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Hi allI have had IBS like symptoms for nearly as long as I can remember, even when I was a school before my teens! But back then it wasn't as frequent as now although I would often get a bad tummy and feel sick most mornings. My doctor thought I had childhood abdominal migraines and gave me medication which I was on for years. I don't know what it was but one of the side effects was increased appetite so that sometimes cancelled out nausea.In my teens my doctor thought I had IBS which I'd never heard of and put me on anti-spasmodics. Still at this point the IBS attacks were severe but spread out and I would go through periods of feeling fine. The drugs didn't work. In fact in my late teens it all but went away and I thought I'd grown out of whatever it was. I think it came back in college or university. I can't quite remember now. I do remember going to the doctors at university to get help. At that point I got diagnosed with hypothyroidism which the doctor suspected I'd had for some time. Also during uni I had an extremely severe bout of gastroenteritis where I was vomitting (couldn't keep water down) and had extreme diarrhea. It was completely uncontrolable for about 12 hours and my friends nearly took my to hospital but they couldn't move me. There was blood in my vomit and diarrhea.Skip forward to after uni and I'd been living with IBS for some time. I was put on a low dose of anti-depressants when I left university and given councilling because I was pretty down during a period of unemployment and they thought that might be making my IBS worse. Then I got gastroenteritis twice in a month pretty severely. My symptoms did seem to get worse after that. 6 months later after I'd come off the antidepressants, I put myself on a gluten free diet after reading about coeliac disease. A year and a half later and I was no better. In fact for a couple of months I had swollen lumps in my stomach (but no constipation) and black stools. My doctor at the time was concerned and referred me to a gastroenterologist. They put me back on gluten to test me for coeliacs (I had had 2 blood tests which tested weak-positive for antibodies). I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy which both came back clear, as did the biopsies. I also had an ultrasound to check for endometriosis (I think) but that came back clear apart from them finding out I only have 1 kidney!I went back on the gluten free diet and asked to be referred to a dietician. The gastroenterologist confirmed IBS at this stage with possible food intolerances and referred me to the dietician. I think before I got my appointment I was so desperate that I paid for a biological testing service to check a stool sample. They supposedly found candida in the gut and malabsorption and possibly bacterial overgrowth. I followed the advice of a nutrionist for a while and ate an extremely healthy restricted wholefood sugar-free (except fructose) diet. My symptoms got worse. The dietician said I might not be able to tolerate whole grains and suggested I move to white bread, pasta, rice etc. I then moved to London. I was now experiencing IBS every single day with varying syptoms of diarrhea, nausea, bloating, gas, cramps, dull pains and acid reflux which was burning my throat. My doctor in London put me on PPIs for the acid and nausea but I cannot use them all the time and when I coem off them the acid comes back worse than ever. He also suggested anti-depressants (even though I'm not depressed - just a bit strssed by the IBS) which I turned down because I've been on them before and don't like them. He referred me to the dietician here and also suggested hypnosis. I've been doing the IBS audio programme ever since (self-hynoptherapy aimed at IBS) and am seeing the dietician. She is at a loss with me as I've tried cutting out gluten, dairy, sugar, soya already and I eat a healthy low fat diet. She has just put me on a food elimination diet but my symptoms haven't changed even a bit yet. I went out last night on the bus to a gig and had to go home as soon as I got there because I thought I was going to be sick. I take immodium like sweets and have now run out so don't dare leave the house. I've tried dietary fibre, herbal teas and anti-spasmodics. I've had councilling and hypnotherapy and I am the same!!!! what the hell is wrong?Sorry this is so long and anyone who has taken the time to read it is a saint. Any advice would be gratefully received as my doctors seem to think I am just a hysterical woman. I haven't even gone into the horrific periods I've always had and the severe debilitating pain I was in when I came off the pill recently. I'm back on it now because I don't ever want that to happen again. But my IBS is always worse round my period.Best wishes,Kim
 

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You are not alone in this, that sounds so like me. I am afraid to go out some days when the stomach cramps and D are so bad, I take imodium daily, and also bloated and full of gas . I also have acid reflux. Have you tried calcium carbonate, they have a constipating affect and have help alot of people, of course they dont work for everyone. If you take imodium, ask your doctor for them on prescription. My doctor gives me 48 imodium plus caplets once a month.
 

