Slippery Elm, Probiotics and Calcium

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AshLeigh_Lyric
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 11/20/2005 5:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I was wondering if anyone had any success with slippery elm, probiotics or calcium??  I have IBS-D and my mom shipped me some Caltrate, PB8 and Slippery Elm saying she had read it helps relieve IBS-D!!!  I am desperate to try anything... it seems the docs do not understand and want to tell me its all in my head etc and so forth.  I have to work and want to live life not spend the rest of my life looking for the nearest toliet and spending 23/24 hour on the toliet either...
 
Thanks for listening....
 

Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 11/20/2005 5:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Ashleigh, welcome to the board!  A ton of people on this board are currently taking all kinds of supplements, and probiotics and calcium are probably what people will praise most for their effect in slowing down the big D.  I myself take six probiotic tablets, four Citrucel tabs (methylcellulose fiber), two calcium citrate w/ vitamin D tabs, and two fish oil supplement pills each and every day.  In the two months I've been following this regimen, my D has been reduced by at least 50% on average (used to go 10-20 times a day, now usually 3-8).  It took a few weeks until I started noticing a difference.  What a relief!

Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 11/21/2005 11:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Calcium pretty well fixed my diarrhea problem (I also went back to using one of my prescription meds that treats my excess bile since I don't have a gall bladder).

Probiotics never hurt anyone (because if you end up with too many good bacteria in yoru guts, they will just flush out--no place for them to attach). My G.I.'s nurse practitioner swore by one brand; said she used them on a trip to Mexico and was the only one not to get "Montezuma's Revenge."

AshLeigh_Lyric
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Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 11/21/2005 7:57 PM (GMT -7)   
I too do not have a gallbladder and I was given Cholestyramine Light for the excess bile but it gives me a horrible case of bloating... I have just heard things like probiotics give you more diarrhea!!!! I am just trying to find something to give my life back....

7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 11/21/2005 8:40 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi AshLeigh,
I'm not sure what you heard about probiotics but they are actually supposed to help diarrhea.  Probiotics replenish the good bacteria that can be flushed out with a case of D or antibiotics.  Many times I have taken probiotics during a D attack and have noticed the D subside.  Here is a little info on probiotics and D: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/501960_print

Please let me know if you have found contradicting information because I would love to read up on it.  I try and do as much research on IBS (probiotics included) to see if I can help myself, and just maybe help someone else too.

Take care!



Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
 
Please donate to help HealingWell continue to help us..... www.healingwell.com/donate

Post Edited (7Lil) : 11/21/2005 8:43:14 PM (GMT-7)


Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 11/22/2005 7:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I take Welchol for my excess bile. My mother in law takes it too and it has greatly helped both of us. Ask your G.I. about getting some. It has never bothered me a bit.

If all of your diarrhea is caused by bile (yellow and burning), then probiotics will probably not help you any, since it's the bile, not bad bacteria, that's giving you diarrhea. Of course it never hurts to have some more in there, but if you want to treat the diarrhea, you need to get rid of the bile. If you can't get to medicine for it any time soon, try a very low fat diet. I managed without medicine for almost a year by being on a very low fat diet. In fact, I ended up constipated a lot because fat helps keep you regular, to some degree. I never could find my balance between too much fat and not enough. Still, it was better than having diarrhea all of the time. But with the Welchol I can pretty much eat whatever I want without worrying about having diarrhea later. Some things, though, still bother me. One of those is caffeine. That is a sure bet to give me diarrhea. Don't know why, but it did when I had a gall bladder and it does still almost three years later. The other things that bother me are apples and apple juice; give me gas cramps but not really diarrhea.

Don't ever eat anything sugar free--including gum and mints. Everything I have ever seen that's sugar free--with the exception of most jams and jellys--contains sugar alcohols. Those mess up normal people, much less people with bowel problems to being with.

I would try taking calcium supplements too. They won't do a thing to stop the bile, but calcium does help soothe irritated/inflamed intestinal linings, which can be caused by too much bile in there. I've been back on my Welchol and taking calcium supplements since August after suddenly coming down with very bad diarrhea every day for nearly two months (diarrhea that, strangely enough, was not mostly bile). Between the two I am back up to normal (for me, at any rate) again. In fact, I've had to cut back my dosage from two of each a day to one of each a day because I've been bordering on constipation lately. When I was taking Welchol before I went on my diet, one a day was my norm. So I feel like I'm pretty well straightened out again.

