IBS-C; What Treatments Have Worked Best for You?

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/18/2009 8:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I've had chronic constipation since childhood; diagnosed with IBS in the 90s, increased my fiber, water, and exercise, and still have issues with chronic constipation. Best time period for my digestive tract was the one year I gave up all dairy, meat, fish, poultry, eggs...hard to do...
What has worked for you when fiber, water, and exercise just isn't enough? Other dietary changes, or something else?
Have you been tested for food allergies?
Anyone successful with the medication Amitiza?
I'm curious why IBS-c is less common than IBS-d, too.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/18/2009 8:57 PM (GMT -7)   
One other thing...I frequently have Left lower quadrant (pelvic) pain, which can be relieved after having a bowel movement. Occassionally it's the right lower quadrant--maybe 10% of the time. What is causing this type of pain??

Why do I have such hard stools if I eat a lot of fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 2/18/2009 11:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I take magnesium supplements, about 1000mg/day depending on the brand. It helps me a lot.

When you gave up all those foods, did you add them back all at once or one at a time? It might be that only one or two of these foods are giving you a problem.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/19/2009 6:58 AM (GMT -7)   

magnesium supplements...interesting, i remember reading that before. my doctor didn't mention them, though. perhaps i'll get some and give them a try first. i'll also research foods high in mg.

i really didn't keep track of when i added back foods when i was vegan...it sort of just happened. however, perhaps a more structured elimination diet is in need. i'm seriously considering going off dairy, as i do recall that being a trigger food. and, i think although i get enough fiber, i did do well when i ate much more fiber...as i did when i was vegan, since i mainly ate beans, veggies, etc.

what is everyone's feelings about soy? trigger food or not? and dairy?

i've been doing better having given up coffee, but now i drink a lot of green tea. is that still okay?


New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/19/2009 8:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had IBS-d since I was 12 yrs old and when I was in grad school it got to the point where it was so bad that I couldn't eat anything because of intense pain in my stomach.  I went to a gastroenterologist and he told me to eat fiber.  This didnt help because I couldn't eat anything at the time and so he gave me a prescription for hyoscyamine.  This worked a little bit but it made my vision go out of focus really badly and it was hard for me to get the focus back to where it needed to be.  So I quit taking it. 
My mom was concerned for me and started searching the internet and found this website by a woman who became an expert on IBS because she has had it since childhood.  www.helpforibs.com 
She sells a fiber that works wonders for both IBS c-d and has a whole list of foods you should avoid in her cookbook. 
I bought the book and found it to be helpful although I don't use the recipes.  Some of the trigger foods to avoid in the beginning are dairy, egg  yolks, pork, red meat, grease, oil, foods high in fat, etc..  and from what you said in your first post, giving up a lot of those trigger foods made it better for you.  The good thing about her book and website is she shows you alternate ways to cook, although soy cheese will never taste as good as real cheese, it's worth it to avoid the pain. 
She says to focus on how you eat, like don't eat salad before a meal, eat it after.  Eat stabilizers like sourdough or french bread before a meal, don't eat large quantities of food at a time etc. 
I think the pain part though is to get on the fiber because it has a lot of soluble fiber in it and then figure out what foods trigger your IBS.  I found that I can eat pizza from time to time and be ok, but I cannot eat icecream for the life of me.  It's wierd. 
I wish you luck in  your search and I hope this helped a little. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 2/21/2009 9:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Two things that help me in addition to your list of the fiber, water, and excercise, would be adequate oils in my food and adequate sleep.

I use healthy oils such as sesame, olive, cod liver (should be limited), flax oil (great for additional mild fiber). I use mostly sesame oil as its warmth aids digestion. I currently eat as much oil as I can each day, about 10 tablespoons in the winter, less in the warmth of summer. When I start having oily skin on my face I cut back, (and in case you wonder I do not get zits from all the oil I eat. on the otherhand a burger and fries will). The oils really helps to lubricate the intestines, aiding with elimination.

Adequate sleep is probably my biggest challenge. When I am eating right and still having challenges, the one thing that improve my motility is getting adequate sleep. Years of constipation have done their damage to my natural digestive rythms and organs, so on a normal work day I am lucky to get 6 hours sleep at night, and am too rushed or stressed to pick up what is now only a faint sensation of the all important "urge." When I can get 8 hrs sleep and am less rushed, I my BMs become much more regular.

Soy can be a problem for some body types, while others benefit from it. If you did okay with beans on your vegan diet, you are probably fine with soy. I can't do either, except on very limited basis. I also have eliminated dairy because it constipates me. I use mostly almond or rice milk, but not even much of that. I eat lots of chicken, duck, some turkey (slow cooked for easier digestion). Beef and pork constipate me.

I am going into my second year of healing from IBS and numerous other digestive issues that have plagued me for over 30 years. My IBS is history, unless I get lazy or stupid about it. I continue to work at my constipation, but all things considered, it is much improved from past years.

