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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am new to posting to the forum. I've been coming here frequently in the past couple months or so to browse the forum and thought that perhaps it would be good to actually join and hopefuly have some support from others suffer as I do, and hopefully help others if I can.

I was diagnosed with IDS-D about three years ago. My symptoms came on suddenly after I went through a very stressful time in my life, and though the stress has gone away the IBS hasn't. My gastro doc tested me for parasites (as I had travelled abroad when this started) and had me get a colonoscopy, both tests showed nothing abnormal (outside of some internal hemmorhoids) and so they told me it was IBS. That was three years ago and since then they have not run anymore tests even though my symptoms have seem to have gotten a little worse. I've been given Bentyl to take as needed - I used to just use Immodium.

The following is what I experience on a daily basis. Every morning I have large amounts of gas, which then subside once I go to the bathroom. Usually there is cramping to varying degrees followed by a bowel movement that can be anywhere from formed to outright diarrhea. Sometimes there is pain that radiates down from my buttocks into the top of my legs when I have a lot of diarrhea - I'm thinking it's because my hemmorhoids are flared up. I don't always have the urge to go after meals, so I'm never sure when to try taking a Bentyl as sometimes I don't need it. My gastro doc suggested taking one immediately when I wake up. Around the time of my monthly cycle things get 10x worse. I will have bouts of diarrhea that will alternate between actual stool and just straight mucous. I have been diagnosed with fibroids but the gastro doc does not believe that they interfere with my bowels in any way. My family doc has given me a high dose of naproxsyn to take to allieveate the severe menstrual cramps I get on top of my bowel cramping. The naproxsyn really seems to help and I notice I actually have a little less diarrhea when I'm taking it. As soon as I stop though, I have the diarrhea and mucous for about a week and then things seem to calm down a little. I pretty much only have about one good week a month where it seems my bowel habits are "normal."

I do not eat dairy as I know that is a problem food for me. I've tried gluten free but saw no relief to my symptoms and I was tested for celiac which was negative. I've been reading about FODMAPs but have not started that diet. I don't take supplements as most make me have the diarrhea, espeially the B vitamins. I had been taking a fiber supplement but thought that was contributing to the gas I would have and so stopped. I've been thinking of trying a different brand to see how that goes.

I'm really not sure what to do or where to go from here. I'd like to get some better control over my symptoms so that I can get my life back - right now I pretty much just go to work and then stay home for fear of cramping up and having to run to the bathroom. I see my gastro doc about every three months and each time they just smile and say that it's IBS. I'm on the fence about whether I should seek a second opinion. No one else in my family has this and so they don't understand what I'm going through.

Thank you for your time, and sorry for the long post. I'm hoping that some of you might be able to give me some advice or point me in a direction that I have not yet thought of.
 

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Welcome to the "club". As I've found, you need to see what works for you. If you haven't done a detailed Food Diary, start with that. For me it was sugars (like fructose and lactose) that were my major triggers. And they're in everything now adays.

I found when I drink more Kobmucha I seem to tolerate fruit sugars much better. And even though I severley lactose intollerant I can handle cheese and kefir.

Nothing the doctor(s) have suggested or given me have helped at all. Had a great discussion about Fecal Transplants with my new GI and when I left he said "maybe try more fiber, maybe the FODMAT diet... see you in a year!" In other words "if it hurts when you do that, stop doing that..." And I thought we were getting somewhere with the logic behind fecal implants.

I also showed him the Entragam stuff and he had never heard of it and acted like he was going to read it and learn.

Good luck! Guess I vented there. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thx legbuh. I'll start keeping a food diary to see I can figure out if there are any other problem foods I'm not aware of. I ran food allergy testing past my gastro doc and she just pretty much shrugged it off, so guess I'll just have to figure it out myself.

Coincidentally I picked up some Kombucha the other day from the health store. I remember my mom used to make it from scratch. Didn't really like the taste of it, but might give it another try. The bottled stuff I bought is supposed to have a lighter taste.
 

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Yes, I started with the GT brand and decided to make my own. I found someone with a SCOBY and went from making 1/2 gallon a week to now making a couple gallons. Now my wife and kids are starting to like it more so I need to get more jars! :) I understand the taste issue.. some like to let it go too far to vinegar. Not me. I like a slight hint of the acidity.

what loved about the food diary was all along, being lactose intolerant, I thought cheese in pizza was causing me problems. Well, after connecting the dots it turns out it was the tomato sauce! that made sense once I figured it out because they have a lot of fructose.

Good luck!
 

