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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyoneIt was good to find this site and be able to talk to others who suffer from IBS.I suffer from IBS for 6 years, almost permanently, have seen 3 doctors and they all say I have to live with this, it's not a serious thing, but for me it is. I'm always afraid that my IBS happens and it stills my quality of life.I am anxious and worry about everything and the matter is the more I suffer with IBS, the more anxious I get. I get mad and feel sorry for myself, what a shame, cause I want to do things, I want to go to places and feel afraid that I can begin having those symptoms, so it turns out to be a real chain, I feel worse, the worse I feel the more anxious I get I can even panic.The only place I feel better and safe is when I'm at home.My symptoms are abdominal pain , and it can be a slight pain or an enormous pain, my belly and stomach swell and bloat , sometimes it seem I am 6 months pregnant, have lots of gas which I can't relief most of the time, have nausea and headache, not to mention arm and legs pain whenever I have great abdominal distension.I ussually don't have diahreia, I have more constipation.It seems I have more to do when I'm in the bathroom but I'm not able to. Sometimes I doubt that it only is IBS and begin thinking that I have a worse condition , like cancer.that makes me feel worse. I went to a shrink and I'm taking Prozac and Victan, it's for anxiety, but I felt better in the first 40 days now I feel the symptoms again.Is there someone with whom I can identify myself? Same symptoms, same fears?I do a thing every doctor told me not to do:I drink coffee, I'm a coffee adicted, I know it is bad for me but I like it so much!I don't drink alcohol, only water but I love coffee and love to go for an expresso.Sorry for such a long talking about me but I expect to come here more often and share my fears, doubts with you.Thank you
 

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Hi The more you worry the worse it gets, the worse it gets the more you worry. That is the spiral effect, not a good thing. I laid on my couch for about a year in pain(lower Left) thinking I was going to die. I had to keep telling myself IBS its not fun but it won't kill me or I would still be on the couch. I also take antidepressants but I still have to tell myself I will be ok. I don't drink coffee but I'm hooked on Coke(the drink)big time. When they take a blood sample, I tell them just pour some of my Coke to test. My friend said I don't think I have ever seen you without a Coke in your hand. I'm always thristy my Doctor said there is worse things for me to drink. Oh well you can wake back up now. I'm done boring you.Tim
 

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Hi The more you worry the worse it gets, the worse it gets the more you worry. That is the spiral effect, not a good thing. I laid on my couch for about a year in pain(lower Left) thinking I was going to die. I had to keep telling myself IBS its not fun but it won't kill me or I would still be on the couch. I also take antidepressants but I still have to tell myself I will be ok. I don't drink coffee but I'm hooked on Coke(the drink)big time. When they take a blood sample, I tell them just pour some of my Coke to test. My friend said I don't think I have ever seen you without a Coke in your hand. I'm always thristy my Doctor said there is worse things for me to drink. Oh well you can wake back up now. I'm done boring you.Tim
 

