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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am IBS-D. Suffered from major depression and anxiety attacks as a result. I simply got fed up with everything and decided to do everything I could to feel better - and now, I am feeling "normal". First thing I did was change my diet - went on restriction diet - brown rice pasta, poached chicken/fish, boiled (to death) carrots. I also introduced Caltrate Plus at every meal and L-Glutamine (500 mg 4 times a day). Slowly, I introduced new foods (parmesan cheese on pasta, a little butter of carrots, sweet potatoe, squash, BBQ chicken, etc etc) After about six weeks of taking it easy, I can now cheat and feel OK. Yesterday I had a slice of pizza, a chocolate brownie, a cup of coffee and some chips. I total pig fest! I have been cheating now on a regular basis and nothing bad has happened. I will still try to eat a healthy diet 90% of the time - but I can honestly say that 2 months ago, I never thought I would be able to do all this. And the best thing - I don't have to take any Caltrate or L-Glutamine!!!I just thought I would tell people some good news - there is hope - take is slow and help your bowel to heal with a restricted diet - then slowly introduce foods. For whatever reason, "orange" fruits/veggies are good for my stomach (peaches, nectarines, squash, carrots, sweet potatoes). Still have not tried citrus fruits, but that's OK - I can do without them. I finally feel great - my confidence is back and I feel like I can conquer the world. My husband and I are trying to work things out (we were going to separate) - this IBS almost destroyed me and my life but I won't let it!I also want to urge people that are suffering from anxiety attacks and/or depression to seek help. I am on Paxil for severe depression, which I know plays a big role in my "recovery". I have no side effects on the Paxil (a little upset stomach and dizziness for the 1st 2 weeks, but it went away). You do not have to suffer!!! It works and I actually wake up happy now (I used to wake up in tears). I am back to my old self again. (I am also seeing a therapist - the absolute best thing I have ever done). Don't be too proud to take meds or see a therapist - there is help - don't be too proud or stubborn to seek it.I hope this gives some encouragement to people out there. Of course, I still never leave home with Immodium, I at least I'm leaving the house again. And I also know that if I have a relapse, that it will be temporary, AND I WILL GET BETTER!!! We are all stronger than we give ourselves credit for. We can survive!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Bear --- what wonderful news. Here's hoping your positive improvement continues. Please keep us posted!Roz
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bear: Congratulations. I know what you mean when you say you were at the end of the road and sought help. I am very happy that you and your husband are reconsidering. I'm going through rough time with mate again right now.I am afraid of SSRI's because they say you can have sexual side effects? That's part of my problem now...little desire. Not to get too personal : can you tell me two things? 1. has the paxil lessened your sex drive? 2. what specifically is helping in your therapy? If you can express it.I started therapy and now she is saying I need to take an anti depressant or anti anxiety RX...talk to my PCP. I can't seem to help myself right now, everything seems futile again. She says it will aid in my therapy.Your post has helped today in that I have to see the PCP about other medical things (Cholesterol and Diabetes) today and I'm going to be brave and ask for medication as my therapist suggested.Again
happy for you!Barbara------------------BJV/Female__(D)
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Barbara - please, please, please get some meds for your depression/anxiety. My therapist told me the best treatment for IBS was a COMBINATION of therapy and meds together. I'll try to answer your questions. Yes, Paxil has lowered my sex drive a little. My libido was low with the IBS anyway, but I find it a little more difficult to reach orgasm on the Paxil - BUT, it's not impossible. With a little patience with either yourself, or your partner, you can achieve orgasm (and it's worth the wait!). Now, as far as the sex drive goes - the therapy is actually helping with this. Because I am actually gaining confidence with the therapy, I find that I am more responsive to my husband when he initiates sex. I used to just tell him to leave me alone, b/c I didn't feel well. Now I'm feeling so good, I want to be close to him again. So it's kind of a cycle - the paxil lowers your sex drive, the therapy helps your confience, the increased confidence improves your sex drive (despite the paxil - you overcome it yourself).Now, as far as therapy goes - what I have learned there is how to talk positively to myself, instead of the natural instict of negative talk. It sounds easy, but it takes a lot of practice. For example, when you feel an anxiety attack coming on, your natural response is to criticize yourself "Don't be so stupid - your not handling this well", etc, etc. Also, if we have people in our life that are not understanding, our negative talk becomes greater. The therapy teaches you to talk positively to yourself - "It's OK, I'm strong, I can get through this". It's hard, but that's where the meds come in. I asked my therapist "But what happens when I go off the meds - can I handle it?". Her response was a definite YES - she said the meds are helping to alleviate some of the physical conditions of depression/anxiety, but I was the one learning to talk myself through it, in preparation of going off the meds. She told me that when I am finished with the meds, I will "RECALL the anxiety, but not RE-LIVE the anxiety". Also, when an anxiety attack comes on, picture a fork in the road - one path is negative talk, the other path is positive talk. Picture what is at the end of each path - negative talk: black clouds, illness, stormy weather, whatever you see. Positive talk: bright sun, an ocean breeze, a rainbow, you getting physically healthy. Then picture yourself walking down the path of positive talk - visualize you getting healthy while talking to yourself in a positive way. It really works.Sorry this is long, but I wanted to tell you everything. The meds help - don't be afraid to use them. The paxil is for long term use (I'll probably be on for one year, then slowly decrease) - but I was also on Lorazepam for immediate relief of anxiety - it took about 30 minutes to kick in. Please get the meds - I can't even begin to tell you what I was like 6 weeks ago - crying non stop, not leaving the house, not eating anything, non stop anxiety - you name it, I had it. But I feel normal now! Really! And I haven't had an episode of D for 4 weeks!Barbara, good luck and please let me know how you are doing. I will think you today!
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi bearCongradulations on your success. I have a couple questions for ya. I was taking Zoloft for my depression but i couldn't take the tremmors and the d that was the worst i ever had from those pills. So what i wanted to ask was did paxil give you tremors or d as the side effects and has it taken away your fear of going out? ThanksAmanda
 