One more thing; despite your challenges, remember to have fun! Most IBS problems can be eliminated with dietary changes. Depriving yourself of foods you enjoy, even if they harm you, is not very fun. Sadness and depression constipate me, going to the gym for a "work out" can constipate me. Going out and having a genuinely good time, or having positive excitement about something in the future gets me moving almost without fail.

Good luck!

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 2/22/2009 3:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I found adding a handful of prunes to my diet daily helps me with constipation.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 3/21/2009 12:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi! I have been taking Amitiza for the last year and it does work, although I have had to up the dose. When all else fails, I go with Milk of Magnesia. Hope that helps!
katie; 23
diagnosed with cecal volvulus, 2006; two colon resections in the same year; diagnosed with colitis 2007; malrotated colon; no cecal valve, removed during surgery; gastritis emptying; Amitiza; Levsin, occasional peppermint oil/charcoal

wellbutrin XL (300mg) for depression (currently stppoed--taking Balance D)

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/28/2009 5:10 PM (GMT -7)   
For IBS relief (all different kinds, C, D) please look into NUCCA chiropractic. I am a 25 yr old female who has had IBS (C mostly) for as long as I remember. I have gained a wealth of knowledge from www.helpforibs.com but have had a lot of help from seeing a NUCCA chiropractor. Please don't just go to any chiropractor-only NUCCA. You can find more specific info at www.nucca.org or www.erinelster.com. NUCCA adjustments focus on getting the head exactly aligned over the neck which helps transmit messages from the brain to the intestines/digestive system. When I started this I felt much less depressed and gassy. I have seen huge changes in the digestive system since starting this. Please look into it.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/28/2009 5:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Also, to add to the message about I feel that my immunity is better-not as many wierd stomach flu type things. (I never knew if it was IBS/stomach flu or a combination of both sometimes). This treatment helps keep the contractions of the intestines normal to move things along.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 333
   Posted 3/28/2009 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
What works for me is Amitiza and fiber from cooked veggies like carrots,potatoes,beans,string beans,sweet potatoes constanly keeping those in my diet helps with having more normal bms with formed stools.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 3/31/2009 11:52 AM (GMT -7)   
What I would suggest is eat a lot of soluble fiber and watch what you eat.  HelpforIBS.com does have great advice, and the diet page will give you a list of soluble and insoluble fibers as well as the IBS trigger foods such as red meat, solid chocolate, all oils, butter, dark poultry, artificial flavoring and sweeteners, coffee, etc. I agree that you need to make sure you have a good soluble fiber base before you have a lot of insoluble fiber in your meal.   This soothes and regulates the digestive tract, stabilizes the intestinal contractions resulting from the gastrocolic reflex, and normalizes bowel function from either extreme.  If you feel you are not getting enough soluble fiber in your diet just from food, then I recommend the Acacia Tummy Fiber.  This fiber is and a wonderful, organic, soluble fiber supplement that has no additives and helps resolve both IBS-C and IBS-D.
I hope this helps!

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/1/2009 12:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Mine is out of control and it seems no one here has the same as I do unless you just didn't say it but still have the pain? Mine are like severe charlie horse in the stomach area and not always in the same spot. I can be doing nothing at all and it hits be like a knif in the gut !! I had 4 attacks since Jan 2009 and 3 attacks just here recently one after another. Although I have had all testing done on my orgins and nothing showed up. I was at my eye doctor appointment yesterday and boom it hit me right out of nowhere and it is like a crazy woman doing a rain dance. I have to stand up Stretch move trying to work it out, it is so paintful the worse pain I have ever felt in my life.. My eye doctor had to rush me to the ER room. I had just been to the doctor for it the day before and then day before that. My family doctor put me on that DICYCOMINE 10mg three times a day and actually felt better thought we had found the relief I needed until that happen at the eye doctors. At the ER room they did a CT SCAN and showed NOTHING???? I stay so scared all the time cannot sleep because I am so scared of having an attack. People I am telling you the pain is unreal. Imagine gtting a charlie horse in your calf and not being able to get it out, except this is in my stomach area. My tummy rumbles, moves like there is something inside it alive. I just don't know what to do I am at my wits end here I have been reading alot so some of the things I am going to try are... quine water, Vit-b1, malic acid, and fiber. I am going to go get those items today. I am afraid to drive or go anywhere since that happen to me out in public yesterday. God I need help so bad !! I have had all test done, name it done it !! Not one thing has shown up. Well at least I know there isn't any underlining sickness in my body ! It hurts so bad, uncontrolable, never in my life have I ever hurt so bad when this happens. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/1/2009 8:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Sorry to hear you are in so much pain. You should look seeing a NUCCA chiropractor (I know, its your stomach, not your back). Look up information on this type of chiropractic under www.erinelster.com (under the IBS sections) I know I have had some very wierd rumbling/stretching sensations and NUCCA really helped this along with a range of other issues i've had. Also, have you had your galbladder checked? You may have gallstones. I know people who have attacks of gallstones that come and then show up out of nowhere. Good luck. Hope you feel better.
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