Welchol and IBS

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
61 posts in this thread.
Viewing Page :
 1  2  3 
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

ladymaxnoble
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/4/2006 7:21 AM (GMT -7)   
I am new to the site, but wanted to give my input on IBS.  I have suffered with IBS all my life and as I have gotten older it has gotten worse.  My doctor put me on Viokase to see if that helped.  It did on some levels, but I was still making sure that if I ate any where but home a bathroom was close by. 
 
My doctor started me on Welchol 3 weeks ago and I feel like a different person.  I can actually go to a new restaurant to eat and not be worried if I will have to go the the bathroom before I am done eating and then another 2 times before we leave. 
 
I wanted to know if anyone else was using Welchol and how it was working.
 
 

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/4/2006 8:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Glad to see another Welchol fan. I have been on it about three years now and I'm almost normal. I still get a bad spell every once in a while, depending on other meds I have to take, foods I eat, extreme stress or anxiety, but another dose of Welchol usually cures me right up. On average I take one a day, along with one calcium pill.

ladymaxnoble
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/4/2006 2:03 PM (GMT -7)   
I am taking 6 a day.  Were you taking that large of a dose in the beginning?

carell
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 8/4/2006 4:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi LadyMaxNoble- hope I got that right!  I'm curious, what is this med?  I take it that it's meant for D but I have never heard of it?  Very glad to hear that it's working.  Isn't it an amazing feeling to feel like yourself again?  Congrats! Hope it keeps working. 

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 8/5/2006 9:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Carell,
Welchol is actually a cholesterol med that docs found to actually help absorb the excess bile caused by not having a gallbladder. Excess bile causes yellow, burning BM's. The maker should really advertise it as an anti-bile med as well.


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

Post Edited (7Lil) : 8/5/2006 11:00:19 AM (GMT-6)


ladymaxnoble
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/5/2006 9:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Carell,

My doctor said that 3 of her patients using this could not use viokase. I made number 4. This is a medicine that is prescribed for cholesterol. WelChol is not absorbed into the bloodstream and doesn't pass through your liver and kidneys. It travels through the body to the intestines, where it binds the bile acids. My doctor has found that some IBS sufferers have excessive bile acids which result in loose or explosive BM's.

In my case I still have my gallbladder.

I had talked to my doctor about Rifaximin and she was reluctant to prescribe that since there are no studies to show long term effects.

I am very happy with WelChol, so far.

ladymaxnoble

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/7/2006 7:18 AM (GMT -7)   
I only take one a day, although sometimes I need to take an additional one or two if my stomach is upset. But there have been some other ladies on here previously who were both taking 6 a day, so it's not unheard of. However many it takes to get up normalized.

debgirl
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/7/2006 7:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I was diagnosed with IBS in June.  I haven't had a gall bladder for 15 years.  My doctor perscribed the Welchol in July and I am eating more like a normal person now.  I have to watch things like carbonation, chocolate and tomatoes, but I feel so much better.  I am taking 6 a day (and it should help my slightly elevated cholesterol too! tongue

bhkhhh
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 8/7/2006 9:15 AM (GMT -7)   
does this make your bm's yellow slimy & almost oily looking?

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/7/2006 3:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Welchol will make your BMs normal looking (although mine are still a lighter brown than they used to be--but not yellow unless I'm having gut problems).

bhkhhh
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 8/7/2006 4:46 PM (GMT -7)   
No. what I meant is having to much bile. Will this make your bm's yellow, slimy & kind of oily looking?

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/8/2006 8:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, excess bile will make your stools yellow (and usually burning) and definitely watery.  I'm not sure I know what you mean by "oliy & slimy", but they'll definitely be loose.  After a few trips to the bathroom, my stools are usually a few bits and pieces and yellow water. 

PT
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/14/2008 8:13 PM (GMT -7)   

I am a new member and I have several questions regarding medications and their usage.

Over the last couple of years I have gradually developed a problem with urgent diarrhea usually shortly after eating.

about a month ago I visited a nurse practitioner for help. After a stool sample to test for parasites was negative, she started  me on Questran. I used it for 7 days(two doses per day) with no noticeable improvement and it also caused heartburn sometimes. The first couple of days started out suggesting some improvement, but subsequent usage indicated basically no improvement.

