Newbie to IBS-D treatments - Tums for IBS-D?

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New Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/6/2007 7:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello all.  First off, I am new here, so let me say thank you and hello to everyone that posted all of the wonderful information on this site. 
Now,  I am a 21 year old male, that was recently (8mo) diagnosed with IBS-D.  I have been having problems since I was young, but they used to be "seasonal" problems.  Every year got worse and worse untill finally, I am in the bathroom 20 times a day, sometimes in tears with pain.  It seems like the more I go, the more I have to go confused .  Anywho, I finally got the courage to go to a doctor, and after all the fun tests I am sure you have all had, it seems they almost "dissmissed" me and said "you have IBS-D have a nice life."  My doc told me to quit basically everything (despite the advice of the Gastroenterologist) and it seems to have made things worse.  Not much helps except taking 3 immodiums every morning and pray its not a bad day.  It has gotten so bad, I can no longer visit my 300 acre farm, because the 250 mile trip will take 8 hours after bathroom breaks.  I hate going to work, because we only have 2 bathrooms and they are inside our tiny break room and everyone eats at the same time.  I feel bad using the bathroom, no matter wat time of the day.  Anyway, I am sure you all know where I am coming from, but it feels GREAT to get that off my chest.
My [b]main[/b] question is: I have read on here that 250mg of Calcium CARBONATE (not Citrate) with each meal for 3 days, than 500mg with each meal, will help nearly as much as the immodium.  Can I use Tums+Calcium for this, or should I really go buy more medicine?  The reason I ask, is because my father has a STASH of Tums+Calcium from reflux before he was given perscriptions, and I am a poor 21 year old trying to make my car payments tongue   I believe it is 500mg calcium carbonate along with a bunch of other things.  One that worried me was something like 100mg of Magnesium S something.  It wasnt just straight Magnesium, two words.  I read that magnesium will make things worse, and I had a really bad night and am trying to calm things down for work tommorrow.  Took 4 immodiums, 2 bannanas, 5 bottles of water, 2 pepto bismal, and a lactaid fast act to calm me down earlier :(
Secondly, is there anything else I can use to calm things down besides Immodium?  Dont get me wrong, it does its purpose most days, but I am deffinatly noticing that it takes more than it used to, and it also does not help with the stomache cramps or the feeling of needing to go non stop all day long.  I would like to try and ween myself back off of it, but using the bathroom 20 times a day is not an option right now.
thanks in advice, and I appoligze for the long post.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/7/2007 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't know if Tums is the exact same sort of calcium in the approprite doses WITHOUT a lot of added magnesium. They add magnesium to calcium supplements to keep them from consitpating regular people. After a lot of research, Linda (Inape) found that the best stuff to use was Caltrate 600 w/ vitamin D. It has the least amount of magnesium, and therefore the most constipating power. Since you're on three imodiums a day, I doubt that the calcium will be enough by itself to stop you up, but it may help you to reduce the amount of imodium that you take, and help it work better. Walgreens definitely has a generic form of the Caltrate and it's $13.99 for this huge bottle. I think it's something like 500 pills. I take one or two a day and it lasts me for months and months and months. I think you'll find that affordable! It may help with the stomach cramping; it helped mine big time when I started taking it.

The other thing you can try are probiotics. They are pricey in pill form, so you may want to start out lightly with just a serving or two of yogurt a day. If you drink milk, switch to acidophillus milk, and if you can afford it, you might want to try acidophillus pills; they are the most simple but also the cheapest of the probiotic products. Watch out in the beginning, though; the pills have a tendency to cause gas cramps until you get used to them. You may also want to try insoluable fiber. All fiber supplements have both soluable and insoluable, but you can get them where they are predominantly one or the other. Insoluable fiber is found in things like fruit and vegetable peels and it adds bulk to watery stools.

Post your usual diet and we might can see where you are eating some things that you might not ought to. Also, have you been tested for any food allergies, like Celiac's disease? These things can appear spontaneously. If you can't get anyone to test you, you can always try an elimination diet. You can start by giving up all dairy (including the additive "casein"), and see if that helps, before moving on to another big culprit, wheat (including gluten). A few people have also found relief by going organic and giving up all artifical sweetners, preservatives, dyes, etc. Of course, going on a special diet is more pricey, so you might want to just try the Caltrate and the yogurt to start with and see what that gets you.

New Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/7/2007 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   
I appologize for not providing more information, let me help you, possible help me :) I will deffinatly try and stop and get some Caltrate while I am out today at the doctors (if my stomache will let me :( ).

I have not tried probiotics, mostly because I just learned about them last night (although I have always had a hunch bacteria was the reason for IBS). My problem is the cost of the pills, especially since I cannot eat Yogurt.

I am lactose intolerant. I can eat/drink dairy products just fine, but 4-5 hours later it will hit me and I will not be able to leave the bathroom for 2 or 3 days, and have stomache cramps for a week. Point in fact, I felt good last 2 or 3 days so I had some cream chipped beef and forgot to take a lactaid with it, now I had to call out of work today :( I have heard fiber helps, but I also heard it makes things worse so I never really tried it. I did give Mens One A Day a try for a month under docs orders, but it didnt help at all, if anything it made things a tad worse.

