New to Forum- Is IBS causing my symptoms and Zelnorm side effects

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bentlight
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/10/2006 2:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone,
 
I was diagnosed with IBS w/ C several years ago.  After the birth of my son in Oct. 2004, the constipation switched to loose (not quite diarhhea) and lots of gas.  The urge would come strongly and fairly quickly after a meal.  After having constipation for so long, this was almost a welcome relief.  I breastfeed my son until Nov 2005 (just threw this in in case of any hormonal  considerations).  In Oct 2005, I woke up one night with extreme pain in my upper abdomin (just below my sternum) and difficulty breathing.  I had suffered a cold the week before with chills, fever, aches, and what is unusual for me nausea and lack of appetite and distaste for some of my favorite foods.  I thought I might be having problems with my heart, so I went to the ER.  The doctor poked around, said it was reflux and gave me a GI Tract cocktail.  After drinking that horrible stuff, the pain and shortness of breath immediately worsened and I began to black out.  They did an X-ray and ultrasound.  They couldn't find a cause and said it was stomach flu. 
 
For two months after this, I had discomfort in this area (directly below the sternum).  It is a strange sensation that feels like butterflies or hunger pains.  I do not have burning or cramping.  After this episode my bowel habits have changed to more on the constipation side.
 
I was tested positive for H Pylori and was treated.  The discomfort seemed to have subsided during the 3 week treatment.  After that the pain persisted, coming and going every few days. 
 
I had a CT scan of my abdominal organs which looked o.k. I have had a upper tract gatro-endoscopic procedure which shows a hiatal hernia and mild gastritis.  I was put on Nexium.  The doctor thought the discomfort was from reflux.  This didn't help.
 
I had an ultrasound and a HIDA scan to test the function of my gall bladder, which came back o.k.
 
The doctor is now saying the IBS is causing the discomfort and has me on Zelnorm.  I now have multiple new symptoms.  I definitely feel worse (been on it for 3 weeks).
I have frequent burning in my chest (which is alleviated by TUMs), joint pain (which has gone away), some cramping, and most importantly shortness of breath.  I didn't know shortness of breath could be a side effect, until I saw it mentioned on some forums. I'm calling my doctor tomorrow about that.  I think the doctor really doesn't know what else to test.  Has anyone had similar sypmtoms or have any suggestions.  I don't know if it's really the IBS.  I do know Zelnorm is not for me. 
 
Thanks for any feedback!
 
  
 

sophieWVU
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 4/10/2006 2:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I didn't have any of that...just light headaches and I think it made the gas and bloating worse...anyway Zelnorm is worthless in my opinion...did nothing good for me... and I think I've never been the same since.   But it seems it treats everyone different.  You make me want to have a kid so maybe my IBS will switch from C to D! J/K, but good luck and feel better!

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 4/10/2006 3:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Were you given antibiotics while being treated for the H pylori? That seems to be the only time you have gotten better. Unless I am remembering wrong, H pylori is a bad bacteria. Having read up on C. difficile, I know that it's very hard to get rid of bad bacterias, especially if you don't take probiotics while you are on the antibiotics and for a while afterwards in order to repopulate your gut with the good stuff before the bad stuff takes back over. You may want to make them test you for it again (and/or take a breath test for bacterial overgrowth in general). If you do have it still, then get yourself some multi-strain probiotics like Digestive Advantage or Culturelle and take at least twice the recommended dose while you are on the antibiotics and then take the regular dose for about 2 weeks after you get off them and see if that doesn't get you back, if not to normal, then to at least the point you were to begin with. Having had constipation problems before, that may not go away with probiotic treatement, but hopefully the other signs of bad bacteria overgrowth, like gas pains (which often get trapped under the rib cage--sternum--and around the heart) and loose stools will go away.

Also, make sure they test you for c. difficile (stool sample) if you don't still have the H. pylori. That's super easy to catch in hospitals and you said this started right after the birth of your son. There's a lot of information on it out there on the web. Prescription acid inhibitors make you more supsceptible to catching it for some reason too, so if you don't get any relief from the Nexium, definitely stop taking it. I don't think it can make an established case worse, but you don't want it making it easier to catch another round if you get this one cleared up.

