IBS is often the Habba Syndrome

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 1/9/2009 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all I've not been here in almost a yr. This is long, but I think it will really help many people to stop suffering and to stop having pain and diarrhea as it's helped me to suffer less and hopefully with these new meds, I'll no longer have the pain and diarrhea.

I will post this under the IBS, GERD, and gallbladder threads as what I've found applies to many people with symptoms of both IBS, GERD, and gallbladder. I'd like to share what's worked for me and what info I've found as I think it may really help others to read what's taken me almost 2 years of experimenting and reading on the Internet almost daily and 10 years of misery. I hope I can help others to not suffer as long as I have.

I've been thru what most of you have been thru, the continual diarrhea (for 10 years now) and also, in my case, in the last 2 years I've had pain on the front part of my body, under the rib cage on the right side, upper middle, and left side and sometimes spreading around the rib cage and at times that pain would become worse and in the night that pain became a tennis ball size of pain on the bra strap area of my spine (even when I id sleep on elevated pillows). During the days, I also typically have indigestion, a lump in my throat, and quite uncomfortable pain under my rib cage, even on a very limited diet, but yet I've found things that have helped and I've just started new meds that I think will really take care of my entire diarrhea problem..at least these meds have worked for many many others with my same problem.

Below is my brief history, so you can see if you too have similar type of experience and I tell you what has worked for me and what I've recently found that I think (hopefully will be a final way to control my problem)

For the last 10 years I've had almost uncontrollable diarrhea. In the beginning I had bloating and gas and discovered I was lactose intolerant. So 9 years ago I cut out all dairy, but that only lessened the bloating and the gas, and I still had diarrhea, 6 -10 times a day and I was homebound for the most part. I was able to control it,when I needed to go out, with various strengths of Imodium, if I took the pills on a varying time schedule. Eventually, by the 2 year of the diarrhea (2000), I had to take the liquid Imodium to get the diarrhea to stop so I could go out. Like the pills, eventually I had to take the liquid Imodium on an on and off basis to confuse my body, as that was the only way I could get the Imodium to work at all. I had seen a few Dr.s and they all told me it was IBS and just to learn to live with it and to try to not get stressed out. BTW no RXs the Dr.s gave me to control the diarrhea worked and neither did anything else that was in the drug stores. By then I was wearing panty liners all the time, just as a safety measure. After the 6th year, I learned to just not eat or drink 4 hours before I was going to leave my home and then to not eat or drink when I was out, if at all possible. I always kept a bottle of water with me because if I was starving, I could drink bottled water and that would at least not make the diarrhea much worse and I knew from the time I drank, I had proxy. 30 min to 2 hrs to locate restrooms or get back home. That has worked when I needed to go out, for the most part, but I always knew where all the bathrooms where located at when I was going anywhere or I didn't go. There where many times I just made it to a bathroom.

After 2 years ago (2007) I came down with chills & fever and nausea and a few days later a terrible pain in my abdomen and a little rectal bleeding and ended up in the ER room. They did blood tests and a Cat scan and found nothing, other than an infection in my lower colon and send me home with Cipro(sp?). I was in terrible continual upper abdominal pain for the most part of 4 or 5 days. I got past that with the help of my GP and the local health food store and lots of reading on the Internet. After the upperrib cage pain started, the Imodium no longer worked at all.From my reading I became aware that the diarreah problem had advanced and I might have devoloped a gallbladder problem and started reading more on the Internet and discovered this web site.

Over the course of this last 1 1/2 years I've seen 2 gastroenterologists, a urologist, and had an ultrasound, 2 scopes, and many blood tests and did a gallbladder and kidney flush, as well as eliminating several foods and going on strict diary fee, sugar free, wheat free, gluten free, and finally fat free diets. All that revealed nothing, but I was determined that there had to be some way to control my diarrhea as I was totally home bound, unless I went for hours without eating before I wanted to go out and even then I was still taking a real chance by leaving my home. I was not fun, but it did work and I made sure I knew where all the bathrooms were. (I still have to do this...but I'm hoping the new meds I've just started will change my life dramatically and I will not longer have the diarrhea, as these meds have worked for others).

Also over the last years I've tried very strict diets to see if I had a problem with wheat or gluten allergy or some other food allergy. I don't eat any dairy as I'm lactose intolerant, which I've been for years, so I know dairy is not the cause. I also have been on a mostly sugar free diet as I'm boarder line diabetic, so I know sugar is not the problem. I also went on the gallbladder fat free diet. That is where I began to have some success.

