Welcome to our IBS family of sorts. Lots of nice folks on this forum and you may find that browsing the ostomy and UC forums for tips/suggestions on managing our lovely symptoms is helpful (for example, I read about
Renew Life's Critical Care Ultimate Colon Probiotic on the Ulcerative Colitis forum). I've been on that probiotic since May and have noticed a marked improvement in my situation. It's not a cure all but it seems to restore bacteria where I need it most, in my lower colon. Prior to that I was taking a 5 Billion count probiotic and it was a drop in the bucket, in highsight. I am now taking the 80 Billion count probiotic. On bad days I might take two capsules at bedtime. But I usually take 1 at bedtime (be sure to take it on an empty stomach if you try a probiotic).
All of that said, I normally would have you start with a food diary. But if you are under a physician's care I'm guessing you've tried eliminating or tracking what you are eating (and drinking). If you haven't tried a food diary, any 1 subject notebook will suffice. At the top of each page (not back, just front of sheet of paper), write the date. Record every single thing you eat and drink for that given day. If you had say 5 M & M's, write this down. If you took vitamins or other meds, write this down. If you were under undue stress that day, record this info. If you had a cold or your allergies were flaring, if you get them, again write this down. Also, females should record if they had their periods on that day. Now over time, if you tracked everything that happened that day that could affect your GI tract, you may begin to see a pattern form. You may find that certain foods aggravated your colon and you had more D than the day before. Avoid the foods you ate that day in the future. Over time you will see what foods agree with you and ones that bring on the dreaded D. Finally, I would rate each day on the bottom right hand corner of the page (again, don't use front and back of the pages, just front): Bad, Good, Great. So if I needed a great day, I would mimic those very foods I ate on a great day. I kept a food diary for 2 years. I was diligent about
recording every single detail in it. But now I know pretty much what I need to do - small meals in amount, plain foods from a low residue diet, low stress, the probiotic, and a mild stool softener (this doesn't act like a laxative does, although the label states that Colace is a laxative, but rather it helps keep my stool to a certain consistency).
As far as anxiety goes, after battling my situation for 11 years I've arrived at these conclusions - it's best not to go into detail with non-IBS people what I struggle with. They never understand what I go thru. They usually respond with - can't you take "a pill" for that? A pill. Sure a pill (the magic cure all for everything) will make my multiple bm's per day and often D, go away. So I rarely go into detail. I no longer eat before social events. I skip dinner in these circumstances. I eat light the day before a car trip and while traveling. And if I do experience trouble, I close my eyes in the bathroom I find myself in (interstate rest stop stall, hotel, public bathroom) and pretend I am at home. Does this work? Sometimes it actually does. I can feel my insides start to relax a bit.
I guess I just no longer apologize or go into detail anymore about
my IBS like symptoms. Mine are from having 1/3 of my colon removed. If anyone does ask me why I have to so much trouble - I just say that food goes thru me fast so I have to watch what I eat and sometimes not eat at all. If they push for more clarification, I say - no input, no output.
Then I gross them out but hey at least they leave me alone!
When I realized that my situation is for the rest of my life and fully comprehended what that meant (my former 1 bm a day routine was no more), I had a stern talk with myself, looked in the mirror and decided to make the best of this wacky IBS situation I've found myself in.
This of course is my approach. I also do a lot of pretending. I pretend that I have a normal colon when flaring away from home. Some would say that isn't healthy. But hey again it relaxes my insides (I can actually feel things calm down inside).
I hope others will respond to your topic. At least I can bump it up for you. But mostly, hang in there - you've found a good forum and you are certainly not alone. Vent away anytime and I hope I was helpful to you in some way.
Post Edited (Marsky) : 11/1/2010 5:18:16 AM (GMT-6)