New discussion: Consistency?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 8/4/2008 6:49 AM (GMT -7)   
As many of you know, I had rectal cancer, diagnosed in 1999, 90% of my sigmoid removed, 15 inches of my colon removed, gall bladder removed as well, Stage I, no treatment necessary, temp colostomy reversed 8 weeks after my colon resection. I have been left with multiple bm's each day and IBS-D like symptoms.

I have found this IBS forum to be a God-send - thank you all so much for your advice, input, suggestions, camaraderie, laughter (funny stories to share), etc.

That said, one aspect of my 9 year struggle seems to be consistency. Just when I determine one approach, medication, food works, it stops working! Or doesn't really help me anymore.

Does anyone else notice this? Does your GI tract just revolt and say no more! Mine seems to. No matter what I do or not do, when things seem to be going really well for me (formed stool, not messy, my favorite stage), they change.

I wish they'd remain the same, ie - be consistent!

This is just one aspect of IBS that I find frustrating. Just when I determine what my magic foods are - say organic yogurt, applesauce, instant mashed potatoes, bananas, etc. - suddenly I have D anyway.

This isn't an everyday problem, not even every week. Just occasionally I'll notice something I thought was sure fire for me, isn't anymore.

Does anyone notice this?

Really, the only sure fire cure I've come up with is fasting on solids. It's the only way I know how to reduce my bm count. Of course I do continue with fluids. I only do this for extreme instances - traveling, social events, etc.

Thanks in advance for replies.


Lady Frog
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 8/4/2008 1:44 PM (GMT -7)   
The only thing consistent with my guts is it's inconsistency. For the longest time uncooked carrots were tummy friendly( and tummy soothing) food. But now if I eat them I'm pretty much guaranteed a trip to the bathroom within the hour if not sooner. I used to be able to handle red meat on a regular basis and now I can only handle it if the tummy is being nice and it's super lean and ground. It seems that as much as I can no longer eat certain foods( most of the ones in the beginning were not good for me anyways) there is nothing that was once a trigger and now is not. I find myself more and more eating things even if I know it may set me off because I need them in my diet. I eat cheese every once in a while to boost my calcium( eat a bowl of fortified cereal every morning to get at least some), I add ground beef to my pasta sauce to add some iron as well as cook in an iron skillet to boost that intake. Some days I just feel like going back to my old, bad eating habits just because I will get some consistency. Consistently D tongue but at least I would know what I was getting into. Not like now where I flip flop so bad some days I'm down to passing bile in the morning and in the evening I'm passing rabbit pellets. The other thing consistent about my IBS is every time symptoms change, get worse or the treatment isn't working it's "normal". No longer able to digest dyes of any kind? Perfectly normal. Getting D so bad you pass your pill completely undigested? Again perfectly normal. When she finally finds something not normal I think I'm going to throw a party.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/4/2008 2:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I liken being without a gall bladder as to being like an insulin-dependant diabetic. If you know anything about them, you know that they have to adjust their insulin daily based on their blood sugar, which derives at a number based on a complex interaction between their exercise level, food consumption, and even stress.

Unfortunately, there is no equivalent blood sugar test for us. For me, what kind of poop I have today, how I felt having it, what time I had it, and sometimes what I plan on eating later in the day (or what I ate yesterday) all play a part in me deciding how much Welchol I'm going to take. Right now I'm veering a little to constipation, so I'm not taking my normal dose every morning. I think I skipped completely Satuday, took two Sunday, but only one today.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 8/5/2008 8:40 AM (GMT -7)   
It's the nature of this dopey "syndrome". Being "incurable", it should be expected that NOTHING will offer sustained relief. The best I can hope for is a few weeks in a row and even that is optimistic.

I've designed something of a rotating "system" of treatments, depending upon what the guts are doing. If I am feeling crampy, backed-up, gassy and generally plugged, I will use the reglan, MOM, and my chinese herbs. If that routine fails, I rely on a two day clean out with the mag citrate, just to get things moving. For maintainance, when things actually are working (so VERY rare), I just take my Chinese herbs and eat really well. Since I rarely have sustained D (and I am always THRILLED when I do), I don't treat that at all. I just thank God for the relief and let it run it's course.

And of course, I always bear in my mind that EVERYTHING I currently do can stop working completely at any time. After all, my gut has a mind of it's own.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 8/5/2008 11:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much for all your replies.

So I take it my inconsistency is just normal for my new GI tract? LOL Although it doesn't feel so new, it's been going on for 9 years now.....

Gutsy - you know, my stool seems to go thru many stages, similar to what you described although I never have C.

I'm starting to see a pattern here. I can only do so much and go with the flow more (no pun intended)....not that I'm going to throw caution to the wind here and drink micro beer, eat chocolate and our local spicy chili - all three would do me in for a week or more.......but I think I'm going to relax more about this whole inconsistency aspect.

It really is the only thing I can count on - that my gut will do its own thing and like yours gutsy, it does seem to have a mind of its own.

But oh I would love just ONE day of how things used to be......sigh.......thanks again everyone.


Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 8/5/2008 7:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Marsky. I'm new to this message board but not to IBS. I've had this "disorder" for 30+ years. For me, everything about IBS is inconsistent -- from severity of the symptoms to the periods between D and C to how my body reacts to the foods I eat.
I have tried so many meds and so many doctors and again oh the inconsistencies. For a time something will work, then no more and I'm back to square one again.
Right now I'm going through a particularly bad time with D. I've read many of the posts here and boy can I identify with all the stories. I guess the saying misery loves company applies -- as I feel as if I'm going to fit right in here.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 8/6/2008 5:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello crampygrammy - welcome to the forum. You will find lots of helfpul, kind souls here. I have and although I have never been officially diagnosed with IBS, they don't seem to mind. My symptoms are very similar to what a lot of folks on this forum go through. Mine are a direct result of not having my sigmoid my colon surgeon says and also having my gall bladder removed. Like you, I've tried many meds and approaches. Thought for certain chewable Caltrate would help me but it ended up almost impacting me. There's one rare stage I go through and it feels as if they didn't make my opening big enough (since 90% of my sigmoid is gone, I am much narrower internally). But my surgeons swear they did, not to worry. At times like that I actually feel the walls of my colon are swollen and inflamed, making it harder to go but it's not quite C either. Somewhere in between formed stool and C. Once I finally go, after a lot of goofy things I try (sipping hot tea, massaging my GI tract, I follow it's path on my stomach, a trick a nurse gave me once, this action speeds along the gas and may or may not move the stool along), if I lean way over while sitting on the toilet as if I'm tying my shoes but my chin is lower than my knees it can shift the stool and it's easier passed. I try this in public restrooms if I'm having trouble. Sometimes just standing up and then sitting down again, moves things along, that gravity idea. Sometimes just moving my body around on the toilet too. If you were to take a stall next to me in a public restroom you would wonder - what the heck is going on over there? That one scene from the Austin Powers movie comes to mind (Tom Arnold, talking as if he's having a particular hard stool to pass but he's not, I about pee my pants when I watch that scene, it's hilarious!).

I guess I don't feel so unusual now. This is the new normal for me now.

Funny story to share, we were watching America's Got Talent last night. The sword swallower tried a sword that bends, but he had to bend his body so it would go down his throat. I could NOT watch. Behind the blanket I was hiding behind, I blurted out to my family - I am glad I am just an ordinary person.

They cracked up and said - well, we don't know about ordinary.....LOL I said - yeah I know, I'm glad I'm just an ordinary person but with a BAD colon! LOL

Please feel free to post. You will meet so many very nice members! Welcome to the forum.

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