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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am new here. I just found out I most likely have IBS. My gatroenterologist won't make it an official diagnoses until I have a colonoscopy which I won't do. My Dad had one and he was DEATHLY sick from the stuff they make you take the night before to empty the intestines. Plus, I have diarrhea so much I certainly won't purposely inflict it on myself. I am 31 and otherwise healthy, except for some female problems which I am going next week for a D&C to hopefully correct, and this whole stomach intestinal problem. I found out I am very mildly lactose intolerant. I take lactaid whenever I eat anything with lactose in it. I have become a label reader. When I eat a bowl of cereal, even with the lactaid, I am in trouble. These are the symptoms I get: Bloating--sometimes SO bad it actually looks like I am four months pregnant, rumbling intestines-it even feels like it rumbles in my back, gas, gas, and more gas, diarrhea-never constipation, well, rarely constipation, and very tender to the touch pain in the lower pelvic are on both sides. Does this sound like IBS to you? It runs in my family. We are all VERY nervous people and stressed out almost all of the time and we all have stomach problems. I have severe acid reflux also. No ulcers. What concerns me most is the diarrhea. I have lost too too much weight this past year. I am actually afraid to eat sometimes because I look at food different now than I used to in that I feel if I don't eat too much and if I eat bland I can hopefully avoid the symptoms. But I am losing so much weight. I try to eat but I might as well throw the plate of food in the toilet because it ends up there within 2 or 3 hours--sometimes much sooner--after I eat it, several times a week. I went in for an upper GI with small bowel and they couldn't do the small bowel test because the barium came right out of me within 15 minutes of the test. If I take valium I can eat and hold it in. The Doc prescribed Bentyl and I haven't tried it yet. I am afraid of becoming immune to Imodium AD. I go through several tablets a month. Also, I cannot drink pop anymore. I get horribly sick from pop because of the carbonation. My Doc told me to take FiberCon. That is a LAXATIVE!! I won't take it. He said it is a stool stabilizer. Is he right? Sorry this was so long. Any advice will be appreciated and I would like to hear about your symptoms so I can see if this is what I have wrong with me. Thank you:))
 
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Hi Angel,Well, you certainly sound like you have all the symptoms and the family connection too. I started having symptoms at about age 22, only I didn't know at the time what is was called, I only knew I couldn't eat and I was loosing weight fast. My father too had a "nervous stomach".FiberCon is a laxative, but is also suppose to draw out the excess fluid from your intestines and create a bulky stool. See, fiber expands in the intestines and absorps fluid. I would think your physician is looking for this effect. I used to eat Metamucil wafers like crazy, but it really wasn't attacking the problem, only masking the symptoms.I am now 34 and have just gotten my symptoms under control by taking acidolphilus w/ pectin. It is a supplement and a bacteria normally found in yogurt. As it was explained to me, the normal flora (bacteria) that lives in the intestine has been depleated and/or destroyed. Without the good bacteria the bad bacteria takes over. Acidolphilus is suppose to help grow the good bacteria. Pectin is a fiber. I also take St. John's Wort blended with Kava kava to reduce stress and anxiety, and promote good sleep.I am on no other medications and have found life pleasant again for the past month or so, unless I neglect to take my supplements. I prefer the homeopathy approach because, well, nothing else has worked.This is the information I listed on another post about acidophilus-Important benefits of acidophilus supplementation can include:1. Keeping constipation and diarrhea under control.2. Counteracting lactose intolerance by its association with lactase.3. Reduction of bad breath.4. Reduction of internal gas.5. Cholesterol control by promoting normal absorption of dietary fats.6. Suppression of candida yeast.7. Suppression of a number of intestinal disorders.8. Acidophilus is especially beneficial when traveling to countries where a high risk of intestinal contamination from infectious organisms is common.If you decide to try acidophilus, don't expect the supplement to work right away. It usually takes a week or so to notice a difference.Good luck and let us know how you do.
 
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Angel -I recognize a lot of what you describe. The whole nervous stomach, mind attached to gut stuff applies to my family, too. I'm 35 with symptoms for over 3 years now and have never had a colonoscopy or barium enema because I'm also scared I'll be out of commision for a month afterwards. I have a gastroenterologist appnt. in a month, and might agree to the colonoscopy this time IF its needed to rule out cancer (I haven't been to one since a couple/few yrs. ago). Reading the recent thread on colonoscopies on this board gives me courage. Hey, I was also told Citrucel early on and said forget it because I too suffer from the bouts of diarrhea and thought my gynecologist must be insane. I finally saw a gastroenterologist who took the time to explain that quite possibly I was going between constipation and diarrhea, and the diarrhea was the damn bursting so to speak after finally passing a hefty bm. Excuse the grossness, but I'll be specific here because it helped me A LOT - otherwise I never knew what "normal" bms were supposed to be. I went on the Citrucel and this is what happened. First, I started having bms every day instead of every three days, and they weren't goat pellets or big convoluted things, they were of softer consistency than ever in my life, and decent sized (3-4") and smooth. Second, when I did have an attack, I rarely had liquid d anymore, just very soft cookie press kind of movements. The attacks were of less duration since I had less stuff stored up in my bowels. Also, my lower abdominal pain improved dramatically. Fairly recently I switched to a big bowl of shredded wheat in the morning with the same results, but a reduction in bloating problems (even though Citrucel is supposed to not cause gas like Metamucil, it did seem to cause bloating for me). I did start very conservatively with only one half a tablespoon, and worked slowly up to the full dose. It really turned my symptoms around. To this day I still can't "pig out" on a meal like I used to, and in fact have to eat pretty tiny portions. (I'm also a bit worried about lack of nutrients and weight loss - I'm new to this board and learning too). But I can tell you that the increased fiber pulled me out of a REALLY bad time symptomatically, and I believe it is the key to keeping me on a pretty even keel most of the time. A final thought - I also seem to be able to keep a meal better if I take Xanax (similar to Valium). I'm thinking this is a sure sign that my problem is strongly linked to my nervous system rather than some disease of my gut. After doing a little search on xanax as well as reading about people's experience with immodium on this board, I'd say be much more worried about becoming dependent on the valium (highly addictive) than about the immodium. Use the seach feature to look up past immodium questions - or scan this month - I asked a similar question recently.[This message has been edited by Deb (edited 02-04-99).]
 
