Posted 10/10/2010 9:38 AM (GMT -6)
No, I'm not really using fiber. A low residue diet is low fiber. I found that high fiber made things worse for my GI tract, not better. The Colace stool softener is just that, a stool softener, it doesn't add fiber or bulk to the stool but helps create that stool consistency I've strived for. The probiotics just seem to restore order in my tract while I sleep. The one I use - Renew Life - is made specifically for the lower colon. The pill is encoated and doesn't dissolve until it reaches the lower colon - just where I need good bacteria the most. I read somewhere you should take it on a completely empty stomach so since I try not to eat after dinner, taking it around 10 or 11 pm works well for me. If you do take it with food, the stomach acid can break down the encoated shell of the pill and then the probiotics are wasted higher up in the GI tract. At least that is what I read, somewhere, possibly on the colitis forum here.
Fiber works for some IBS people but for others it makes things worse.
So if I had to sum up what I do it's this - plain food, small portions, eating for 12 hours on, 12 off (to give my insides a chance to relax and so I can sleep w/o needing a bathroom), sometimes skipping dinner for evening social events, stool softener, and probiotic.
This is just what seems to work for me. I've only been on the probiotic since May 2nd. But it does seem to be helping me a lot.
My entire goal since arriving at this IBS (multiple bm's, etc.) situation is to eat in such a way so as to coexist with family, friends with normal colons. No one around me has troubles like I do. So I just adjust when and how much I do eat and hope for the best. I know where every bathroom is located, no matter where we are - stores, mall, grocery store, public parks, the library. I always scout out where they are just in case I need one when away from home.
I also think I might do this well because years ago when I finally faced what this situation really is - for me, for life, I'm missing the bottom part of my colon - I seemed to turn a corner. Prior to that I was trying in vain to go back to my old life - one bm a day, eat anything I wanted - but once my colon surgeon drew me a diagram of what's left of me inside, I finally began to see why I do have this much trouble. I could have had a pity party but I decided, no Mary, buck up, make the best of this situation. So that seemed to relax my insides too - just letting go of the old me. Never to be again. Sounds corny, but true. I just face what I have now - a very touchy gut - and eat, drink and behave accordingly to manage it as well as I can.