recently had not expressed much of what I felt to the people there and came to realize it was taking a toll on my body, not just IBS wise.Hmmm. Maybe I should have started a different post for this question. If you want to start another post with your answer that would probably be best, unless you think the question actually fits here!
Jean------------------"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way." Babe Ruth. And I'm also Praying with Bettie for a cure for this NASTY IBS! Jean
 

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Farwalker --I should have made it clear. The original Australian formula that Calm Colon has copied is not as yet here. Lefty did such a fine job that there isn't much left to say -- except I should have made it clear that the colons of constipated people have FEWER contractions and with diarrhea-types, MORE (although Kate, our biologist on board has said sometimes the colons of constipated people have just as many spasms but in a different order. This is a very complex issue).Anyway, I'd say it isn't the Calm Colon that is constipating you. No way. It's used for constipated types as well. My own feeling would be to get going on some bulk fiber along with the Calm Colon. I mean, you can take anything else along with the Calm Colon that you want. It's just an herb. Any other questions? Glad to answer.Jean -- I THINK what Shuster means by "emotional catharsis is better than physical catharsis" is this: talking our problems out and working them through -- not necessarily punching the person we feel angry towards! And emotional catharsis doesn't necessarily mean venting towards those we feel angry with, either! That could get us into worse trouble -- getting fired, divorced or losing our best friend! Again, it just means find a way to vent our emotions somehow in a healthy way. P.S. Shuster's one of the finest doctors in the country, but when he says there is no magic bullet, that may be true right now -- but I heard a researcher who conducted one of the Lotronex trials, and he called it the best thing that will hit the industry since the invention of the cork!P.P.S. Thanks, LaLa! Keep on growing emotionally! You're doing a fine job![This message has been edited by Persistance (edited 12-17-1999).]
 

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Thanks for clarifying that for me, Persist.
Don't worry, I wasn't thinking of punching anyone out at work! I was just thinking of the toll stress is taking on me in a hostile work environment! And how it has affected me physically as well as emotionally, in spite of the fact other people are more involved in the situation than I am.Thanks again.
Jean ------------------"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way." Babe Ruth. And I'm also Praying with Bettie for a cure for this NASTY IBS! Jean
 

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Go take a nice walk on the beach, Jean, lucky you! (Both living near the beach and being off work so long!) That is, unless it's too damp and cold up there. My good friends in San Francisco are off to their parents in Florida for the holidays so I haven't had any reports lately! Good luck tomorrow at the clinic.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks so much everyone that has written back to my questions!I will have to take some time and read them over again to let it all soak in.Your all making this alot easier to get through. This life seems hard enough without this IBS!Thanks againJustin
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lucky, you're a godsend! I've been hearing about the new meds coming out in the near future, but figured they probably wouldn't help because nothing else has so far. Thanks for all of the info re: the studies.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I haven't heard anyone mention taking codeine for the pain. I take one tylenol #3 (without caffiee) when I need to go into a stressfull situation or the onstart of pain. It seems to calm me down and stops the d because codeine constipates but, only for a short time, (unfortunately it is a narcotic) but it has saved me a few times. Can you get Calm colon at a natural food store?
 
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