Following the Questran, I started Welchol initially at 3 pills once a day. The first couple of days suggested some improvement which proved illusory. After 3 days I increased dosage to 4 per day for 3 days, then 5 per day for 4 days, and I am presently at 5 per day. It appears that the Welchol is providing some improvement. On some days it would be up to three hours after eating before having a BM. However sometimes there was very little increase in the time after eating before having a BM. Also, the BM's are more frequently nearer normal as opposed to being almost watery.  What discouraged me yesterday was a day of 5 or 6 liquid BM's.

Let me mention also early in the treatment trials I tried up to 3 imodium pills with no effect except bloating and stomach ache. And also tried up to 2 Lomotil pills with no effect except bloating and/or stomach ache. These symptoms are unusual for me. I don't normally experience these when having diarrhea.

I will mention that I had my gall bladder removed about 25 years ago, but concluded this is not significant since I didn't experience diarrhea for over 20 years.

My questions are:

1. Are my trial periods too short between dosage increases or changing to a different medication?

2. Since the Welchol still suggests some promise, I am considering supplementing this with perhaps one Caltrate 600 tablet per day. Do you think this would be a good move? (I have been reluctant to use too much Caltrate because I had a bout of kidney stones several years ago and my Urologist recommended avoiding calcium.)

I would appreciate your guidance concerning my treatment game plan and also any other suggestions you may have.

With Best Regards,

PT

 

 

 

 

 


antsie
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 8/13/2008 5:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I am new and this is my first post. I have GERD, hiatal hernia, have had my GB removed about 11 years ago and have suffered IBS that has gotten really bad for the last 3 mos. I have seen a gastroenterologist who has been only somewhat helpful. He wanted to start me on an antidepressant (Paxil) for the IBS. Yesterday I had an appt. with my family doctor and discussed all this at great length with him before going on the Paxil. He said that he preferred to try Celexa instead as it is usually tolerated better. (NOT FOR ME! I was up all night with insomnia and near panic attacks). The other thing he wanted to do was start me on Welchol since I have no GB. He mentioned Align as well and we might add that later. I took 1 Welchol at lunch yesterday but then took the Celexa at dinner last night and so went through a most fitful night. I have decided today not to take any more of the Celexa and just see where I get with the Welchol. How long does it take to see any improvement with the Welchol? The Dr. just told me to increase it from 1 tablet a day to 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 until I find what works for me. He was surprised that my gastro doc had not already tried me on it. I was reading here where you all mention having yellow burning stools and that is me! I had always felt like that might be an indication of bile but never knew for sure. Anyways, I am just looking to get some relief soon and could use all the encouragement I can find. Thanks!

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 8/13/2008 10:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi antsie,

I just wanted to welcome you to the site, so... Welcome to HealingWell! :-) You've come to a great place.
I can't really help you with anti-d meds or Welchol, as I have never taken them, but I'm sure others will be along shortly.
Real quick though, about the Align, it might not be a bad idea to start on probiotics. Most of us here take it in some form or another. I would, however, start 1 thing at a time. If you start taking more than 1 new med/supplement at a time, and you have problems, you will never know which is causing the problems.
One more thing... Calcium can also be taken to help control the bile D.
Co-Moderator IBS Forum
 
Please donate to help HW continue to help us... http://www.healingwell.com/donate/
 


antsie
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 8/15/2008 5:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Posting an update here.

Yesterday I felt a good deal better as the Celexa was past the half life and moving out of my system. I was able to sleep the night before as well which goes a long ways towards helping one feel better. That was my first and only experience with antidepressants and not a good one. I won't be trying that again!

So far the Welchol does give me gas but it is mostly in the mornings when I wake up. The first day I took one Welchol and the 2nd day I took 2. Yesterday I had no D at all. In fact, I didn't have BM either! So I decided to go back down to just 1 Welchol yesterday until I see how my BM's are going to be. I did however have urgency all day. My doctor also wanted me to try Align. The pharmacy had to order it for me so yesterday afternoon I picked it up and took my first dose at dinner time. I took my 2nd dose of the Align this morning. It is my understanding that it is supposed to help with the gas and bloating over time as well as IBS so I will have to see how it goes. On the packaging it says that initially you may have a bit more gas/bloating until you body adjusts to the Align. As of yet this morning I have not had a BM but I also don't have the feeling of urgency which is very nice. Since I have had so much D for the last 2 mos. I figure it is probably going to take my system a bit to find its "norm" now that I am on these medications. Overall all though I feel much better.

PT
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/15/2008 8:15 AM (GMT -7)   

Dear Antsie:

 

Thank you for your message summarizing your situation and treatments. I hope the Welchol and Align will help you to improve or resolve your diarrhea problems.