I dont think my issues are nessesarily "watery stools." Please bear with me, since I get uncomfortable talking about my stools, but I will try and explain teh best I can. They look relatively normal, but when flushed the usually "explode," although when the immodium does its job and I am only going once a day they are regular movements. Only on days like yesterday and today when no matter what I do or take I cannot stop going to the bathroom, are my stools watery. Usually I just go to the bathroom a lot with semi normal stools untill about the 5th bathroom trip, then they start getting watery. No matter what, I usually have a small amount of blood on my toilet tissue when I am done.

So far I have had a Colonoscopy, a prostate check, some blood work, and dietary elimination. The Gastro guy told me after the colonoscopy that he didnt say anything wrong and to deal with it and call him if it gets a lot worse. I have not had a food allergy test as far as I know unless it was done with the 3 litty vials of blood they took.

Usual diet huh...Sorta changes weekly with what triggers and what doesnt. Never eat fast foot, always upsets me. Usually I will eat a steak (mostly in the oven but grilled now that its summer) with corn or the like twice a week. I have a baked chicken with mushrooms in tomato sauce over white rice once a week. Baked chicken is also pretty common. Sometimes I have spare ribs, once a month we order american-chinese. I just started eating a lot of bannanas since I am pretty ill, they dont seem to make things worse but who knows. I cannot eat any diary products at all, and deep fried foods usually make me pretty ill. My doc basically had me eliminate Alcohol, Caffine (I was a coke-a-holic..12 pack a day or more but I quit, didnt help), Cigerettes, nuts, and diary. I stopped drinking anything besides water, and sometimes Gatorade. I was drinking gatorade only, but water and Crystal Light is much cheaper. I am only eating home cooked meals for dinner, never eat breakfast. My lunch is usually some left overs, sometimes a roastbeef and ham sandwich with some chips, other times I eat those frozen dinners for lunch. Latley I stoped eating lunch all together. I have thought about going organic, but it is very expensive.

Sorry for the long post again, but no Docs have been able to help me, and I think my job is in jeapordy with so many doctor visits. If I didnt have a fear of the bathrooms at work, and the immodium was doing what it used to, it would be much more tolerable. I have always had a fear of public restrooms though, ever since I was little. I feel almost embarressed using them, especially the ones at my current job since there are only 2 for MANY people and they are inside our small break room.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/10/2007 10:47 AM (GMT -7)   
I think everyone on here has a problem with public restrooms. I used to never, ever, have a bowel movement in one, although I've had to relax that to never have one when someone else is in there, unless there are so many people and so much flushing and noise that no one can hear it. Quick flushes to keep it from smelling.

It sounds like your stools are like the ones I used to have. They were soild, but they were "flaky" looking; not smooth at all. And when I flushed, they all fell apart into crumbles. The calcium stopped those, so maybe they would help you too.

Are you sure you can't tolerate yogurt? Some lactose intolerant people can handle it since almost all the lactose in it is gone (consumed by the bacteria); it all depends on how sensitive you are. I want to say that Stoneyfield produces a soy yogurt as well; if you could find that, you might give it a try. Also, the acidophillus pills are not very expensive. about $9 for a 100, which, if you take one a day, will last you 3 months and a bit. You can find them in with the other herbal medicines, and you should be able to find a generic version.

Sounds like your diet is pretty good, although a bit heavy on the beef, I think. Eating more chicken and fish and less red meat is about the only thing I can think of that might help (but probably only a small amount). Tomatoes sometimes give some people problems, so you might want to see if you get any better when you don't have pasta sauce, but I'd say if you don't notice a difference, go back to having it. Bananas are constipating, so I think you're probably real good to eat on those.

Hopefully the calcium and/or probiotics will help you out.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 100
   Posted 6/7/2008 2:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Take 3 Caltrate600 with D a day to really help.

Hope this helps you lower your Immodium. I am down to 1 or 2 a day immodium

Have a pain free colon day,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 6/14/2008 7:04 AM (GMT -7)   
A couple of things you mentioned about your diet stood out to me as possible triggers....Crystal Light has artificial sweetener, a big no-no for a lot of IBS'ers, corn as well. I'm wondering if you have developed a sensitivity to yeast products (bread, sauces and the like). I cannot tolerate it now at all. Also, check labels for HFCS, especially in your processed foods, another trigger for some. Maybe eliminate some of these things, as well as grains for awhile to see if you feel better. I like the probiotics suggestion, as well.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 6/15/2008 5:27 PM (GMT -7)   

Here is my take on what you have said. Tums is made to disslove quickly to get rid of acid stomach and do not work as well for diarrhea control as a regular calcium carbonate tablet with vitamin D. If the tums you have have 100mg of magnesium do not take them to try to control diarrhea it will make you worse.

Do not take multivitamins vitamin A C E and magnesium in them cause diarrhea and stomach upset.

Try not to skip meals it only makes you feel worse with the stomach acid and bile not having something to work on in the system causing more destruction in the intestines. (Inflammation)

If you drink bottled water check for added minerals this too will cause diarrhea.

Tomato sauce and drinks with citric acid should be avoided for now. Until you get some control of the diarrhea.

Do you find that after taking immodium you have a rebound effect after stopping you up for a bit you just have to explode.

Try not to take any thing you do not have too. Everything has side effects. Even probiotics I do not take unless I have to take an antibiotic and I very rarely ever do.

Antibiotics will cause diarrhea.

I hoped this will help and let me know if you have other questions you can email me if you like.

Suffered Urgent Diarrhea Attacks After Having Gall Bladder Removed in 1976. This is now controlled by taking Calcium Carbonate.

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