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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all - was diagnosed with IBS about three weeks ago, and am still trying to figure out what is 'normal'.In the past two months I have had an upper GI series, and endoscopy and a colonoscopy - none of which indicated any problems. Blood tests show that I have had consistent anemia since April, even with the taking of iron supplements. We have checked for bacteria, occult blood in the stool, and paracites, but have found nothing to indicate any are present.I have bloating (followed by burping) pretty frequently, but it feels almost random as to when it happens; sometimes even drinking water can bring it on. Just about any time I put my hand on my belly, I can feel it spasming slightly.Bowel movements go from diarrhea to constipation, and seem to cycle (diarrhea for a few days, then constipation). I do take immodium for the diarrhea, but a single dose usually takes care of it. Sometimes I have multiple bowel movements per day, but usually it's three times at most.Stool can be black (from the iron), orange, yellow, or green, depending on what I've eaten. Sometimes there's a mix of colors and consistencies. Frequently there is white mucus mixed with the stool. Stool can run from pellet shapes to long snakey shapes to large stools; none are what I'd consider 'normal'.Right now I have blood mixed in with the stool, although my doctor says this is from the irritation of the rectum and the opening up of hemarrhoids. Blood does drip out when I go to the bathroom and have a bowel movement, but it's not pouring out.I get pain in the abdomen most days, but not enough to keep me awake at night.While I seem to be able to digest most things, I often find pieces of vegetable matter in my stool, especially the skins. Lettuce and spinach appear to pass through completely undigested.Except for a multivitamin and the iron supplements, the only medication I am on is NuLev for the spasming and Analpram to treat the hemarrhoids. I try not to take more than three NuLev a day, because I've heard there can be colon problems from using it.***So here's my questions. How much of this is normal for IBS? Are there any tests that we've missed to determine what else this could be?What should I be watching out for to see if this is getting worse?What vitamin/nutritional supplements should I be taking to make up for what my body is not absorbing from food?And are there any support groups in the New York City area that I can attend that you know of?And any advice for what steps a newbie should take to see if this can be kept under some sort of control?Thanks much for all assistance - the worst of this is the loneliness of it.-rim
 

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Sounds pretty normal IBS.As long as the blood is bright red on on the surface of stools.If it is brownish (old blood) and more mixed in that tends to be something else.If the hemaroids/irritation is causing you to bleed enough to be anemic they may need more treatment.You might want to get a blood test for celiac because of the anemia just to be sure (and it can take 6 months of high doses of iron...to reverse the anemia. I was on 3 prescription iron a day for a while)With IBS you should be absorbing normally, but anemia is big with Celiac...which is why I suggested that. (Celiac is gluten sensitivity...gluten is in wheat, rye and barley)PS...the undigested matter in stool is normal, just more obvious when you have diarrhea. It is a function of how well you chew, and esp if the lettuc and spinach is raw it needs a good deal of chewing so it is broken up enough to digest.The stomach bloating when you eat sometimes a digestive enzyme supplement with pancreatic enzymes helps (that is more functional dyspepsia than IBS).Inexplicable weight loss, or the pain starts waking you up at night, or you get a lot of brownish blood would be things to watch out for.Some things to try.Keep a log of what you eat to see if anything pans out (and you might try avoiding the common IBS diarrhea triggers of greasy/fried/fatty foods, alcohol caffiene, sorbitol(or other -ols). Also you might try avoidig some of the things that are only a problem if you have a specific enzyme/transport moleucule missing Lactose (or take lactase with your dairy) and fructose (mostly high fructose corn syrup).Calcium supplements can firm up stools.See if different levels of fiber help/hurt.Check out www.ibsaudioprogram.com. If you are interesed in that sort of heal thyself kinda thing (it's not in your head, but your brain can influence things).Good luck.K.
 

