My Doc thinks it's IBS

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sami-jo
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 5/2/2006 3:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello!
I have alot of anxiety which began a few months back and started having stomach aches and bathroom urges with loose stools/diarrhea.  I've had colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, barium swallow xrays, stool cultures, CT scan of pelvis, gyno exam, endometrial biopsy, ultrasound of abdomen, ultrasound of pelvis, tons of bloodwork, all normal.  Still having the stomach gurgles, bathroom races and weird loose stools.  My doctor and I agree that I do have anxiety/panic disorder and he thinks this has brought on the IBS.  Two odd parts are that I wake up in the morning and before I can even get out of bed I start to panic and this causes me to have to go to the bathroom.  Other thing is that I have lost almost 25 pounds which I guess IBS doesn't usually make that happen. Is it plausible that I've lost weight from being anxious and actually do have IBS?  What do you all think??? 
Thanks for any input!
Sami

dbab
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Date Joined Jan 2004
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   Posted 5/2/2006 5:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi sami,
If your doc did all those extensive tests, it would sound to me that you have a chronic case of IBS. Anxiety can make your symptoms worse and vice versa. The loss of weight could be due to your diarrhea and you probably don't eat that much because of your symptoms and possibly from your anxiety. Did your doctor prescribe or recommend anything for your IBS symptoms? Are you on any anxiety medications? Sometimes anxiety medications can help with your IBS symptoms.
Hugs, Des
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7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 5/2/2006 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi sami-jo,
I have IBS and I have lost about 15-20lbs. It's like what dbab mentioned... having D and not eating as much, due to fear, will cause that.
Did your doc give you anything for the anxiety (which might, in turn, help with the IBS)?
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sami-jo
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 5/3/2006 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Des & Lil,
Thanks for your replies. I have been so sick with D starting at 2 am last night. I think maybe my dinner was partially to blame as I had dairy and usually avoid it. Do alot of IBS folks have trouble with dairy? Is it expected with IBS that you might have days where you are in the bathroom 10 times? For the past two weeks I was doing pretty well, the D had calmed down and I was just bothered with rumblies in my tummy a couple times a day (usually after eating) and stools were loose but not D. Until last night, that is. And yes, my doctor has given me Ativan for the anxiety. I feel it really does help the anxiety, but I still have trouble in the mornings when I first wake up. Doctor also said he could give me Levicin (sp?) for the digestive troubles, but I am to go to GI doctor tomorrow so I thought I would see what he thinks first. Any thoughts on what works well for IBS-D?
Thanks again,
Sami

7Lil
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   Posted 5/3/2006 12:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Sami,
Yes, it is common for people with IBS to be sensitive to dairy (and caffeine). Although, calcium does help with D. It seems sort of contradicting.
Anyway, your best bet is to stay away from dairy and any food prior to going to bed. I have noticed that anytime I eat within 3 hours of going to bed I wake up at 3am with D (unless it's yogurt - Activia). More so if that food is junk... like dessert.
When you're up in the middle of the night try drinking some tea and using a heating pad. If it gets really bad try taking a 1/2 dose of Imodium. I do that as my last resort.
Let us know how the trip to the GI goes tomorrow. Good luck!


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sami-jo
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 5/4/2006 8:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lil,
I feel alot better today. I ended up taking Immodium & Pepto to finally stop the D. Now I have to get myself to eat something besides bananas and toast! I had been eating yogurt daily but tried eliminating it to see if it was a trigger due to the dairy in it. Maybe I should go back to it.
Thanks for all of your input. Will keep you posted on the GI trip. It would be nice to get an official diagnosis from the GI doctor and not just my regular doctor "trying to come up with something."
Sami

7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 5/4/2006 8:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sami,
Glad you are feeling better today. :-)
I think it's a good idea that you are reconsidering yogurt. The dairy in yogurt normally doesn't bother IBSers, nor does it bother people who are lactose intolerant.
Good luck!
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Keriamon
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   Posted 5/4/2006 10:28 AM (GMT -7)   
When it comes to IBS, even G.I. doctors "try to come up with something." It sounds like you have had all the usual tests, so don't feel real bad if the G.I. doesn't tell you anything your regular doctor hasn't already told you. Why this happens is a real mystery. You basically have to treat the symptoms without knowing why they are there.

Not very encouraging, I know, but at least we do have some ideas for how to treat the symptoms. And of course they are studying it even now to try and figure out why it happens and what will cure it once and for all.

I hope you come up with something good to eat! White rice is usually a staple around here and I think it makes a nice dessert or snack with a little sugar sprinkled in it. You can also make chicken rice by flavoring it with a bullion cube. I think it's 1 bullion cube to a serving of rice--1/4 cup uncooked. My fiance and I like to fix that as a side dish.

7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 5/4/2006 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   
If you're unsure about the bullion cube you can always use chicken broth (or whatever broth) instead of water. Yummy!
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sami-jo
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 5/4/2006 3:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Well it's (almost) official - I have IBS!
You'd think I should be upset, but I'm actually quite relieved that it has a name now!
Went to see GI doctor today and he says he's going to do just one more test - a small bowel follow through - which I guess is another barium swallow xray like the upper GI one I had already - he says he doesn't expect to find anything because all of my other tests were so normal. Also, he gave me a prescription for Questran to try to regulate things. Has anyone tried it? I guess it is actually for lowering cholesterol, but works to slow down excess bile. Also he said acidopholus caplets, but then he didn't tell me which kind or how much to use. I will have to call them back tomorrow and find out. So, I guess I will be joining all of you here in this forum! Thanks so much for all the ideas and support that I've found here so far!
Sami

7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 5/4/2006 5:29 PM (GMT -7)   

Welcome to the club!  tongue

Feel free to ask any questions... There is bound to be someone here who can help / give ideas.

