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After reading some of the advice here, including Linda's calcium thread, I decided to focus more on supplements and maybe OTC diarrhea drugs. Last week I started taking 600 mg calcium carbonate tablets with vitamin D added. However what I learned was that it's the elemental calcium that is important measurement to note.according to one source: When purchasing calcium supplements, ensure to look for the elemental calcium content, not the total content. For instance, a pill containing 500mg of Calcium Carbonate provides 200mg of element al calcium. Hence one pill in this example only provides 200mg of calcium, not 500mg.Calcium is absorbed in small intestines. Not all calcium we consume will be absorbed. The amount of calcium absorbed is dependent on a number of factors such as the acidic condition in our intestines, Vitamin D level, estrogen level and the type of calcium supplement.The Dietary Reference Intake DRI for calcium for adults is 1000mg -1300mg depending on age and gender. As one serving of dairy product provides ~300mg of calcium, those who do not consume enough calcium from food sources may need calcium supplements to meet their daily requirement.-------Now I talked to my pharmacist about taking calcium carbonate supplements along with a prescription medicine, and she said it was fine, as was taking Imodium. Talking to my doctor yesterday and indicating I started taking CaCO3 (calcium carbonate), I told him I experienced bloating and gas, and he explained that was normal, as stool is being produced it's filling up the intestines. Anyway, it wasn't very comfortable at all, and I didn't notice much benefit to stop my predominant IBS-D, so I stopped - but perhaps I will continue. Heather's Tummy Care says to use fennel tea against bloating, so perhaps that might help reduce some of the discomfort - I haven't tried it long enough to find out. Has anyone experienced bloating like this and will it go away after your body gets used to the supplement?When I mentioned how the soy milk I drink has calcium, he mentioned ...yes, but it's added. He recommended that if I was looking for natural solutions, I could try flax seed (I remember that caused me bloating though), and otherwise eat fish which has calcium, he said. I know I don't eat enough protein either, and understand protein helps digestion too, but I forget in what way. Lastly, I asked him what if I start taking Imodium (loperamide) on a regular basis and he said, well there are risks...if you rely on it too much, your intestines will get lazy and you'll depend on them. He added that one of his patients uses 4 (!) a day though. When I was at the pharmacy recently, I saw 12 packs for around $12 and packs with 12 regular caplets and 6 "bonus" Imodium Advance (in the U.S. it's called IMODIUM® Multi-Symptom Relief) for around $20. Eek! Pretty expense. So for now, rather than relying on Imodium (although I may consider mini doses just to try it short term), I'd like to try to reduce the D via food and supplement choices. I guess I'll have to search this forum a bit, but if something comes to mind you'd like to add here, feel free.
 

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Lastly, I asked him what if I start taking Imodium (loperamide) on a regular basis and he said, well there are risks...if you rely on it too much, your intestines will get lazy and you'll depend on them. He added that one of his patients uses 4 (!) a day though.
Ahh.. no. There is no research to support this. Totally not so.. sorry.
I told him I experienced bloating and gas, and he explained that was normal, as stool is being produced it's filling up the intestines.
Many people report this and it seems that side effect wanes off after awhile for many. You could give the calcum carbonate a longer try and find out if it goes away for you. A week isn't very long.Depending on where you buy the imodium it can be a bit pricey here too. Try using the generic version.. I find them very economical and just as effective.
 

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Dependency?? Really??? Hmm.. and for a chronic condition... hmmmmBelieve what you want..It isn't true that it becomes ineffective over time or that "your intestines get lazy" while taking them. Totally false.Comparing long term use of laxatives and long term imodium use isn't quite the same thing. They do different things. And their mechanisms are different.
Is the generic version available OTC?
Yes. It is called Loperamide. Look by the imodium and maybe you will find the store's brand.
 

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A lot of people believe all drugs cause dependency but a chronic condition will need chronic treatment and needing my high blood pressure meds isn't dependency even if my blood pressure goes way up if I don't take them. It's genetic, it will be high.There is one case study of actual physical dependency on imodium and like any other opiate that needed methadone to get off of it. However the person was an opiate addict before they started on Imodium and they were taking like 160 pills at a time.Now chronic conditions do change so it can get worse regardless of medication so medication dose may need to be altered over time. Also some people have other changes and may develop side effects or need different medications to treat the condition and there may be changes in how effective a medication is.However all of that seems to be changes in the person that would have happened anyway, not so much the medication did it to you. There are a few that do cause issues with withdrawl (because you have to let the body restart making something it won't make while you are taking it) but Imodium isn't one of those.The "cathartic colon" seems to be part myth and part "guilt by association". Any indication it even happens is from a laxative taken off the market for other reasons a long time ago and all the data on the current ones shows it doesn't happen and changes in constipation severity happen whether you take laxatives or not. If it is going to get worse it will get worse whether you took senna or not. I will say people with bulimia that take 10-100X the maximum dose at a time may have problems anyone taking normal doses of laxatives even very regularly won't have. However disordered eating without laxative abuse seems to also have long term consequences.Natural things you can try other than calcium if you don't get past the initial side effects (most people do find the tolerate the calcium over time).Fennel works on bloatingProbiotics help some people (look for ones without pre-biotics in them)Peppermint can help with spasms but may not stop up the diarrhea.http://www.mothernature.com/Library/booksh...Books/15/31.cfm has a remedy that might be worth looking at, but the astringent berry in an extract rather than wine or brandy may be better.Coconut. Either in a cookie like Coconut Macaroons (works for some people with crohn's) or a bit of coconut oil. It is high in saturated fat, so you don't want too much, but the type of fat seems to be soothing to the gut.Also the usual. Small frequent meals are better than large infrequent onesLower fat diet generally seems to help.Watch out for gas causing food including starchy foods. Some IBS-D types get relief from a low carb diet.Get enough sleepDo some sort of stress reduction technique every day.Now technically if you find any natural thing you will be dependent on it as you will need it daily and you may need to change the dose over time as IBS doesn't stay constant. I'm not sure why if it is an herb that isn't dependency but it if comes in a pill it is, but whatever floats your boat.
 
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