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Sounds pretty normal IBS.As long as the blood is bright red on on the surface of stools.If it is brownish (old blood) and more mixed in that tends to be something else.If the hemaroids/irritation is causing you to bleed enough to be anemic they may need more treatment.You might want to get a blood test for celiac because of the anemia just to be sure (and it can take 6 months of high doses of iron...to reverse the anemia. I was on 3 prescription iron a day for a while)With IBS you should be absorbing normally, but anemia is big with Celiac...which is why I suggested that. (Celiac is gluten sensitivity...gluten is in wheat, rye and barley)PS...the undigested matter in stool is normal, just more obvious when you have diarrhea. It is a function of how well you chew, and esp if the lettuc and spinach is raw it needs a good deal of chewing so it is broken up enough to digest.The stomach bloating when you eat sometimes a digestive enzyme supplement with pancreatic enzymes helps (that is more functional dyspepsia than IBS).Inexplicable weight loss, or the pain starts waking you up at night, or you get a lot of brownish blood would be things to watch out for.Some things to try.Keep a log of what you eat to see if anything pans out (and you might try avoiding the common IBS diarrhea triggers of greasy/fried/fatty foods, alcohol caffiene, sorbitol(or other -ols). Also you might try avoidig some of the things that are only a problem if you have a specific enzyme/transport moleucule missing Lactose (or take lactase with your dairy) and fructose (mostly high fructose corn syrup).Calcium supplements can firm up stools.See if different levels of fiber help/hurt.Check out www.ibsaudioprogram.com. If you are interesed in that sort of heal thyself kinda thing (it's not in your head, but your brain can influence things).Good luck.K.
 

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Hi Rim. Welcome. I remember feeling relieved to find others with this "problem". I read the archives and tried a bunch of the suggestions from posts. The only thing I can add to the great advice above is to maybe keep a food diary and see if anything upsets your system. Best wishes.
 

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Hi Rim. Welcome. I remember feeling relieved to find others with this "problem". I read the archives and tried a bunch of the suggestions from posts. The only thing I can add to the great advice above is to maybe keep a food diary and see if anything upsets your system. Best wishes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to both of you. You have no idea what a relief it is to hear the words 'pretty normal' being used with this is, K! And I am going thru the archives as much as I can, soft
It has been bright red blood and on the surface of the stools; will keep an eye out for changes.We did test for Celiacs and it came back negative. Haven't tested for lactose intolerance yet, but I'm putting myself off dairy for two weeks to see if there's any change. This is the first I've heard of fructose being a problem (which with the amount of high fructose corn syrup in everything, could certainly be a trigger I'm repeatedly hitting). The only reason I have been avoiding keeping a food diary is that I have no idea how to interpret what I'm looking at (would triggers hit me in 20 minutes? 24 hours? 36 hours?). Is this the sort of thing you need to speak with a nutritionist/dietician about?Thanks again for all your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to both of you. You have no idea what a relief it is to hear the words 'pretty normal' being used with this is, K! And I am going thru the archives as much as I can, soft
It has been bright red blood and on the surface of the stools; will keep an eye out for changes.We did test for Celiacs and it came back negative. Haven't tested for lactose intolerance yet, but I'm putting myself off dairy for two weeks to see if there's any change. This is the first I've heard of fructose being a problem (which with the amount of high fructose corn syrup in everything, could certainly be a trigger I'm repeatedly hitting). The only reason I have been avoiding keeping a food diary is that I have no idea how to interpret what I'm looking at (would triggers hit me in 20 minutes? 24 hours? 36 hours?). Is this the sort of thing you need to speak with a nutritionist/dietician about?Thanks again for all your help!
 

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It can be a pain to analyze, but usually problems are within 24 hours of eating something, often less.I would at least keep a log of symptoms (BM time and consistancy) and note if you are doing something as a trial for a couple of weeks (like going off lactose, adding some high fiber foods).Sometimes memory of how things were two weeks ago vs now can be iffy. AND IBS has an annoying tendancy to wax and wane, so that doesn't help either.One other diet things...Some people do really well with Heather's book. Eating for IBS. And she is a board member so if you need help with her way of dealing with she is available to answer questions (on the main BB page that has all the differnet boards (click the Bulletin Board in the blue above if you haven't seen it) there is a "ask the Specialist button" she takes care of the dietary part of that (I'm the miscellaneous person there).K.
 

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It can be a pain to analyze, but usually problems are within 24 hours of eating something, often less.I would at least keep a log of symptoms (BM time and consistancy) and note if you are doing something as a trial for a couple of weeks (like going off lactose, adding some high fiber foods).Sometimes memory of how things were two weeks ago vs now can be iffy. AND IBS has an annoying tendancy to wax and wane, so that doesn't help either.One other diet things...Some people do really well with Heather's book. Eating for IBS. And she is a board member so if you need help with her way of dealing with she is available to answer questions (on the main BB page that has all the differnet boards (click the Bulletin Board in the blue above if you haven't seen it) there is a "ask the Specialist button" she takes care of the dietary part of that (I'm the miscellaneous person there).K.
 
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