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Throughout my life, I have dealt with bathroom problems. Either it was it was a constant stomach ache, constipation, or diarrhea. Over the past 2 years, things got progressively worse (going to the bathroom 6+ a day) and I decided that it was time to go to the doctor because things were no longer manageable. Fast forward to now, I have had surgery for a tethered spinal cord. After every other test showed nothing, this was the first thing that showed up that indicated a problem. For 18 years the tethered cord caused nerve damage within my digestive system and within my bladder (I go to the bathroom every hour or so). Now, the doctors are saying that what I'm dealing with now is nerve damage. After doing extensive research, I have come to the decision that antidepressants are my best chance to help restore some of the nerve activity. What do you guys think is the best route to take (medicines, procedures, whatever..)? Do you think I'm doing the right thing here? I've taken a plethora of medicines (antispasmodics, constipation specific, diarrhea specific) and nothing has worked but I have yet to try antidepressants. I've read tons of stuff saying antidepressants can actually help restore nerve damage, so I'm thinking antidepressants are the best route to take for what I'm dealing with. Thanks for reading and I would greatly appreciate any input from anybody. This has greatly affected my life and now that I know what's wrong I just need some advice.EDIT: My diagnosed has been changed to neurogenic bowel and bladder because of the tethered spinal cord. Updating this thread for myself to keep a log and for others who are interested in things they might be missing.
 

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It does seem that for some people they can at least bridge the gap so you get more normal functioning even if they don't fix the underlying problem.If you are tending to diarrhea I would look at the tricyclics, the tetracyclic Remeron or one the SNRI's like Cymbalta.All of those tend to relieve pain and are constipating, usually the main issue with them is they can make people drowsy so they tend to best taken at bedtime.Does a bile binding agent constipate you some? Have they tried that? Questran is one of them. Some people here have had luck with Calcium Carbonate and you may need those (or Imodium) as well if you have a lot of diarrhea.
 

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Just be prepared to be on them forever. It took two me two years to wean off Effexor that I was supposedly taking for muscle spasms. In the end I got it down to a speck a day and was running around looking for razor blades. There are way safer natural antidepressants if that's what they think you need. But, I'm not a doctor so I'm not advising you other than to do a little research first. You can go online and enter the symptoms, the medications, the side effects, all kinds of stuff.
 

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Waray, so you are aware, the dosing for problems like IKTP is talking about may be different than what was prescribed for you. Also... everyone responds differently to anti-depressants. Plus there are many to choose from! Not everyone has as tough a time as you did weaning. I am sorry though that you had such a tough time with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It does seem that for some people they can at least bridge the gap so you get more normal functioning even if they don't fix the underlying problem.If you are tending to diarrhea I would look at the tricyclics, the tetracyclic Remeron or one the SNRI's like Cymbalta.All of those tend to relieve pain and are constipating, usually the main issue with them is they can make people drowsy so they tend to best taken at bedtime.Does a bile binding agent constipate you some? Have they tried that? Questran is one of them. Some people here have had luck with Calcium Carbonate and you may need those (or Imodium) as well if you have a lot of diarrhea.
I do take Imodium everyday even though it doesn't seem to work very well. After taking it, I tend to use the bathroom 3 more times or sometimes more. My doctor says that I'm mildly constipated even though I am going to the bathroom 6+ a day. She said that unlike a regular person who has the urge to go the bathroom when there colon (or whatever) is full, when mine gets a little in there I feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom which is why I go so much and this is because the nerves are damaged. So I'm sort of stuck on what to take since I seem to have both diarrhea and constipation.
 

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The antidepressants should help with the excessive urge to go thing. If your stool consistency is really hard and dry and hard to pass then you might do better with Zoloft or another SSRI (or you see a lot of stool in an X-ray)It may take some experimentation to find the right one, but it may be worth a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know that it is going to be trial and error when taking these antidepressants, but do you know of any antidepressants that also help with the bladder nerves? I would ideally like for this medicine to help with both.
 