AshLeigh_Lyric
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 11/22/2005 7:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the info 7Lil and Keriamon I will talk with my doc regarding Welchol. Hopefully things will start looking up soon...

lnape
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 11/25/2005 6:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Here is the calcium information. I know it is a lot to take in but it may be will worth it to see if this simple solution can offer you the relief it has me and many others. You need to follow it as close as you can to get the best results. I know it sound too simple to work but it really does help a lot.

This is what has helped me for more than 7 years with almost daily attacks of urgent diarrhea after having my Gall Bladder removed. Calcium is known to be constipating so if you are that IBS type do not take it. All calcium is not the same. Here is the what and how to take the calcium information if you suffer from diarrhea.

Calcium is an OTC supplement we all do not usually get enough of. No Rx is needed to purchase this.

When you take calcium about 40% of the dose gets to the bones the rest is eliminated in our waste. The calcium goes to the intestines and soaks up excess fluids and binds them together and they are gotten rid of in our waste.

This is a process that can be continued by taking the calcium carbonate on a daily basis thus giving a more formed BM.

There is calcium carbonate which helps us with diarrhea and there is calcium citrate which is more easily absorbed by the body and gets to the bones but is not as helpful in controlling diarrhea.

A lot of the calcium supplements contain a 2 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. Magnesium is not helpful for us with diarrhea only causing more in most cases. So, do not purchase this combination. It will only make things worse. Also if you are taking a multi vitamin with magnesium this may be a source of some of the problem if you are having diarrhea. Also for me vitamin A, C, and E seemed to cause me stomach upset. If you check this out your will see they too can cause diarrhea. It is better not to take a multi vitamin while trying to get the calcium to help.

The dose to take is different for everyone. I must take 3 a day one at each meal and it does not make a difference if I take it before during or after just take it regularly. Taking them at least 4 or 5 hours apart is also necessary so the calcium has time to go through the system and soak up excess bile and water. Sometimes, because of the long number of hours between dinner and breakfast it may be necessary to adjust your timing to taking one at bedtime with a small snack to get better results if you are a person who usually suffers from diarrhea in the mornings. I think the way it works is the dose you take prior helps with the current meal and the distress it may cause.

The most success has come from using any formula of calcium supplement that is like Caltrate 600 Plus with Vitamin D and Minerals in the purple and white box. This information is from the many users that have sent me emails and of the posters on the web sites I have dealt with. I hope this will help anyone wishing to try it and I am always here to answer any questions for you. I have a lot of feed back form many users.

You must also have some testing done to be sure you are not dealing with anything more serious. This is most important.
There are other things to consider. If you take any other meds check the side effects and also check with the Doctor or Pharmacist to see if taking calcium will interfere with your other medications and how you might take them. I know if you take thyroid meds it is important not to take the calcium at the same time but you can take the thyroid meds one hour before you take calcium or 4 hours after taking the calcium. The calcium will soak up the thyroid medication and you will not be getting the benefit from it. You should also look at the side effects of any other meds you may be on this can contribute to the success or failure of using calcium to help to control your diarrhea. You may also consider if you are constipated and taking calcium this may be the reason for your constipation. You can most likely switch to another form of calcium to relieve this also.

The only side effect is at the beginning of taking the calcium, you may have some gas or indigestion but this usually goes away soon after taking a regular dose for a few days as your body adjusts to the added calcium. For most it is about 3 days and it is important to start with the lower dose so you don't have the added distress and think the calcium is not helping but making you worse.

Starting with 1/2 tablet doses with each meal will lessen this problem and it may be enough to control the diarrhea attacks without making you constipated.

Constipation can be a problem so be careful not to take too much. It is safe for most of us to take 1800 mg a day as long as your body processes calcium correctly and you do not have some underlying problem. Check with your Doctor.

