can't seem to get a diagnosis that responds to the treatment i'm given-

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lcr319
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 7/12/2006 6:21 PM (GMT -7)   
For the majority of my adult life (from age 20-43) I have always experienced gassiness from different foods. I suppose I have been more constipated than regular and at age 21 had my gallbladder removed after the birth of my first child. While I was pregnant I complained of excessive gas and heartburn and 2 months after my daughter was born had my gallbladder removed. Since then I have had worse gas problems with gas seeming to wander throughout my chest sometimes causing so much discomfort I go to the er fearing a heart attack ( previlent in my family background). I have survived this for the past 20 years by taking simethicone when it gets really bad. In the last 18 months simethicone doesn't seem to work anymore and I have totally cut gas producing foods from my diet. Still I get gas pretty regularly, same crushing chest discomfort and worse constipation. My doctor put me on nexium and fiber therapy. It worked for about 4 months. In April i was under considerable stress, (dog got kidney failure, getting custody of my neice, and then my fiance had 5 heart attacks) and my whole system went to the dogs. I went to the er for the chest pain and they gave my hyocscayamine and told me I had IBS. That worked till last week. Now here I am unable to eat anything but bananas and rice without getting the chest gas pains. I changed doctors when my regular doctor couldn't bother to answer my voice mails to get a refill on my prescription and my new doctor has me on zelnorm, hyoscaymine, fiber therapy and the brat diet (bananas, rice, apple juice and toast) I have lost 76lbs since Dec. I feel like i may starve to death or at least die from malnutrition. And on top of it all I am still constipated and have gas and bloating. Does this really sound like ibs to you guys? I have had ekgs, echocardiagrams, stress tests all fine for my heart, and am going for a colonoscopy in 2 weeks. Should I ask to checked for anything else?

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 7/13/2006 8:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Your doctor put you on THAT diet to treat your IBS???

Problem number one: Apple juice and raw apples produce excess gas and cramps in pretty much everyone with IBS. That's the last thing you should be consuming.

Secondly, bananas are constipating. You should not be on those if you are having bad constipation. The dehydrated bananas (aka banana chips--like you see in trail mix) are even worse.

There are a number of people on here who have bad gas regularly, and it moves around on them a lot. So you're not alone in that respect. Some people have been able to make it some better by taking anti-gas medicines (like Beano or Gas-X) everytime they eat. When I was having my gall bladder problems, I would get trapped gas a lot; it was like I couldn't poot anymore. Since I got it out, I have gotten some better about being able to pass gas instead of having it trapped inside all of the time. I don't know why there was a connection between the gall bladder and trapped gas, but there seemed to be.

I have read online about a product--it's supposed to be old-timey--called bile salts. It's supposed to help people who have no gall bladder and are constipated all the time because of it. If you aren't producing enough bile to break down your food, then you end up constipated; this stuff is supposed to replace your missing bile. Me, I have too much and so I have to take medicine to soak my excess up. Too bad I couldn't share with you, huh? Lol.

And have you tried some old laxative stand-bys, like aloe vera pills and prune juice? I haven't heard that prune juice causes a lot of excess gas like apple juice does, but you do have to start out on it in small doses, like any other type of fiber therapy, lest you make your gas worse. I hope your doctor didn't have you start out on a big dose of fiber all at once?

Have you looked into meal replacement drinks? Ensure, I believe, is made with soy, so it's okay if you can't handle milk. I drank a lot of Carnation Instant Breakfast drinks and Slim Fasts when I was sick with my gall bladder because they were about the only thing that didn't make more more nauseated. So long as you are not lactose intolerant, they shouldn't bother you either, I wouldn't think. And I can't imagine that a drink would constipate you!

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/13/2006 8:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Goodness!!! I'm with Keri... MAJOR problem #1 is the apple juice. Stay away from it! Where did your doc get his info? And again, the bananas are constipating... stay away from that too.
You might want to try the Beano before you have any meals. What about fatty foods? How do you tolerate them? Anytime I eat anything too fatty or deep fried it acts as a laxative.
Are you on probiotics?

