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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to this so bear with me. I was diagnosed with IBS in February '98 after having surgery to have my left ovary removed. I was put on Librax which helped some but, made me quite depressed at times. I'm trying to control my diet, but it's hard. My doctor just switched me to Levbid. But there are still undesirable side effects. Any advise on medications? I've heard a little about Amitriptyline. ????
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Amber:You haven't told us anything about your symptoms, so it's hard to respond. BTW, I tried Levbid once. It gave me severe cramping, and I had to stop. It's not uncommon to have side effects to the various drugs that they experiment on us with. As to the amitryptiline, I can't say. Sounds pretty serious. What's it supposed to treat?bob
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Amitriptyline is an antidepressant with anticholinergic properties. I mostly want to treat the cramping and bloating. I don't usually have a problem with diarreah. I'm pretty sure my attacks are related to stress; Do all the medications that are antispasmodics cause drowsiness and disorientation? Thanks for your reply Bob.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
For the bloating, check with your GI doc for a flyer on gas causing foods. Then, eliminate them from your diet until you find the culprit(s).Pain is a different story. I get a lot of gas, and the pain is excruciating. It hits me in the middle of the night; usually between 2am and 4am. It starts with just a little annoyance in my right side near where my gallbladder is. (4 different gallbladder tests were negative) It slowly builds until it is real pain. Then it gets serious, and comes in waves. It has lasted up to 11 hours. I don't have enough gas to justify the pain, so I think I have two sections of bowel that have spasmed, and have trapped something between them, maybe gas. I have finally learned that onions cause about 90% of these attacks. I avoid onions like the plague, and I take Beano with anything that even looks like it might have onions in it.The really bad sessions lasting 8-11 hours have all been caused by eating greasy eggs at an airport or on a plane. Once I was in England without my pain meds. It was grim. Anyway, pain meds. I have tried pretty much all of the narcotics. Some helped, they all suck. Finally, in desperation, I asked my regular doc to send me to a pain center. They (HMO) insisted that I give a GI doc one last chance. I tried a new guy, and he put me on Ultram (non-narcotic). I take it whenever I get even the slightest symptom of an attack. This, with the Beano, has cut my attacks down to once a month or so, and have made my life bearable. Now, when I have an attack, it's usually when I'm feeling a little bold, and bored with my diet.However, the Ultram is not enough. It helps, but I have also learned that if I pace back and forth in the living room (away from the family in the middle of the night) the pain goes away much quicker, and doesn't get anywhere near as bad as when I sit or try to lay down. The last time my company sent me to Houston, I had airport food. I expected something like an Egg McMuffin, but got something greasy. I was so hungry, I ate it anyway, thinking the Beano would fix it. It didn't. Have you ever paced for 11 hours in a hotel room with only stupid hotel TV to watch? I missed work that day, and told them I wouldn't be traveling for work anymore. I also gave them an ADA notice.Sorry about this life story stuff. Sometimes it just helps to vent.bestbob
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i couldn't take levbid, either, but i do take bentyl (generic, actually) 10 mg, before each meal. the side effects aren't as pronounced as w/levbid. it took a week or so to adjust. each person is different, but hope this helps.A.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A, What exactly is Bentyl, is it an anti spasmodic narcotic? I stopped the Levbid, I was having some stomach problems with it. I didn't realize that it was from the Levbid . Thanks everyone for your input. I do take a stool softener everyday that seems to help with the constipation. What does Ultram do bob? Thanks!
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Guess I wasn't clear, somehow. Ultram is for severe pain. From your post, I got the impression you were having a lot of trouble with cramping. I must have taken this more seriously than you meant it. If it's not really bad, it might not be worth treating. If it's debilitating, talk with your doctor.Each of us on this BB speak from our own experiences, except for the one (or two?) doctors on the list. My bouts of pain are so bad, I just expect that others have them too. Maybe I need to rethink this. I really don't want to mislead or suggest someone take some meds that they don't need!bob
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi, all on the board. I've been reading what you've had to say and it's fascinating. I've been an IBS sufferer for two years now following a severe Campylobacter infection. I had all the tests, barium enema etc, and nothing was found, but fortunately my GP accepts the reality of my symptoms and tries to help. It can be bad at times, D, mucus (at unexpected moments - does anybody else get this, what do you do to control it?) and frequency are my main problems, but having read what so many of you have been through and ARE going through and I'm filled with admiration. Mine can be bad, but nothing like some of yours. Just stick in there, there's somebody over here in England rooting for you all now too.The reason I finally posted a message was in reply to the top question of what meds to use. I find fybogel (the type containing antispasmodic) controls the frequency and bulks up the D and live yoghurt every morning helps, but when it's bad there's little I can do (Immodium can help if it's particularly fierce). After big problems though I got my life under control and know some things, but not everything, to avoid. What also promted me to write was Bob mentioning greasy eggs. This is my food from hell. On my birthday my wife and I spent a few days away - and it was at an old-fashioned English bed and breakfast place. Greasy eggs every morning - like Bob, I thought what the hell? Never again.Anyway, sorry to go on, glad to make contact with you all, you sound like a great, supportive bunch and if anybody has any idea how to control the mucus (sorry, it's nasty isn't it?) I'd be grateful to hear from you.Mick[This message has been edited by Mick (edited 12-14-98).][This message has been edited by Mick (edited 12-14-98).]