As for the ball of pain on the spine, I still have that fairly often. In the mornings the pain will be a ball of pretty uncomfortable pain (not terrible, but you certainly can't ignore it), either in the bra strap area of the spine and round the rib cage and then work it way down my sides and into the kidney area and then with in min. of rising I usually have to run to the bathroom and the pain is gone for a short time and it will start up again, unless I take certain things I've found.

A few weeks ago, while doing more research on the Internet I ran across a site that to me was an incredible help! That web site not only gave me a simple recipe for stopping the pin under my give cage, it also gave me a new direction for further research that led me to some info that I now think may very will be the cause of the diarrhea and also what to do about it to control the diarrhea as well as all the pain and discomfort.

The web site gave me a simple recipe to stop the uppers rib cage and back pain, which was nothing more than a raw beat, lemon juice and flax oil. There is a specific recipe and time table you have to use or it will not work. I have not tired any of the other recipes or the "kit" that are offered, but I can tell you, this has been the best info I've found to be helpful. This web site is gallbladderattack.com The beat recipe really does work to stop the pain.

The http://gallbladderattack.com/ web site gave me some ideas for further research and eventually let me to a web site where I learned of the habba syndrome and of the gastroenterologist who discovered this syndrome in 2000, Dr. Habba. I went to Dr. Habba's web site and found that many people who have IBS actually have the habba syndrome. Dr. Habba gives specific instructions for medication, which is Cholestyramine. You an read more about habba syndrome here http://www.habbasyndrome.com.
Also here (this is not my favorite site..but there is some useful info here.) http://www.poopreport.com/Doctor/Knowledgebase/habba_syndrome.html

I have just started on the Cholestyramine (today) which my new Gastroenterologist gave me and next week I go to nave a new scope. People don't give up on your search for help for this miserable problem. I had many tests, and have read a good deal, as well as had much personal loss with this problem, and much physical pain and misery.This is the 3 gastroenterologist I've seen as the others would not even consider/ read / listen to any of the info I'd found in my research. Hopefully what I've found will also be an answer for you, but if it's not, don't' give up..there is an answer somewhere out there for you. (I can tell you if by some chance this doesn't work for me, I'm going to keep on researching. I'm not willing to settle for life like this and I hope you won't either!) Research and Dr.s may not have found it yet. You may have to find it on your own, but don't give up ....it's worth the fight to find an answer..PS...Please share what you've found here with all the other sufferers and maybe we'll all get well!........Good Luck!

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/17/2009 6:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey, I was just wondering what your luck with Cholestyramine has been so far. I just started taking it 3 days ago and I haven't really noticed a big difference yet and have been supplementing it with Imodium (3-4/day). I absolutely hate taking it -- drinking the powdery liquid...have you found any way to make it better?

Thank you!

