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Hi, I'm a 46 year old widowed mother of three teen-agers and have suffered with ibs since about the age of 12. Of course, as many of you know, it didn't exist then(!). It first manifested itself once every couple of weeks right after eating dinner. I would have stomach pains and explosive diarrhea. Eventually it would happen nearly every night, oftentimes before I was even done with my meal. It would start with twinges usually on either the left or right side and sometimes circling around the navel and progress to severe cramps at which time I would sit on the toilet begging my bowels to release!! This would go on for about an hour, the twinges building in severity until release; until I had gone to the bathroom about 3 or 4 times, then all would be quiet and normal. Except for a feeling of weakness and fatigue that eventually passed.When I was 18, my mother finally insisted I see the doctor. I agreed. Upper and lower GI's were done. I was fine until I was on the X-ray table with the Barium enema. The cramps were so severe, I thought my abdomen would surely explode. I was sweating and gasping with pain. The technicians thought I was nuts. Afterwards the nurse told me to evacuate the barium right away as it's not good to stay in your system very long. This she tells me while I'm sitting on the toilet, still gasping in pain and cramps, waiting for my bowels to release. It felt like someone had put an iron clamp on my colon.Well, I thought, now we'll at least get to the bottom of this. Surely the x-rays will reveal the problem. Diagnosis: There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with you other than a little excess gastric fluid being released, and you're hemoglobin count is a little low; here's a script for some iron pills. Conclusion: all doctors are idiots and I've had very little to do with them since.I did try once in a while. Food allergies were ruled out, because what seemed to cause an attack sometimes didn't at other times. A bland diet was always prescribed. Of course, that was like, well I can't think of an analogy. Bland diets do nothing. In fact, here was my first inkling of being able to help myself. The bland diet means cutting down on fiber and I soon found out that the first thing I needed was MORE Fiber.The next thing I discovered by accident. My husband and I decided to go vegetarian in the mid-70's. The first thing I discovered was that cutting out red meat diminished my painful cramping attacks by a great deal. I still had alternating C and D, but far less pain. And instead of going 3 or 4 days without a movement, then suffering when one decided it was time, I began to have more frequent ones (maybe every two days), still with diarrhea, still hard to get it to move, but much less pain. I still never knew when I'd have to go, however, and whenever we went out, I needed to know I could have access to a clean, airy bathroom.It was in the 80's when I had my kids that I was told I had "spastic colon, there's no cure, it's not serious, get on a bland diet."About 15 years ago, because I knew fiber was helpful but I didn't always get enough in my diet, I started taking metamucil. Another difference. By taking it each morning with my second cup of coffee, I was able to get more or less regular. Still had to spend at least a half hour in the bathroom, but at least I could be reasonably sure what time of day I'd be there. Still, there were times when I'd get hit with an attack. One night about a year or so ago, I dreamed I was talking with my deceased husband. Suddenly I stopped talking, looked at him and said I have to go (meaning it in both senses of the word). He chuckled and said "Yes, you always did have that problem." (!!!!!) I woke up immediately and right away the old twinges in the abdomen hit me and it was up and off to the bathroom with D.LNAPE, if you are reading this, it may interest you. Bless you for your postings. About a year ago, I started taking calcium supplements because my mother has osteoporosis. I began by taking tums but the gas increased so much that I switched to calcium citrate tablets (Tums are calcium carbonate). Then I heard that calcium phosphate absorbs into your system much better, so I switched to the Posture-D brand of calcium tablets. They say "no gas distress" right on the bottle. Well, I've been going along my merry way, still taking the metamucil cookies each morning with my coffee (coffee also helps by stimulating the colon, in my case, anyway), when one morning, instead of a twinge in my guts telling me it was time to go, I had a feeling of fullness in my rectum!! Off to the bathroom - a smooth, semi-firm actual STOOL!! I had to stand up and stare at the thing in amazement.And I seemed to be DONE!! It happened again, not every day, but more and more often. I couldn't find a connection, decided maybe I was finally outgrowing the condition. Since joining this group (this is my first ever computer as of a month ago, or I would have discovered you all much sooner) and reading about the calcium connection, I've come to the conclusion that perhaps the calcium is the key.For those of you who are having gas trouble with Caltrate (Caltrate is calcium carbonate), perhaps the Posture-D brand will be better for you. Posture-D is calcium phosphate.I also eat meat again (since the early 80's), not much beef, NEVER a tough steak, hardly any pork, but plenty of turkey and chicken. When I do eat beef, it's always a very lean, high grade ground beef. Fats and greasy foods are definite no-no for me.One more thing, yesterday I went out and purchased the Food-For-Life bread. Today is the second morning I've had it for breakfast.May be a little too soon to tell, but yesterday, almost immediately after ingesting two slices, I had another lovely, nearly-normal, painless poop.Thank you people for doing what doctors can't seem to do, and for doing for me in only a few days what years of trial and error have taken me til now.
 

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Welcome to the board! This is a wonderful place to find the info you need! I've only been coming here for a short while myself. I am 50 and have 3 kids 17, 19, and 21. I've had IBS since I was about 13 and was never properly diagnosed till about 3 years ago when I changed doctors. I too went for tests and was told "can't find anything". Did the trial and error method for years. Now that I have found this board, I have made many changes and have improved my IBS a great deal. People helping people and sharing - it works!
 

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Hi Nelle, and welcome to the Board. You've certainly had your share of problems with IBS! But it sounds like you've also found mays to minimize, or at least east, the pain. It's great to hear that the calcium and fiber helped. It's good to have you here with us, and I'm sure you'll find lots of tips and info, plus be able to help us too with what has worked for you!
JeanG
 

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Welcome to the Board, Nelle. I'm the same age as you and have had IBS for 15 years. I, too, have found fiber (a small amount) and calcium helpful, though I take calcium citrate (also less bloating). I'm afraid I'm coming to share your opinion about drs. This BB ought to be mandatory reading for all of them.
 

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Hi Nelle! Welcome to the BB! I just got my first computer about 6 weeks ago too, isn't it great all the info that is available?!?! I agree with ya about doctors....they've never done anything for my IBS either. This board is more helpful than all the doctors I have seen!
 

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nelle,Welcome to the BB and if it wern't for this computer and this web site none of us here would be able to let others know what is helping because like you say the doctors don't seem to be able to help.I am happy you have found what works for you and I am sure you story will encourage others to keep searching for help.Take Care,Linda
 
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