 

You asked for encouragement and while I am going to mostly report on things that didn’t work for me, I am encouraged to believe I can handle my issues based on what I have learned so far. So maybe you can glean some things from my experience that would of interest to you.

 

To explain my situation, over the last couple of years I have gradually developed a diarrhea problem manifested by occasional urgent, explosive diarrhea about 30 minutes to 1 hour after a meal. When I am at home this is no problem, but when my wife and I go out to dinner, often with friends, it can be a real problem. I had experienced three episodes of bowel incontinence during a three month period before my seeking medical help in May. But I have improved to the extent that I haven’t experienced any more of these episodes of bowel incontinence more recently.

 

Let me explain a little further that my wife and I used to travel a lot but have not traveled very much since 9/11. My wife doesn’t want to fly and I don’t like to drive for long periods. So my diarrhea problem has not been a high priority issue and the main reason I started seeking help is that I want to fly on a trip to Washington on September 13. I am a WWII veteran and some benevolent persons in my area ( and I have heard other places in the U. S.) have started flying WWII veterans to Washington, DC, to visit the WWII Memorial. It is a one day trip, i. e., up and back home on the same day.

 

So my immediate goal was to figure a way to make this trip without having the diarrhea incontinence problem. With that explanation I am going to enclose some excerpts from 1) a FAX sent to my Nurse Practitioner and Gastrointerologist and 2) an email sent to my adult children which summarizes my situation as of July 31.

*******************************************************************

FAX, July 31

 

This is an update on my situation and a request for your guidance on what I could do next.

 

Regarding my IBS situation, briefly I am presently "going back to the drawing board". Over the last 6 weeks 1)I have tried a new fiber supplement, Benefiber, 2) tried a new prescription drug, Questran, 3) tried imodium, 4) tried a prescription diarrhea stopper, Lomotil, 5)tried another prescription drug, Welchol, 6) tried a probiotic, Culturelle, and 7)tried a yogurt product, Activa. about one week ago, I experienced 10 diarrhea BM's in one day, and I decided to stop all of these and start over again as soon as I learn a more hopeful course of action.

 

Some of the things I have learned so far are: 1) I feel better and do better without any of the medications I have tried so far, 2) it takes probably at least one week to stabilize on a new medication before you can make any decisions about results, 3) if worse comes to worse, I can make the Washington trip by just not eating for the 12 hours on the trip. (It is up to Washington and back home in the same day), and 4) I am going to ask my nurse practitioner about seeing a gastrointerologist who specializes in treating IBS. The nurse practitioner I have been seeing is very likeable, easy to talk to, and helpful.

 

I feel much better right now doing nothing and it is something I could live with this way if necessary.

 

To update, I haven’t taken any fiber supplement or other IBS medications since June 25, and I have generally done better during this period than when I was trying all the medications. However, during the last 2-3 days I have started getting a  hemorrhoid as evidenced by blood traces. So I feel that I should gradually start some type of fiber supplement again.

 

Also, I learned recently that I have been selected to for the next Washington trip on September 13. I am scheduled to attend an orientation meeting regarding the trip on this Thursday, July 24.

 

Ms. (blank): 1) What would be a reasonable next step? 2) Is re-starting a fiber supplement a good interim step at present? 3) Should I schedule a visit to see you?

 

Thanks for your help, Paul Taylor.  PS- I promise to not tell you any more jokes next time.

 

Excerpt from Email to my Adult Children, July 31

 

I saw the nurse practitioner today. I reviewed what has been tried and explained that for about 4 weeks I haven't taken any IBS medication except stool softeners. And I feel fine.

 

Then I explained that my only goal at this point was to figure a way to make the Washington trip without an episode of bowel incontinence. After a thorough discussion of all the issues she said the only thing she could recommend at this point was to restart use of a fiber supplement. I asked her if she knew of a medical person who specialized in IBS treatment. She said she had been discussing my case with the Gastointerologist for whom she works, and she felt he had some ideas.

 

So Dr. (blank) came in and we had a good discussion of all the issues and mainly I reiterated that I was doing fine and feeling fine. My only goal was to figure some way to avoid a bowel incontinence on the Washington trip. So he said that he sometimes advises a colon flush to his patients and this would be appropriate for my situation. Prior to this I had always taken a dim view of all the advertisements and rip offs for over the counter stuff they are selling. But he explained to me the mechanics of how this can be helpful from time to time. So I am going to take 8 ounces of magnesium citrate one evening. This is the extreme laxative you take in preparation for a colonoscopy.  He said this would give at least 3 days of being diarrhea free. So I am going to try it, maybe a couple of times, before the trip.

