Is there ever "regular bowel movements" again??

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Volmom
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 7/3/2007 10:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi!

I am new to your forum and have been trying to figure out if once you are diagnosed IBS, are there ever normal bowel habits again? I'm on the Bentyl and it has done wonders for the rushing to the bathroom and the cramping issues. However, I still don't have what I guess I would consider "normal" bm's. It's still very soft and loosely formed. Not diarrhea, per se, but just not regular (like peanut butter, sorry for being crass) :) I don't have pain or bloating too badly and have also been taking Caltrate 600 2 times daily. I also seem to go to the bathroom the same amount of times before all this hit. I also suffer from anxiety and have wondered if my meds (klonopin) for that are interfering with the treatment for IBS. My main concern is just the very soft stool issue - it's really the only symptom I am dealing with at the moment. I'm wondering if this is about as "normal" as it gets for IBS sufferers. I am also on a very low dose of Bentyl (10 mg. 2 times daily) and wondered if increasing to the standard dose would help. Any advice or information would be greatly, greatly appreciated. I'm scheduled for my first colonoscopy on 7/11 and that makes me anxious, even though the gastro said it's nothing to worry about and made it sound fairly routine in diagnosis. My family doc. said he's leaning towards IBS, but sent me to the gastro to be thorough.

Thanks! It's nice to be able to discuss this with people who understand. :)

Volmom

bennettgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 7/3/2007 11:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I've wondered the same thing.  Sorry I can't help you.  When I went on vacation I actually had normal bowel movements.  I was so happy.  I thought I had been cured. 
I see that you take Bentyl.  Does it make you sleepy?  The doctor gave me that and I haven't took it because I was chicken.  I've noticed that drinking cammomile tea calms my intestines down. 
 
I did have to take 2 immodium this morning though.

Volmom
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 7/3/2007 11:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't seem to have sleepy issues with the Bentyl and it definitely takes care of the sudden onset of D for me. I occasionally take the imodium, which actually makes me regular - imagine that!! However, my pharmacist said to avoid taking that for more than two days in a row. I guess you can build a tolerance to it. I use that if I'm going to be in a situation where I'll be around trigger foods that I love (mexican food, beer, etc.). I usually take two ahead of time and end up with no symptoms afterwards. I don't know if this is particularly good for me and I've only done it occasionally, but it works.

Bentyl, though, has helped me tremendously. I'll have to get some of the Chammomile tea. I've heard Peppermint tea is good, as well.

bennettgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 7/3/2007 12:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I ate Mexican Friday night and then had diareaha Sunday.  I went about 4 or 5 times and the last couple of times was nothing but water.  My stomach just rolled and rolled.  Then yesterday I was fine and then last night I got home and my stomach started rolling.  Then this morning my stools were very loose.  So I said forget this I will take 2 immodium.  I took my calcium a while ago though.  That is supposed to help.  When I first got diagnosed the doctor told me to get on Benefiber.  I did that and after a week it seemed to help and then I messed up and made a mistake and ate salsa to days in a row.  My body was craving it.  Then I got messed all over again. 
You know when I was on vacation I ate things I hadn't ate in a while.  It made me mad when I had diareaha 2 weeks later.  Whats up with that?

7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/3/2007 4:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Volmom,
Welcome to HealingWell! :-)

I read your post much earlier today and never replied as I wanted to mull over your question. Six hours later and I still don't know what to say. You pose a very good question. Unfortunately, I don't know who can answer it with any certainty. I think BMs vary and have so many contributing factors. I do, however, don't have any doubt that you will probably have "normal" BMs sporadically. It could happen when you're totally stress free or eating particularly great and taking your meds religiously. As mentioned by bennettgirl, when I went away on vacation I had absolutely no IBS symptoms. I ate terribly; a bunch of fried foods and lots of dessert. But, I also kept up with my meds. I drank lots of milk (calcium helps!) and I ate lots of yogurt (probiotics fantastic!). It all really depends on circumstance.

As for Klonopin interfering with your IBS treatment... I don't think so. Have you asked your doc this question? Anti-anxiety meds usually help IBSers. Mainly because they're calming and also because they're usually constipating. Anyone with IBS-D knows the great benefits of a med with a constipating side effect.