I had my gall bladder removed in 1976 and from that time on I had suffered urgent attacks of diarrhea. It is now known to me that is called Bile Salts Diarrhea. This happens to a good percent of people who have had their Gall Bladder Removed. I Went through a lot of test but nothing else could be found. I took many of the meds for bowel spasms and cramps over the years but nothing ever seemed to help. I started to take a calcium supplement to help prevent bone loss in later years and from the first day I felt relief. I was pretty much a prisoner to the bathroom or had to go without eating to be able to leave the house.

I must take 1 tablet with each meal and the diarrhea does not come back if I miss taking it I get diarrhea. It is a trial and error situation to find the right amount that may help you.

The way it works is the calcium carbonate it a binder and when you take it only about 40% of the calcium gets to the bones and the rest is gotten rid of in our waste. During that process it gets to the intestines and soaks up excess bile and water and helps give a more solid BM. Now that you have no gall bladder the bile fluid goes directly into the intestines and causes irritation and diarrhea. That burning yellowish color that you may see is the bile. The calcium carbonate soaks this up and no more diarrhea. It works great for a lot of us and you just have to take the calcium regularly and do not miss.

I started with Caltrate 600 Plus with vitamin D and minerals and it does seem to make a difference in the ingredients of calcium... This one seems to do the best job for most. You can buy other store brands of calcium with the same ingredients that work just as well but they need to have the same ingredients. I get Member's Mark Brand from Sam's Club you get 300 tablets for 8.99. I know Walgreens has their brand with the same ingredients and if you live in the UK Boots has been reported to have something similar. Let me know if you need more help. You won't be sorry if you try it.

I suggest starting with 1/2 tablet with each meal at first this may be enough to control the diarrhea if not in a few days up the dose to 1 tablet with each meal or any combination there of. The side effect is constipation so if you feel it coming on just stop taking it until you have a BM then start back on a lower dose. It is important to use a calcium that is as much alike as the Caltrate brand from the feedback I have gotten.

Let me list the ingredients:

Vitamin D 200 IU (The sunshine vitamin needed to help the body absorb calcium)

Calcium 500 or 600 MG (This should be calcium carbonate form) (Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Calcium is vital to muscle and nerve function, blood clotting and metabolism.)

Magnesium 40 MG (No more than this amount because magnesium will cause you to have diarrhea but because calcium is constipating the magnesium helps to counter act that effect) (Magnesium is essential to build bones and is needed for muscle function, energy metabolism, trans-mission of nerve impulses and to make genetic material and protein.)

Zinc 7.5 MG (Zinc is necessary for some metabolic processes, normal growth and sexual development, and proper immune system functions.)

Copper 1 MG (Copper promotes iron absorption and is essential to red blood cells, connective tissue, fibers and skin pigmentation.)

Manganese 1.8 MG (Maganese plays an important role in metabolism and is also needed to build bones and tendons.)

Boron 250 MCG. (Improves calcium and magnesium retention. Similar improvements can also be seen in Vitamin D deficient post menopausal females.)

There are other brands with the same ingredients so get something as close as you can. Then start with 1/2 tablet with each meal and in a few days if this is not enough to control your diarrhea then up the dose to 1 tablet with each meal. If you feel you are becoming constipated then cut back on the dose. You may have to stop the calcium completely then start back after you have a BM at a lower dose.

It has been working since the first day I started taking it July 1998 and as long as I take 3 a day (this is the amount I must take it may be different for you) I remain diarrhea free. No cramps, bloating or diarrhea. No stomach noises, gas or pain. If I should happen to have a case of diarrhea for who knows what reason it is very short lived and not the pain involved like before and this I am sure happens to even normal people. It is usually a one shot deal and it is over.


The dose you take with each meal is not the dose that is helping you at that meal it is the prior ones that have time to works their way through you system to soak up excess bile and water in the intestines.

It also works for those of you who still have the gall bladder.

Take Care,

Linda

LNAPENTS@netscape.net


AshLeigh_Lyric
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 11/25/2005 7:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Linda for the info....

Calcium looks very promising....

AshLeigh_Lyric
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 12/7/2005 8:36 PM (GMT -7)   
How far apart do you take the WelChol and the Calcium?  I am calling my GI and asking for WelChol anything is better than the Cholestyramine Powder.... it is killing me to drink that stuff.....