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Teresa,Below is a reprint of my own list of treatment options for the various forms of IBS. The only change I might wish to make isto include the information about Caffeine in all four of the sections:IBS-D: Irritable Bowel Syndrome with diarrhea and pain as the primary symptoms. (This form of IBS is more likely to occur with patients who have had gallbladder disease, particularly those who have undergone gallbladder removal.)Treatment Options for IBS-D:1. Calcium Carbonate. It is not understood why calcium carbonate supplements work well for this IBS subgroup. It may be that a steady dribble of bile through the GI tract is irritating, and that the calcium carbonate neutralizes the bile acidity. However, it isvery clear by the voluminous and enthusiastic response received on the Bulletin Board that this treatment is very effective for a good percentage of IBS-D patients. Most patients report best results with Caltrate 600mg Plus, from one half tablet up to three tablets per day.2. Lotronex: Lotronex is a prescription drug which was approved by the FDA, then withdrawn by it�s manufacturer approximately one year later. A number of IBS-D patients found this drug to be extremely effective, one of the few treatments that has ever been found effective for their particular case. Unfortunately, it appears that it may have been prescribed inappropriately for patients suffering from constipation, rather than diarrhea, and this led to a number of patients developing severe, life threatening complications. There is currently a campaign to have the manufacturer re-release this medication, the outcome of which is uncertain.3. Colestid, Questran: These drugs were developed for other purposes, but have proven to be extremely effective against IBS-D for certain patients. Questran comes in powder form, and often � package per day is satisfactory.4. Immodium A/D: This over-the-counter antidiarrheal medication is effective, but dosage must be carefully controlled to avoid excursion into constipation and other side effects.IBS-C/D: Irritable Bowel Syndrome with alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea plus abdominal pain as the primary symptoms. This is the classic IBS symptom set, with pain often but not always concentrated in the lower left abdomen.Treatment Options for IBS-C/D:1. Food Allergy/Intolerance: Some would argue that if a food allergy or intolerance is found to be the cause of IBS symptoms, then it is not "real" IBS, but this argument is somewhat pointless from a clinical standpoint, because the symptoms are the same. If a patient has known allergies, then this should be suspected. Removal of specific foods from the diet will completely eliminate IBS symptoms in some patients. Please note that at low concentrations or when consuming low quantities in the diet, an allergen may have no effect. At higher concentrations, it may produce IBS symptoms. At still higher concentrations it may produce a more immediate allergic reaction. � Food Journal - Some patients have been successful in tracking down the particular food item(s) which they cannot tolerate by keeping a detailed hourly journal. Once a journal is built up of foods consumed and symptoms experienced, it may be possible to track down the offending foods. Please note that patients may experience a 12-18 hour delay between consumption and symptom onset, making the diagnosis more difficult. Other patients may have a very specific reaction a few hours post consumption. � Elimination diet - This is a draconian measure, where the patient is limited to a very restricted diet (typically chicken, rice & spinach), and new foods are progressively introduced, with a 3 day trial for each new food. [There are diagnostic labs which are in business specifically to conduct detailed food intolerance testing, which may be an alternative to the elimination diet.]Common allergens/intolerances are listed below:� Caffeine (See next paragraph.)� Alcohol� Gluten (This may represent a failure to diagnose Celiac disease.)� Dairy foods (May be either casein protein or lactose intolerance.)� Fructose (Especially pears and foods with "high fructose corn syrup".)� Sorbitol (sweetener) or other sugar alcohols.� Citrus fruits� Tomatoes� Lettuce2. Caffeine: Caffeine is a well known nervous system stimulant. It�s affect on the autonomous nervous system controlling the colon is not as well understood, but it makes sense that patients with a tendency towards colon spasm should try to avoid nervous system stimulants. Some patients on the BB have abrupt symptomatic relief after removing caffeine from the diet. This substance seems to work in opposition to amitriptyline (see next treatment item). [A few other patients, particularly those with primarily constipation (IBS-C), actually report that they can induce bowel movements with consumption of coffee. This could possibly be the result of heavy overconsumption of the stimulant.] Caffeine appears in coffee, tea, colas & other soft drinks, plus chocolate.3. Antidepressants: Treatment with amitriptyline (Elavil) or other tricyclic antidepressants has proven very effective in many patients. Reported effective dosage and side effect tolerance varies dramatically. Dosage of 10 mg/day or less is probably a good starting point. Alcohol must be avoided when taking amitriptyline, as this can produce severe drowsiness.4. Antispasmodics: Treatment with dicyclomine (Bentyl) or other anti-spasmodics has proven effective for many patients. Tolerance of antispasmodics is even more variable than anti-depressants. A low dosage of 10 mg/day or less is probably a good starting point. Some patients may tolerate (and require) much higher dosages. Side effects may include dry mouth, intoxication, drowsiness, and generalized abdominal pain. Alcohol must also be avoided when taking dicyclomine.IBS-C: Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation and pain as the primary symptoms. Patients often experience hard, pellet-like stools. Under no circumstances should these patients be treated with drug treatments listed under IBS-D above, since this is likely to lead to worsening of the condition. Treatment Options for IBS-C:1. Fiber supplementation: Some patients may experience improvement with fiber supplements like fibercon, metamucil, etc. This varies quite a bit, with some patients reporting worsening of symptoms with fiber supplements. Some patients experience improvement by greatly increasing their intake of natural fiber-containing greens, especially spinach, collard greens, etc. A change in stool consistency and appearance may be expected with this strategy.2. Antidepressant or antispasmodic drugs as described above may also be helpful with IBS-C.IBS-B: Irritable Bowel Syndrome with bloating and pain as the primary symptoms. Some patients may experience substantial, measurable abdominal distention. This may be associated with abnormal levels of flatulence. It may exist on top of constipation or diarrhea symptoms. It is possible that some patients with this problem have undiagnosed celiac disease, fructose intolerance or raffinose intolerance.Treatment Options for IBS-B:1. See above treatments for IBS-D, IBS-C/D, or IBS-C, depending on other symptoms.2. Adkins Diet: Some patients report a substantial improvement in symptoms when going on one of several different reduced carbohydrate diets. Why this is effective is not clear, but it may be that the patient has an abnormally high level of intestinal bacteria which produce gas on breaking down carbohydrates.3. Antibiotics: Some medical centers have reported abnormally high levels of intestinal bacteria in a percentage of IBS patients, which may respond to antibiotic treatment. Several patients on the BB report that antibiotic treatment can improve symptoms, but generally for a limited time period of several months.4. Probiotics: Plain yogurt with active cultures, or other so-called probiotics, are helpful for some patients. These may alter the intestinal flora in such a way as to reduce the generation of gas.I hope this information proves helpful to you.
 

