A vicious cycle.....

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Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 2/14/2008 1:15 PM (GMT -7)   
As many of you know I suffer from IBS like symptoms due to losing 15 inches of my colon and 90% of my sigmoid, for rectal cancer in 1999. Also had my gall bladder removed then too. What I've been left with are daily multiple bm's, having to restrict my diet to include mostly low residue foods, etc. I've been in one of my long D stretches, where it's not all out-D but rather that messy, putty stage. Sorry for that graphic. I take stool softener at night but lately I can tell, I just need to get whatever irritated my GI tract out. While I'm a mess, I swear I won't eat again until the next day (consuming only fluids). But an hour later I am just starving. This is where my vicious cycle begins.

When you find that your multiple bm trips or the dumping that happens with many IBS patients is over, are you just ravenous? Then after you eat, it starts all up again. That's when I could kick myself for eating. Allowing my GI to settle down for 12 hours or so can really turn things around with me. But it's getting past those hunger pains that's hard for me. I used to just drink 2 full glasses of water, to trick my stomach into thinking it's full (of food). This was when I had eaten well all day and didn't need any more calories. I just wish I could be that strong again (like I was 8 years ago). I'm still thin though - 120 lbs. Haven't put on lots of weight from all of this (yet, LOL).

Just wondered if others go thru this whole - I shouldn't eat but I'm so hungry - stage. Then you eat and wished you hadn't!

I want to be normal again and I just will never be. 99.9% of the time I do well, I don't wallow in self pity and I'm grateful to be alive. But other days I just want to scream - this isn't fair! I've worn out all 3 toilets in our house, our home is only 18 years old too. I think 2 are on their 3rd set of parts now, I use them so much, the handles seem to break almost every year too!

Well, thanks for reading.....feel free to contribute any vicious cycles of your own! Food - my worst enemy. But the entire world revolves around food it seems like. Get together with an old friend - let's have lunch! Nearly every outing or function I'm invited to has food involved. I try the excuse, oh I've already eaten, or I'll eat later but sometimes you have that pesty person who wonders why you are not eating!

If someone had told me my life would revolve around a bathroom, I would have never believed them. I know where every single bathroom is too - at Krogers, the mall, the library, doctors' office complexes, etc. LOL

Marsky/Mary

Lady Frog
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 2/14/2008 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
*waves hand in the air* Me! Me! Yeah I know exactly what you are talking about. Your tummy's growling and then a few moments after you eat just a simple slice of bread, your off to the bathroom again. I'm in the middle of that right now. I had an egg and cheese on toast sandwich this morning and things seemed fine. I have one most mornings since I feel better about having some protein in me if it gets like this. I have found Gatorade or another sports drink to be my friend. It's gentle on my tummy like water but it has calories too so that I don't feel so bad. Before I starting drinking it I found myself sometimes eating way too little calories simply because my guts had put me on a food ban. I'm going to try popcorn later since tummy seems to do well with it on bad days and even if it starts the cycle again, it's kettle corn which makes it worth it to me.

And I can relate to the wearing out the toilet too. Though with me it's the seats. When our old seat broke my mother-in-law bought a cheaply made wooden one. Between her( she is dealing with tummy issues because she's had her gall bladder removed) and me with my IBS, it broke rather quickly. I find it funny now but it wasn't then. I am the lightest person in the house and it just had to break in the middle of bad bout of D! Our current seat is worn where I rest my feet when the pain gets to me. So far so good though.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 2/14/2008 3:48 PM (GMT -7)   
The lack of a colon will always, always be a problem because you have nothing to absorb excess water. However, I have no gall bladder too and I have bile diarrhea (yellow and burns; can't mistake it!). My GI prescribed me Welchol, which is actually a cholesterol medicine, but it soaks up bile in your intestines. You might want to ask your GI about it and see if you can take it (given your lack of intestines). It is what keeps me from having D all the time; I'm halfway normal. I put my m-i-l onto it and she raves about it as well; she used to not be able to eat when traveling or going to give a lecture because once she ate, she had D all day long; now she's on Welchol and can eat pretty normally again (we all still have a few foods that are more than we can handle--I can't do caffeine, for instance).

