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Hi, everyone--I've had IBS-C symptoms for about 10 years and have tried several different things to address it--dietary changes, supplements, medications, etc.I had made very slow progress in identifying triggers, etc, but in the past year have made some key changes that have really improved my condition & wanted to share in case they're of use to anyone else.Dietarily speaking, the things that seem to have helped me the most are cutting wheat/gluten, dairy, soy (for me, not a problem for some others), and refined sugar. I try to follow these general food combination rules: eat fruit and nuts separate from other foods (tho they can be eaten with each other), eat only one animal protein at any given meal, and avoid eating animal proteins with grain carbohydrates (but have recently had some success with this in small quantities).There are some other minor "rules" I adhere to, but those are the key factors that seem to have made a difference for me. In addition to that, I started taking magnesium supplements at night a few months ago in combination with a single dose of Miralax in the morning. This routine worked well for a while, but, as so many others have found on this site the effectiveness began to wear off slowly. About a month or so ago, my mom told me about some material she'd found on a Vitamin C Ascorbate flush that was supposed to help reduce/address constipation problems.I did a little reading on it and was skeptical, to say the least--so many other things hadn't helped or hadn't helped enough to really make a difference. But I'd also reached a point of readiness to try any solutions within reason, and liked that this was an option that didn't involve prescription medications.So I started the regimen and so far... pretty good results with this. (I say this somewhat hesitantly since I know that, as with Miralax and magnesium, it may be short-lived). But for about a month now, I've had daily results and, on occasion, even more than once a day (!) which was almost unheard-of for me in the past. (The only exception to my Vitamin C success was during my period, but that's always been a rough time and I'm not sure there's any complete solution to that.)Here's a link to a description of the flush and subsequent supplementation: http://www.vitamins-today.com/c_flush.htmlIn doing my initial flush, I started out with their "ill health" recommended dosage of 2 tsp of ascorbate powder every 15 minutes, and used Ester C powder for the ascorbate (found at Whole Foods). My mother had emailed a different flush protocol to me & I combined the advice, dissolving the 2 tsp in a total of 8 oz. liquid, 4 ounces of juice and 4 of water.I drank that solution every 15 minutes for 4 intervals; hadn't had the enema-like results as yet, and so doubled my dosage (4 tsp. to 8 oz liquid) as recommended. I did 2 intervals of the double dosage, and had the flush results they describe.Not pleasant, sure, but a happy & welcome change from months of feeling blocked and stuck! A few things about the flush, should anyone decide to try: make sure the powdered C you get is ascorBATE not ascorbic. Ascorbic, even if "buffered," will be harder on your stomach and can do damage with long-term use. Also, be forewarned, the ascorbate tastes disgusting. Seriously. I highly recommend doing the 1:1 juice/water dilution to help cut the taste... I didn't do that for my first flush and had a really hard time getting the mixture down. I experienced some discomfort/bloating, definite "rumble-tummy," and even some detox body responses the first time around including mild fever-like symptoms (chills, sweat, etc), but those were relatively minor and subsided within 8 hours. Given the symptoms and toll it can take on your body, I do recommend doing the first flush when you have a full day to spend at home and don't have too much going on.You may continue to experience, as I did, watery stool for a few days after the initial flush. This lasted about a week & a half or two for me, but it eventually subsided and is no longer an issue.I'm currently on a maintenance Vit. C dose of 2 tsp/8 oz. 3 times a day (so 6 tsp total); I try to drink it about 1/2 hr before a meal. In addition, I began probiotics that I take first thing in the morning--can sometimes be helpful to introduce healthy bacteria after flushing--and I've stayed on the Miralax and magnesium that I was on before.This seems to have struck a good balance for me, and my tummy is generally flatter, calmer, and more regular than it has been for a long while. I've gradually started testing previously "problematic" foods and have found that I can now handle digestive challenges better than before. Beans are so much easier for me to eat now, especially if I combine them with a friendly starch like rice pasta or gluten free bread, and I've actually managed broccoli a couple times without major issues!So I'm trying to take things slowly and not get over-enthusiastic, but it's been really encouraging to see results this promising and I wanted to be sure to pass this on in case it helps someone else. It's kind of a strange/out-there solution, but might be worth a shot!I know there's a lot of info I just included (and more that I didn't), so if you have any specific questions about anything I'm trying please don't hesitate to ask!Cheers,Britt
 
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