Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Community
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1316053 tn?1279513097


Hi everyone,
I have suffered with IBS for about 6-7 years. Some of the symptoms I have are mostly constipated, rarely diaorreah.
I have a bloated stomach with pain every day of my life, some days are worse than others. It will get to a point where I can hardly breathe and have trouble standing straight and walking. I almost always feel as though I need to go to the toilet, and once been, never feel finished. On bad days, the pain goes through to my lower back also.
Pain severity for me depends on alot of things, I am a smoker, drink lots of coffee, and it also depends on what I eat and how stressed I am (nearly always stressed, some days more than others)
I have just started taking 1 teaspoon of "chia seeds" in the last two days, which are supposed to be good for people with IBS, and like me, can't have too much fibre. These seeds are made up of 20% soluable fibre and 80% insoluable. Isoluable is better for the digestion.
12 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm sorry you are struggling so with IBS.  I too have IBS and you're right, some days are worse than others.  I've been struggling with this since I was twelve years old.  I too am generally constipated vs. diarrhea.  I wonder sometimes which is worse since constipation comes with pain but the diarrhea with nausea. :) Back pain is pretty common but watch it carefully.  Mid back pain can also mean kidney stones and when you have IBS, sometimes other pain goes unrecognized.  Diet is huge.  Be very careful of what you eat! Keep a food diary with notes on how certain foods make you feel so that you have a better idea of what can trigger symptoms.  Also, about the coffee.  My advice is to cut way back on it.  Coffee beans have a chemical in them called tenacin, the same chemical tanners use to tan leather.  When you have IBS, tanning the insides of your intestines is a very bad and painful idea.  Good luck and let me know if those chia seeds are effective!
1316053 tn?1279513097
Thank-you for your comments.
My diet is pretty good, however, could still be improved I guess.
Very interesting with what you said about coffee beans, but it's so hard to stop drinking it.....
And I took the Chia seeds 2 days in a row, and haven't taken them for 2 days. I thought I wouldn't have them every day to start with, as they did give me bloating, cramps and gurgling in the stomach. It's the same with all fibre for me, I can only eat small amounts.
I was surprised they did this, as they are 80% insoluable fibre, however, I may have suffered more as my period was due, and I then read later on the nett that they actually swell to 9 times there size. Alot of people soak them in water, which forms a paste to drink, and then drink alot more water. I ate them by themselves, and didn't drink enough water. I will give them another go in the next few days.
I know too, I do not drink enough water, a big NO NO, especially now that it's winter.
I am forever going to the toilet at the best of times, so the less water I drink, the less I have to go, silly I know.
Avatar universal
I don't drink enough water either.  I need to get into the habit of carrying a water bottle around with me, even when I'm at home.  Maybe I'm lazy, but those chia seeds sound like a lot of work.  Have you tried Metamucil?  I take a combination of Metamucil and Miralax every day and they keep me pretty regular.  You could give it a shot.  I understand about the coffee thing.  The stuff's addictive.  I wish I knew a magic formula for quitting but I don't. Sorry.  I'm also on an antidepressant.  Because IBS is partly caused by too much saratonin in the brain, and antiepressants block seratonin, my doctor decided it would be a useful treatment for me.  I do feel better when I'm on that pill so I guess it too is working.  Hope this helps.
1316053 tn?1279513097
Yeah, I agree about the Chia seeds. I might give the Metamucil a go. Do you mix that and Miralax yourself?
I'm just a bit concerned it will give me worse cramps, as too much fibre (which any normal person could tolerate) makes me so much worse. Do you have to drink alot of water with that?
I wish I could take a tablet to calm me down, as I think stress, anxiety and worrying makes me so much worse. But, I really don't want to take anti-depressants......
1225178 tn?1318984204
You say you wish you could take a tablet to calm yourself down, but you don't want to take anti-depressants... I don't understand. What is wrong with anti-depressants? Especially if they help with the situation?
1316053 tn?1279513097
They are addictive, make you put on weight and have side effects.
Maybe it's also the stigma with taking anti-depressants.
Do you know of any other form of tablets that can calm my anxiety?
1225178 tn?1318984204
I have taken ADs at 4 different times in my life... once because of post partum depression, twice because of being married to an abusive man, and now I'm taking them again because I am taking the hepatitis C treatment which causes depression. None of my previous experiences gave me any trouble with getting off of them. You just taper down a little each month, like you do with blood pressure meds and other things. They made my life bearable, so I didn't want to die every day.... I thought they were a God-Send and still do.

My hep C treatment does also cause restless leg syndrome, so my doctor put me on Alprazolam 0.5mg. The bottle says it is for anxiety. It doesn't make me feel funny in my head, just allows me to relax my legs.

I kind of had to laugh when I read what you said about side effects... you should see the side effects the meds I'm taking cause.... after 5 weeks my red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are all below normal... and that's a GOOD sign... if it doesn't do that, it isn't going to be able to kill the virus... and I have to take this stuff for 48 weeks and only have a 50% chance that it will work. OH Yeah.... IBS is one of the side effects too... yahoo!