By the way... Welcome to HealingWell!!! :-)
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
 
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stressed319
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/13/2006 10:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks guys for that great advice. All I have been eating for a week is bananas, 2 or 3 times a day, and only because it hasn't given me gas pains. Then I have been drinking fennel tea the rest of the time if I try to take a bite of some other food (chicken, crackers, bread) and they give me gas. It seems I have had this gas issue and the constipation since my gallbladder was removed 22 years ago and they told me it couldn't be related cause you don't need a gallbladder. So what do you think I should be eating? I have tried beano on and off for the past few years but I have never been in this bad a shape before. I do believe I am lactose intollerant but when I eat dairy I definitely won't be constipated but it will give me gas and that's my biggest fear, because to me it feels like a heart attack (family history of that) and I can't tell the difference as I have never had a heart attack so I agonize over it in my head and end up with an anxiety attack and in the er getting an ekg. Boy do i need help!

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 7/13/2006 12:49 PM (GMT -7)   
There's a difference between being able to live without an organ and it being totally unnecssary to start with (sometimes doctors don't seem to know the difference!). Last I knew of, the only unnecessary thing you have in your body is your appendix because apparently we have evolved past needing it. But gall bladders, yes, they are good, useful organs with a purpose in life. As I like to say, sure, you can live without a lung, but don't be looking to run anymore marathons. You can live without your gall bladder too, but your G.I. tract will never be the same.

When I had gas problems when I still had my GB, I bought some generic chewable gas relief pills (I guess they were generic Tums or something like that) and took those as needed. I don't know how many you can take during the course of the day, but check with a pharmacist or your doctor. You may be able to safely take more than the bottle recommends. Just tell them that you have worse than average gas and you need more than average medicine or at least dosage. Check with your doctor--there may even be prescription-strength gas relief medicine out there. I haven't heard of any, but if there is, be sure to report back as there are a lot of people on here in the same boat.

See about getting you some soy-based nutrition/meal replacement drinks and see if they sit okay with you. You definitely need to eat something and they, at least, have the vitamins and minerals that you need. Maybe you can get your gas under control with meds and then be able to eat more normal things. Just be careful of fruits and raw veggies. A lot of them bother people with IBS. If you can tolerate the prune juice, though, that would be good for your constipation problem. And have you tried going off your fiber supplement? Some fiber supplements do not sit well at all with some people. I tried a chewable kind when I was constipated and it made the constipation worse. So I tried it later on when I had diarrhea and man! it made me sick AND made my diarrhea worse! Others have found that this brand/type or that brand/type make them worse instead of better, so it's at least worth a shot.

lcr319
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 7/13/2006 4:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much! You have been a definite bright spot in my life this week. I have tried the over the counter gas relief pills. I have actually found that phazyme has the highest strength of these things and even if I take 2 or 3 times the daily recomended dose when I am having an episode like I'm having now I still get no relief. I have even tried charcoal caps to get rid of gas trapped in my intestines. It is very hard to swallow those because they seem to float in your mouth before you swallow them then get stuck in your throat on the way down. I must say fennel tea has actually offered me some significant relief. It doesn't seem to disolve the gas but it does allow me to belch to get rid of it. If it helps me I'm sure it will help others as well. I got it at the local health food store for under $5. As far as fiber supplements go I started out with the sugar free chewable because I was affraid to have a fiber pill get stuck in my throat (and blow up and choke me) but it contained sorbitol which caused worse gas. I switched to the powdered type but I think my doctor had me take too much too fast. So I am now going to try 1tsp a day for a couple of days and increase by a tsp every 2 or 3 days to see how that goes. I actually ate about an ounce of baked chicken today and feel as if this was a huge accomplishment. At the end of my work day I was so dizzy (probably from lack of food and lack of sugar) I thought I would pass out so I actually ate a couple of raisinettes to boost my blood sugar and was okay to drive home. Hopefully I will be able to get some sleep tonite at a reasonable hour since I don't feel too bad at the moment.Of course dinner hasn't gone through my system yet (rice krispies with lactose free skim milk) Maybe tomorrow will be better. I will try some soy products and see how that goes although at this point I am starting to feel better and affraid to get a set back.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 7/14/2006 7:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I've heard from people on the board that carbonated drinks make them worse, but when you mentioned that fennel tea makes you at least burp, I wonder if something bubbly might help you? My mother had to quit drinking Sprite many years ago because she belched constantly after drinking it. But anything that allows you to get rid of your excess gas would be helpful.

Oh, and I just remembered that in Europe they drink mineral water a lot because it helps make you regular. Someone here said she had tried some and said it tasted kind of bad, so it's probably something you would have to dilute with regular water until you got used to it, but anything that helps the constipation, right? It shouldn't bother you any more than plain water and will give you some minerals besides--something you problably are greatly in need of at the moment.

I hope you continue your good streak!
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