Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Digestive Health Support Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Good morning folks,

I've been vegetarian for over 15 years, and transitioned over to a raw food diet from 2005-2011.
While 'healthy' on the outside and physically fit through distance cycling and daily yoga, I suffered from constiptation for a number of years. I found ways to 'manage' my constipation, usually with a morning routine that would eventually stimulate a bowel movement and allow me to get on with my da.

Four years or so ago, I noticed a gradual reduction in my energy and physical fitness - getting more out of breath when cycling or practising yoga etc., and generally not feeling terribly 'well'. I visited a number of hospitals, undergoing the full gamut of tests, but all the results indicated that I was absolutely fine.

With my health continuing to deteriorate, I decided to pursue alternative therapies after a chance meeting with an acupuncturist. I've been continuing to receive acupunture treatment for approximately 18 months, and consider myself fortunate to be working with such a knowledgeable, wise therapist. Often, during the treatment, I can feel (and even hear) the stagnation in my abdomen gradually being freed.

During this 18 months or so, my diet has changed considerably from raw food pesco-vegetarian (salads, fruit, raw fish) to cooked food (brown rice, mung dall beans, all vegetables, potatoes, occasionally brown bread). I've spent time in India learning about and receiving Ayurveda treatment, and have adapted my diet for my body type. I've also changed my lifestyle, and practise meditation to calm my mind. Recently, I've also been consuming l-glutamine powder and aloe vera juice upon waking and before going to bed.

It's difficult to pinpoint exactly which change has been the most effective, however suffice it to say that my consitipation has improved considerably. Whereas before I would wake up, and have to kneel for an hour or so to stimulate a bowel movement, these days I often feel the need to go shortly after waking. Moreover, the process itself requires far less effort, is smoother, and feels more satisfying - my bowels feel empty.

After going to the toilet, I'll prepare my lunchbox, get showered, dressed, and ready for work. However, I've noticed that my abdomen appears to fill with gas within 20 minutes or so - despite my bowels and stomach being seemingly empty. Gas is a problem that I've also managed for many years, alongside the constipation. One of the most effective methods I've found to pass gas is to sit on all fours, and gradually lower my bottom backwards, stretching my arms and upper body forward - this is actually a modification of the child post in yoga. Shortly after assuming this position, the stagnant gas will begin to move, allowing it to be passed easily. Sometimes it feels like the gas is being produced at the same rate that it's being passed, but eventually, after 10 minutes or so, I'll feel relieved (my abdomen will be relaxed) and I can stand-up, take a shower and leave for the office.

While the gas is odorless (again, I believe my bowels are empty at this time) I notice that my anus is wet with a clear mucus/jelly-like substance. I wonder if this is some kind of infection/inflamation in the intestines, or perhaps the stomach/intestinal lining/lubrication? Either way, when I shower and wash, my anus is very sore - the hot water stings that area for a little while. until it is eventually tolerable.

I'm rather pleased with the improved regularity of my bowel movements, and am confident that gradually my digestion will continue to improve, and my energy and overall health will one day be fully restored. However, the rapid gas build-up after the BM, along with the clear mucus that is produced when the gas is passed, is a still a concern.

I would be most grateful for any suggestions or advice.

Thank you for reading!

J x

EDIT: A few months ago I shot a video of how I pass gas when assuming the 'position'. I showed this video to a couple of GI doctors, but they were unable to offer any explanation of my condition. Obviously, this is quite an embarrassing video to post in a public forum, but it may be useful to others who are suffering from trapped gas.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0vpfxgdss96vpvg/gas.mp4
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Hello Jimbob 1968,

I enjoyed reading about all your efforts and I may consider acupuncture as I suffer from the same things you do. I especially relate to the gas build up after a BM and the clear mucous. I am never comfortable immediately after and several hours may pass until I feel like my intestines have "settled down". I wish I could relate it to diet, but even when I eat what I am able (I have severe lactose intolerance as well as slow motility) I still will have the symptoms. I find relating the symptoms to any particular food is very difficult since I don't know how long it takes food to get through my system but I think it is about 3 days. I was keeping a food, gas, BM and symptoms log when I was first diagnosed and I was helpful but have tapered off. I think I need to start up again as I just finished a regimen of Xifraxin for 7 days but don't think it has done much as a still have the foul smelling gas so know that something is fermenting inside.

I don't know how much this has helped except to know that others have what you do and I am going to try the position you suggested. I often had to do that years ago as I would have extremely severe gas pains and that was the only way I could get comfortable. I would even go into the bathroom at work ( I was a nurse) and get into the position because it was so bad I could not walk upright. IBS is not easy to deal with and I just know I will have good days and bad and do as much as I can on the good ones.

Hope this continues as maybe others write in with their experiences. Every little bit can help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Hello TobyJo, thank you for your reply.

Keeping a food log is definitely a good idea. I often wonder how long is required for food to be processed and pass through my digestive system. If I eat breakfast, lunch, and a light dinner, what proportion of that food comprises my bowel movement the following morning? I have been assuming that it's everything, but perhaps this is not the case? Perhaps one way to check would be to fast for a day (just drink warm teas) after a satisfying bowel movement, and see if anything else is passed the following day, alas I'm already rather skinny, and do not wish to go without food for 24 hours - especially during a cold winter.

Recently I've been eating more potatoes than rice, however last week I added an onigiri (rice ball wrapped in a sheet of dried seaweed) from a convenience store during my dinner. Ah hour or so later I had some unusual discomfort in my stomach, and put this down to the fact that the convenience store food was processed with additives etc. The following day I included soft brown rice (almost like porridge) with my typical lunch (potatoes, carrots, leak, asparagus, pumpkin, spices, fresh garlic and ginger). It was quite a large quantity of food, but tasted delicious and I enjoyed every mouthful. Later that afternoon, however, I again felt the same discomfort in my stomach, which remained until the evening. It was a little frustrating, as before transitioning over to the potatoes, I enjoyed eating brown rice daily. Perhaps the problem was that I combined rice with potatoes (ie. two carbs)? It's so tricky - just when you think you've found the answer, another challenge presents itself. Suffice to say, I'll forgo the rice for a week or so, just to calm things down.

Yes, a food diary would definitely help in this respect. However, I also believe that anxiety contributes to poor digestion, and if we're constantly worrying about our diet - 'what if I eat this?', 'am I okay to eat that?' - we may not truly enjoy our food, leading to a perpetuation of our symptoms.

When suffering from gas at work, I also have to take trips to the bathroom in order to pass it. Some days I'm fine, other days it's terrible - the unpredictable nature of this condition is frustrating (which surely leads to more anxiety), but I try to just get on with my day, rather than let it concern me too much.

Thanks again for your post - take care!

J x

EDIT: I added a video link in my first post. This video shows the position I assume in order to pass the trapped gas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Hi jimbob - glad to have found your post. Your symptoms sound very similar to mine - I'm also into my running/cycling etc, but often wind up with gas that just puts me right off my food! I have a few poses I use as well, either lying on my stomach or on my back with my legs above my head. I'll try yours next time.

Just wondering about your acupuncture - where on your body do you have it done? How often?

And also about your diet.... I'm big into salads, tofu and tinned fish but am otherwise vegetarian. I take psyllium and bentonite clay every morning, and occasionally peppermint capsules for gas. How has your diet switch worked for you? What other supplements are you taking?

would be great to share some advice... :)
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top