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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was diagnosed with IBS after the birth of my son 2 years ago. Since that time I have had periods when it's been better, and periods when it's been really bad. I can honestly say that almost nothing I actively do makes it better. It is a lot worse when I'm stressed, and ironically worse when I am trying to 'make it better' by changing my diet and taking supplements or focusing on things that might help. It is better when I have absolutely no stress or worry (rare) in my life. Lately, it has got worse again, but in a different way to how it always used to be. Last August I went to see relatives in France and had severe upset digestion. It was an IBS flare up of the worst kind, and even if it was a travel tummy bug, my digestion hasn't been the same since. Since that time I never have a normal bowel movement. It's around a 5 on the poo scale the whole time. Years ago I used to get alternating constipation and diarrhea with lots of pain and gas. These days I don't get that at all, but I do have morning urgency, soft to the extent that it's almost like diarrhea but still holds together (like a 'dropping consistency' as they describe your cake mixture should be in cake making!)with lots of rumbling and feeling like liquid is moving around inside, which is most disconcerting.I have, over the years, like I said earlier, tried everything. I was tested for lactose and gluten intolerance but am fine with both, though have voluntarily tried going without both at various times, just to see if it does indeed make any difference. No, no change. Lately I've been trying to eat more soluable fibre in the vague hope that this will help. But it just makes things worse. I can't eat insoluable fibre so never eat wholewheat bread or products because it works like drain cleaner for me.I don't eat fats or sugar. I don't drink tea or coffee. I don't drink alcohol or fizzy drinks. I don't eat chocolate or citrus fruits (or in fact any fruits because it just ferments inside me and causes terrbile wind and explosive bowel movements). I am constantly criticised by my friends and family for 'not eating properly'. I have just come back from a three week holiday to California where I was constantly scared that I would get a flare up. I ate as best I could in order to control my symptoms but I couldn't relax and just enjoy my holiday because, eating wise, it was no holiday. Plus, everyone I met commented about my strange attitude to food. I get so angry about people telling me to eat more fibre, or eat more fruit, or eat more healthily because all this makes me worse, but the alternative doesn't help much either.Right now I feel so unhappy. I don't want to have this anymore. Nothing works. Nothing. No one I meet and talk to this about understands and my family just think I'm some hypochondriac nutter. Every single doctor I have ever seen dismisses me with 'it's stress'. What I have learned over the years is that for women at least hormones play a large part in it. It was always worse around the time of my period. I am now going through the menopause and I can only hope that when I come out the other side (and how do I know when that is?) it will improve. I am hyper sensitve to emotional and psychological trauma and stress. I internalise everything and don't dispaly my 'hurts' outwardly. I am stoic. I take lots of other people's stresses and help them where I can. (I used to work with victims of crime) But this means that whilst I am a 'rock' for others, no one is there when i need help, plus, I find it hard to ask for that help because when I do, I'm seen as falling apart - I guess because people are so used to seeing me as coping that they can't rationalise things when I'm not.I also know that, whilst controlling which foods I eat, ought to help in theory, in practice it doesn't. In fact, eating as normal and varied a diet as possible and trying to live as happy a life as possible is what makes it better. The trouble is, life is constantly challenging and I just can't keep myself on an even keel.So... sometimes I just don't want to get up. I force myself, every day to go to work, to do what I have to do, but without any joy. If it wasn't for my son I think I would have killed myself a long time ago. I couldn't do that to him. It just make me so sad to think how he would feel if I did (I am a single parent and we have always been close). So I live this miserable life, coping as best I can. I have good days and I have bad days. Today is a bad day. Today is a very bad day indeed.
 

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AnjgiYou say nothing works for your Ibs-d, but you are one of the lucky ones, who can actually go away on holiday and go out and do things. Have you tried Imodium on a daily basis rather than wait till its needed. I have Ibs-d severely, I dont go out much and havnt gone on holiday for 2 years, my stools are on the mushy side every day, and I am in pain, bloated and full of wind 24/7. I cant go far from a toilet as when I need one it is Now, so urgent. I suffer with anxiety and depression brought on by the severe ibs-d and being frightened all the time to go any where in fear of accidents, and I have had a few. I have tried so many medication, pills and potions and food exclusions over the years and I take 3-4 Imodium daily which helps most of the time but not always,it never constipate me and I still have loose stools every day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm so sorry to hear about your ibs-d. I force myself to go out because I know that it would be so easy for me to become housebound and that's something I really don't want to happen. I think that by forcing myself to live as normal a life as possible I do manage quite well. And my holiday was the first I'd had in many many years. I was with a good friend and I was going to her family's homes (she's an American) to stay so I knew that I didn't have to rely on public toilets etc... Nevertheless the flight was traumatic for different reasons to most - I didn't eat anything the day before, nor on the day of the flight, leaving me severely hungry but safe from 'accidents' on board the plane!I've never taken imodium or anything else for that matter for my ibs. I am very wary of taking pills. I can be completely floored by pain but still not take pain killers. Perhaps I should though. I'm scared I guess of side-effects, and sometimes the side-effects are worse than the thing you're suffering. i do hope you find some relief somehow, someway. I know by some people's experience I don't seem to be that bad, but I've had it for so many years now and been through so many variations of ibs that I've just come to the end with it. I am so tired of the daily battle just to be even slightly 'normal'.
 

