Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Digestive Health Support Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently posted a topic on the IBS forum but thought maybe I should try again in the C forum, though I'm not sure I'm in the right place as I have numerous BM's per day and am certainly no truly constipated. I've already gone on about my history which is undoubtedly a factor (sorry to repeat myself for those who have already heard this) which is 9 years of anorexia with hideous bulimic episodes. Over the past few years I've been eating 'normally' (to a degree) though am still very underweight and have lately been suffering more from the binge/vomiting pattern (ironically triggered by the self digust brought on by the IBS). I cannot deny that I have psychological problems and I don't expect my IBS to ever be cured (ok, I know there is no cure, but to improve) until I've truly laid my eating disorder to rest. However even during the couple of years when I had no ED symptoms at all I still had a lot of gas, pain, alternating C and D and never feeling as though I'd emptied my bowel. I've tried the lot: hypno, nutrition, chinese meds, you name it my bank balance has suffered for it.SO the reason I'm posting here is because (and I know this is going to sound really weird but I'm desperate) I am unable to let go, the urge to go is very forceful and though I can let out a little my anus automatically tenses up and I feel like I don't know how to go and so to try and emty my bowel as much as possible I have to go endless times in the morning. All the straining and toilet going (which is ridiculous and is making me obsessive - a trait I do not need to encourage!) is causing a small amount of bleeding (nothing to worry about as the blood is bright red). My stools are also very sticky (sorry). The less I go the more gas there is, not to mention the pain (which I am getting much better at handling), I also seem to have a lot of mucous. I used to just have chronic D but now I feel C all the time (well my version of C anyway)Apologies for being so graphic and sounding obsessive, I know how irritating it must sound. I would truly appreciate any advice and to the very knid people who did respond on the iBS forum thank you and I have not ignored your suggestions but I am still stuck. Please help an utterly bonkers Midwinter maddness, I'm going a bit crazy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,243 Posts
I'm sorry you feel like you're bonkers. you're not but it can make us feel really out there trying to deal with this. Personally I'm only C but I take enough stuff like magnesium, fiber, etc to keep things running through me. It's almost like when i start then i can't stop which is great for me. however before I started using all the stuff I'm using I would feel like I had to go but then couldn't let it all or something. Have you had a colonoscopy or tests to rule out other problems?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I had a colonoscopy a while ago as my Dr felt it possible I had chrohn's but it turns out my colon looks perfectly normal - I just wish I was! Thanks for your response, I hope you're doing ok.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,243 Posts
midwinter, It sounds like you've tried alot of stuff but what about cognitive behavioral therapy? That is a type of therapy used for eating disorders, anxiety disorders, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,983 Posts
Midwinter, have you ever heard of this?"the urge to go is very forceful and though I can let out a little my anus automatically tenses up and I feel like I don't know how to go and so to try and emty my bowel as much as possible I have to go endless times in the morning. All the straining and toilet going ""Outlet obstruction type constipation- pelvic floor dyssynergiaThe external anal sphincter, which is part of the pelvic floor normally stays tightly closed to prevent leakage. When you try to have a bowel movement, however, this sphincter has to open to allow the fecal material to come out. Some people have trouble relaxing the sphincter muscle when they are straining to have a bowel movement, or they may actually squeeze the sphincter more tightly shut when straining. This produces symptoms of constipation."You might ask your doctor about this and see what they say have to say, also a possible treatment for it is biofeedback.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all so much! Eric that description sounds very accurate in terms of my situation, I will definitely talk to my doc about this in my next appt. If that is the problem, which I think it is, how do I rectify it? Yoga is definitely something I will try, just getting the energy at the moment is hard but they say energy breeds energy...I understand how hypno would help (in theory though my own attempts at it been unsuccessfull) but I'm less sure about CBT. I understand it can help with a whole range of psychological issues but how would it work approaching IBS?THank you all again
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
830 Posts
