Aa
A
A
A
Close
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Community
2.72k Members
Avatar universal

IBS worsening on birth control

Hi, i'm new here so i have a couple questions. about 4 years i go, i became anorexic and lost a significant amount of weight. right around this time, i started to have symptoms which turned into ibs. The only time i didn't have bloating, constipation and diarrhea, gas, stressed related problems was when i was on Zoloft( which made me gain weight). My weight stabilized for a while, but then this year I began on birth control pills in January. And boy, did my symptoms start to skyrocket. I was so bloated, I couldn't eat anything without gas, and my ibs symptoms at my period time were even worse than they had ever been. I went off it for a month, and then went back on it. In the past year, i've tried 3, and am now on the first one that I was using before. What I can't figure out is if this is causing my stomach problems, if it's making it out of control. I never used to be this bloated or in so much stomach turmoil. My gastro can't find anything, which is why she's sending me for an upper gi and a colonoscopy( i'm only 20 by the way), even though she thinks I have IBS. Is it possible that my body is too sensitive to birth control and therefore I'm reacting this way? As well, I've gained 15-20 pounds, I'm active 5 days a week, and eating very healthy. Also, my doctor just told me that amazingly, after being on it after about 2 months, my thyroid has slowed down substantially. Could all this be due to the pill?
24 Responses
119341 tn?1232567357
I would go see a different kind of doctor. Maybe and endocrinologist or gynecologist. It could be hormonal.
Avatar universal
Hi- yes, it could be the pill, which like PPhelps suggested- could be hormonal.  The pill changed your hormones.  It also can irritate some people's stomach which is why they usually have something in there about taking with milk or with food.  The other thing is that the Zoloft (not sure if you are still taking it) can be a factor, but usually any type of antidepressant should help relieve stress which can cause IBS symptoms.  Your issue could be the Zoloft.... you may need to try something else.  If they want you to gain weight- Paxil will more than do the trick.  I went from about 110 to almost 160 in 2years all because of Paxil.  Personally, it was awful and I only took Paxil for anxiety- I was only depressed after I gained 50lbs!
Investigate the Zoloft first, then the birthcontrol.  Try to stop the BC if you can and use another moethod since that will be easier to eliminate than getting of Zoloft.  If you take out the BC and you are still on Zoloft having problems, then you should try to swtich to another medication.  But do not do any of this without your doctor being involved.  Meds like that can have bad side effectes if you aren't weened off them in stages - no cold turkey- when it comes to those types of meds, you will know what feels right after a couple of days, so if switching off Zoloft is scary to you, just give it a try- you can always go back.  I'm 28 now and have had "IBS" forever...you should go through all the testing they want to do simply because it will rule out any other possibilites like Crohn's, H Pilori (again, can't spell), celiax, etc... these are all easy to test for.  The only bad thing about "IBS" is that you dont really know what is wrong- its kind of the mystery disease!  Understand that foods you eat can also make an impact.  For instance, it took me forever to figure out that anything with peppers in it makes me have a severe IBS attack... you may have a trigger as well.  Also, don't be afraid to switch doctor's until you feel comfortable and feel like you are satisfied with your diagnosis.  It took me like 7 gastro doctors before I finally found one that was really good.  She beleived me and didn;t just shrug it off.  You are in pain and you are suffereing, so you need to get some sort of help or relief.  Just understand it will take a lot of work on your part to figure out the cause.  The doctor can only do so much and then you are stuck playing the trial and error game to find out the root of the problem.  An example of why I loved my dr - for an entire summer i was in and out of my regular physician's office with a sore throat, testing for strep, never postive.  Anyway, it constantly hurt but we couldn't find a reason.  I was at my gastro one day and I happened to mention that my throat was killing me and then ended up telling her we couldn't find the cause...she found out in seconds...I had acid reflux and didn't know it.  At night the acid was in my throat and burning my throat, I couldn't taste it or anything like most people do becaue I was asleep.  I went on nexium for about 2 months and my throat was back to normal.  Anyway, moral of my story, is that you need a dr that will think outside the box and work with you from head to toe because every little thing wrong with you could be triggering the next.  I hope for your sake you just need to switch medication and do not have to suffer through IBS for the rest of your life.  Also- very proud of you for gaining the weight.  I hope you've tackled the anorexia.