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Regular doctors are clueless. Go see a naturopath. They'll test your poop and tell you what you're needing to fight. Mine was an overgrowth of bacteria in my gut. So I did change my diet. Basically bacteria likes to feed on foods that are hard to digest. I went from eating tons of fruits, raw vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, whole grain, hardly any dairy and only lean meats to the exact opposite. All the foods I mentioned except the lean meats are hard for the body to digest. They feed the bacteria and run right through me. I had the worst bowel movements on this healthy diet. I'm sure it works for people with healthy bowels but not for me. So I changed to eating potatoes, any meat (including the fatty ones because fat is good for you), corn chips, lactose free dairy and only cooked vegetables and only one piece of raw fruit a day). Totally changed my bowels for the better. I know have a regular bowel movement. The two biggest culprits were sugar and grain. I do eat a little bit of sugar from time to time but no grain (oats, wheat, quinoa, etc) Saved my life. Could be on this diet for up to three years however. It takes a long time for the bowels to heal after being inflamed for so long. Also my naturopath prescribed Goldenseal. I think it helped kill off the bad bacteria. Let me know how it goes.
 

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I would ask for breath tests for SIBO and fructose malabsorption from your gastro doctor. They are simple take home tests which at the very least can rule these things out if they are negative. The FODMAPS diet is definitely worth trying and give it at least a couple of weeks before you decide whether it is working or not. Keep in mind that just because a certain food is on the list of things you can eat, you may not be able to do so. I have found this true. If you have SIBO the list of things you can tolerate will be much smaller. I was eating only chicken, fish and greens while awaiting the test results as they were the only things that did not cause diarrhea -- the tip to do this came from a naturopath. The one normal week per month is definitely puzzling though. Something I use, aside from the FODMAPS diet, is coconut oil (1.5 Tbsp with meals 3 times a day) and goat milk kefir (it doesn't taste bad) a couple of ounces with each meal. I had SIBO and am trying to regain my digestive health after the antibiotics (Xifaxan I took last Sept) and I have fructose malabsorption. Naturopaths seem to be more knowledgeable in treating these problems sometimes. I use the gastro doctor for tests and diagnosis but after that I don't find much help from them. I have gotten ideas of things to try and they actually helped i.e. coconut oil and goat milk kefir, from online support groups.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely look into seeing a naturopath. The only catch for me right now is that we're down to one paycheck in the family and we've got to watch what we spend. If the naturopath is covered under my medical insurance I should be good, but if not I'm not sure I can afford to see one. I'm going to check around and also check with my insurance. I'm slowly trying to switch over to a FODMAPS diet and keep a food diary at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One week down on the low-FODMAP diet and saw some minor improvement. I say 'saw' because I have just very painfully discovered that I cannot eat tomato sauce (I haven't had pasta in a while). I made some homemade pasta sauce using crushed tomatoes, diced green peppers, basil, oregano, and some garlic infused olive oil. About two hours after eating it the troubles began. I thought I'd be okay as all the ingredients are on the safe list but after doing some quick searching it seems that the citric acid in the tomatoes might be the problem. I'm a sad camper now as I really like my pasta.
 

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I've suffered with IBS-D since high school. I'm now 49 years old, starting menopause - and I find that my IBS is intolerable when I have my periods. During the rest of the time, I seem to be okay - I have bad days here and there - but it's manageable. I always keep Imodium with me just in case. I was tested for fibroids, and cysts, and had a colonoscopy 2 years ago - they confirmed that yes it's IBS and suggested I take Prodiem Plus. I've tried it over the years - it does help but I just can't stand the taste. In early 2012, I decided that I needed to lose some weight - and remarkably, since I started eating "clean" - a lot of my symptoms are gone. Like I said - it isn't gone - but its definitely more tolerable since I have improved my diet. I drink a ton of water every day too which also helps. Limit my caffeine intake. I'm now just trying to figure out what to do about my symptoms during my period.
 

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Think about it... these test that we think are showing what foods are intolerable are telling you more than that.. they're telling you that you have specific strains of bacteria in your gut that are dead and should be digesting those certain things (gluten, lactose, fructose, etc). They're verifying symptoms instead of identifying deficiencies.

Put into perspective with our culture vs the culture of years ago, it make sense. Today is all about anti-biotic, and then they sell you pro-biotic pills with nothing in them.

Get real pro biotics. Look into cultured foods. Kefir, Kombucha, Sourkraut, etc.. etc.. What we used to eat before processed foods and antibiotic everything. It sounds simple but I'm doing so great on this plan I'm ecstatic.
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And notice, Im not selling anything.
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