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Have you tried the calcium supplement Caltrate Plus? Lots of us here have tried it with great success. I started on it before Christmas and have only had one attack. I am in heaven. I take 2 Caltrate Plus per day, one with lunch and one with dinner and it is wonderful. NO more diarrhea or wondering if I can go out to dinner and not be in major pain the rest of the night. I would seriously consider giving it a try. Check out some of the previous posts on Caltrate Plus. Just be sure you use the Caltrate Plus or a generic equivalent since it's the combination of all the ingredients that really help.Ann
 
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Angel,Please don't take my comments too harshly...they're not intended that way, but why do you go to a doctor that you don't trust to advise you properly?? Everything that the doctor has told you, you've rejected. Do you want to get better or what?? Personally, any time I have a problem eating (and believe me I do have a problem eating certain things), but when it gets to the point where I'm losing weight at a rapid rate...I'm heading straight for a doctor and going to follow his orders or try one that I CAN trust!! One of the reasons for this is I watched my mother die of colon cancer and I know how much weight she lost and how quickly and it was too late to save her. Believe me, I hate taking all the tests also, drinking the prep stuff is awful, but I'll gladly do it to know that I'm not on death's bed and I was happy to be diagnosed with IBS rather than colon cancer or something much worse!! Sorry if I have offended you, but I do believe it is serious enough to get a positive diagnosis!!
 

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PLEASE have that colonoscopy if you trust your doctors judgement - honestly its so important to rule out something even worse than IBS. I had colonoscopy just before Christmas and it was'nt pleasant I'll admit (though most people don't find it too bad) but it WAS worth it! Hope your symptoms improve - they do sound like IBS but its best to be sure! Ama
 

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My GI said the flex-sig would be sufficient vs. the full colonoscopy. Just a few mild enemas for prep, none of that #### you have to drink. My sister had the full colonoscopy, though and had no problems--yes, she was diagnosed with IBS as well.
 
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Angel: I too have the same exact symptoms which you describe....I was always very thin with high metabolism, plus I try to eat multiple small portions during the day so weight loss is not a big problem for me (I just can't GAIN weight).The "nervous" stomach thing is so true. I am working outside of the US and although I am under a lot of stress, it's a different kind of stress than the normal dealing with the spouse, dealing with coworkers, dealing with family, car trouble, paying bills, cleaning the house etc., etc., etc.....It's novel stress, (plus it's work stress which I've always been able to compartmentalize).For me, finding a doctor I can "trust" has been difficult. Fortunately, I found one who recognized that anxiety was a HUGE trigger and once I informed her that having what I consider to be an invasive procedure and having to take a concoction I know will trigger symptoms would cause much more anxiety for me than what it was worth she agreed that unless a stool culture indicated something warranting further exploration, she was comfortable: given symptoms, physical exam and a diary of what happens when: to give me the diagnosis of IBS and to continue to prescribe for me what works to keep it under control.Personally, I subscribe to the "mind over matter" school of thought. I try only to medicate myself in situations where my anxiety will be too great to control (for me, airplane travel...which I do often for my job now is one of these times). I have learned what to do to prep for potentially stressing/anxiety invoking circumstances. I believe, and have proven to myself, that I can "think" myself out of an attack (the majority of the time).You need to make the decision regarding colonoscopies or other tests. IF you have a doctor you can trust and IF they can make you feel comfortable re: having the tests, then you should make the effort to think yourself "positively" about having them, not "negatively". Think that the time to have it done, and the potential consequences (maybe an attack afterward or something) is a small portion of your life, not really a big deal i the overall scheme of things and gather up your courage to get through it. I'd be willing to bet that if you think of the positives, not the negatives, you'll be less likely to have problems having the tests done and you might surprise yourself with proving that it is possible to get through a potentially anxiety provoking experience with just by controlling the direction of your own thoughts and attitudes. I know this is preachy and I'm sorry but I do believe what I've said here. I've proven to myself that it's possible and maybe to a couple of others as well.Good luck to you in whatever you decide to do. The people on this board are really educated on this topic, and incredibly supportive....you will learn alot here!!!Take care!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you everyone for responding:) I think I will find a new gastroenterologist as I am not very happy with the one I have and that is why I am not cooperating with him. I know I went to HIM for help, he didn't ask me to come to him, I chose to do that, but I really don't like his bedside manners. I am going to try the Caltrate Plus and see if that helps my symptoms. I really love this board. It is very informative and helpful, as are all of you. Thanx again
)
 
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