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 12/8/2005 7:36 AM (GMT -7)   
My G.I. wrote me a prescription for 100 Welchols and said to take them ever how often I need them. He warned me that they can cause constipation, so to start with just one a day and see if that helped. I took one a day for a while, then stopped taking them regularly when I went on a lowfat diet. I would, however, take one as a preventitive measure when I ate something I thought would bother me, like a pizza or something greasy/fried. I ended up going back on them this summer (after being off a year) because I developed daily diarrhea for some reason--not all of which was related to bile. I ended up taking two Welchols and two calcium pills a day for a while, but have been gradually weaning off both (I dropped the calcium first, then the Welchols). I didn't take a Welchol at all this morning because I've been getting more and more constipated (although I'm not on any kind of diet right now). If I get back to normal, then I'll try taking 1/2 of one a day to make sure I don't run into any kinds of problems. I've just accepted the fact that my guts are going to take good spells and bad spells and I just have to adjust my medication myself.

As to when I took my medicine, I always took the calcium and the Welchol pills at the same time and when I was taking two a day I took them in the morning first thing and in the evenings before bed. When I am down to one dose a day, I take it in the morning. Most people with IBS--even the bile-induced kind--are worse in the mornings, so taking medicine first thing in the morning is best. And that's why I took my second dose very last thing in the evenings too--I figured it would make me better prepared for the next morning. If you have to take a third dose, then just do it at lunch.

AshLeigh_Lyric
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 12/8/2005 8:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for responding Keriamon. I did not think you could take calcium and WelChol pills at the same time because of something with the absorbing something or another... My doc has me on six pills of WelChol a day.. two in the morning, two at lunch time and two at night.. but he said I could adjust as needed... I enjoy taking the WelChol more than the Cholestyramine anyday.......

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 12/9/2005 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Welchol only binds up bile (in fact, it's not even absorbed by the body--it stays wholly in the digestive tract--according to my G.I.). Calcium absorbs water. They absorb two different things, so there's no reason they can't be taken together. I took them together for a couple of months and not only had no problems, I saw a lot of improvements. If I was taking the calcium for its vitamin/mineral properties, then I might not take it when I take the Welchol since Welchol can keep some vitamins from absorbing (because it binds up the bile which would otherwise be leeching out a few last minerals and vitamins in the intestines), but I'm taking it just to absorb water and soothe the intestinal lining. I don't much care if I actually absorb any; I don't need any extra that I'm aware of. Besides, I eat yogurt quite frequently at a different time from when I take my medicine.

flybullseye
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 12/9/2005 1:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I have IBS-D and tried Caltrate Plus and it tore my gut to pieces! I cannot tolerate calcium carbonate for some reason. Not at all..... I cannot take Tums, Rolaids, nothing with calcium carbonate in it. I just stick with Imodium, probiotics, digestive enzymes and slippery elm. Slippery elm really helps soothe my gut. Especially when I ingest crap like Calcium that tears it up!! So, hopefully I will never get osteoporosis and HAVE to take Calcium. It really hurts!!!

Michelle :)

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 12/9/2005 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow, that's weird, Fly, that you can't handle that kind of calcium. But then fiber pills constipate me. Are we all super-dysfunction, or what?

joci
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 93
   Posted Yesterday 3:06 PM (GMT -7)   
ashleigh i have bad ibs-d its controlling my life! i tried lotronex which works 4 like everyone but me lol. have u tried lomotil? works pretty good! um on cholestymine and its acually working=, its a drink 2 times a day. pretty gross but so worth it, its a cholesterol drug but it constipates u! um also on amtripilyne which works, have u tried zoloft that works wonderrs but it made me sleepy!! hope u find something, let me know
love to hear from u.
                           
                          joci


lnape
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 185
   Posted Yesterday 3:27 PM (GMT -7)   
flybullseye,

Did you start slow with the calcium and take it with food. It will cause gas and indigestion at first but if you start with 1/2 tablet with your 3 daily meals for the first 3 days and let your body adjust it may work better.

