mom w/IBS... quick question

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EMom
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 1/4/2008 6:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all. I'm jumping over from the Crohn's forum to ask a question for my mom. She has IBS--was diagnosed about 6 years ago. We made many changes in supplements (probiotics, digestive enzymes, etc.) at the time, and added a high-quality fiber supplement. She has been doing exceptionally well since those changes until about a month ago. She "fell off the wagon" with her supplements and has had diarrhea ever since. Back on the wagon now, she can't seem to stop the D. It's not terribly frequent--2, maybe 3 times a day--but concerning, nevertheless. She has no abdominal pain or tenderness.

I'm curious if this has happened to any of you and what you do to stop the D. She has been eating what she calls "a soft diet" for a while, but when she has a "good day" she immediately thinks she can go back to regular eating habits and then pays the price. I think maybe she's not giving it enough rest?

Unfortunately, I'm familiar with options for CD patients for stopping D, as my 15 year old son has CD. He is very successful with a semi-elemental (liquid) diet under these circumstances. He's only had to do this on two occasions--one for 9 days, the other only 3--but I have no idea if this is an approach for folks with IBS.

Any recommendations at all will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
EMom

Grateful for everyone's help here!

Mother to 15 year old boy diagnosed in June, 2007.
Currently taking Asacol, omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, iron, vit. C, calcium and a good multivitamin.

Started The Maker's Diet in early September.


EMom
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 1/4/2008 6:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Two more questions!

Should she keep taking her fiber supplement through all this?

Is a product like Immodium recommended under these circumstances?

Thanks!
EMom

Grateful for everyone's help here!

Mother to 15 year old boy diagnosed in June, 2007.
Currently taking Asacol, omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, iron, vit. C, calcium and a good multivitamin.

Started The Maker's Diet in early September.


Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 1/4/2008 7:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there EMom, and welcome! I think your mother would benefit from going back on the supplements that seemed to help her in the past - probiotics, fiber supplements, etc. - but first she should see a GI or at least her PCP if she hasn't seen one lately, just to make sure this isn't something new and weird. She might try Immodium, but should start off slow because some people react so drastically to it. The probiotics, fiber supplements, and maybe some yogurt with lots of active cutures (like Activia) might be a good jumping-off point!
Co-moderator - IBS Forum


Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 1/4/2008 8:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Does she take calcium? Caltrate 600 w/vitamin D is the best thing for people with D; it's naturally constipating.

I had a bad spell a few years ago which was caused by sugar alcohols. Even though the sugar alcohols were out of my system after two days, the D and pain and cramping just kept lasting. It was only when I came here and found out about calcium supplements and tried some did my pain and cramping magically disappear and my bowels went back to normal (what's normal for them, anyways).

I think the sugar alcohol irritated my intestines and it took the calcium--which has been shown to relieve inflammation in the intestines--to calm them back down.

EMom
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 1/4/2008 8:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Sarita said...
Hi there EMom, and welcome! I think your mother would benefit from going back on the supplements that seemed to help her in the past - probiotics, fiber supplements, etc. - but first she should see a GI or at least her PCP if she hasn't seen one lately, just to make sure this isn't something new and weird. She might try Immodium, but should start off slow because some people react so drastically to it. The probiotics, fiber supplements, and maybe some yogurt with lots of active cutures (like Activia) might be a good jumping-off point!



Sorry--I probably wasn't clear. I said "she's back on the wagon" with respect to taking her supplements--all except for the fiber, which I wasn't sure about due to D. Yet I know that the ratio of soluble to insoluble fiber for IBS folks is what's important, so maybe the fiber would be a good thing?

I have talked with her about seeing her PCP, and she is prepared to do that next week if things don't normalize. Thanks Sarita!

Keriamon, I'm not sure she's taking Calcium with D--even though I know I have mentioned it to her. (I've read quite a bit about D3's beneficial effects for the intestines/colon in general.) I will call her about that! Thanks! Also, what are sugar alcohols and how would they cause a "bad spell?" Lord knows she eats waaaaay too much sugar in general...

Thank you again!
EMom

Grateful for everyone's help here!

Mother to 15 year old boy diagnosed in June, 2007.
Currently taking Asacol, omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, iron, vit. C, calcium and a good multivitamin.

Started The Maker's Diet in early September.


Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 1/4/2008 2:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Sugar alcohols are found in sugar free products. They are listed out in the nutrition guide under sugar as "sugar alchol" and you can also find them in the ingredients list: anything that ends in "itol" like mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol--those are the most common.

They cause intestinal distress because they are not digested in the stomach like regular sugar; they pass into the intestines, where your bacteria, not your stomach acid, have to try and break them down. This causes them to be digested very slowly and so the sugar enters your blood stream slowly as well. This is why diabetics can consume them--while it will raise their blood sugar some, it doesn't spike it dangerously high like regular sugars.

Because your intestines are having to do what your stomach should have done, that's where you get problems. Most people experience smelly gas, which gets worse the more sugar alcohol you consume. It can also cause gas cramps and diarrhea.

I think I am honestly allergic to the stuff. The spell I mentioned was after consuming ONE gram of sugar alcohol in two chiclet pieces of gum. And I was laid up in bed for two days with terrible cramping, fluttering intestines (felt like I had a live bird trapped in there), and diarrhea.

My husband gave me a breath strip the other weekend. After I put it in my mouth, I realized it was a sugar free one (he's diabetic) and I actually took a napkin and tried to wipe it out of my mouth (you know how they stick to the roof of your mouth). That night I woke up with gas cramps and gas (not normal for me). Despite the fact that I couldn't have consumed more than 1/10th of a gram of sorbitiol from that breath strip, I still think that's what gave me the gas. If my fast food lunch had bothered me, I would have been sick in less than 12 hours and I would have had D. Nothing I had for supper should have made me sick at all. The breath strip was the only thing that I knew to be super bad for me.

But most people don't react as strongly as I do to sugar alcohol (although I used to tolerate it more than this; my tolerance levels have decreased sharply as time has passed).

EMom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 1/4/2008 10:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Keriamon, thanks for that explanation! I had no idea this was such a problem for some! I don't think it would apply to my mom, though, as she is addicted to the real thing! Although I will mention it to her just in case. Thanks!
EMom

Grateful for everyone's help here!

Mother to 15 year old boy diagnosed in June, 2007.
Currently taking Asacol, omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, iron, vit. C, calcium and a good multivitamin.

Started The Maker's Diet in early September.


Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 1/5/2008 10:26 PM (GMT -7)   
If she's a sugar addict, that could be the culprit. Too much sugar can definitely cause diarrhea!
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

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