New here and I have some questions

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New Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/9/2006 4:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone :-)

I am a 21 year old college student and I have been dealing with IBS for years now. It will seemingly go away for months at a time and I will feel great, but then it will come and I will be miserable. I have figured out that stress and anxiety seem to be triggers for my IBS. Mine is Diarrhea prominent though I do get some constipation.... Anyway, i was wondering how other people control theirs.

Usually when I am "under attack" I end up taking lots and lots of immodium simply becuase iit lets me go to class and work and get on with my day. I also use gas-x to allieviate some of the pressue I get when i use immodium.. it seems to constipate me and sometimes the cramping is pretty bad.

My grandmother has told me to use raw apple cider vinegar before i eat becuase she has stomach problems (not IBS) and says it is very soothing for her. I have also heard this stops diarrhea... anyone have experience??

Also, my sister in law recently gave me some boxes of Digestive Advantage IBS because she got them for a really great price and thought she would help me out (lol my family is so supportive :-p). Anyone use these? I have heard they give you gas..... If that is the case I will wait until I have a long weekend or something so i don't stink up the office lol.

Also, I have heard people talking about a product called Bowtrol. anyone use this??

I am happy I found this board, everyone here seems to be so nice and supportive and it is good knowing that you are not alone in this suffering!!!

I hope everyone has a great day and thanks for any replies :-)


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 5/9/2006 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Megan,
Welcome to HealingWell! :-)
I was on Digestive Advantage (DA) for months. It worked great for me and it did not cause gas. Actually, it helped with my gas. The only things that seem to give me gas are veggies, juices, fiber supplements(until you get used to them) and too high a dose of Acidophilus.
DA is a blend of cultures that will help your digestion... you shouldn't have ANY side affects from them.
Are you taking an RX meds to help control your attacks?
Take care.
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 5/9/2006 7:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Megan,
I just wanted to add my welcome as well :)
Lil pretty much covered what I was thinking too. Also you may want to check with your doctor on your Imodium usage. He might give you the blessing to use it long term however you need to make sure its safe for you. Like Lil said, if you aren't on any prescriptions I would also suggest asking your doc if he suggests anything. I haven't heard about the vinegar stopping diarrhea but I have heard that apple cider vinegar is good for you. You may want to google and see if you find any information on it.
Take Care
Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, UC 2005, Sjogren's 2006
Meds: Sulfazine EC 1000mg, Mesalamine Enemas, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Naprosyn 500mg, Symax SL .125mg, Protonix 40mg, Xanax XR 2mg, Miralax 17g, Supplements
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New Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/9/2006 10:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone :-).

Yeah I mentioned to my doctor that I do use immodium since it works fairly predictably for me and he pretty much told me that as long as I do not exceed the 4 caplets a day and do not use it every single day, I shouldn't have any problems. So I try to make sure that I only take 2 and then see what happens, most of the time 2 is ok but of course there are those days where nothing is going to stop it. Also, if i take one on monday i will usually be ok until wednesday.

As far as prescription meds, no he hasn't prescribed me anything. He is a little old fashioned, but if i really needed some help and was willing to take a prescription drug he would have no problem finding one that works with me.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/10/2006 9:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I tried posting to you yesterday, but the forum was having a conniption, so I'll try again today. :-)

First, I know what it's like to be sick and in college: I had gall bladder attacks all 4 years I was in school, plus another year after it. I don't know about you, but it made college pretty miserable. :-(

Imodium has a tendency to severely constipate me, so I have learned to not take more than 1/2 a pill at a time. But when I was having bile diarrhea all the time, my anti-diarrheal medicine of choice was Pepto Bismol tablets. They got the job done without ever constipating me. You can't take them if you are allergic to aspirin, though. And they will turn your stools dark/black, but that's nothing to worry about.

You can also try taking Caltrate 600 w/ vitamin D; it's a calcium supplement. The calcium in it absorbs excess water and can help dry up your diarrhea. You have to be careful, though, and stop taking it if you are showing signs of constipation since it will make constipation worse. I don't know that you can take one and get it to stop your diarrhea immediately, though; it's more of a long-term maintenance thing.

You can also try a product called Equalactin. It's in the bowel products section in Walgreens and I think I've gotten it at CVS before too. The box is red and white. It is a different type of calcium that doesn't constipate; it balances the water in your bowels so you have neither too much nor too little. It didn't help me when my gall bladder was acting up, but it worked great in between times; nice poops! It can get a little pricey after a while, but I seem to recall that the box tells you to take the regular dosage until you get straightened out, then go off it or only take a couple of tablets a day for maintanence until you feel your symptoms start to come back, then go back to the full dosage.

I don't know about the vinegar settling you stomach; I tired a tablespoon of it once (weight loss fad "trick") and it nearly made me vomit it tasted so bad!! But some people like vinegary stuff more than others and I guess you can get used to it, but there's a lot of other things out there to help you out that don't taste nearly do bad, lol.

Using Gas-X is good. I have also used chewable gas relief tablets because they are a lot cheaper. If you're not getting full relief from your gas, ask your pharmacist if you can take more than the recommended dosage or take it more often than recommended since you have worse than normal gas. Also, you should avoid carbonated drinks since this will make your gas worse. I have also heard that milk makes more acid and more gas and that it can make your gas worse, so you might want to give up dairy and see if you feel any better (some people with IBS, though, have no problems with dairy).

Speaking of giving things up, here are a few more things that make a lot of people with IBS-D worse: caffeine, alcohol, apples and apple juice, raw vegetables. I also tell people to avoid salad bar salads and pre-cut packaged lettuce since they are often washed in chemicals to keep them from browning quickly and those chemicals can set people off. Before I developed gut problems, I got diarrhea from the salad at college. It was my mother who clued me in to those kinds of salads causing people problems, especially when they eat it every day as I was.

New Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/10/2006 1:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for all the information. I suddenly feel empowered to do something about my IBS :-).

I think I will give taking calcium a try. That sounds safe to me and I know I don't get enough of it anyway.
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