Midwinter, i'm going to throw out a couple of things: one, Kegel exercises (clenching then unclenching your vaginal muscles, 8 or more repetitions at any one time) may help with your sphincter control if you practice them long enough...........another suggestion is; have you tried a twelve-step group such as OA or FA for your EDs? they've got "LETTING GO" down to a fine art, and i'm not just referring to your sphincter muscles.......g-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
I too have felt the clenching and cramping that's associated with constipation. My doc put me on a prescription of levsid, which is a large-muscle relaxer. My script is for .125mg once every four to six hours. Also, strong peppermint tea has worked for me, which also has the effect of relaxing and soothing your tummy. For gas, I steep a cup of strong fennel tea. Make sure you cover and steep for at least 10-15 minutes. And lastly, I will relax at the end of the day with a heating pad on my tummy. It feels SO good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,983 Posts
midwinter maddness , talk to your doctor about the options that might be available to treat this if this is your problem, but it certainly does sound similar, like I said biofeedback helps a person to relax those muscles to help you go. There maybe others as well. Just knowing about it can help some also.Try not to tense up when you go and the urge to defecate comes on for about 15 minutes then goes away basically, so I would not sit there if you are not evacuating, but get up for a bit and move around and try to relax and it may make it easier to go for you. I am sure your doctor may have some suggestions for you on this one also.Excercise, like yoga and others may help this also to streghten the muscles and the kegal might help as mentioned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you so much eric, I will discuss the options with my doctor who I will be seeing in about a week. I just hope he takes me seriously! the problem is when a doctor is aware of a patient's history involving eating disorders they are reluctant to deal with the ibs feeling the issue is purely psychlogical, which it is in part admittedly but it is, as with so many of us, more complex than that. In the mean time I will look into the kegal exercises and yoga. Thanks again, MWM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,983 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
I'm SO glad that someone else has mentioned the eating disorder aspect of this problem and you're NOT alone with your phobias and fears. I was diagnosed with anorexia at age 14 and now, 10 years later, have developed incredible anxiety associated with bowel movements. For some strange reason, while I still have anxiety about food going into my system, I have even more anxiety about food leaving my system. So, while I suffer from IBS-C and suffer from severe cramps, bloating, gas pain and nausea, I'm scared to take anything that would make me "regular" because I'm terrified of diarrhea or not having complete control over my bowels. When I do go, it's a normal amount, but then my bowels start spasming and I keep feeling like I have to go and I end up "disimpacting" (removing what's in my bowel manually) because I feel like I'll keep going and going and I end up taking Immodium to stop the spasms, which clogs me up again and worsens the C symptoms, but it's the only way that I feel like I'm in control of my bowels. For some reason, I have this huge phobia of losing control of my bowels in public, so I end up being really reclusive unless I'm stocked full of Immodium and then I'm so uncomfortable that I don't want to go anywhere anyways! I'm going to look into some behavioural books and tapes (I'd like to try self-hypnosis, but the cd package is way too expensive) and try to help myself, because it's definitely affecting my life in general. Any suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
830 Posts
i'm going to say this again, because clearly i feel i need to....have those of you with eating disorders tried OA; which is not just for overeaters but for all food disorders. there is also Food Addicts (same thing) and these 12 step programs have helped millions and millions (not just thousands) of people so....why not give it a shot? you won't be alone and it is all about letting go. g-
 
G

·
Midwinter Madness--I think we've crossed paths on the board before. I suffered from anorexia for 6 years. I was never really diagnosed but for sure I had an eating disorder. I hated my body image and was restricting certain foods and indulging in others and down to 80 lbs-perhaps I was in some ways bulimic though I never purged. Instead I would eat tons of roughage and carbs then have major diarhhea--for years. The diarrhea made me happy b/c I knew I would get thinner, but at the same time I had horrible gas and urges so whenever I was with people I had these terrible urges to fart and go and I would just sit there tensing up all my muscles so I coudl not go. I started containing the gas. Later the diarrhea sort of turned into a C feeling even though I was still going. I also felt like I was containing the gas all the time and also the urge to just have a bowel movement