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 1/22/2009 5:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I've been on it for almost 2 1/2 to 3 weeks now and it's working wonderfully for me. Although there are some other things I'm doing that may help the meds work better for you. I've posted some other threads this evening, but I'll put up the part that applies to diet here.:
The diarrhea is now gone and as long as I don't eat the wrong things and take my meds, I don't have any diarrhea, and no pain in my back and no pain under my rib cage or along my flanks and no indigestion. 
Basically, I went on the general gallbladder diet and do not eat certain foods and I take my new meds daily and I take a beet recipe when I have any pain (which was constant for weeks until 4 1/2 weeks ago when I discovered web site with beet recipe, now I rarely need to take the beet recipe).
The gallbladder diet is basically to not consume any fats (nothing fried or made with most oils (some oils are OK) and to avoid certain foods. So I stay away from all fats (except virgin olive oil & flax oil. A few others are also OK), I don't eat any eggs, no sugar (this is because I'm hypoglycemic, and I've also found that sugary foods, cake, candy, ..basic sugary junk food, will cause me to have diarrhea), I don't eat red meat (I have some arthritis), and don't I eat any dairy (I'm also lactose intolerant). I don't drink any caffeine or alcohol. I mostly drink bottled water.
Also, I take my new meds 2 xs a day and I take my beet recipe as needed and I keep my life calm as possible. As most of you know, getting upset (good or bad) will bring on diarrhea. So now, being calm is very important and when things happen that are upsetting, I take Kava Kava that I get at my health food store, Sprouts. It works very well for me. 
After 10 years of diarrhea, a ruined career, loss of friends and family, loss of my marriage, and spending the last 2 years reading and researching day and night to find what I could do to stop my problems, I found the web sites that gave me the keys to end my problems. Approx 3 1/2 weeks ago I found a really great web site that was crucial to relieving the pain and leading me to the Dr. 's web site where I found an explanation and diagnosis my problem and the meds I now take. These web sites told me what would work, what I needed to do 1st and what meds I needed to take and the recipe I need to make and take hourly. ..............
Here's the web sites...gallbladderattack.com (this site give alternative meds/foods to help you get better).I've used the beet recipe and it work great. Also take a look at her starter kit. It looks like it will work, but I'm now on Cholestyramine so I'm not trying it right now, but if Cholestyramine is not working for you, you might want to look her site over very well and if you're already knowledgeable about the gallbladder and how it works, then you'll understand why she tells you to take this or that.
Also after I got rid of the pain with the beet recipe, then I went on to Dr. Habba's site (habbasyndrome.com) and that is where I learned about Cholestyramine. ...This is the point where I started the post above...so just read above and you'll know what I'm doing.
I still am on a very limited diet, but that is really self imposed and I am trying new things daily that I never thought I could eat again. You may need a different dosage or possibly you are eating some things that are causing the meds not to work as well. I'd suggest you go on an all water or water and/or juice diet for 48 hrs (if your Dr. is Ok with you doing that...be sure to ck with him 1st). If you can do that, then most if not all of what ever is in your system that may be causing the meds to not work, will very likely be out of your system.
Then I'd suggest you go on the gallbladder diet..and I'd my suggest you eat things very easy on your system, for another week and see what happens. Things like cake or even white bread or rice will still cause me some problems. So, for me,  even with the meds working for close to 3 weeks, there are some foods that are supposed to be OK to eat, yet they cause me problems...everyone is different. You have to very slowly try different things to see what you can eat. Usually I can tell within 24 hrs and if it's something my stomach really doesn't like, I'll be in the bathroom 30 min after I've eaten.
I'm going to get allergy tests because that will really help me know what I can eat. Have you had any allergy tests? Maybe those would help you too.  Good luck...let me know how it's going...PS you can send me a message  

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/2/2009 1:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Bless your heart....you have been through so much! I currently am dealing with a low functioning gallbladder and that is how I stumbled upon this site. I have just a couple of things in mind that you might want to do some research on. The first I just learned about this week is Bentonite clay. The other thing I strongly recommend for anyone is a really good probiotic. I have dealt with IBS for 5 years and the best thing I have found to bind up the colon is Coral Calcium. I also take Levsin as needed but the calcium does the trick. I also started the beet recipe yesterday. So far, so good. Anyway, food for thought! Hope you are feeling better!

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/21/2010 8:51 AM (GMT -6)   
You sound just like I did for the past year. Oct. '09 is when the pain started and diarrhea every hour. I stopped eating. Went to 5 doctors and had a ton of tests and nobody knew anything. So I started searching and came up with the same web site about habba syndrome. I have been on Cholestyramine for 7 months and it has worked. I learned by slowly started to eat that any fats foods are off limits. This consumes my life right now. I travel a lot and I still don't eat prior to traveling and only drink during the trip with VERY little to eat. Oatmeal and berries that's it. I have no pain with those foods. I have at times not taken the Cholestyramine and my body goes back to having diarrhea several times a day and pain on the left side of my abdomen. I take Cholestyramine twice a day and it seems to work as long as I eat the right foods. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it will help people. Good luck with your health!

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/21/2010 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
One more thing I have done that has worked is cut my meals in half. I eat very small meals with the foods I can eat and that has helped a lot.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 1293
   Posted Today 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
You have been through a lot. To me it sounds like you have upper gi symptoms and possible gallbladder problems perhaps? I din't see in your post if they had done gallbladder testing?
It also sounds like you have IBS.
Characteristics of Irritable Bowel Syndrome versus Habba Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Habba Syndrome
Associated with abdominal pain/cramps No abdominal pain
Altered bowel habits
Always post-prandial diarrhea
No change with fasting Improves with fasting
Normal gallbladder function Poor gallbladder function
Good response to antispasmodics Poor response to antispasmodics
Unpredictable response to bile acid resins Excellent response to bile acid resins

I would like to point out here though that pain or discomfort is a must for an IBS diagnoses. Hubba syndrome does not produce abdominal pain.
IBS Forum Moderator

I am not a doctor. All information I present is for educational purposes only and should not be subsituted for the advise of a qualified health care provider.

Please make sure you have your symptoms diagnosed by a medical practitioner or a doctor.
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