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Amber and everyone else.These are my meds:100mg zoloft every morning50mg elavil every night80mg mellaril throughout the dayThe zoloft and elavil take awhile to start working. As for the mellaril, it works within a half hour. If it wasn't for the mellaril (which is a tranquilizer), I wouldn't be able to function. Good luck!Lindseyps...as for the side effects...dry mouth at first, but it goes away, and a bit of drowsiness.....but I'm willing to pay that price to feel at least somewhat human...
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Based on the significant triggers each of us has (stress, foods, or both to some degree) and the individual body chemistries (body mass, tolerances, sensitivities, etc.), each of us has their "favorite" meds which "work".In my case, I take Donnatal tabs, two in the morning before going to work and two in the afternoon to make the commute back home. Then for traveling I pop an occassional Lomotil for the day. I also plan my diet according to my schedule - light eating before and during travel.The Donnatal is a combination anti-spasmodic (belladonna) and anti-depressant (phenobarbitol). This particular drug seems to hit the spot for my symptom triggering, which is somewhere in between stress and diet related. Side effect: dry mouth, VERY little else - have not really noticed any drowsiness or other narcotic effect from the phenobarb side, probably because the dose is very small and I am pretty tolerant of "mind altering" substances (hard headed???).I tried Levbid and Bentyl before the Donnatal, but without any real success.As others have posted, some are way over to the stress side while others are over more to the diet side. As I said, I have deduced that I'm in between, hence the effectiveness of a drug that "treats" both sides.Now the Lomotil is just a flat out motility stopper and kind of "freezes" the bowel. For me, it's the industrial strength version of immodium and works pretty well.As for grease in the diet, I generally stay away from that but one high fat content meal a week (fast food usually) doesn't do anything bad. It's that second one on the heels of the first that does it. So, if I do fast food, I don't repeat it in the same week.Good luck...BJ
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
hi amberbentyl (dicyclomine) is an anti-spasmodic ("anticholinergic agent"). (narcotic? i don't know?) the side effects i suffer are tired eyes, dry-mouth, drowsiness and with alcohol, an instant "buzz". they don't seem to bother me until late in the day, when i am tired anyway. i take one about 1/2 hour before each meal. i drink lots of water (over a gallon a day!) and i take 3 heaping spoons of metamucil twice a day. with levbid, i had severe headaches, my eyes "spun" and i couldn't even read, much less drive or go to work. bentyl hasn't made me perfect, but combined with diet, vitamins, sleep and exercise routine, i function pretty well. if i skip a dose (i've been trying to wean off the lunch dose) my body reverts to ibs symptoms within a day. lactose is my main trigger and stress is 2nd in line.sorry this is so long, but i thought the whole picture might make more sense. happy to help!
A.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This is for "museum" (bob), who posted earlier on in this thread (12/13).As I read through your post, I noticed that your discussion of symptoms was VERY MUCH like my gallbladder episodes last year, which culminated in the removal of the offending organ and several large stones. Now you say that you've had "4 different gallbladder tests...negative", so I guess it's not that but, boy, your story is very familiar - slowly building, coming in waves, greasy food trigger, spasm-like feeling, 11 hours, pacing back and forth. All of that is EXACTLY what I suffered from the stones. And I even had to pace in a hotel room one time(Sacramento, CA).Since the gallbladder removal, I have not ever come close to experiencing that kind of pain, but of course now I have the trouble and bother of urgency and all the other IBS-D symptoms.One more thing...at the close of your post, you say that you "gave them an ADA notice". I assume you mean Americans with Disabilities Act. I've never heard of an ADA notice though. What's that????BJ
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi BJ:Let's see, I've had at least 3 of the white pill/x-ray gallbladder tests over the years. Then, I had a couple of ultrasounds. Finally, I had two pipida tests. None of them gives any indication that there is a gallbladder problem. One time, I had a high GGT test, but none of the docs thought that significant. I didn't mention it, but I can have French fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, most greasy foods with no real problems. It only seems to be the greasy egg combo that sets me off on the really bad ones.As far as the ADA thing. If you roll into the door in a wheelchair, you're obviously protected by the ADA. Same if you have a cane or a dog. However, if you're disabled due to some non-visible disease like IBS, you just have to "come out". I had been having problems, and they knew about it, due to randomly missed days due to IBS. But, the all-nighter in Houston was the last straw for me. What I did was just sit down, and write up about a page of what was wrong with me, how it would impact my work, and what accommodations I expected from my employer. Mostly, I told them that I would work around it as much as humanly possible, but that I would occasionally miss some work due to my allnighters. I reassured them that, even with an all-nighter, I would probably only miss 4 hours of work. I need access to the WC often, regardless of whom I'm in a meeting with. AND, except in dire emergency, air travel is just out of the question. The long and short of it is that I must be in control of my environment, period.They've taken it pretty well, but I'm starting to hear some requests, mostly from project leaders, to fly to our sites to fix some stuff. I guess a little more education is in order.The only real "benefit" I've found with IBS so far is that my MD has been real good about giving me jury duty excuses. It's just as well, I couldn't reliably serve, anyway. And, I understand that some of the judges really hit the roof if you have a medical problem and DON'T use it to get out of jury duty. A friend of mine who has Crohns got chewed out real good.Sitting here rereading this, I had another thought about the gallbladder. What if its entry point into my bowel is where I'm having my major spasms? Wouldn't that give me the symptoms of gallstones? Is it possible that the spasm spreads to the gallbladder? Did I read something about a spasm of the gall "tube" somewhere? I need to talk to the doc about this, unless someone knows it can't be.bob[This message has been edited by musem (edited 12-15-98).]
 
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