in general. I was then diagnosed with IBS but my only symtpoms were urgency(like I was still having diaarhea) mucous, and bloating. I felt like my stomach was clamping down so hard to not let things pass. This is not in my rectum, but further up. Just wondering if you relate to that. I realize taht your issues are in your rectum more. But also wanted to say that the tension caused more bloating that caused more tension and my stomach tried to keep the bloating down. Wondering if this is happening to you too? I currently cannot wear anthing but huge clothes b/c something slim causes me to clamp down and then I get horrible gas containment feelings.I think Eric is right that biofeedback could be the answer b/c if its that sphincter muscle you could retrain it. I'm not sure if that would work for me. Hypnotherapy helped with someof the psychological stuff, but in the end I think it reinforced teh muscles disfunciton b/c right now my ibs is worse than ever.I too have the eating habits under control but still have body image issues. This sure is a battle isn't it?If you want to PM me feel free. I want to get over this too. take care, Susan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Hi Midwinter,I also had an eating disorder (anorexia, then bulimia) for years which my IBS was pretty much a direct result of. However like you, even when I went into recovery the IBS stuck around. What really ended up helping me was taking medication (Effexor). I took it for depression, but strangely it made my IBS better by like 95%. (I was having a lot of your current symptoms too). I really think that the IBS and ED can be two sides of the same coin, psychologically speaking, but the IBS is obviously much less under our direct control. I am not saying that the physical symptoms aren't real, just, as you've said that there can be quite a large psychological component that helps give rise to the symptoms in some people and i think this component may tend to be larger in those of us who've dealt with eating disorders. On top of the fact that eating disorders really do a number on you physically and would give anybody digestive troubles. At any rate, I don't know if you are or have ever been on medication but if not, it's something that may be worth looking into. I know that one of the side effects is supposed to be constipation but that didn't happen for me even though I was IBS-C. Somehow it just seemed to normalize everything. I hope you find something that works for you, and good luck.Enja
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It's really good to get some identification so thank you for relating your stories and advice. Yes Ghitta I have tried a 12 step programme but found it wasn't the right path for me. I am currently really trying to be positive, realising that the interwoven nature of the ED and IBS means I have to use all the strength I canto let the ED if I want any chance of the IBS being a part of my past. My weight dropped further since my last post which is terrifying me, I really want to turn things around now and believe I can start making changes. Bodywork therapy has helped release a lot for me and understand just how much emotion the ED keeps at bay (I knew this intellectually but awareness isn't always much help when the subconcsious is involved). I'm going to start making baby steps with the weight, it's crucial if I'm not going to collapse and at least I'm starting to realise my own fragility. Sorry for such a long, sentimental note.Good luck to you all, much love, MWM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sorry, forgot to mention the thing about the medication. I've been looking into it, my friend takes effexor and a couple of months later it just sort of dawned on her that she wasn't having to live her life round her bowel, it seems it really normalises things. Hopefully my doctor will be willing to prescribe it, I don't want to get too excited just yet because I got my hopes up about the biofeedback and then I was told I couldn't do it. I'll let you know how I get on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
I had a really bad experience coming off of Effexor. It didn't really affect my digestion, but it also didn't help my depression, so after only a few months, I decided to wean myself off of it. Just a warning (and not to scare you), but be VERY careful with this drug because coming off of it or lowering/raising the dose too quickly can have horrible side effects. Mine included brain "zaps", hallucinations, extreme anxiety and panic attacks, dizziness/lightheadedness, headaches... If you want more personal stories (successes and failures) of people who have tried different anti-depressants, you should visit one of the message boards for anti-depressant meds. Most doctors deny that such withdrawal symptoms occur, but judging by the number of people who've experienced them, they are very real. I think that when it comes to both depression and IBS, many doctors are completely clueless and incompetent and it can result in a lot of problems and pain for the sufferer, so we basically need to educate ourselves.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top