 

Also I ask both of them about wearing an adult diaper (like Depends). Ms. (blank) said she didn't think it would be necessary, but Dr. (blank) said, "Go for it. It won't hurt anything and could give peace of mind."

 

Anyway so I plan to gradually use up all the fiber supplement I have and then go back to regular use of Metamucil.

 

And I feel confident now that I can handle the trip OK.

 

Also, I was very pleased to get to know Dr. (blank) better. All previous times he had been very hurried and aloof. But this time we had a very good conversation, even discussing a mutual friend. So I was very pleased overall.

 

Love, Dad

 

***************************************************************************************************

Antsie, since the above email I have tried the magnesium citrate once and while it did not eliminate diarrhea completely, it did reduce it significantly for about three days.

 

So I am definitely planning to go on the Washington trip 1)by doing the magnesium citrate thing one day prior to the trip, 2) getting some Depends and probably wear them, 3) select some type of food that I could take with me and possibly declining part of or all the scheduled meals, 4) at my orientation meeting regarding the trip, I alerted the medical staff person that I had this IBS problem and she is going to have me seated near the bathroom on the airplane.

 

In the meantime I plan to ask my Gastrointerologist if he has any other ideas for me to try.

 

And based on some of the reading I have done in researching this problem, I have started doing some exercising of the anal sphincter muscle aimed toward strengthening the sphincter. (This is something I did for my urethra sphincter several years ago when I experienced bladder incontinence following prostate cancer surgery.)

 

And 7Lil, thank you for your commentary. Good to hear from you again.

 

PT

 


antsie
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 8/15/2008 9:18 AM (GMT -7)   
PT, have you tried the Align? It might be a good idea for you if for no other reason than the fact that it helps to restore balance in your digestive tract that has been lost during all your ups and downs, thus strengthening your immune system against further problems. I have been a firm believer of probiotics for years and have utilized the kind I could get at the health food stores off and on a good bit since I had a hysterectomy in 2001. Following my surgery I got a major infection inside and had to go on heavy doses of antibiotics. It destroyed the balance of the flora in my GI tract and for the next 3 years I struggled with CONSTANT vaginal yeast infections that were resistant to all the prescriptive and OTC preparations. 3 doctors later, discovered that I was being attacked with an unusual strain of yeast and it was only through the use of probiotics and boric acid vaginal suppositories that I finally got things under control. I had to avoid sugars and carbs for a while as well. Now I only occasional have yeast infections, usually if I have to take antibiotics so I have learned to take the probiotics during that time. My good experiences with probiotics is one reason I feel excited about the Align as it is developed particularly for targeting GI issues. On a side note, when the 3rd doctor discovered what was wrong with me he told me that whenever a woman has a yeast infection it is because she has a yeast imbalance in her gut. So, it stands to reason in my case anyways that yeast could be a part of my problem now. Since you mentioned having had prostate cancer I am just wondering if perhaps you have developed an overgrowth of yeast as well as a result of all your treatments attacking your body along with the cancer.

PT
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/15/2008 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Antsie, thank you for your quick response. Regarding Align, I am not familiar with it. When I asked my medical people and pharmacist for recommendations for the best probiotic to try, Culturelle was recommended. When I did try the Culturelle I didn’t note any results one way or the other. It just seemed to be something neutral.

Have you found that Align eliminates or reduces your diarrhea?

As previously noted I plan to discuss my results with my Gastrointerologist and I will inquire about Align.

Again, thank your for your recommendation and I hope you will find answers to your problems.

With Best Regards, PT

antsie
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 8/16/2008 5:27 AM (GMT -7)   
http://www.aligngi.com/index.shtml?gclid=CIKAkY6skpUCFQgfswodFSfsgQ
Go to the website above to read more about the Align.

If your local pharmacies do not sell it you can order it online directly from the company. It does not require a prescription.
Online price is $29.99. I checked with 3 pharmacies here. At RiteAid it was $37.50, Walmart Pharmacy was $35, and Walgreens was $29.99. Both Walmart and Walgreens told me they would have to order it and would have it in the next day. Obviously, I wound up getting it through Walgreens.