The thing about c. difficile is that it spreads through spores, which are immune to antibacterial cleaning products, and that's why they can spread in hospitals, even though they clean everything well. I have read that bleach will kill the spores, so if you do end up having that, make sure you clean your toliets with bleach often to keep other family members from getting it and, if you can, the next time you have to have a hospital stay, take bleach with you and clean your toilet before you sit on it. Anywhere sick people congregate--pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.--make sure you squat, or at least use a toilet cover. I have read so as to believe it that toilets are usually kept very clean in most places and you can't really catch anything from them anyways, but you can catch this, so be careful about sitting on toilets were sick people habitually sit.

Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 4/10/2006 3:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I also have gastritis and about once every 2-3 months I will get this unbelievably horrific pain under my ribs, like someone is stabbing me repeatedly.  It can last a few hours and sometimes is enough to get me into the ER (it actually happened a few days ago).  They give me a Maalox/Pepcid/lidocaine cocktail but that never even touches the pain; I invariably end up getting a couple doses of morphine.  The rest of the time I don't have any kind of pain in that area.  It is most bizarre.  The ER doc thought it could be my gastric erosions causing the pain and gave me a script for Protonix for 30 days.  Have you been on this med?

bentlight
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/10/2006 5:45 PM (GMT -7)   

I was treated with a triple therapy of Prevacid, Amoxicillan, and Clarithromycin for 2 weeks (not 3 weeks) for the H.Pylori.  A biopsy was done with the endoscopic procedure and was negative for the H. Pylori.  The gastroenterologist said nothing in my stomach looked that impressive (as far as problems) just some mild gastritis and the hiatel hernia.  I talked to the nurse today about the side effects with the Zelnorm.  I was told shortness of breath was not a side effect, but to stop taking the medicine and see if it clears up.  Although it doesn't seem to be common, I have read about other people with the same complaint.

Can you buy Digestive Advantage or Culturelle from a health food store?  Is one better than the other? I have been eating Dannon's Activia yogurt a little over a week.  It's hard to tell if there has been a change in my bowel habits since the Zelnorm has been working o.k. in that respect.  Do you think I still need to be tested for the C. difficile, since I do not have diarrhea?

I was given the same cocktail in the ER which did not ease my pain.  This was the only time that I have experienced severe pain.  Normally, it's a dull sensation of hunger, butterflies or pressure/thickness("lump in your throat" type feeling) in the upper abdomen.  I have tried Nexium (no help) and Prevacid.  I'm not sure if the Prevacid helped or not; I didn't take it long enough.  I haven't tried Protonix.  It's very similar to Nexium and Prevacid.

 

 


Canyonbabe711
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 4/10/2006 8:00 PM (GMT -7)   
You can get Digestive Advantage almost anywhere. I don't know about the other. I could not take Zelnorm though I gave up fast. the first night it gave me bad diahrea so I cut the pill in half and the next day I could not get out of bed because the room was spinning so bad every time I sat up. I haven't solved the constipation problem yes. I have the same feeling of hunger, butterflies that you mention and eating helps it go away. I seem to go thru spells where I cannot take Nexium as it makes me sick and then I go to Prevacid. Protonix made me really worse than not taking anything.

the main complaint with c. difficule is diahrea. It is usually caused by an overabundant growth of bacteria from too many antibiotics and can cause colitis. I dont think yours sounds like that. Usually when they do an endo they test for all sort of bacteria, like Giardia, etc. You might mention the C. difficule to Dr. Doesn't hurt to ask.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 4/11/2006 8:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, bad bacteria usually causes diarrhea. But you had IBS-C to begin with, so it might be possible that you don't get diarrhea like other people because you still have motility problems on top of it. Bacteria would explain the gas (although there are other things that might cause it too). Anyways, it doesn't hurt anything to try it. If it doesn't help, you're just out a little money. It won't physically hurt you unless it gives you a little extra gas.

The Digestive Advantage can be bought at Walgreens, and, I assume, other chain drug stores as well. It's usually in the section with the diarrhea and other gut medicines. Culturelle should be there as well. I don't think there's much of any difference between the two. My G.I.'s nurse swore by the Culturelle; many people on here swear by the Digestive Advantage. They both have good bacteria in them, so either one should work. Might as well pick the cheapest. From what any of us can tell, it takes at least two weeks to notice any change and maybe up to a month. Depends on how much bad bacteria you have and how long it takes the good stuff to gain a sufficient foothold. If the gas/pains haven't gone away after a month, then they're probably not going to go away, at least not with a probiotic treatment. Since your constipation was pre-existing, I don't know that probiotics will give you any relief in that department, although I think some people do get a little bit of help with it.