Is Questran like Welchol?  There are a few member here who take Welchol to help control bile.  Hopefully they'll be around shortly....


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Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 5/4/2006 7:51 PM (GMT -7)   

I took Questran, but I think my bowel issues are somewhat different, and it didn't work for me.  HOWEVER...a lot of people have had success with it.  Keriamon will surely be around and rave about the wonders of Welchol, which is similar - she loves the stuff! :-)

Acidophilus is a type of "good" bacteria that is naturally found in your intestines and helps regulate the digestive system.  Taking it is a good idea.  Go to your local supermarket or health food store and ask a crunchy hippy granola person where you can find the probiotics, preferably refrigerated.  Start 'em slowly because too much at once in the beginning might make you gassy.  They are very good for your digestive system!


Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/5/2006 8:25 AM (GMT -7)   
It's true--I'm the Welchol spokeswoman! It's the reason why I don't have diarrhea every day.

A couple of people on here have been on Questran after their gall bladder surgery and they complained that it made them gassy. If you suddenly get gas cramps after you start it, then call your doctor and tell him; you may want to swtich. I take Welchol to regulate my bile flow since I too don't have a gall bladder and it's never given me any side affects. I think the only side affect that it does have is constipation; when you start getting constipated, take a bit less. It too is a cholestrol medicine; using it for bile soppage (it soaks up the excess) is an off-label use for both meds and you kind of have to play using them by ear. My doctor told me to start with one a day and to up it as needed. Some people who have come on here have said their doctors have just given them a presciption and told them to figure it out. A couple of people take upwards of 6 a day. So, at least with the Welchol, it's a take-it-as-you-need-it sort of a thing. I do not know about how to use the Questran, however. If you find that it's not stopping your diarrhea, tell your doctor and see if you can up the doseage or switch.

If your gall bladder is good, I wonder why you are producing too much bile? Did they check your gall bladder function with a hida scan? Just doing an ultrasound is not enough. But then a lot of people with IBS have some yellowy stools that burn and seem to have an okay gall bladder, so it may just be that the transit time in the intestines is so quick, the bile doesn't get absorbed like it should and out it comes. You may also try to control your bile output with diet. Bile is there to break down fat--the more fat you consume, the more bile you produce. When I went on a low fat diet after I had my gall bladder out, I was able to stop taking the Welchol for almost a year. Of course I also had to deal with bad constipation--it's a real balancing act. But, if you have a functioning gall bladder, you shouldn't have so much trouble regulating your bile; it should drop off in natural proportions as you decrease your fat.

Acidophilus can make you gassy when you first start using it, so just try one pill a day for a week or two before upping it to the recommended dosage. All probiotics can cause a little initial gas, but you almost always adapt to it within a week and quit having gas. I and a few other people have found that acidophilus makes us gassier than other multi-strain probiotic products like yogurt and Digestive Advantage, so if you have trouble with it, you might want to try some other probiotic. You might want to ask your doctor if there was any reason why he wanted acidophilus specifically, or if yogurt or mult-strain products will work just as well (really no reason why you can't take yogurt along with the acidophilus if you want, unless you can't handle yogurt). Acidophilus is usually just the most commonly known probiotic and it can be found in the herbs section of most any pharmacy; it's also cheaper to use than the multi-strain products. You can also get acidophilus from milk which is fortified with it (it will be in big words on the label). It's not as concentrated in milk as in pill form, but that can be a good form of maintanence--provided milk doesn't bother you. It's all my mother would buy when I was growing up (come to think of it, I just about never had diarrhea).

sami-jo
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 5/6/2006 7:30 AM (GMT -7)   
WOW!

Thanks for all the great info!

It sounds like Questran is like Welchol. My doctor wrote the scrip for 3 packs a day, but told me to start with one (or even a half) and try and discover what works from there. He thought about giving me an anti-spasmodic; but when I told him sometimes my BM's are green or yellow, he settled on trying the Questran first instead. One of his thoughts on my condition was that it may have all started with a virus which is now long gone, but has left my insides in disarray. He said that bile has a laxative effect and if I am producing too much (which the green stools may indicate) that could be causing the diarrhea. I guess he is hoping to soak up some of the bile and see if it does me any good. I have thought about the gall bladder, also. I go back in 6 wks for a follow up and if I have no improvement in symptoms, I am going to ask about the hida scan.

I did get some acidophilus and took one earlier with my yogurt. I took them years ago and remember that they gave me diarrhea, so I was a little hesitant to take it. So far, so good. I have not tried the Questran yet. I go for my small bowel follow through on Tuesday when I will have to drink the barium. When I had the upper GI swallow with the barium I was SOOOO constipated from it. (LOL, that was the last hard poop I had!) anyways, going to wait til after I make it through that before I do the Questran.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
Sami

Canyonbabe711
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 5/6/2006 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I am not that lactose intolerant but yogurt really bothers me if I don't take a Lactaid with it. Dairy was the first thing my Dr. took me off of and red meat, fresh fruit and uncooked veggies. I am pretty much back to normal now and can eat most anything but still try to limit these things. we are all different though but most the websites will mention dairy. I think the IBD advantage did the best for me. Doesn't yogurt have acidophalous in it. Maybe better to take Activa as that has bifuda(probiotic) in it and then you are getting both.
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