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Teresa,Below is a reprint of my own list of treatment options for the various forms of IBS. The only change I might wish to make isto include the information about Caffeine in all four of the sections:IBS-D: Irritable Bowel Syndrome with diarrhea and pain as the primary symptoms. (This form of IBS is more likely to occur with patients who have had gallbladder disease, particularly those who have undergone gallbladder removal.)Treatment Options for IBS-D:1. Calcium Carbonate. It is not understood why calcium carbonate supplements work well for this IBS subgroup. It may be that a steady dribble of bile through the GI tract is irritating, and that the calcium carbonate neutralizes the bile acidity. However, it isvery clear by the voluminous and enthusiastic response received on the Bulletin Board that this treatment is very effective for a good percentage of IBS-D patients. Most patients report best results with Caltrate 600mg Plus, from one half tablet up to three tablets per day.2. Lotronex: Lotronex is a prescription drug which was approved by the FDA, then withdrawn by it�s manufacturer approximately one year later. A number of IBS-D patients found this drug to be extremely effective, one of the few treatments that has ever been found effective for their particular case. Unfortunately, it appears that it may have been prescribed inappropriately for patients suffering from constipation, rather than diarrhea, and this led to a number of patients developing severe, life threatening complications. There is currently a campaign to have the manufacturer re-release this medication, the outcome of which is uncertain.3. Colestid, Questran: These drugs were developed for other purposes, but have proven to be extremely effective against IBS-D for certain patients. Questran comes in powder form, and often � package per day is satisfactory.4. Immodium A/D: This over-the-counter antidiarrheal medication is effective, but dosage must be carefully controlled to avoid excursion into constipation and other side effects.IBS-C/D: Irritable Bowel Syndrome with alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea plus abdominal pain as the primary symptoms. This is the classic IBS symptom set, with pain often but not always concentrated in the lower left abdomen.Treatment Options for IBS-C/D:1. Food Allergy/Intolerance: Some would argue that if a food allergy or intolerance is found to be the cause of IBS symptoms, then it is not "real" IBS, but this argument is somewhat pointless from a clinical standpoint, because the symptoms are the same. If a patient has known allergies, then this should be suspected. Removal of specific foods from the diet will completely eliminate IBS symptoms in some patients. Please note that at low concentrations or when consuming low quantities in the diet, an allergen may have no effect. At higher concentrations, it may produce IBS symptoms. At still higher concentrations it may produce a more immediate allergic reaction. � Food Journal - Some patients have been successful in tracking down the particular food item(s) which they cannot tolerate by keeping a detailed hourly journal. Once a journal is built up of foods consumed and symptoms experienced, it may be possible to track down the offending foods. Please note that patients may experience a 12-18 hour delay between consumption and symptom onset, making the diagnosis more difficult. Other patients may have a very specific reaction a few hours post consumption. � Elimination diet - This is a draconian measure, where the patient is limited to a very restricted diet (typically chicken, rice & spinach), and new foods are progressively introduced, with a 3 day trial for each new food. [There are diagnostic labs which are in business specifically to conduct detailed food intolerance testing, which may be an alternative to the elimination diet.]Common allergens/intolerances are listed below:� Caffeine (See next paragraph.)� Alcohol� Gluten (This may represent a failure to diagnose Celiac disease.)� Dairy foods (May be either casein protein or lactose intolerance.)� Fructose (Especially pears and foods with "high fructose corn syrup".)� Sorbitol (sweetener) or other sugar alcohols.