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Hello everyone, glad I found people on the internet who can hopefully help me to understand what in the world is going on with my body! This might get kind of long, but I want to explain how it started and where I'm at now. Just as a side note, I am now 41 almost 42 and female with 3 children, huband and dog leading a pretty crazy busy life.Okay, about 3-4 years ago (let's say I was 37-ish) I began to notice some trouble with having a BM just out of the blue. Now keep in mind, my whole life I have been pretty regular up until age 37. The BM's seemed rather large, and hard to get out and I would strain and strain etc. finally getting it out having a bit of red blood on the tissue, and freaking out about that. Telling myself I ripped something trying to have a BM and I was constipated, I thought it has to be the junk food and too much soda, lack of exercise etc. So I decided to stop soda entirely, and get some Metamucil. So for the next couple of years, I was fine with Metamucil. I would have constipation on and off, and I would forget to take my Metamucil, so I would take 1 or 2 fiber capsules and again be fine. Let's just say that being constipated was not something I thought about every day like I do now.Ironically by mid summer of 2005, I felt like I was having very normal BM's without straining, and was happy and healthy, no worries.In the summer of 2005, I fell down the stairs and broke my ankle in two places. I was told that I needed surgery asap to fix both fractures. I had never been under anesthesia before, and was scared to death. I had a two and half hour surgery, and woke up feeling pretty good but was on a pretty good dose of Morphine, with Percocet as the alternate drug given orally every other hour. Somewhere in the recovery I also had Demerol given in the IV for the pain that was too intense. Needless to say, I never go sick or threw up with all that medication and I am a petite 115lb woman. Anyway...not to get away from the story...but I went home the next day with a prescription for 60 tabs of Vicodin. I never thought I would even use half that bottle, but once everything wore off I was taking two every 6 hours or so for about a week, so I did use every single one of those pills. Okay...so here comes the constipation story. My mom was in town to help me, and fixing some awesome dinners...well by day 3 after eating soooo much food....I still didn't have an urge to have a BM and I got scared. I thought "is it all backing up in there or what?" so by day 4 or 5, I finally felt like I had to go but hardly anything came out but a little bit. So I went and bought some ExLax, took that and still nothing. I ended up taking another one the next day, and by then I had an awful stomach ache and finally moved my bowels. So in the next few weeks, I had 'some' normal BM's but they didn't seem like they were all that healthy. Kind of small and piecey, hard etc. So I went online and realized that "Hey, it must have been all that medication that made me constipated" so I tapered off and was done with that stuff. By November of 2005, I was back to walking in a cast and off any kind of medication for pain. Well that Thanksgiving I was out of town visting my dad and noticed that my BM's were like rabbit poo. I kind of shrugged it off till the next time I had to go, and again and again, rabbit poo. I didn't do much about it and went on with my life, but every day...rabbit poo.In December we went to Hawaii for 2 weeks. The WHOLE time I was there, all I had was rabbit pellet BM's. Luckily I had brought some fiber pills with me, but those didn't help one bit.In January-February of 06, I began to worry because now it was an every day or every other day thing, with this rabbit pellet BM. I read all kinds of stuff on the internet about drinking more water, more fiber, more fruit etc etc etc. I tried EVERYTHING!! I finally told my doctor about it and he is an OBGYN incidently, but he wanted me to go have a colonoscopy. So I go to this other dr. who also tells me, drink more water, and gives me packets of Metamucil etc. and even wanted to talk me out of the colonoscopy (you're too young etc) but I insisted they do it. So I had it done April 2006 and they found nothing (but one little benign polyp). He told me to "KEEP YOUR BM'S SOFT!" and sent me on my way with Metamucil. So here I am a year later....well almost 18 mos from when I first noticed it and still, itty bitty piecy small hard BM's. I am soooo frustrated by this. I have tried so much stuff, and sometimes it does work but I get tired of having to remember to drink my water and take my fiber. I don't understand what changed?? Was it the surgery on my ankle, all the medication (but why a year later??), is it because I am stressed, anxiety ridden, slightly depressed?? Sometimes I get scared...thinking "well what if they missed something, or what if it's something else" but yet I come here and see that alot of you are experiencing the same things. I don't really plan on going back to see a dr. about it because I keep telling myself that I can find something that will change things. The funny thing is that I almost feel like something is off...I think my colon is working properly...but something else is not doing it's job. I almost convinced myself last night that it was a pelvic floor muscle problem or maybe I need to do some ab exercises, I just don't feel that urge that usually is there. I mean it will come down, and I know I have to go...but I will get in there and then it's like that feeling is gone, or it's there but not very strong, so out plop the itty bitty pieces again. Every once in awhile I will get a normal size stool mixed in with about 10 Skittle size pieces. Anyway, just wanted to put that out there. Any insight, thoughts etc. appreciated.
 

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My IBS I believe began after several years of having to take painkillers for various injuries. So, I'm a firm believer that pain killers can upset the delicate balance in the digestive system. What works for me when I'm really bad is magnesium. There is a really good magnesium powder that comes in flavors. You just mix it with water and trust me, I started moving the next day! The flavor I had was raspberry/lemon. Exercise, exercise, exercise. Very important and drink water. Some people are helped with fiber, some aren't. It's something that you just have to try and if it works for you great, if not, well, move on to something else. There is Zelnorm, a medication out there, that might help you. It didn't do much for me, but it has worked for some. That's about all I can think of right now, but you're in a good place. People here have tons of good ideas and suggestions. Good luck. Don't be afraid to ask anything around here.
 

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Magnesium oxide supplements are easy to try also. 500 mg to start. They're the cheapest ones out there -- I've only found them in drug stores, not the high end health food or vitamin stores.IBS can be progressive. It was for me, although it started in my teens. It took many years for me to be unable to go without assistance. So fiber may have worked for you for a while, but now you might need more. Zelnorm may be a good option for you, and it may work alone or in combination with fiber and/or magnesium.You haven't seen a gastroenterologist. This disorder is complex and you owe it to yourself to get a medical ally. Self treating is always an option but not necessarily the best way.Dana
 

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Like you, and many others here, my IBS was also progressive. It started slowly,it came and went, and all of a sudden it was here to stay.Have you tried a stool softener? That may help, I use colace. Start at a lower dose and work your way up until you find a dosage that works. It is safe to take it daily. If you take too high of a dosage at first you will get a lot of cramping.Definitely increase your fiber, some do well with this, others don't, it's worth a shot. I eat FiberOne Honey Clusters in the morning for breakfast, I think that is very helpful. I've also cut out all fatty foods, nothing ever that is fried, very little dairy,no red meat...it's a very restrictive diet but it works for me! You have to find the foods that irritate your system and cut them out. For me it was like introducing solids to my kids. I started with a few foods that I knew wouldn't bother me and added something new every couple of days, just like you do with a baby. It's a long process but you will make your way through it!!Lastly, see a gastroenterologist, one that is supportive of you and your health. If diet, fiber supplements and stool softeners don't work you will need to try other avenues, like Zelnorm or Amitiza...You'll get through it. There is lots of support here from people who are just like you!!Maureen
 
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