That is a great thing your doc has asked you to get scoped. It's better to be safe than sorry.
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Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 7/3/2007 5:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I think it's pretty "normal" for IBSers to have "abnormal" BMs most of the time.  Heck, when I go more than a day without diarrhea I think the sky is falling!  Have you looked at the side effect profile for Klonopin?  Usually anti-anxiety drugs are indeed constipating, like Lil said, but some psychotropic drugs can cause diarrhea as well.  You might ask your pharmacist about it.

Volmom
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 7/4/2007 8:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much! You actually made me feel better!! It's funny, because the biggest source of stress for me right now is the colonoscopy!! Not the procedure itself - that kind of thing doesn't bother me. What I am experiencing anxiety over is what they will find when they get there! My imagination goes on overload! :( I will be so happy when this is over and done with! I don't have any of the so-called "red flag symptoms" and I definitely thought I would never be happy or relieved to tell a doc that I haven't experienced any unexplained weight loss. :) The Bentyl has worked very well, but even with that and the calcium, I will have D (especially if I have beer or am around cigarettes), but most of the time it's just poorly formed very soft bms. From what I've read, I guess I should be grateful and I will definitely be grateful if the gastro doc looks at me and says "It's IBS." Also - my mom has IBS and my Dad has diverticulitis. I've always had a sensitive GI tract and was even given fluids for this in Oct. of 2005. My hubby went through all this about 10 years ago and was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. He had dropped a whole bunch of weight in a short amount of time had some really scary symptoms. He's been amazingly supportive through this stuff. Oh - I also checked the side effects for klonopin and BOTH constipation and diarrhea are listed! Go figure. :) I also only use it on an "as needed" basis. I've actually thought about asking about Zoloft because I've read that the meds affecting serotonin are prescribed often anyways with IBS. Anyways, thanks so much for the welcome! I'm so glad I found this site!!

Volmom
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 7/4/2007 8:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh - forgot to ask something! How much can hormones affect this? All this started when I had a Mirena IUD taken out (it produced extra progesterone monthly) and the doc put me on birth control pills. I was on that (haven't been on it in 12 years) and had a tubal procedure done. This all started at the beginning of April and that coincides with the exaggerated symptoms. The anxiety usually kicks in at its worst whenever my hormones are messed with even slightly. Just thought I'd ask about it. :) Thanks again!!

shelly1979
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 7/5/2007 8:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Volmom!
 
You ask the golden question that we all wish we knew the answer too!  tongue   
 
I, like you, have IBS-D (or that's what it sounds like you most likely have.)  When you mentioned the "peanut butter" detail, I can totally relate!  I have had it since March '06 (sudden onset) and I didn't know what the heck was wrong with me.  I thought I may have a flu bug or sometihng like that.  WHen I still had diarrhea for 2 weeks, I called my Dr.  She sent me to a GI specialist.  I've had all of the scope tests, blood tests, stool tests...all show nothing.  SO...I've been left to deal with tis so-called IBS-D issue that started to take over my life...but I have found help in this site with the encourging words from members on this board.  It has helped me cope.  :-)    It's wonderful to know you're not all alone, and dying, for that matter.  It scared me so much because I thought I had something that the Dr.'s just weren't picking up on.  But...I'm still here, pregnant, due in a week, and still dealing with IBS-D on a daily basis. 
 
To reflect on your question...I have bad days and good days.  Sometimes I will go 4 times, sometimes I will go 1 time, sometimes I won't go at all.  I have forgot what a normal BM actually is to tell you the truth.  I can tell you that my symptoms have eased up some.  It waxes & wanes.  Try reading u p on IBS...in books...maybe ask your specialist about some reading material on IBS.  Right before I became pregnant, I was seeing a homepathic Dr. that seemed to be helping me some.  He put me on a probiotic powder that you mix with water.  It seemed to be helping some, but I discpontinued use when I found out I was prgnant.  I know it most likelly wouldn't have hurt anything, but I just chose not to take anything while pregnant.   I'm due July 15 and scheduled an appointment with him for Aug.3 so I can get back on the homeopathic train.  I'm hoping it will help.  tongue
 
Hope this helps...
Shelly
 
 
 

Volmom
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 7/5/2007 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Congratulations on your expected arrival! tongue My oldest has her 6th birthday this Saturday. Thanks for the words of encouragement - it helps so much. I'm probably like many IBS'ers trying to figure this whole thing out as I go and also to see if what's happening to me is what "normally happens." Crazy. I have found that between the Bentyl, the Caltrate, and occasional Imodium - I do okay. I don't have episodes that often, just the "peanut butter." confused Anyways, thanks for the reply - I'm finding this site to be a God send. Thanks!!

CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 7/5/2007 4:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I haven't had a normal BM, since I developed IBS.......which was about 10 years ago. Mine is mostly always soft and shredded.
I can remember when my BMs looked just like a cast of my colon.......but probably never again.
My bowels were always alot worse on hormone replacement, so it wouldn't surprise me if your's are worse on birth control.
I was sure they'd find all sorts of awful stuff in my colon, with my colonoscopy.......but it was normal except for a few small diverticula.
Its so easy with IBS to think they'll find something awful! But try not to worry. Chances are your's will be fine!

Volmom
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 7/5/2007 5:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks! I've always had issues with D, but now I'm rearranging my diet (no more beer, spicy foods, etc.) and that's been the interesting part. yeah yeah

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 7/6/2007 11:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Vol, I think it was Des (7Lil) that found that birth control pills made her symptoms worse. She went to a ring and her bowels got somewhat better, especially around that time of the month. I'm on Depo Provera (also progesterone) and don't have periods and don't seem to get the fluctuations that a lot of people get. I'd hate to think what would happen if I had to get off of it; I got on it only a few months after getting my gall bladder out, so I never really got to see what would happen without it. But, I do know that long before I had any bowel problems, I would get constipated right before my period; now that I have bowel problems, that would probably be a lot worse.

But you are right in suspecting that hormones play a big role in IBS. Hormones control the function of the intestines and most of the rest of the body, not just the sexual organs.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 7/6/2007 11:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Wait... I think dbab is Des and Lil is... Lil. LOL.

Anyways, one of them.

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/6/2007 11:29 AM (GMT -7)   
It was me... I was on the pill for 7 years. My mom was the one that finally opened my eyes to the idea of the pill causing me (most) of my problems. She was right. I got off the pill and within 2 weeks I was feeling much better. My frequency of attacks were cut down by about 80%. I stayed off the pill for just over a year and then decided to get back on (for cyst purposes). This time I tried a lower hormone dose and I'm doing OK. I've been on it for about 4 months now. I still get my random attacks but nothing like they used to be.

As you mentioned, Keri, Des uses NuvaRing but I don't know if it's because she can't handle the pill. I think she just likes it... Direct hormone source.
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CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 7/6/2007 1:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I think its always important to wonder about symptoms and medications. I struggled with horrible headaches for over 5 years.....almost daily. Last month, I tried to take a PPI again (proton pump inhibitor for GERD), and discovered it gave me bad headaches. I was on it those 5 years!!! I can't believe I suffered sooooo much, possibly because of that medicine I was taking, and I didn't have a clue! I could have stopped the headaches, if I'd just thought about the possible connections. I thought of everything else, I don't know why I didn't think of the PPI. Also........I had tons of GI problems while on HRT.....but I sort of needed to be on that.

dbab
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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 7/6/2007 11:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Actually, I'm on no hormone contraceptives anymore... doctor's orders. I will be starting the non hormone IUD (I think its called Paragard). I miss the ring and would suggest it to anyone who doesn't have a problem with the hormones but the hormones weren't good for me because of other health issues.
"Des"
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Co-Moderator ~ Lupus Forum 
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Klonopin 2mg/day (tapering to PRN), Miralax 17g, Supplements


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Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 7/6/2007 11:29 PM (GMT -7)   

It is the absolute weirdest thing, but yours truly (a.k.a. the Diarrhea Queen herself - just call me "DQ") gets somewhat constipated when I have my period.  It is so truly bizarre.  Of course, this only lasts a day or two and then I'm back to my regular garden hose status, but it's true that your sex hormones can dramatically affect your bowels.

P.S. I LOVE the NuvaRing.  I'd be a momma without it, LOL!


Co-moderator - IBS Forum


Volmom
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 7/8/2007 1:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I just find that it's a little too coincidental that this IBS-D (I suppose this may be confirmed Wed. with my Colonoscopy) started to rear its ugly head when I was having major upheaval hormonally. I think I mentioned that my regular doc. was the one who first mentioned the possibility that the birth control was messing with my system.
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