Also, have you done calcium pills? The Caltrate 600 w/vitamin D absorbs water, which would probably be a boon to you since your intestines aren't absorbing enough. You're not supposed to get more than 1800 units (three pills) worth of calcium a day, but because you are missing so much of your intestines, you probably don't absorb anywhere near the amounts that normal people do. Ask your Dr. how much you can safely take.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 2/14/2008 3:51 PM (GMT -7)   
BTW, glad you found the board, Lady Frog. It takes people with bowel problems to understand what it's like to be a prisoner of your own home. Regular people don't understand how needing to go to the bathroom all the time can make it impossible to leave home. And most all of us here envy those people who can just go to the bathroom any old where without a thought; many of us are very embarrassed to poop in a public restroom, or to be seen going in and out of the bathroom constantly, etc. I think most all of us live in mortal fear that someone will embarrass us one day by publically pointing out the time we spend in the bathroom, or the fact we have stunk it up!

ME!
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 2/14/2008 4:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I totally understand. After 2 years of chronic constipation I had my colon taken out last Oct.

It's a lot better. I can go to the bathroom after I eat, but my intestines get really 'sore' feeling and I do the same thing...go w/o food to let it rest. Am doing that today. Only had liquids today. I'm pretty disciplined so I'm able to get thru the hunger pains most of the time. I think it comes from being in so much pain the last two years when I'd eat.

The pain was so bad it really forced my mind to not want food.

If I'm going to go out to eat then I try and give my intestines a rest the day before. That seems to help. It's not ideal, but I guess it's as good as it's gonna get.

Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 2/14/2008 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the replies everyone. Kerimon, my colon surgeon said there's not much she can prescribe for me, she did suggest something that would slow down the transit time but since I'm working, I'm so leary to try anything new. All I know is even antibiotics mess me up. And I have to try meds when I'm off work but the weekends seem to fly by. I did try the Calcium Plus D pills, chewable, 3 times a day but they seemed to really constipate me. Then I pulled back, having 1/2 pills each meal. After a while, I just didn't see a huge improvement so I stopped taking them. I know they are not harmful and since I'm in that menopausal stage (52) they would be good to take for calcium anyway. It's just that for 8+ years now, my system is so touchy, I can't just take any old med. I tried a Vitamin B shot at our health food store once and I had uncontrollable D for 2 weeks. Even vitamins wreak havoc on me. So I tread lightly and watch my diet. What has been working for the past 3 to 4 months is to still follow a low residue diet but eat 4 to 6 small meals a day. If I eat a large meal, it's overwhelming to my system so just half a banana, a few slices of cheese, with crackers is a good lunch for me now. Same with dinner, I'm taking much smaller portions but still enjoying dinner with my family.

The main thing I've learned since I had part of my colon removed is that we are what we eat. Those words are so true!

I should add that I don't experience the yellow bile with bm's, what I seem to experience is just multiple bm's each day. At least a dozen. My surgeon keeps saying it's b/c they took out 90% of my sigmoid. Since there's no place for stool to collect, it just comes down and I need to go. I don't have accidents but the urge to go is strong. And then each time, it's a piddly amount. I joke, almost like rabbit poop. I can feel it come down. One of my family members told me once - well just stay in there and go all at once. I about bopped them! Sure, that would be like I used to be! I wish it were that simple. I just need to be patient, I seem to go 3 or 4 times after eating and the bm's are spaced out, sometimes up to an hour. Which is difficult out in public, b/c as you pointed out Kerimon, I'm just waiting for someone to point out - you're going again? And sometimes I just finish but stand up in the stall, waiting for gravity to help and then I sit back down. If you were next to my stall, you'd think I was up to something, LOL!

The reason they took my GB out was they discovered gall stones during a pre-op cat scan. They asked if I had experienced attacks of some sort, the only thing I could describe were several episodes of severe heartburn. They said it would be only a matter of time before I'd have an attack and be in the ER. And while under for the colon resection, why not get the GB too? I thought, sure, I don't want to risk an attack later on.

But I don't experience the yellow bile. Thank goodness.

All I do know is I have to work with this, day in, day out. Sometimes an enema can turn things around and give me 3 or 4 normal bm days. When an enema works right for me, I almost feel like my old self. But I've had a few last 12 hours, not 1 hour. And I feel so ill afterwards, so I'm extremely reluctant to do them now. Mostly, I just try my best to coexist in a world with people with normal colons. And mind over matter sometimes works - truly it does. I take deep breaths and massage my stomach, tricking my mind into thinking I'm just feeling dandy when I'm not!

What a road this has been.......I especially feel for kids with IBS symptoms. At least I'm an old fart of a mom, not out there trying to be a normal teenager or college student.

Thanks again for the replies everyone. I appreciate the advice and sympathy.

Mary

Post Edited (Marsky) : 2/14/2008 6:16:41 PM (GMT-7)

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