How long before Welchol works?

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bperry0101
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/4/2008 8:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I am a first time member here, but a long time sufferer of  IBS.  It started when I was 18 or 19 in college, and now I am 32. I know that stress does factor into the IBS, but now I am almost at whits end.  Every day I have to take at least 3 immodium and a swig of pepto to control it.  I am always nervous about going anywhere because I never know when it will act up. Like most of the posts I have seen, I'm always making sure I know where the nearest bathroom is, and I swear one day I'm going to write a book about the best bathrooms in Michigan.  Years ago I went to a gastro, and of course they found nothing. They tested me for Celiac, and when that came back negative, he told me to take one immodium a day.  For a couple years I was good, no problems. However recently it has been bad, especially after the birth of my son.  The worse part is that I'm a teacher and I can't just leave the class to go, and of course we are on 1 1/2 hour blocks, so that makes it a long time to wait if I need to go. I just went to another gastro, and of course they did all the tests, and are checking for Celiac as well (I've eaten pizza and been fine the next day), but I don't think that is the problem. She suggested it is IBS and that I take probiotics which I have been, I'm also taking Xanax for my anxiety. She had me on Questrin but it was terrible, didn't make a difference, and just seemed to feel me with gas. As of yesterday, she put me on Welchol once a day and night. I've read great things about it, but want to know how long till I see results? My flair ups seem to be in the morning, should I try taking it than instead of at night? Like I said, like most of you, I hate going anywhere and there are times I won't go anywhere because I never know when it will hit. It's a catch twenty two, I've got anxiety because of the IBS, and I have IBS because of the anxiety. Any suggestions would be great. I've even purchased a IBS cookbook.

Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 12/5/2008 5:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there, while I can't answer your specific question I will politely give your topic a nudge to the top of the list.

I'm sure someone here can answer your ?!

Mary

bperry0101
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/5/2008 6:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Mary. My doctor only told me to take it at night, but under advice of another sufferer, I took one this morning as well. So far, so good. I haven't had to take three immodium this morning. I think half my problem is that I teach urban/inner city kids who have no respect, so they cause much of my anxiety. I've been trying to change my situation, but in this economy, at least I have a job.


Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 12/9/2008 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I don't exactly envy you your job, Bperry, but at least you have one so you can afford the Welchol. I'm having to crunch numbers over here to see if I can afford, on unemployment, to see the dr to get mine refilled.

Welchol should stop your D within 30 minutes of taking it--the same as Imodium or Pepto. If it's not stopped, you need to take another one.

I currently take two a day. I think my MIL takes 2 or 3. There have been a couple of people on here with D so bad they were taking 6 a day. It doesn't get in your bloodstream, so as far as I'm aware, the only thing that will happen if you overdose on it is you will get constipated (that's when you know you're taking too much).

I take mine first thing in the morning, preferably at least 30 minutes before eating, because eating cranks my guts up. I would suggest that you also take yours in the morning if that's when your D is worst. Get up well in advance of needing to go to work, take your Welchol, wait 30 minutes, then eat and use the bathroom. Hopefully, after that, you will be good to go for the rest of the day.

The only thing about Welchol is that it interferes with the absorption of other meds, but this is really only a problem where you have really finiky meds that need to be absorbed as perfectly as possible, like thyroid medicine. You really should not take Welchol while on thyroid medicine, regardless of what time of day you take what. You may also need to be careful if you take oral diabetes medicine.

Welchol, when used over time, can cause deficency in fat-soluable vitamins, such as Vitamin A. This is, again, because it interferes with how your body absorbs things. I have been taking one multi-vitamin at night (as far opposite of my Welchol as possible so I can absorb the most of it) to counter that problem and it's been working out fine. I also take calcium supplements at night, because they can help reduce D too. The best kind is Caltrate 600 w/ vitamin D (generic brand of the same is fine too). For some people, the calcium is all they need to take to control their D. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them (it'd be mondo cheaper if it did). In fact, I don't know how well it helps my D at all, BUT I found, when my guts were tore up really bad, that got me back to normal (normal for me). I have since read that calcium helps soothe minor irritations in the GI tract, and I'm quite convinced that regular doses of excess bile acid in the intestines can certainly irritate them. I think that's what it did for me when I had myself really bad messed up: it soothed my intestines. So I take it as a preventative. That way, if I do get into something which upsets my guts royally, they won't stay upset for weeks.

Here are some of the things which I know to upset my guts: sugar alcohol (found in sugar-free products, this is a super bad no-no as it causes diarrhea and gas in normal people), raw apples and apple juice (both are natural laxatives), any raw fruit and fruit juice with a lot of acid (which is pretty much everything but bananas, which are a natural constipator), caffeine (includes de-caf coffee, which is not caffeine free), fast food, and anything deep fried in partially hydrogenated oil (although stuff fried in peanut oil is tolerable in normal, but infrequent doses). I'm also a bit weird about milk: I can tolerate milk products just fine (including ice cream), but just drinking milk or using it in cereal gives me gas. But if I get Lactaid milk, I'm okay. But, then, I can't eat an omlette, but I can eat scrambled eggs containing all the same ingredients in them as an omlette. I don't know what happens to an egg when my husband fries it crisp into an omlette, but my gut says it's different than a plain scrambeled egg. So don't ask me why I can eat ice cream but not 1% milk.