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Hi Kim, i know how you feel. I had similar to you where i had IBS slightly when i was younger then in my teens it disappeared and i didnt get it again until i got pregnant when i was 19, i think the hormones set it off. Sincle then i've had it pretty constant with good and bad patches. To be honest when i was younger i assumed going to the toilet when nervous was normal...i thought it happened to everyone lol. If only that was the case.........Anyway after a few years with IBS i got my bowels in as tip top condition as i can by avoiding certain foods being wheat, milk, orange, tea and coffee also i take probiotic tablets (quest achidophilus plus), i have tried a few and these are the best ones for me. I take one before bed time. if my IBS is bad i take a codiene phosphate before bed and one in the morning which just constipates me enough so that if i get a bad diarrhea episode i will go maybe 3 times rather than 10! so this makes me a little more relaxed. Also the same as you i get it worse when i'm on my period...again i think its due to hormone changes. My advice to you would be to get in touch with a nutritionist.....and also have a food intolerance test then try a really good detox....get on some decent probiotics and try and get your gut as strong as you can. I find that if i can get my gut in good condition and eat really carefully then my IBS isn't half as bad. Obviously i'm only saying what helps me but i hope it helps you. :(Sal
 

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A low fat diet is not necessarily healthy for IBS'ers. In fact, some of us do much better on a higher fat diet with less carbs. One of the problems with IBS is that there's so many things that you can try it all gets very confusing! I went on the low starch diet because that was the only book that my library had. But it seems to help me. My weight and energy levels are also very stable on this diet.Also, as far as low sugar diets go, fructose is worse that glucose as glucose is absorbed well in our gut but fructose may not be so could feed the bugs that you're trying to reduce. Look up fructose malabsorption and the FODMAP diet for more info. If you were on anti-depressants actually for depression, it may be that the dose is higher that what you would take for IBS. I didn't want to take Amitip since I had taken it before and had hated it but I don't remember what dose it was. However, this time around has been fine. Ultrasound doesn't check for endometriosis. You need to have a laproscope to confirm this apparently.
 

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Good point Jilly. Have you tried minimising fructose?Jackmat
 

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Welcome to the forum!Here are some of the self help healing programs out there that could help. I read all of these books. They are easy to understand and follow. I have read more than these but these are some of the best in my opinion. They have helped me reduce my meds, get my UC under control, stop flares in less than a week and improve my quality of life.http://www.listen2yourgut.com/http://www.healingnaturallybybee.com/http://www.drdahlman.com/http://www.amazon.com/Restoring-Your-Diges...m/dp/0758202822http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/If you have any questions let me know. good luck
 

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That helped me for a while. I think you really need to see a new doctor about your hypothyroidism. If they aren't giving you anything to treat that they're doing something wrong. My friend's mom had her IBS caused by that. Once they gave her meds she was AOK. Hang in there and let us know how it works out.In the mean time ask your doc if imodium is ok to take with your condition. It has been my best friend (even though it is wearing off). I take it with bentyl every day and it seems to help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi all,Thanks for your replies. Re. my hypothyroidism I take 75mcg of thyroxine everyday but it hasn't helped my IBS. I also take immodium regularly but it soon wears off and the diarrhea comes back as bad as ever. I've also noticed that exercise, even just walking sets it off and makes me want to rush to the toilet. Another thing that has always set it off since I was little is getting too hot. That always makes me feel sick and rush to the toilet. I know that sounds weird but I get too hot really easily - its like I overheat suddenly and I can't stop it from happening.Re. fructose. I did cut it out for 4 week once when I was consulting a nutritionist but it didn't help. Mind you, eating a lot of it doesn't help either - makes it worse. I'm on a food elimination diet at the minute and am only eating one portion of fruit a day - avoiding citrus, apples and bananas.The nutritionist also suggested probiotics which I took for 2 months with no change. I also did the anti-candida diet with anti-fungal tablets and pessaries. No change. I've not tried a low-starch diet - maybe that should be my next stop!On the elimination diet which my nhs dietician has put me on I have cut out gluten, dairy, eggs, soya, meat (apart from fish, lamb and turkey), legumes, pulses, yeast, veggies that I eat a lot of, alcohol and some fruits. I don't have caffeine or chocolate. I am eating basically unusual veggies, white fish, a bit of fruit and rice. I don't think you can detox much more than that - and I have tried different variations of this before. I am no better yet though it has only been a week. I've actually had a really upset stomach, painful bloating and nausea for the past few days. Just walking to the doctors to get registered set me off today!! Eating nearly always sets it off too though which is why they thought it might be food intolerance.I might try and get calcium carbonate though because I've found that the antacids i take give me diarrhea. That might have been what caused it at the docs today as I had 2 rennie before I left the house.re. the anti-depressants I was on the lowest dose of cytalopram in order to help my IBS and anxiety. I was told I might be depressed but looking back I think that was just the doctors medicalising my emotions. I was just going through a bad patch which made me down but all I needed to do was be proactive and get myself out of it. Perhaps the anti-depressants helped me do that but I don't think that depression was causing my IBS, though anxiety about IBS sometimes triggers it! It's a vicious cycle!I guess I'm sick of trying so many different things and having no success. I don't want to rely on immodium forever or to have to buy lots of expensive supplements that never seem to work. I will check out the links above though and I plan to get into mindfulness meditation which my psychologist friend recommended might be helpful in at least coping with it.I am still open to other suggestions though if you think I haven't tried something!Kim
 

