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Hi all!In March 2009 I developed a bladder infection which was treated with antibiotics. Although the antibiotics got rid of the bladder infection, they left me stuck to the toilet for a week in horrendous pain. It did ease off but I continued to have a 'morning rush' of D. I eventually went to the doctor and when all the tests came back as negative i was diagnosed with IBS.I am lucky that for the majority of the time it is mainly when I first wake up in the morning i get cramp and need to go to the toilet and then after my breakfast. However, sometime it can last for a few days. The thing I find most annoying with IBS is that it always flares up when you have something important on i.e. exams or holiday! I also find that it gets worse when I have my period - is this normal?I am a student as university and when I go on nights out it can get really bad. I am determined not to let it affect my lifestyle but realise that i can't eat the greasy food and drink that my friends do. Also, I regularly have potent wind, bloating and a sick feeling. The main reason i am posting this is because there is so much information out there and i don't know what advise to follow. I have discovered peppermint tea which is amazing for my IBS! So few questions that i would be grateful if anyone can help;How often can you take Imodium and can it cause long term effects?Can IBS become worse or does it just stay at the same level from when you first felt the effects?Does exercise help - if so any particular i.e. yoga? I've heard mixed reviews!Is there any herbal medication/drinks etc that help?I am on the contraceptive pill - will IBS reduce its effectiveness?And finally diet? I am lost as to what will help and what i shouldn't be eating - I have the D only type of IBS.This website is great as suddenly don't feel so embarrass and see it as an illness rather than my fault.
Thanks, Sarah x
 

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IBS often gets worse when we are stressed out or during a woman's period.Most women have a bit of GI symptoms (usually not enough they'd treat but they may be a bit constipated or the stools a bit lose either right before or during their period) around their period and that same thing happens to IBSers but a bit more dramatically.Imodium is pretty safe for daily use, you just want to use a dose low enough you don't get constipated. Constipating yourself can set you up for a round of diarrhea as your body overshoots on its way back to normal.Greasy food and alcohol tend to be IBS triggers. It also doesn't help that a lot of mixers have high fructose corn syrup and other things that can also set people off. Some people can tolerate a drink or two, and generally for long term health women should limit themselves to 1 drink a day anyway (and you can't bank those, so two weeks of not drinking doesn't mean you can average it back out to one a day with a binge)IBS can get better or worse or stay the same. Sometimes it goes away on its own (so there is hope). There is no set progression where it must get worse over time like some illnesses have.Exercise can help if you find the right one. Yoga can be good for getting things moving and some people find walking or especially running can overstimulate the gut too much.Peppermint is the main herb used. Some people find fennel or chamomile helpful as well. I sometimes use Altoids which can be a bit more portable than tea and at least where I am in the US they are sold pretty much everywhere. Calcium Carbonate is a mineral supplement that tends to be a bit constipating and some people find it helps with the IBS-D.IBS doesn't really effect where pills are absorbed so shouldn't cause to many problems. The pill can effect IBS but it is unpredictable (some better some worse when on the pill).Food may or may not be an issue for you. Usually for IBS-D limiting greasy foods, alcohol, and caffeine help (and those are the three main food groups college kids live off of so it can be hard). Also some people find they do better with fewer carbs. Sometimes just limiting things like high fructose corn syrup, sometimes restricting most carbs (sugary or starchy foods). Rice tends to be the best tolerated starch so eating more rice and less bread may help some people.
 

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Since your symptoms began after a round of antibiotics I would look into using a good probiotic as well. They can restore the gut bacterial balance that can sometimes get out of whack when on an antibiotic.See our Probiotics Forum for more info.
 
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