A newbie's story -please read, questions about IBS, steroids and aloe vera inside...

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roadtrip
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 11/11/2005 6:52 PM (GMT -7)   
just came accross this site so thought it was worth a post... please read on
 
Okay, i guess it's a good idea to start from the beginning
 
about 6 years ago (I'm now 21), i started getting symptons which were consistent with IBS. Mainly just loose bowel movements and wind, but also the big D and sometimes C. These symptons got worse, and more frequent, and after a while i think it became pretty obvious i had some form of IBS.
 
I went to the doctor a few times to try and sort it out , but i was easily put off taking things any further - so i just tolerated it. BTW, i have to say that after reading some of your guy's posts on this forum, i feel my IBS is not a severe form.
 
Well, things continued like this up until about a year ago - my typical symptoms are loose, upset stomach, poo which is long and stringy (sorry if this is too graphic), bloating and wind - sometimes this is extremely painful and then usually followed by D or a rapid bowell movement + sometimes C. Despite this obvious inconvenience, i can pretty much function OK on a day to day basis, by preparing myself and 'going' at home before i go anywhere - but i hardkly do anything spontanoues or overly-exciting anymore - its been over 3 years since i went on holiday.
 
Anyway, about a year and a half ago i had to go into hospital because the fluid around my brain was not draining properly from one compartent to another - to cut a long story short i was put on steroids to stop the swelling and this problem was also easily rectified
 
The thing is - after i was on the steroids for a few days i noticed a massive improvement in my condition (although at first i became constipated). After about 10 days i swear it was like being sympton free! All i had was integestion and slight bloating, but i think that is a known side effect of steroids and also due to the fact i was eating so much!! I was so happy because i was having the first normal poos i've had in years!!
 
Unsuprisingly, once i came off the steroids - i went back to normal (i know it was the steroids because the only other thing i was taking was paracemtol) Having experienced these 'normal' bowel movements, i went and saw my doctor again and plucked up the courage to finally having a colonscopy - i figured i could have collitis because that is a flamatory diease of the bowell and steroids have an anti-inflamitory effect
 
The colonoscopy proved there was nothing 'physically' wrong with my gut - although the doc who did it did notice a lot of spasms - i was then diagnossed with IBS
 
I'm posting here because i've hit a bit of a brick wall, over the past few years i've tried various things like
an exclusion diet - didn't really make much difference
pro-biotic pills - tried these but didn't seem to work 
Colofac (Membeverine?) for the spasms - didn't seem to have any effect
Colpermin (pepppermint tabs) didn't seem to work, bu i only took them for a week
 
Anyway do you guys think perhaps i should try a specific type of probiotic pills or give the peppermint tabs longer to work + i know there are other kinds of anti- spasmodic drugs that might help
 
But what i really think might be a good route for me is aloe vera gel(not juice). I know i can't take steroids for the rest of my life, and i don't think i could find a doc to prescribe them anyway! - but aloe vera is often described as a natural steroid - so would surely make a good choice. The one thing i don't want is added D, which i've heard mite be a problem because aloe vera is used as a laxative. However, i've read that this only occurs with the juice, because it is obtained from a certain part of the leaf - the gel is obtained from another part which is free of lactose
 
I think i'm gonna give it a go anyway, but i would really appreciate people's views and experiences with aloe vera products.
 
Thanks for reading and sorry for long and probably grammatically incorrect post (but 2am here!) It feels good to get this stuff of my chest at last...

Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 11/11/2005 7:25 PM (GMT -7)   

Welcome to the board, roadtrip (like your name; have had many, many crazy fun roadtrips in my day)! 

Your symptoms sound typical for IBS and it's good you had a colonoscopy.  I tried peppermint pills but I think they irritated my stomach instead of soothed it.  I take six capsules of probiotics every day (Lactobacillus) and they're supposed to work wonders but I've been on them for several weeks and haven't noticed a massive difference in my symptoms.  They really help others, though, sometimes.

I too have heard so many wonderful things about aloe vera, but had some "issues" with it myself.  First time I had some I vomited it back up instantaneously all over the sidewalk.  Second time, this past Tuesday, I ended up in the hospital! (Not sure if it was due to the aloe or not.)  But most people have had some good results with it.  It acts as a natural anti-inflammatory and can be really soothing for the guts, although it does sometimes have a laxative effect.


roadtrip
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 11/11/2005 7:56 PM (GMT -7)   

Cheers for replying so quicky Sarita,

I remember flicking through your post about you ending up in hospital - which was maybe caused by the aloe vera. I count myself quite lucky, because i've never had a reaction as a result of my IBS which was so severe. confused

Yeah the reason i wana try the aloe vera is because it's supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties and steroids worked so well for me in the past! - i think aloe gel and juice are different, the juice is more watered down and contains all of the aloe leaf which has the laxative effect, whilst the gel is taken from one particular part.

As a matter of interest, did you use aloe gel or just plain juice? :-)


roadtrip
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 11/11/2005 7:59 PM (GMT -7)   
really gotta go to bed now, it's 3am in the UK!!

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 11/11/2005 9:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi roadtrip, welcome to the site!
I haven't tried aloe vera but I do think it could be worth a shot. Make sure that when you buy the gel you get one that is at least 98% pure aloe vera and DOES NOT contain aloe vera "latex." Latex is the laxative part.
Please keep posting and let us know how it goes.
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
 
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roadtrip
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 11/12/2005 5:08 AM (GMT -7)   

okay thanx, i'll give it a go for a few weeks and let you know how i got on,

i think Forever living's aloe products are the right kind -99% + aloe vera cos they're made from the correct part of the leaf without 'latex',

i'll make sure to try and get the right stuff anyway ... :-)


domaincat
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 12/1/2005 7:29 AM (GMT -7)   
I am now trying Aloe Vera Gel Tablets in a pill form, have prior tried Aloe Vera Gel in a bottle form. The Aloe Vera cured and got rid of my peptic ulcer in my stomach. It can help with digestion and it can help with Acid Reflux/Gerd (at least that's what the health food store person told me awhile back). They have it at the drug store in town even, not just at the local health food store. It's one of those natural things that seem to be a cure to a lot of good things.

So sorry that some of you have had bad side effects from the aloe vera juice/gel, I never read that before. You'd think something from nature would be okay for us.

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 12/1/2005 9:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi domaincat,
Welcome to the IBS board! Thank you for sharing with us how aloe worked for you. I think many of us will try just about anything at this point.
Take care!
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
 
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roadtrip
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 12/1/2005 2:44 PM (GMT -7)   

heya domaincat,

how long for and in what dose did you take the aloe gel?

I'm taking about 2 and a half fld ounces first thing in the morning, about 25 minutes before i have something to eat. I've been drinking it for about 2 weeks now and although my ibs hasn't actually been too bad - i don't think the aloe gel has made much difference yet.

I would appreciate the exact details of your experience with the gel and how long it took to work! :-)

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