bentlight
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/12/2006 5:10 AM (GMT -7)   
After the triple therapy for the h. pylori, the gas problem has dramatically improved.  The only problem now is the discomfort in the abdomen and the somewhat sluggish bowel movement.  Also, these sensations are on a full stomach.  Now that I'm off Zelnorm, hopefully what I think are side effects will go away.  I'll give the Digestive Advantage a try.  I thought the Dannon Activia, which contains probiotics, was supposed to reduce transit time in the intestine, thus helping with constipation?

bentlight
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/12/2006 6:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all of the responses; they are very much appreciated.   

Bald_Eagle
New Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/3/2006 4:22 PM (GMT -7)   
bentlight,

I just read your ibs post and I have almost identical symptoms,

have you found any relief as yet ???

bald_eagle

churchgirl812
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/28/2006 7:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I do not have IBS, I have gastritis, Acid Reflux (GERD), erosions, etc...  I have personally been on Protonix for a 2 week trial period, Prevacid and Zelnorm.  I am currently taking both, prevacid and zelnorm and finding no relieve.  I think I am experiencing some of your frustration.  They have run test after test and can't find anything wrong.  Ultrasound of my abdominal region, scope, blood work (like 3 times for 50 different things...)  It is odd to me that we pay doctors to help us and then they can't figure out what is wrong.
Shortness of breath is something that finally got me to the doctor in the first place.  They then ran all of the tests and the shortness isn't as frequent, but when it does happen it is just as bad.  They have not found something to make it better yet.  I know that being on all the meds I am on (I am anemic (low iron) so I am on iron supplements, as well as calcium to absorb the iron, B12 supplements, prevacid and zelnorm) and I can't find a place online to tell me what the possible side effects of all the above together are) I am in a slump right now... depressed alot of the time, don't want anyone around, shortness of breath still, etc...
So I don't know about any of the other meds, but zelnorm and prevacid haven't worked for me. 

Ambers
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/24/2007 2:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi. I too have IBS and GERD, my question is about Nexium and side effects. I had been on Nexium for a couple of years between 04-06 40mg. Then my insurance co stopped coverage so I tried a few others and ended up on Aciphex. about 3 weeks ago I went to my dr, my stomach had been ok, no real issues and I mentioned how I'd like to appeal the ins co to get Nexium again, waiting out the process my dr gave me samples of Nexium 40mg. 5 days later I started to bloat up, the worst IBS I ever had. Then 3 days later got my period and thought it was that, but it has continued for about 3 weeks. Today I went online and looked up the side effects of Nexium and was surprised to see severe bloating, cramping, admonial paid and other side effects do occur. I called my pharmacist and they said even though I'd taken it in the past the switch from one drug to another may have caused this effect, no acid in my colon to help me digest the food. She suggested I go off it until I see my dr this Friday. Has anyone else here ever had similar reactions to Nexium after returning to the pill?

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 7/24/2007 3:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I can't speak from personal experience, but new studies are starting to show that any of those PPI drugs are not good to stay on long term.  An initial study has them linked with bone loss with long term use (as in a couple of years or more), and a study before that found that people on PPIs were a lot more likely to catch c. difficile, which is a bad bacteria, and develop other lingering bowel problems.  The thought is that they repress so much acid that there's not enough left over to keep your bacteria thinned out--thus making it easier for bad bacteria to grow. 
 
Switching medicines, as your pharmicist suggested, can always mess you up (with or without pre-existing bowel conditions).  Staying off the Nexium will likely put your bowel back in order (also get some probiotics either thru Activia yogurt or capsules).  You may need to reintroduce it slowly--as in smaller doses.  If I were you, I would also talk to my doctor about getting on a non-PPI acid reducer for a little while.  From what I have read, doctors are starting to try and cycle people on and off of them--mixed in with milder OTC stuff--to try and keep the side effects that I mentioned above from happening (no word on if it works or not, but the theory is good). 

Rick2609
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 10/14/2007 6:03 PM (GMT -7)   
i thought that zelnorm was taken off the shelves .cause they found out that zelnorm caused heart problems?Rick

Rick


Canyonbabe711
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 10/14/2007 6:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, it was, these are old posts. However, I believe that it can still be prescribed under certain circumstances with approval from who knows who.
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