� Citrus fruits� Tomatoes� Lettuce2. Caffeine: Caffeine is a well known nervous system stimulant. It�s affect on the autonomous nervous system controlling the colon is not as well understood, but it makes sense that patients with a tendency towards colon spasm should try to avoid nervous system stimulants. Some patients on the BB have abrupt symptomatic relief after removing caffeine from the diet. This substance seems to work in opposition to amitriptyline (see next treatment item). [A few other patients, particularly those with primarily constipation (IBS-C), actually report that they can induce bowel movements with consumption of coffee. This could possibly be the result of heavy overconsumption of the stimulant.] Caffeine appears in coffee, tea, colas & other soft drinks, plus chocolate.3. Antidepressants: Treatment with amitriptyline (Elavil) or other tricyclic antidepressants has proven very effective in many patients. Reported effective dosage and side effect tolerance varies dramatically. Dosage of 10 mg/day or less is probably a good starting point. Alcohol must be avoided when taking amitriptyline, as this can produce severe drowsiness.4. Antispasmodics: Treatment with dicyclomine (Bentyl) or other anti-spasmodics has proven effective for many patients. Tolerance of antispasmodics is even more variable than anti-depressants. A low dosage of 10 mg/day or less is probably a good starting point. Some patients may tolerate (and require) much higher dosages. Side effects may include dry mouth, intoxication, drowsiness, and generalized abdominal pain. Alcohol must also be avoided when taking dicyclomine.IBS-C: Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation and pain as the primary symptoms. Patients often experience hard, pellet-like stools. Under no circumstances should these patients be treated with drug treatments listed under IBS-D above, since this is likely to lead to worsening of the condition. Treatment Options for IBS-C:1. Fiber supplementation: Some patients may experience improvement with fiber supplements like fibercon, metamucil, etc. This varies quite a bit, with some patients reporting worsening of symptoms with fiber supplements. Some patients experience improvement by greatly increasing their intake of natural fiber-containing greens, especially spinach, collard greens, etc. A change in stool consistency and appearance may be expected with this strategy.2. Antidepressant or antispasmodic drugs as described above may also be helpful with IBS-C.IBS-B: Irritable Bowel Syndrome with bloating and pain as the primary symptoms. Some patients may experience substantial, measurable abdominal distention. This may be associated with abnormal levels of flatulence. It may exist on top of constipation or diarrhea symptoms. It is possible that some patients with this problem have undiagnosed celiac disease, fructose intolerance or raffinose intolerance.Treatment Options for IBS-B:1. See above treatments for IBS-D, IBS-C/D, or IBS-C, depending on other symptoms.2. Adkins Diet: Some patients report a substantial improvement in symptoms when going on one of several different reduced carbohydrate diets. Why this is effective is not clear, but it may be that the patient has an abnormally high level of intestinal bacteria which produce gas on breaking down carbohydrates.3. Antibiotics: Some medical centers have reported abnormally high levels of intestinal bacteria in a percentage of IBS patients, which may respond to antibiotic treatment. Several patients on the BB report that antibiotic treatment can improve symptoms, but generally for a limited time period of several months.4. Probiotics: Plain yogurt with active cultures, or other so-called probiotics, are helpful for some patients. These may alter the intestinal flora in such a way as to reduce the generation of gas.I hope this information proves helpful to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dear Tim and awcflythanks a lot for your replies. As for Tim, thank you for supporting me and showing me that I'm not the only one with fears . You didn't bother me at all, it was a pleasure to read what you wrote and thank you for identifying with me and for your words.To awcfly, thank you so much for the list with the different kind of iBS you provided me, I must print it and read it carefully.Hope you both get along wellTeresa
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dear Tim and awcflythanks a lot for your replies. As for Tim, thank you for supporting me and showing me that I'm not the only one with fears . You didn't bother me at all, it was a pleasure to read what you wrote and thank you for identifying with me and for your words.To awcfly, thank you so much for the list with the different kind of iBS you provided me, I must print it and read it carefully.Hope you both get along wellTeresa
 