Avatar universal
thanks. I've been off the Zoloft for about 3 years, so it shouldn't be that, as its been out of my system for a long time. The weight gain has nothing to do with that medication. My IBS has definitely been a result of my eating disorder and yes, I've pretty much tackled it all, but I still struggle with low body image which is a result of my IBS. I have to agree with you that I have to switch doctors, mine thinks that I'm making everything up. In the new year, I'm going to new doctors, as well as a naturopathic doctor. I know going through all the testing will rule out everything and I can tell you that nothing will come back as positive. My only problem is that I am about 90% sure I have endometriosis and therefore I have to be birth control to help it, or at least until I see a gynecologist who tells me otherwise. I know IBS is very touch and go, lets wait and see what you react. I've been on Dicetel and it only worked for a month. I used Metamucil, but for some reason my body is rejecting it. I've done all the right things, and some days are good, but majority of the days are bad. I don't expect my IBS to ever go away, I just want it to subside like it was 2 years ago. Obviously, now that I am hypothyroid my whole world is changing, which is affecting my IBS, but hopefully I can get it under control... just frustrated and wanting to give up (By the way, I am ok with gaining up to about 110, but 123 is alittle much for me...)
Avatar universal
I can sympathize with the 110 target weight!  antyhing lower than that- i look unhealthy and right now i'm at 132 and i feel like a fat slob... but seriously...there are other people out there that wish they were 132, so no one is ever happy.  But I've had absolutley no self control and have just been eating like **** and not paying attention...so its my own fault.  Time to get back to a routine!
I'm sure you look fine, as long as you are a healthy weight and your doctor agrees..you are ok.  i just went for my physical and when they saw i gained 20 lbs since last year, he just said..you look good don't worry about it.  but for my own self-esteem, i need to lose it.  
a few things you can try to help with your ibs if you are constipated there's a tea by Yogi called Get Regular...funny name,  but if you take it at night before bed (let it sit and seep for 10 minutes) you should go the next morning...and not with pain like a laxative can.  i am now immune to all that **** and the tea seems to still work for me...metamucil, citrucil, all those just make me bloated.
avoid dairy if you can...you may be lactose intolerant (can happen at any age).
and keep your stress under control!  
Avatar universal
Where can you get this Yogi tea, I have not heard of it. I am reading all these logs with IBS symptoms and I am amazed at how many people this is affecting. I have a bunch of these IBS symptoms along with diverticulos. Looking for something to regulate things. I take Metamucil 2x per day. The only thing I have found that helps any of my IBS symptoms is drinking alot of water during the day. Water, 6-8 glasses per day has been the only thing that seems to help!  I have to make sure that I start drinking it first thing in the morning (2 glasses on my way to work) then several more during the day, slow it down in the evening. Anyone found this helpful?  
Avatar universal
Hi everyone--I have been having IBS symptoms for several years, but recently (within the last year), have found the gas and constipation to be terrible.  I am on birth control pills and another hormone (aldactone) for acne.  I noticed that the week I had my period, and wasn't taking the pill, my abdominal discomfort seemed better--I thought maybe it was the ibuprofen I take for the period symptoms, but then realized that during the rest of the month ibuprofen makes no difference--hence the idea that maybe the pill is causing a lot of my discomfort.  I have also been on different anti-depressents, which seemed to make the IBS symptoms worse--which I know is supposed to be the opposite.  I wish I knew for sure what would help and what isn't going to make any difference.  My adult acne (I'm 41) can be terrible, so going off of it won't be easy, but I'm tired of having a stomach ache most days.  
Have an Answer?
Top Digestive Answerers
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn which OTC medications can help relieve your digestive troubles.
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
Discover common causes of and remedies for heartburn.
This common yet mysterious bowel condition plagues millions of Americans
Don't get burned again. Banish nighttime heartburn with these quick tips
Get answers to your top questions about this pervasive digestive problem