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Amanda, if you or anyone else reading this has had side effects from other SSRIs, I recommend Celexa. It is relatively new, and has a lower incidence of side effects than any other SSRI. I took it for a while with no side effects. However with IBS, many of us "live" with side effects whether or not we take any medicine, so it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between a side effect and an IBS flare-up.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Amanda - the only physical side effects I had from paxil was a little bit of an upset stomach and a little dizziness, but these both went away after two weeks. I have had absolutely no tremors or diarrhea. Because the paxil helps to control the brain-gut response to nervousness, anxiety, depression, etc. the paxil can actually help diarrhea. But it does take about 2-6 weeks to start working, so if you don't see immediate result, don't despair. And yes, I can leave the house now anytime I want without even thinking about an attack. In fact, on Friday, my husband and I went to the beach and all I took was myself and a hat!!! It didn't even occur to me until later that I hadn't brought my emergency supply of immodium. I had a great time - and didn't even think about IBS.If you can think back to what it was like before IBS - leaving the house when you wanted, cheating on a healthy diet, not being anxious or even aware of how many times a day you go to the bathroon - that is what life is like on paxil for me. I used to have bad D - now I go once a day (or sometimes once every other day) and the only med I'm taking is paxil.I really hope it works for you too!!!Catherine
 

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Hi! Your encouraging post lifted my spirits!! I recently decided to "fight back" against my IBS with a new diet, vitamins, and meds....it is nice to know that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel....!!Renee (aka ponygirl)
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bear,What an awsome post! I am in the dumps right now. I was on lots of anti-depressents and went off them a year and a half ago (april 99) In nov. my stomach started bothering me and I wonder if there is a connection? Paxil made me feel great but I gained tons of weight on it. Of course I also have an eating disorder so that probably didn't help. I wonder if I should try celexa. I just went on Libax and it's giving me headaches. I do take ativan on a regular basis and that does help.Anyway, good news is good medicine!Karly
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Karly - well, I haven't gained any weight on the Paxil, so I'm lucky I guess. However, my doctor did tell me that it is quite rare to this side effect with paxil, so perhaps it did have more to do with your eating disorder (I'm sorry you have an eating disorder - with IBS, that's the last thing you need). My doctor has assured me that if my symptoms return when I go off the paxil, I can go back on - paxil is the "new wonder drug" - very few side effects and not addicting. Some people have been on it for years with no ill effects. That gave me a lot of encouragement, and hopefully as a result I won't panic when it's time to stop the pills.I am glad you liked my posting - I know we all get down in the dumps and need to "vent" with each other, but I was getting a little depressed when there seemed to be no "good news" threads happening. I just want people to hear some good news! Catherine
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Dear Catherine, Thanks for your kind words. Paxil is a great drug, and I should say that I was also on many other psych.drugs at the time so perhaps it was a combination. I hope you are still doing well and I wish you all the best. A postitve attitude surelymakes things better. I get stuck feeling like --- and forget that if I keep thinking negative I'll stay stuck. I just would like to feel better and not be so obsessed with IBS. It's getting a little rediculous.(spell?) Anyway, thanks again,Peace and Health,Karly
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dear Catherine, I went to the PCP on Monday(new doc in office), to the therapist on Tuesday, started 10mg.Paxil today.Both medical people were very sensitive to my needs and felt positive that this could help me at this time.Thank you for your kindness and caring.I appreciate that you have been there too and I hope I feel as up as you real soon! It certainly feels good to hear positive stories.Take Care,Barbara------------------BJV/Female__(D)
 
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