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Teresa I pretty much have the same symptons, a constant pain just above my belly button it drives me nuts.About two or three times a week it gets so bad it spreads into my lower stomach and back.This BB has helped me alot! I think without it I probably would have gone nuts by now, the people are very supportive and always there to help when your feeling down.Keep a good book on hand in the restroom! Ha-Ha!Marvin
 

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Teresa I pretty much have the same symptons, a constant pain just above my belly button it drives me nuts.About two or three times a week it gets so bad it spreads into my lower stomach and back.This BB has helped me alot! I think without it I probably would have gone nuts by now, the people are very supportive and always there to help when your feeling down.Keep a good book on hand in the restroom! Ha-Ha!Marvin
 

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Hi Teresa Do you have anyone in your family who understands the problems you have? I think some people look at me and say he must be nuts. Well if you need to vent, whine or cry just unload on me. Runnl8 and I unload our problems and talk about the goodtimes. Just remember we are in the same boat so we can paddle together. So e-mail me if you want.Tim
 

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Hi Teresa Do you have anyone in your family who understands the problems you have? I think some people look at me and say he must be nuts. Well if you need to vent, whine or cry just unload on me. Runnl8 and I unload our problems and talk about the goodtimes. Just remember we are in the same boat so we can paddle together. So e-mail me if you want.Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi TimThank you so much for your kind words.It's so good to have people who undestand us. You're right, people around me do not understand my constant pain or disconfort.I'll email you surely whenever I need to and you can do the same if you need.Feel goodTeresa
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi TimThank you so much for your kind words.It's so good to have people who undestand us. You're right, people around me do not understand my constant pain or disconfort.I'll email you surely whenever I need to and you can do the same if you need.Feel goodTeresa
 
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mLittle and Teresa, I, too suffer from pain just below the rib cage and above the belly button. Sometimes I can't even sleep on my stomach because the pain is so intense. I'm really tired of going to the doctor. I've had the pain and diarrhea off and on for 4 years with nothing lasting. And now I'm reading about using immodium or calcium. It's depressing, upsetting etc. not know what to do and what is going to give me some RELIEF. I battle to not have suicidal thoughts sometimes.
 
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mLittle and Teresa, I, too suffer from pain just below the rib cage and above the belly button. Sometimes I can't even sleep on my stomach because the pain is so intense. I'm really tired of going to the doctor. I've had the pain and diarrhea off and on for 4 years with nothing lasting. And now I'm reading about using immodium or calcium. It's depressing, upsetting etc. not know what to do and what is going to give me some RELIEF. I battle to not have suicidal thoughts sometimes.
 

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I posted a bunch of information above, but I wanted to mention my own experiences.Caffeine, even in small dosages like a single cup of hot tea in the morning, caused me terrible, stabbing abdominal pain approximately 12 hours later.The pain was located exactly where the gallbladder is: midway between the belly button and the ribcage, to my right of the centerline. Plus sometimes up under the ribcage. This pain was not associated with C or D. It was misdiagnosed as duodenal ulcer, then later as gallbladder disease, but testing revealed that neither problem existed.If you have pain in that area, it must be looked into by a competent physician to eliminate such possible diagnoses.It is as if the colon has one particular section that reacts fairly consistently to a large enough ingestion of the food intolerance/allergy item. That section goes into a hard spasm, and nothing can pass until the upstream portions of the colon overpower it and blow it open. I had pain so severe that I thought I was passing a gallstone. (I would have thought perhaps an ulcer was boring through the duodenum, but the pain kept coming and going, it was not directly related to eating meals, for instance.) The pain went away permanently after eliminating caffeine from the diet.My other food intolerance caused pain in a specific location in the lower left abdomen, and was associated with alternating bouts of C & emergency D. Again, this pain went away after eliminating the 2nd food item from my diet.Please note that these IBS symptoms existed since grade school, but got much worse in my thirties for some reason.Your mileage may vary. Good luck in your search for relief.
 

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I posted a bunch of information above, but I wanted to mention my own experiences.Caffeine, even in small dosages like a single cup of hot tea in the morning, caused me terrible, stabbing abdominal pain approximately 12 hours later.The pain was located exactly where the gallbladder is: midway between the belly button and the ribcage, to my right of the centerline. Plus sometimes up under the ribcage. This pain was not associated with C or D. It was misdiagnosed as duodenal ulcer, then later as gallbladder disease, but testing revealed that neither problem existed.If you have pain in that area, it must be looked into by a competent physician to eliminate such possible diagnoses.It is as if the colon has one particular section that reacts fairly consistently to a large enough ingestion of the food intolerance/allergy item. That section goes into a hard spasm, and nothing can pass until the upstream portions of the colon overpower it and blow it open. I had pain so severe that I thought I was passing a gallstone. (I would have thought perhaps an ulcer was boring through the duodenum, but the pain kept coming and going, it was not directly related to eating meals, for instance.) The pain went away permanently after eliminating caffeine from the diet.My other food intolerance caused pain in a specific location in the lower left abdomen, and was associated with alternating bouts of C & emergency D. Again, this pain went away after eliminating the 2nd food item from my diet.Please note that these IBS symptoms existed since grade school, but got much worse in my thirties for some reason.Your mileage may vary. Good luck in your search for relief.
 

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Definitely Probiotics - since these are mainly in live diary products and are healthy bacteria which cancel out the excessive bacteria that causes the IBS spasms.I wouldn't suggest someone takes Probiotics and Antibiotics at the same time though since the two are opposites. Would be a bit pointless really.
)One other thing that a doctor mentioned once was to help deal with the pains whilst waiting for the medication to take effect. He suggested I take a hot bath or shower concentrated on the abdomen to ease the pains and take soluble Paracetamol since it gets into the system faster than the normal tablets (soluble Paracetamol takes effect in 10-15 mins whereas normal paracetamol takes 20-30 mins.)
 
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