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http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bladder-c...roblems/WO00123 mentions a tricyclic and usually the SNRI's like Cymbalta and the tricyclics can be fairly interchangable for most things.Assuming anticholinergics do not help enough for both (while some are approved for bladder and some are used for bowel they are also pretty interchangable).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Alright sounds good. I'm going to see what the psychiatrist says (I hate having to get another doctor just to get antidepressants) and see if her suggestions match with the research I have and the suggestions from this forum. Now if only that appointment was a little sooner.
 

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So I went to the doctor yesterday (not GI because can't prescribe antidepressants) and was given zoloft. I know that I don't want zoloft and wanted cymbalta because for the nerve damage that I'm dealing with, I feel that it is a better option to start with rather than zoloft which is general ibs. He said he would check with my GI doctor but the GI says to try zoloft first. I really don't want to waste my time taking something I'm 90% sure won't help me, so I'm kinda stuck on what to do now. I want cymbalta but nobody will budge. I've done weeks of research on this and my doctor seems to know nothing and just goes with the flow. Very frustrating and I'm sick of wasting my time.
 

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Bring IN some of the research, mail it or email the links to the GI and the Psy. and stand your ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bring IN some of the research, mail it or email the links to the GI and the Psy. and stand your ground.
I'm definitely bringing in my research to back up my claims now, but I think the real reason is I can't find the right person. I need one person who can prescribe antidepressants, help with the GI problems, and help with the nerve problems. Up until this point we have just been trying to treat the symptoms but not the actual cause which is the nerves. I'm just glad I have a very good idea of what is actually causing the IBS unlike a lot of people on this forum that try countless things with no luck and they have no idea what the underlying condition in.
 

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Can you move on to a different Doc by any chance?? One that is willing to manage this all for you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Can you move on to a different Doc by any chance?? One that is willing to manage this all for you?
I'm looking, but so far nothing yet. It's hard to find one that will do nerves,gi, and urology. The insurance company and myself are looking in Neurologists since that seems like it is a good bet. I'll keep looking to I find whoever I need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just want to update my story. I went to the doctor on friday and was diagnosed with neurogenic bowel and bladder. This was caused by the tethered cord and it seems that people with it are able to recover and live somewhat of a normal life. I'm very excited to have found the right doctor finally who knows what she is talking about. The clean out process starts soon and I honestly can't wait.
 

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Glad to hear your persistence and research paid off. Good luck and do keep us posted.Rooting for you.Mark
 

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Did two days of clean out with miralax and dulcolax. Started taking colace two times a day and senokot once daily. Things have gotten worse after the clean out and now I'm going for another x-ray to make sure it was all cleared out (doctor thinks not). If not, I'm going to have to do FOUR days of clean out which is basically like preparing for four colonoscopys. I'm not excited at all, but I'm very eager to get better so I will do whatever it takes at this point. Apparently the constipation is extremely bad which led my doctor to believe two days wasn't enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Today was the final day of the clean out. The stool is definitely yellow and I will be EXTREMELY shocked if tomorrow I get this x-ray and it shows constipation. I start the maintenance tomorrow, but if I'm still backed up IDK what I'm going to do. Will keep updated for myself and for whoever is interested.
 

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Well I am hoping that you aren't backed up any longer and that now you can move on to maintenance. Keep good thoughts and let us know how you are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks BQ. I called the doctor's office today after getting the x-ray because I wanted to get an early report of what they saw before it went to my official GI doctor. The radiologists said that the constipation is gone!! I'm very excited and started the maintenance today so hopefully things continue to improve. I'll have to see what the GI doctor says on Tuesday when I see her, but hopefully she says the same thing as the radiologist did. My stomach is making all kinds of crazy noises because it hasn't been entirely cleaned out for 18 years. I'm very excited to see what this week has in store for me.
 
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