You might try getting your probiotics through yogurt. Unless you are really lactose intolerant, or have a milk allergy, yogurt is generally a good breakfast food for people with IBS (it's generally better tolerated first thing than proteins, such as meat or eggs). The calcium in it helps a bit with D, plus you get the probiotics in it.

bperry0101
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/9/2008 3:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the great advice. I started taking it twice a day. once at night once in the morning. So far that has really made a difference. I did not know about the apple juice or apples. I've been drinking apple juice every morning. For a while I thought it was dairy, not juice. As far as me getting up early.. I already do it, I give myself plenty of time to get ready, and I get to work early just in case I need to use the restroom. Really upsetting that I have to plan my life around the bathroom. I was waiting to take calcium to see if the Welchol was working. It seems to be so I may now introduce the calcium.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 12/10/2008 8:37 PM (GMT -7)   
If, after you start in on the calcium, you get constipated, cut back on the Welchol, not the calcium. The calcium is cheap, easily obtained and good for you for other reasons, so it should stay in and the Welchol should be reduced.

Also, the body changes over time, due to hormones and other things. You may end up needing more or less Welchol as time progresses. There was a time when I took only one a day, then none a day, and now two a day. I liken it to being like a diabetic on insulin: you need to adjust it to suit your needs because your food intake and stress levels, etc. vary.

Also, if I eat something that upsets my guts more than normal and I get D, I take an additional Welchol to stop it, just like someone might take an Imodium. The last time I had biscuits and gravy I ended up taking four (this was back when I normally only needed one a day). Needless to say, my biscuits and gravy days are over.

Not only are apples a laxative (apple juice being even worse because there is no fiber to counteract it some), but they give people with IBS bad gas/gas cramps. I don't know that there's anyone on this board that can tolerate raw apples and apple juice. It's like the universal bad thing.

bperry0101
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/11/2008 6:03 AM (GMT -7)   
I had one great day with the Welchol and no luck the rest of this week. I don't know if my body is still adjusting or what. I have noticed that the last two days I have been sick, both nights I ate high dairy products (mac and cheese one night, and a alfredo pasta the next). I have just started the calcium so we will see. My problem isn't so much the D, it is more of a fequency thing, and not to be too graphic, but I have what I call the shoe laces (pretty self explanitory).


Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 12/11/2008 5:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Mac and cheese shouldn't be too bad, unless you're known to be lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy. However, the alfredo sauce is bad because it's high in fat. That's what gets you more than milk most times. And having eaten something that messes you up, you can stay messed up for a day or more afterwards.

If you haven't tried any probiotics, such as yogurt, you might try them. They might help with the unusual stool shape.

bperry0101
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/12/2008 4:25 AM (GMT -7)   
I've actually been taking probiotics, in pill form. The doctor has me taking two a day, even though the instructions only say once a day. I was actually sick yesterday because I was sick, some type of stomach flu. Had the chills, and was sick to my stomach. So today should be good, since I haven't eaten in 24 hours. My luck I will still have the regular probelms because I didn't get to take my Welchol.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 12/12/2008 8:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Two probiotic pills are often recommend for people just getting started on them, or who have serious problems or are on strong antibiotics. If I'm not mistaken, Culturelle says to take one or two per day for the first week, before cutting back to one per day.

Probiotics can cause gas/cramps until you get used to them, just like fiber.

Fiber is also something you can try. Insoluable fiber is what bulks up stools and makes them bigger and less frequent. Look for a supplement that has a lot of insoluable fiber in it. (Others on here can recommend their favorite brands to counter D; ask in another post. As for me, I'm one of the rare people that fiber makes both my C and my D worse, depending on which I have at the moment!)

bperry0101
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/13/2008 6:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I have tried fiber, it actually makes things worse. Kind of like having salads and raw veggies, it makes things worse. I think I've tried just about everything, even the pills you can buy over the counter that are for IBS, with no luck.

mala407
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 12/13/2008 5:36 PM (GMT -7)   
HI bperry,
Welchol has been my life saver! I was on questran before as well, and now the welchol for a few years. I have not had a serious flareup (of course still have the daily symptoms) for 3 years now. Drink a lot of water with it and if you are having a really bad day of D, you can play around and take an extra Welchol. Of course ask your doc first, but that is how I control a bad day. My bad time of the day is the morning, but I still take it in the morning. It took a few weeks, but my body has adjusted to that. Please let us know how you are doing. And if the dairy products are bothering you, try a lactaid pill before anything with dairy...it has also helped my greatly along with the probiotic of course. Please take care...

Mala
26 years old, living in Chicago, Chronic abdominal wall pain due to nerve entrapment. I have IBS-D, neuropathy and now get migraines. Gall bladder removed, 2 failed exploratory nerve surgery, pancreatitis, several hospitalizations for IBS flareups. Medications: Welchol, Align, Ambien, Oxycodone, Thiamine, Zyrtec-D, Fiorict


I am a dance teacher and choreographer who loves children and cats! I am to be married on June 27, 2009 to my wonderful fiance Jon!!


oatmealgrl
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/16/2008 12:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I just started it a week ago and haven't had it help yet. I have a question. I hear you all saying to take it before eating. so im taking it its ok to take it on an empty stomach it wont make you sick? on the sheet that came with mine it said to take with food and water. I have also found when i use immodium i have to use it right away in the morning before eating anything in order for it to work. so maybe its true of this? right now im on pamine and welchol. is that safer than immodium long term???
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