Linda


AshLeigh_Lyric
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted Today 7:16 PM (GMT -7)   
So far the WelChol is helping with the IBS-D... Giving me formed BM's and no bloating or gas.

I am adding Calcium back into the mix....it can only help!

WelChol has given me FREEDOM !!!!!!

flybullseye
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 12/14/2005 12:45 PM (GMT -7)   
HI Linda! Sorry, I have been off the board for a couple of days....forgot about it! :)

Anyway, I tried taking 1/2 a pill twice a day (oh, yea, with LOTS OF FOOD) and it still upset my stomach. I don't know why I can't handle calcium. Maybe I just didn't give it long enough. I guess I could try to give it more time. Why does it cause stomach upset and gas?? I don't like that feeling at all!! It feels like an IBS attack!!

Maybe I will try this WelChol that Ashleigh posted up here......Dunno!!????

Michelle :)

joci
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 12/14/2005 3:46 PM (GMT -7)   
my gi dr told me to stop any fish oil, omega 3 vitamins that it will make the d worst!!! the only thing that seems 2 b working is a combo of elavil and cholestyramine.
love to hear from u.
                           
                          joci
 
28 yr old from mass. i got fibro, migraines, anxiety scholiosis and ibs-d.i also have difficulties with tollerating meds! and having major chronic fatigue


flybullseye
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 12/15/2005 3:36 PM (GMT -7)   
OH, the WelChol is prescription! I didn't know that.

I tried Elavil for my IBS-D and the first time back in 2003 it worked! This time it didn't work!! It made my D worse and it also irritated my hiatal hernia and GERD. It was waking me up in the middle of the night with bad reflux!!! So, I am just on Pamine right now and it works just as good as the Elavil was working before and it also controls my stomach acid and does not irritate my reflux. So, I'm happy with it!!

Michelle :)

AshLeigh_Lyric
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 12/15/2005 8:25 PM (GMT -7)   
WelChol is only available by RX. 
 
It is a true miracle.... IMO

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 12/16/2005 8:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I told you it was good stuff. :-) My mother-in-law does Civil War talks and stuff and she said when she went to conferences she couldn't eat at all until she had given her speech--even if it was late in the day--because after she ate, she had diarrhea for the rest of the day. Which not eating was bad for her diabetes too, so it messed her up on several levels.

I checked my doasge and you and I have the same dosage. The most I take in one day is 2, although I avereage more like 1 a day. Sometimes I only take one every other day. So 6 a day seems like a whole lot, but as long as it works and you're not constipated, then let it ride. If you start to get constipated, start cutting out doses. I have found that I'm never really the same from day to day because you never really eat the same thing every single day, so it requires constant adjustment. Just as diabetics have to adjust their insulin daily based on what they've eaten, how much they have exercised, etc. But even with constant adjustment, it's so liberating to have medicine that works. Even if I have an attack, I can take a Welchol and be fixed within 30 minutes. And more often than not, I can tell in advance of getting D that my innards aren't right and can take a pill and get myself fixed before I even have a problem.

The funny thing about Welchol is that it isn't even a bile medicine; it's a cholesterol medicine. And, from what I've heard, not a very good cholesterol medicine. I think they should change their marketing tactics and put commercials on t.v. that say: "Have you had your gall bladder removed? Do you suffer from unexplained bouts of diarrhea? Then Welchol may help. Welchol binds up excess bile that often occurs in people without a gall bladder, making loose, burning stools formed and painlessly passed. Welchol can be taken daily as a preventitive, or as needed when diarrhea caused by bile occurs. Side affects are generally mild since Welchol is not absorbed by the body. The most common side affect is constipation. Some individuals may experience a slight vitamin deficiency since Welchol can interfere with vitamin absorption, so ask your doctor if you need a supplement. Welchol, it's not a gall bladder replacement, but it's the next best thing!" Man, how much business would that generate for them? Gall bladder surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed, and most people have some, if not frequent problems afterwards.

AshLeigh_Lyric
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 12/18/2005 5:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Keriamon I owe you a big thank you for suggesting WelChol.. it has really made a big difference.. Can actually do things without looking for the nearest bathroom.....

I agree totally with the new marketing concept for WelChol... it should be specially made for peeps without gallbladders.....
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