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Have you ever looked at seeing a pshycologist even a health pshycologist if there is one in your area? Before you start thinking that I think it is all in your head let me tell you about my experience. I have IBS-A along with a vomiting disorder. I am only 24 but because of these two things just barely was able to finish college and can only work part time. I am still living at home with my parents because of my health along with not being able to afford anything else since I can't work a lot. When my GI doctor first suggested to me that I see a health pshycologist I also thought that she was thinking it was all in my head. But after I talked to the pshycologist I realized it was another person on my team to try to help me get my life back. She was really good to talk to but also helped me in maintaining balance in my life, figuring out my triggers, and relaxation techinques. It took me a while to get comfortable with her but now it is really nice to have her there when I need her. It's something to consider...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for that Tiff. Yes, I've tried that in the past. I should say I qualified as a hypnotherapist some 10 years ago now back when I thought it had helped me. And it had and did for a while, and I was able to help others and it led to my working with trauma victims, but long term, though I understand where my issues are coming from and how to relax, bottom line is I'm an anxious person by nature. My default condition when faced with stress is anxiety that I internalise and, whilst I can work through it, help myself relax, cope better than I ever could, It's still there, and it feels like it's never going away.I wish there was something I could do to take this away from everyone, including myself. Just something that might make us all 'better' so we can function normally. I'm chary of therapists. I had a bad experience in counselling where my counsellor told me when I said I wasn't sure it was working for me that I was attacking her. I did not go back. Instead I found a hypnotherapist. It helped me enormously and I trained as a hypnotherapis as a result of that, but now ten years further down the line, it's still all here. It's just in abeyance from time to time. It's a lifelong condition of that there is no doubt in my mind. Today I am trying hard to view this time off work as a gift where I can relax with some nice music, the dog by my side and my netbook on my lap. Just that I have to keep disturbing the dog to go to the toilet!
 

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Have you been to a gastroenterologist? What tests have you had besides the ones for gluten and lactose? Any bloodowrk done to rule out celiac dz, etc?You may also want to consider getting tested for SIBO. I had this for a few years and my stool consistency was almost exactly like what you describe.
 

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I have been controlling my D since the end of 1999 with a flavonoid supplement which seems to have significant anti-inflammatory capabilities. It took 10 years to "find" that. None of the dietary or habit-breaking changes I introduced over a 10 year period worked. That might help you, as well.I have recently become addicted to Yin Yoga. I find it enormously useful in decreasing anxieties about the future and guilt about the past, as well as "treating" my aging sinews and sore back. (It does help to have an openness to Buddhism.) That might help you, as well.Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you so much to everyone who has replied. I was tested for celiacs. I feel I can't go to the doctor again with this. Every time I pop my head up it's for something they decide is stress related and I'm not sure that unless you're actually dying they take anything seriously any more. Whenever I've been to the GP (and there are a few at my doctors so I don't have to go to the same person each time) I'm told that I really don't want to go to the bother or inconvenience of having a colonoscopy or other invasive tests, do I? The nurse told me that early morning rush to go to the toilet was adrenalin kicking in as I woke up. That it was normal. That I shouldn't worry about it. I feel like I'm wasting their time. They never ever find anything wrong with me. All my very recent blood tests came back normal. Very very normal. My blood pressure is low to normal. My cholesterol is normal. My lipids are normal. My everything else - very normal. I would like to find out more about SIBO. I react very badly to antibiotics, which I understand are used to treat it. Years ago an antibiotic for tonsilitis knocked out all my good bacteria and I don't think my digestion really ever recovered.Yin Yoga sounds interesting. I will look into it. Years ago I gave up coffee and tea and it had an almost instant effect on reducing my IBS. At the time I thought, it couldn't be this easy could it? For a while it was. But then things started creeping back. Now I might as well drink tea and coffee again for all the good not drinking it does me. The flavanoid thing sounds good too. Which one is it?I've thrown caution to the wind tonight and am having a quorn pie and potatoes with cabbage and broccoli. A guarantee of wind if ever there was one. Well I'm hungry and I can't face another evening meal of rice and not much else.
 

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If you're sensitive to antibiotics you can try probiotics (I've used Align). Most have a mild antimicrobial activity, so they can act on bacteria in the gut. This would take longer than a course of ABs though, I'd imagine.If your insurance will cover it you may want to ask to be referred to a specialist. I got no help at all until this happened, and every single test I had (besides the test for SIBO) came back normal as well. You aren't wasting your doctor's time imo; that's what they're there for.
 
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