I am now entering 4 days on the Welchol and 3 days on the Align. It really is too early to say for sure what is working but I have not had diarrhea for 3 days now. (I should insert here that I have only been awake and out of bed 30 mins while writing this.) The Welchol was giving me such gas. One of the benefits of Align is that is is supposed to reduce flatulence. I did wake up with some gas this morning but not nearly as bad as the 2 days before. The other big thing I am noticing is that the feeling of needing to go has lessened with each day. The information pamphlet that comes with Align gives you a little chart to mark your progress. It says that by the end of week one you should be feeling some better, week 2 a good bit better with few interuptions, by week 3 you and those around you should be able to tell you are doing something different and then at week 4 you should be well on your way to balance. It is a supplement that is meant to be taken on an ongoing basis.

Edited to add: about 10 mins after I typed all this I had my first normal BM in weeks! Hurray! It is still yellow brown in color but it was definitely a formed stool. (Not to gross anyone out here.) I think I am possibly finding something that works. If anyone else has been on the Welchol successfully for a while let me know what to look for when I hit the right dose on that.

PT, I also forgot to mention that I read somewhere that peppermint tea helps settle the GI tract and I have been enjoying a hot cup of peppermint tea with honey every morning now instead of coffee. I sometimes drink it in the evening as well. It does seem to have a calming effect even if it is just a psychological one. I like the way it tastes!

Post Edited (antsie) : 8/16/2008 6:43:08 AM (GMT-6)


antsie
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 8/17/2008 8:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Today I had an "iffy" kind of morning. I had a BM that was not D but one of those deals where you feel like you are not quite done. Then I was racing around trying to get ready for church. Next thing you know I am running late and begin to get a bit stressed about it. Whenever I get rushed like that my stomach gets in knots and I often get the D. Just before I was heading out the door I got that familiar feeling. It was not D though, just needed to go badly. On the way to church I felt a bit crampy but not bad. Once I got settled on the pew my stomach was still not quite right so I reached in my purse and took out a Bentyl and swallowed it right there with no water. Not fun! Soon my crampiness settled down. I ate a sub sandwich for lunch and, took my Welchol and was feeling pretty well then. I have been taking my Welchol at lunch so that my thyoid, Align and other meds that I take at breakfast have time to get absorbed first. At dinner time I was feeling a bit crampy again so I took another Welchol with my dinner. Other than the morning anxiety and the crampiness off and on I had no other issues the rest of the day and no D. Will see how my BM's are tomorrow after having taken 2 Welchol today. Also the gas and bloating that the Welchol was causing me seems to be settled way down since I added Align to my routine.

antsie
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 8/19/2008 6:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, I am feeling discouraged again. The last 2 mornings I have had 2 rounds of loose stools and I just took a Bentyl to settle my stomach. I don't know if the Welchol is not working or if I need to take more. I am taking 1 tablet at lunch and one at dinner. My reflux seems a bit irritated this morning as well.

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 8/19/2008 8:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi antsie,
You might want to try increasing your Welchol dosage, as they are to be taken "as needed."
Good luck! Hopefully someone experienced with Welchol will be around with their input.
Hope you feel better soon...
Co-Moderator IBS Forum
 
Please donate to help HW continue to help us... http://www.healingwell.com/donate/
 


antsie
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 8/19/2008 10:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Since I have been reading that adding the Calcium is good, at lunch today I bought some Caltrate 600 (the Walmart brand that is the same as the one in the pink box). I took 1 Caltrate and 2 Welchol at lunch and my tummy seems to be a bit more settled than it was. It is a little rumbly but no more D since this AM.

PT
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/19/2008 7:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Antsie, I have appreciated reading your messages and have been derelict in not answering your recommendation of Align.

At this point after researching Align further I am going to continue my previous action plan and not try any other medications until after my Washington trip. But I appreciate your concern and recommendation.

I don't want to come across as negative regarding your successes, but I will share with you a couple of my experiences reported earlier. I found that for me it took about a week of trying a different medication or treatment before I could make any consistent evaluations. And also I guess that my optimism lead me to believe that a new medication or treatment was working during the first day or two or three, only to realize after more time it was really not working.

This is not to suggest that we shouldn't keep searching and trying different alternatives but that in my case I had to take a longer time(at least a week) to make any meaningful conclusions.

Again I hope that the Welchol and calcium and Align will solve or at least minimize your diarrhea problem.

With Best Regards, PT
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
61 posts in this thread.
Viewing Page :
 1  2  3 
Forum Information
Currently it is Sunday, December 04, 2016 7:17 AM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,732,487 posts in 301,026 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151186 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, debbixij.
289 Guest(s), 8 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
John_TX, Redwing57, Bosco, time2reclaim, poohcheez, bdavis, trumpet123, JesperTrottier


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer