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Hello everyone,I am new here, but am not new to message boards. I enjoy boards alot. And I found this one accidently doing a google search on Amitryptaline. I was at the hospital and they asked what medicines I was on and they mentioned it was for mental illness, so I wanted to research on it. So I found this board. Anywho, I am really looking for info on IBS, and am sure you all get alot of "newbies" here.This is my Digestive tale:My stomach has always been very weak, as a child I remember getting many tummy aches that just tortured me. Probably stomach flu, cause I get them now...Then in my early teen years I got my 1st case of food poisoning. I had picked some wild strawberries and my parents made it into jam. I ate the jam and got sick. My dad guessed the batch must have been bad. Little did we know I had a weak stomach and it was probably fine for everyone else, but it got tossed.Years go by, I am in the Air Force, and went to a Halloween Party at a coworkers house. The next day i was very sick again. The military doctors and I believed it to be mild food poisoning, later the sergeant who's house the party was at, came to my dorm and chewed me out for claiming his wifes food was bad.More years go by, and I am now 32 or so and am working for a Vitamin company. the flu season strikes and I miss about 2-3 weeks of work that winter. Bosses weren't too happy, but they understood.Next year rolls by, and I miss 3-4 weeks of work. Now the bosses are warning me. At the end of the flu season, I get another really bad stomach flu, go to the emergency room 3 days in a row. They do lots of tests, and seeing nothing is wrong schedule a test to put a camera down my throat.The day comes, I warn the doctor I gag very easy. They dope me up, I don't remember a thing, except a sore throat. Doc says I did gag and there is nothing there. says I have IBS. I happened to know about it cause we have literature at work about it. Don't know alot, so I go get the lit and read it. So I learn the basics. But, doc puts me on medication. I thought it was for only when I had symptoms. 6 months later or so flu season is starting again, and I get sick. The hospital tells me I need to take medicine every nite. I never had a follow-up with the stomach doctor, conflict of schedules or something.well, brings us to this winter. I start missing lots of work again. So I decide to pursue Family Medical Leave to protect my job. Lots and lots of hoops to jump thru. really tried my patience. Anyways I get it approved.Where am I now? today will be 6 days off work in a row. Employer says my paper work says my condition should be controlable. Docs are saying it will be once they learn what medicines I need.At the beginning of this flu season I had 2 whoopers of episodes. The pain was a 10 on the 1-10 scale. they gave me 2 shots of morphine and it didn't stop the pain, calmed me down tho, I was screaming my head off in the hospital. Well the new medicines have gotten the pain minimized but not gone. Now I have lots of discomfort which keeps me from sleep, Diahrea which keeps my eating habits bare and keeps me weak.Went to the hospital on Thursday, trying new medicine on friday, seeing the stomach dr on Monday, hopefully, if I get an appointment.The stomach dr says its probably stress related. Probably, have big marital problems. the stress pprobably agravated my already born with weak stomach.I hate having to use amitrptaline, don't like any antidepressants, but after reading about it tonite, it looks promising, but it doesn't help me sleep tho and I think its messing with my eyes.I can use any advice.About 5 years ago, I think the IBS started. Out of blue I would get very sharp quick stabbing pains in the center of my gut.1st food I noticed causing this problem was Donuts.Next came Barb-q saucethen Bratwursts(donuts and bratwursts were no sweat to me, no big loss, barb-q was a kicker tho, I love it.And now cinamin seems to aggravate me.When I have the stomach flu, not much I can eat. No meat, spagetti sauce and the like bothers me too.I am a big meat eater.I get some free supplements, I have tried pepremint oil, not sure if it helps, am not consistantly taking it tho. Starting taking my free fiber recently. Any suggestions there would help too.Thanks a bunch for reading my story.
 

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Dear Doma,Poor you. Sounds like a typical IBS stories. Typical in the sense that there are all these symptoms and the history how they developped, and memories (and fear) of the particularly bad episodes, and there seem to be all these different triggers and all these different medications and it's all very confusing and one is left completely clueless and panicky. Tossed around and pulled down by this strange and cruel illness. Unfortunately it takes years and a lot of change in life 'till one sees more clearly; and the downward spiral finally turns into an upward spiral, though again you can't be sure of that or a very long time.There's a lot to be said to your story but in the end we can all just tell you how we manage the symptoms, what we do. Maybe some things will work for you, too. Now, systematically:Triggers for me:1. Stomach bugs. Big one for me, too. I have kids so it's part of my life. Another vicious cycle. Because we're vulnerable to them, we get them a lot and then our immune system gets wrecked by all the diarreah, so we get even more succeptible...2. Stress - what can you do about that? If the stress is just a result of your lifestyle/approach to life/expectations, then you can work on that. But if it's due to real life challenges, like marital problems, or in my case, a big family move, then it's very difficult to do something about it other then wait for better days...3. Certain foods - or rather, the worse this has got the fewer things I could digest. I was down to just 2 or 3 carbohydrate foods for months, almost starved myself until I found out that wheat was one of my problems. 4. Hormones - have you compared your episodes with your menstrual cycle?What helps me:1. Medications. I've been taking a lot, and I fear I depend on them for the time being. I see them not as a solution but as crutches, to get myself out of the tip. Or rather to turn the above mentioned spiral around. I take an acid blocker (proton-pump-inhibitor) because my stomach seems to get affected by the IBS and makes it much worse so that I can't eat, which makes the IBS worse, one of those vicious cycles. I also take something like an antidepressant, which seems to control some of the symptoms. And an antispasmodic which also helps a little bit. I take a lot of fibre which I would say has made the biggest difference, though it's taken some time to find the right one and the right doses.2. Diet: Sadly, I had to get to the point where I couldn't tolerate hardly any food at all and was becoming really ill. Starting from there, my diet is now much richer and varied, but still compared to 'normal people' extremely plain and limited. 3. Stress reduction. That really does help, in the long run, not just one or two quiet weeks. In my case it's meant a total change in lifestyle. I have no job and no exhausting hobbies anymore, it works for the IBS but not really for your self-esteem. These kind of changes leave you with a lot to think about. My hopes are, that somehow I will eventually find a new balance in life and be able to be more active again.My advice:1. You should give the Amitriptaline a try. Anti-depressants have helped many people get out of the worst. If it's only against the IBS, the dosage will be far smaller than if it's meant to help against depression. If you can't tolerate this one because of side-effects, there are a number of different ones. They might be a start.2. Give the fibre a serious try (soluble fibre like Methylcellulose). It has got a regulating and soothing effect and does no harm. 3. It's tough, but to get clearer about which foods are good or bad for you, you might want to do an elimination diet. It's the only way to be sure. I could have saved myself a lot of pain if I had done it earlier and properly. This way I kept cutting out more and more things from my diet at random and never guessed that those light healthy biscuits were making me feel so ill. Once I knew that gluten was the problem, I started a plain diet of rice, just rice for a few days (I was so poorly then, I couldn't eat more than a few spoonfuls at a time), then very slowly adding tiny amounts of butter, meat (chicken), etc. Two months later I'm now eating healthy amounts of rice, rice cakes, stewed apple, carrots, butter, sour cream (several spoonfuls per day!), chicken, fish, pork, even chocolate and chocolate spread are okay. I could probably try out a few more things but I'm not going to try my luck. But you're not as sick as that yet, you could just slowly re-introduce one food after the other say within 3 or 4 weeks and keep a diary about your reactions. Look at everything you eat or drink: even onion powder or flavour enhancer (i.e. in the barbecue sauce) or sweeteners can be triggers.4. Keep a diary, very helpful in the long run to establish triggers/links to hormones/food/stress/situations. And it's helped me to keep my sanity in bad times. 5. Stress - I know it's hard but you could start thinking about what you could do to reduce your stress levels. Sometimes it means giving up something, or changing your ways, for example for me it's meant learning to say no to the expectations of my family...6. Make your life as regular as you can. Eat the same things at the same time, etc. Even if it means dragging along food whereever you go, etc. I know it's boring but this has helped me a lot.Get enough sleep. Treat yourself well. I know it's difficult...It's been a long way from a child's 'weak stomach' to where we are now. It's a long journey back, but you can do it.Good luckSusaloh
 

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Don't let the fear of needing an SSRI like Amitriptlyn mess with your head. I first took it years ago for a biological depression brought on by the long term chronic pain of a battle with a bone tumor. I began again about a year ago for fibromyalgia. Because of a recent serious health battle I was started on a low dose of Prozac. One of the bonus unexpected side effects - it really helped with my IBS. I'm better, but don't want to stop taking it because of the unexpected bonus. A lot of meds current uses were found unexpectedly as side effects. I'm not ashamed of any of my drugs. If not for their help, I would have no life. I never apologize for something I can't fix or change.
 
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