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Well, Kim, I have been using a flavonoid supplement, Provex CV, since 1998 and have not had any GERD or chronic indigestion since September of that year and have been free of D since the end of 1999. At this point, I am now down to about 1-2 movements a day. The flavonoids (grape seed and skin and others) were developed to reduce blood platelet behaviour to stop the buildup of cholesterol. According to an old study from the London Hospital, which was only directed at people with colitis, this is the same blood platelet activity responsible for colon inflammation. The two doctors who discovered this theorized that a medicine that could control platelets in cholesterol control might work as well for their patients. While they were unable to get results from the medicine they tested, I seem to have borne out that theory with my own results. And yes, it is available in the UK. Mark
 

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Dear Kim,I'm not saying this is what your problem might be, but for everyone, this could change your life:I suffered pain for ten years, & had been diagnosed with IBS by the best gastroenterologists in Miami, FL. I finally visited an allergy specialist, Dr. Morris Beck. (I actually went to him first because my son had sinus allergies.) His office did the "pin-prick" on the back test (can't remember the technical name) where several different allergens were introduced into the skin. The one irritated area of skin was where a "spices" derivative had been introduced. I stopped eating pepper & curry first. The way I describe the result was like "a window opening up", and all my mysterious pain went away!! I now simply avoid black & white pepper, & curry (that was the worst). I tell everyone I know with stomach pain to see an allergist first. Just make sure it's for the pin-prick test, because my primary care doctor had done a blood test for allergies previously, and the false results showed that I was allergic to milk and egg products. I probably just became sensitive to them because of all the diarrhea from the spice allergy. My older brother later told me that he remembered me getting stomach aches after eating Wishbone Italian Dressing (I guess it could have been the pepper... but my regular pain didn't start until after my son was born.)I really don't understand why gastroenterologists don't suggest an allergy test before anything else...
 

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I have never been offered the chance to see a dietician or a nutritionalist, the gastro specialist and the doctor have both ignored me when i have asked to see one. Maybe this next time i go i will ask again, they seem to think its not down to food, but how do they know unless im tested or have done an elimination.
 

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Boozie
I might try and get calcium carbonate though because I've found that the antacids i take give me diarrhea. That might have been what caused it at the docs today as I had 2 rennie before I left the house.
If the one you were using has an artificial sweetener in it and those happen to be a Diarrhea trigger for you, I'm not surprised you got diarrhea from them.Just FYI, artificial sweeteners are D triggers for many, many people... loads of which don't even have IBS.
 

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Hi Boozie, I am so amazed by what has happened to you and all the things you have tried to do to help yourself. It's really shocking to me that none of those things seems to really be helping you. I thought I would just make a suggestion. Well, like with me, my IBS seems to have been triggered mostly by food allergies and if I stay away from those foods, I am generally fine. One thing I did find out about a few months ago is something called Neuromodulation Technique. It has shown promise in all kinds of situations and illnesses, even with things as serious as anaphylactic food allergies. I wonder if the technique could help you too with your IBS. I contacted someone near me who does the technique and am about to make an appointment to see if it helps with my food allergies/sensitivities. I am really excited that it might just help me. The technique is a bit hard for me to explain, but I have read some of the studies and they look promising. Some things I have been reading about are the connections between the health of teeth and the ties that they have with the rest of the body. They have a study that they did on cavitations (not to be confused with cavities!) and how it has been found to be very beneficial to the people in the study. They were doing another one on autism, but I don't know if it is finished now though. Anyways, just thought I would let you know about it just in case you find it helpful.
 