See, just when you thought things were so horrible... you see that they could get a lot worse. I'm sorry... I know you are miserable with your IBS, and I don't mean to downplay that. I guess my point is, when you want to really get well, you will be willing to do whatever it takes.

That reminds me of something else I read on here... DRINKING WATER IS A MUST!!!! I HAVE TO DRINK 80 OZ A DAY TO KEEP MY SIDE EFFECTS FROM GETTING WORSE, AND IT REALLY MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE... ESPECIALLY WITH MY IBS. Add some lemon juice or even Koolaid to it. It doesn't have to be just plain water... just liquid. That's what my hepatologist told me anyhow.

Hang in there.
Avatar universal
Antidepressants are interesting medicines.  They are slow acting for one thing.  You have to be on them consistently for one to two months before you notice anything different.  And there are side effects.  For me the dizziness is the worst of them but compared to the IBS, I'll take the dizziness any day.  For me it was a journey finding the right pill to take.  Prozac made me ill.  Lexapro had no effect one way or the other.  Cymbalta has been a godsend.  It has a pain killer in it as well so that helps.  I'm actually surprised you aren't already on an antidepressant.  My doctors have led me to believe it is the standard medicine for IBS patients.  I do mix the mirilax and metamucil myself.  They are both over the counter medicines although I've been ordered by my doctor to take them.  If they make you more sick, however, other options need to be explored.  I also take Align.  It is a probiotic vitamin.  I'm also on a prescription anti-acid and a multivitamin.  It means a lot of pills but they make me feel better.

Part of coping with this disease is accepting it.  You've heard of the grieving process?  Well this is something to grieve about.  Grieve the loss of your health and the limits it puts on you and when you're done you'll feel better and stronger.  There is no magic formula on how to do this.  You'll struggle with anger, depression, denial and the whole bit before you're finally ready to accept your status but in the end it's worth it.  Take your time too.  Only you can say when you're ready to move on.  And stick close to your doctors.  Make sure they are giving you the best treatment possible and don't give up. You can beat this!
1316053 tn?1279513097
I am going to give the Metamucil and Mirilax a go, hoping they don't make me worse, but it's worth a try.
And I am going to seriously think about taking some form of medication to deal with my anxiety.
Firstly, I have other health issues, that need to be dealt with now. So once I have them under control, I will look into this. I don't want to bombard my Doctor.
And I believe my anxiety is a big contributor to all my health problems, so I need to get it under control!
And then hopefully, I can stop smoking, at the moment, I feel like I need them.....
But I don't want to smoke myself to death, I want to get healthy, and start thinking about having a family.
1316053 tn?1279513097
I forgot to ask you also, do you have problems with eating wheat and dairy?
Even though it is hard for me to totally avoid these foods, I try to have very little, It's really hard to avoid whet, as gluten free bread etc. tastes horrible, I'm especially bad with white pasta and white bread. I do eat bread, mostly wholemeal. And I occasionally have cheese, but not too much. However, if I have milk, I have rice milk. And I have gluten free pasta (rice and corn).
I have never been told I am gluten or lactose intolerant, but I think I am. my Dad and my sister are lactose intolerant.
1372188 tn?1278490833
Hi Everyone-
I have been suffering this for years, sometimes i swear im dying. My anxiety is off the charts. I get constipation when I get depressed this time I didn't go for 7 days and ended up in the hospital and now everything is loose. I had 3 people die in a 3 week period and it threw me into major panic and anxiety mode. I have immune system issues that I beleive are CFS since they seem to be brought on by stress. I need support from others going through the same issues. Before my first bout with CFS 9 years ago I was a normal hyper guy. now I have times that I am my normal self and times that I am down from 2weeks to 2months. My friends do not understand. they as some of the doctors I have seen think it is in my head. I will be greatful for any support from others like me.
Thanks - Todd
1316053 tn?1279513097
I'm sorry to hear you are going through this. I too have IBS and suffer anxiety every day, which they say makes IBS worse. I also know that some of what I eat and drink make it worse, and the fact that I am a smoker. And my darling boyfriend suffers from CFS, and has had it quite bad for 2 years now.
We are both trying to work through our health issues. I'm sorry I don't have any miracle cures, I wish I did.
I need to deal with my anxiety, as I am getting quite sick, with a few other issues also, and from what I've read, stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on your body. At times I feel light headed, breathless, like I'm having a heart attack (due to chest pain and tightness), my back, neck and shoulders are a mess. I also have bad sciatica and bad reflux, which causes left side chest pain.
I have just bought a new natural med for IBS, I'll give it a go. Taken 3 tablets so far, may be in my head, but I think they are slightly helping already.....They are "Bioglan" IBX - Triple action - IBS + Indigestion (relieve, calm and support). I will let you know how I go with them.
So, I have no real answers, but can offer support and information if you like. Take care.
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