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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I've been taking Calcium and Citrucel regularly for the last couple of weeks, I've noticed that the frequency of episodes has gone down to about two days a week. That's the good news! The bad news is that when I do get an attack, it is more severe, more painful, and lasts longer than it used to- usually starts out with semi-firm stools that then turn pastey and burn like the devil. This can last almost all day and I've even started to develop hemmoroids from it. Can anyone else relate to this experience with either calcium or soluble fiber? I'm not sure which to attribute it to, but it's probably a little of both. I have an appointment to see a GI on May 1, but I think I may try and get in to see my family practitioner sooner than that and see if I can get some Questran. I think my bad days may be the result of excess bile salts that makes my guts respond poorly, in which case all that bulk in the colon caused by taking fiber and calcium(which normally would be a good thing for me) is only getting in the way of the evacuating bile and causes my symptoms to be drawn out and amplified. Does this sound reasonable?
 

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I don't know, everyone is different. I would try laying off of the fiber for awhile. I would just stick with the calcium taken at meals and eat alittle blander foods for awhile. Banana's , Apples without the skin , plain chicken, green beans, baked pot without skin, plain rice, plain noodles, pretzels. When I am having a flare up those are the things that help me.
 

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catfish,I think too the Citrucel may have and acid effect also and this along with the bile could be causeing the burning. Are you spreading out the calcium dose over the day and taking some with each meal. Either 1/2 tablet or a full tablet.I know when I went a lot I used to use vaseling intensive care lotion on the tissue and this did help with the hemmorids.Linda
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm taking one tablet of calcium with the first meal of the day and one tablet with the last meal. These are the largest meals I eat, the rest of the day I try to "graze" on things because that's easier on my system than a few large meals.I tried using Neosporin with pain relief and that seems to help with the H pretty well, although I don't have a lot of experience to compare that against since it's the only thing I've tried.I use the clear kind of Citrucel and it has virtually no flavor, unlike the orange flavor which has acid in it. I can add it to (lactose free) chocolate milk and you really can't even taste the stuff.Oh, and I did make a typo in my first post- my Gastrointerologist appointment is June 1, not May 1. My GI is Dr. Dahl (no, not Dahlman) and he's supposed to be a pretty good authority, so I'm hoping he can help me out. He's also an old family friend, so he'll be more likely to listen to me and take me seriously. All the same, if I can get rid of this pain on my own before June I'll be much happier. I'll still keep the appointment, but it will be nice to have some useful information to give him.
 

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Are you using calcium carbonate. You can take up to 3 full tablets a day. Even if you don't eat a full meal as long as you have some kind of snack with it that is okay also. If you are still having diarrhea with the calcium you need to up it to 3 tablets a day at least 4 or 5 hours apart. Be sure you have the right form of calcium and not much magnesium.Linda
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's Caltrate Colon Health, each tablet is 300 mg calcium carbonate with vitamin D and no magnesium. I'm not sure I want to increase the dose, it seems to help already with the frequency but with the increased severity I'm a little unsure about increasing anything.
 

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I only had sucess with 600mgs. of calcium carbonate at each meal and no other fiber etc. So I was taking 1800mgs. a day and even on a rare occasion I was taking maybe another half a pill which too me up to 2100mg a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You're right, they are 600 mg each. My memory is fickle, I started out by taking half a tablet in the morning and half at night for a few days to see how the calcium affected me, and I guess I was still thinking about those numbers even though that was a couple weeks ago now.The pain is hard to describe because there are so many layers of it. The cramping, the burning, the muscle fatigue after severe spasms- it feels like my guts are about to burst. When it was just runny it was easier to get it all out and be done with it. Now it is semi-firm and it's a lot more work to get through a bad episode. I almost liked it better when it was just plain D. Now it's like thick paste that sticks and burns as it goes slowly on its way.
 

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Catfish,I can relate to your symptoms as well. The first few days were great, than things got more intense like you described with the Calcium. But I continued to take it, and have been on it for two weeks. I don't know if my body has adjusted to it or not, but the cramping and spasming (how does one spell that?) have decreased. I do take an antispasmodic 30 minutes prior to meals, and I use a minimum of 1800 mgs of Calcium Carbonate per day. I wonder if when you begin ingesting so much calcium it has an immediate effect on the gallbladder. But anyhow, mine does seem to better.Try and stick with it if you can and see what happens.
 

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It does have an effect right away and depending on how long you have been putting up with the bile burning your gut it will take a while to get them to settle down. The calcium helps the spasms cramping burning bloating but we are all different so the amount may vary it is trial and error to get what is right for you.Linda
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've tolerated the burning guts for much too long, I've had IBS for almost 20 years- most of my life. I'm sure that it will take me a long time to fully respond to any form of therapy. Since it seems that most of you are taking 3 tablets a day, I think I'll give that a try and see if there is any improvement. My kids have been having bad D for the last few days too though, so it's possible that a stomache virus is throwing a wrench in my experiment as well. I had to take major loperamide this morning and I'm still not a happy camper. I guess I'll just have to hang in there and see what time brings me.
 

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Does Calcium work the same as Questron or Colestid? I took Colestid and got horrible gas from it>> I quit because it did not seem to be helping much. I take 3 Calcium a day, I have no gall bladder and have many yellow watery D bouts, but not as many as when I did not take Calcium, I take Imodium,but once the D starts, the Imodium is useless. I have to use it as a preventative.Would it harmful to take more Calcium on those really bad days. I take Calcium D with no magnisium.?
 

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Calcium seems to have taken on something of a religious status on this board. If you give it a fair shot and it doesn't work then screw it. One shouldn't go on for too long assuming that they must be doing something wrong in order to explain why it hasn't worked. Just because it has saved some doesn't mean it will save all.Personally, calcium had abolutely no positive effects for me at all. And I took it according to the expert advice given on this board.
 

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Gastron, we understand that if Calcium hasn't worked for you that you might be upset, but for some people, it takes a few days to kick in and work. The "expert advice" you suggest is given by people who have struggled like you have and are offering only their best suggestions based on their experiences. I, personally, value this advice--but no one here has said that it is a cure all.Knothappy, I have taken Calcium and Immodium together (though not at the same time) and it worked well for me, and I wasn't too constipated or anything. Try that if you wish and see how you feel. Best of luck!
 

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RobAlan:Hmmmm, maybe my post conveyed the wrong tone. I'm in no way 'upset' as you say I am. Maybe my use of the phrase 'screw it' sent the wrong message. I simply think that there's a point after which one must abandon ship and move on to the next thing. I grant that it's not easy to tell where that point is sometimes (as is the case above where the Citrucel is a complicating factor).Further, you wrongly assume that my use of the phrase 'expert advice' is sarcastic. It's not!!! I genuinely treat some of the advice around here as being on a par with that given by my doc. In fact, there are many things I've learned here that I'm positive my doc has no clue about.
 

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Gastron, forgive me...I jumped to conclusions. I was probably having a bad day and said too much without thinking it through. I didn't mean to jump to conclusions.My doc actually has disagreed with most of the things on this board, but then again, she doesn't think IBS exists...
 
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