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your on a terrible diet low fat is not the awnser its no wonder things are soo bad and the gut bactria you have its no wonder with the diet you eatFiber and carbohydrates turn the colon into a hazardous waste dump. and the gut bactria feed off fiberhere follow this info it will greatly help you
http://www.biblelife.org/bowel.htmhttp://www.biblelife.org/fiber.htmhttp://www.ibsgroup.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=112669and also once your eating healthy like this you won't need immodium but since you took it like sweets in the past your body may take awhile to adapt to working with out them
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't agree that I am on a terrible diet eating some meat, lots of veg some fruits, rice and occasionally potato and bread. I eat lots of organic stuff and never eat processed or ready-made foods. I actually don't think it is a food intolerance as I've tried the food elimination diet and it didn't work....I actually think I might have endometriosis and am going to the docs on wednesday to try and get a referral to the gynae. I am currently suffering with chronic lower back and pelvic pain and at the same time my diarrhea has got worse - nevermind what I eat. As soon as the immodium wears off I'm back on the toilet with diarrhea. The immodium tends to last 2 days and in that time I don't go to the toilet. Then when it wears off I'm back to diarrhea. This has been going on since my last period. The back pain started in Dec when I tried coming off the Pill. I went back on the pill a month later when I had chronic pelvic pain and pretty much collapsed at university. Since my last period back on the Pill the back pain has flared up again and has got progressively worse - painkillers don't touch it.I think the nausea I get is caused by anxiety about not being near a toilet or going out. The acid reflux is loads better since I started eating little and often instead of big meals less often. I discovered this in the food elimination diet because the meals were less filling so I ate more often. I've also bought some calcium carbonate based antacids without the magnesium element for emergencies.I'm nearly at the end of my hypnosis program now so after that I'm going to try and get into mindfulness meditation which is a cognitive behavioural therapy technique adopted from Buddhism. It's supposed to help people dealing with chronic pain as well which I am with my back and pelvis at the min. My psychologist friend recommended it to me and I feel hopeful about it.I think IBS is very frustrating for everyone and I understand why you try alternative therapies but they just don't seem to work and I am sick of throwing money away on supplements or special diets. If it works for you that's great but if you're like me and you've tried so much and wasted loads of money and feel no better then I recommend trying to figure out what the actual underlying cause of your symptoms are. IBS is afterall a term for a set of symptoms - not an actual diagnosis. It just means the doc doesn't know what's wrong with you. But don't be fobbed off and do your research! Watch out for quacks too!Kim
 

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I recommend trying to figure out what the actual underlying cause of your symptoms are. IBS is afterall a term for a set of symptoms - not an actual diagnosis. It just means the doc doesn't know what's wrong with you. But don't be fobbed off and do your research! Watch out for quacks too!Kim
And THAT is great advice.
 

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Meditation could help. I use it myself and somedays I do notice a difference - it seems to calm me down and get a better handle on things. One thing that I can suggest which is free is to keep a log. Keep a log of what you are eating and the emotions throughout the day too. It has been said that emotions could play a trigger here so if you log them it helps to see what is really going on. The food log may help too be/c if there are any food triggers in combo with the emotions, you may be able to get a clearer picture. It may or may not help, but the only thing you waste by doing this is time, not more money.
 

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I'd say you should give probiotics a try, definitely! Try a few kinds/brands, and if one doesn't work try another one. Each of us has a different probiotic that works for him. I don't understand why they insisted with the gluten free diet if it was not working for you...For endometriosis, try having a 4D scan. A good doctor should be able to tell you if you have it or not. Endometriosis makes you infertile so if you can get pregnant you can rule that out. But most women with endometriosis don't have any symptom at all and I honestly never heard one of them saying she has IBS related problems. Anti-spasmodics helped me a lot so I think it is a good idea to ask your doctor for some. Are you taking any meds for the thyroid problem? I myself have a hypothyroid and am on medication. Am not sure if it has something to do with my IBS or not. I agree you should check for allergies, but it is a very hard to find out what exactly you're allergic too. An anti-allergic pill each day should solve all that tough. I am allergic to a lot of stuff and on medication for this too and it is true that when on the anti-allergic pill I have less problems with my bowels. The calcium might work as well, for IBS and for the bad period too. I use calcium chloride for my periods, which are really really bad and heavy too and it does help, especially with the bleeding and pain.Did they check your gallbladder with the ultrasound as well? Some people are born with a non working gallbladder or a lazy one and this can cause a lot of the symptoms you can find in IBS.I know this will sound weird but...if you're in Europe, try to take a trip further East to find cheaper and better medical services! They have private clinics in the Eastern Europe that would check you out from head to toe for less money. If you're in England ... do not rely on NHS. They suck! I had my own terrible experiences with them!
 

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you seem open to changing your diet and getting off the drugs...get yourself a copy of Listen to Your IBS by Jini Patel Thompson. She has a wonderful wholisitic approach to all gut problems (cured herself of Chrons) and I used her Chron's book years ago and got lots of good info from it. Think: Probiotics...Natren is the one she recommends and they have helped me tremendously. Got take a look at the book on amazon; her website is called the JPT Wellness Circle.
 
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