Chronic diarrhoea: I have been... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Chronic diarrhoea

DofEer
DofEer

I have been suffering day and night from chronic diarrhoea (entirely watery) and stomach ache over the past three weeks, four weeks after having a heart attack and an angioplasty. The symptoms are urgency, loss of appetite, weight loss, flatulence, sleeplessness and general lethargy & tiredness. My GP has prescribed Imodium and various rehydration powders but, although these have relieved the symptoms slightly, they don't treat the underlying cause. Have any of you experienced similar symptoms and succeeded in curing this wretched debilitating ailment? If so, I would much appreciate details on how you did so.

60 Replies
oldestnewest

Bad luck with the diarrhoea after surviving your HA. I would expect one of the meds you’ve been prescribed have caused this reaction. Read through the patient information leaflets and check the known side effects. Clearly while recovering from your HA the last thing you need is stomach problems which sap your strength. Might be worthwhile phoning the cardio specialist or a pharmacist to check the interactions of the meds too. Good luck and hope you can get this resolved. xx

TRST
TRST
in reply to heartsonfire

I agree with heartsonfire. Medications can certainly cause these symptoms.

I hope you manage to contact your team and get some answers and a solution.

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to TRST

Thankyou for your kind reply. I have contacted my cardiology team and am currently awaiting any help that they can offer.

Rosei
Rosei
in reply to DofEer

That happened to me, I ended up in hospital for a week, had every test imaginable, the end result was an allergy to Aspirin which caused lymphocytic Colitis, my Dr prescribed Imodium to take after every bout of watery diarrhoea, gave me just enough time to do my shopping.

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to Rosei

Thankyou for your reply. I have been taking an aspirin for some years, well before my heart problems arose last year.

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to heartsonfire

Thankyou for your kind reply and I am in the process of following your advice.

Gregstreet
Gregstreet
in reply to DofEer

Please just don't stop taking any if your medication?

What meds are you taking?

I had a similar problem post ByPass, mine was caused by Lansoprazole. As suggested, check the Patient leaflet, or with your Parmacist.

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to Gaz_chops

Thankyou for your kind reply. The heart- related medications I am taking are Ranolazine 500mg, Ticagrelor 90mg, Bisoprolol 1.25mg and Lansoprazole 30mg. Did you abandon the latter drug, take a lesser dose of it or replace it entirely with a new drug? If the latter, what was it and how soon did it have a positive effect in clearing the chronic diarrhoea problem? How did you come to the decision that Lansoprazole was the cause of this problem and not other drugs that you are taking?

I have checked the patient leaflets relating to the four drugs above and they all list diarrhoea as a common side-effect except Ranolazine! I will speak to my local pharmacist as you suggest.

Gaz_chops
Gaz_chops
in reply to DofEer

I only stopped the Lansoprazole on the instruction of my GP.

I discussed with her that the diarrhoea had only started when i stopped taking Dihydrocodeine, 1 side effect of which is constipation, a side effect of Lansoprazole is diarrhoea, she agreed that could be causing the problem so suggested i stopped Lansoprazole.

Don't stop any meds without consulting with your GP or Cardio team.

One thing i will say is if it is Lansoprazole, and you are taking Aspirin, make sure they replace it with something else.

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to Gaz_chops

Thanks.

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to Gaz_chops

Why is there a need to replace aspirin? I have been taking a daily dose for some years.

Gaz_chops
Gaz_chops
in reply to DofEer

I meant replace Lansoprazole (If that is what's causing the problem) with something else to protect your stomach, not replace Aspirin.

Miyim
Miyim
in reply to DofEer

I had the same problem with Lansoprazole despite having had no problems with Omprazole for years. Now banned because of meds. The GP went through various alternatives with me and I now take Ranitidine. This is hard, but not impossible to source at present. I take either 1 300 mg at night or 150mg night and morning depending what is available. Problem resolved literally overnight. Good luck

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to Miyim

Thankyou

Miyim
Miyim
in reply to Gaz_chops

I had or too with Lansoprazole. 3 weeks of misery until an alternative was found. I now take Ranitidine but that is getting hard to source but haven’t looked back

Atorvastatin 80mg caused me to have some diarrhoea and this stopped when my dose was reduced to 40mg. Diarrhoea wasn't watery though. I would be asking to have a sample tested incase you have picked up an infection. Have you had any antibiotics recently as they can cause problems in some people. Until you get sorted try keeping to a low fat diet. Try and avoid dairy products favouring rice dogs or almond milk. Live natural yoghurt (even if dairy) can help.

I had been taking Simvastatin for some years before my HA; after the attack, this was changed to Atorvastatin 40mg as, I was told, this is deemed to be "the gold standard in modern cardiology". A specimen has been provided and no infection could be found. I haven't taken antibiotics lately. What are rice dogs and do you need a license for them?

Nathan53
Nathan53
in reply to DofEer

They are a cross between hot dogs and nice dogs I'm barking today lol

I would suggest that you don't make dietary changes etc until you have discussed this with your GP/Cardiologist and on their instruction.

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to Gaz_chops

Thanks

Lansoprazole caused that with me tried two other products and they do the same but without them I get pain because of taking asprin

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to Gsxf

Thankyou for your reply. What were the two other products you substituted for Lansoprazole?

Gsxf
Gsxf
in reply to DofEer

Pantoprazole sorry can't remember the other one

Yes I have had the same problem but it’s all under control now. Are you taking a water tablet because sometimes these can have a very profound effect

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to hf54

Did a water tablet alone cure your chronic diarrhoea? What medications were dropped, if any, as a result of the problem and did these include Lansoprazole?

hf54
hf54
in reply to DofEer

Hi sorry if I was a little unclear water tablets gave diaorreaa

Miyim
Miyim
in reply to DofEer

When my Lansoprazole was stopped due to this issue the GP replaced it with Ranitidine and issue stopped immediately.

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to Miyim

Thankyou for your reply

I had side-effects and all the medicines I had but have improved massively over time.

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to hf54

Thankyou for your reply.

Yes I had it for three months after my bypass . I don’t think I ingested much of the medication and it was only after my 3 month check up with the cardiologist when he took me off all drugs apart from aspirin did it start to slightly go away. Now six months on I have a great appetite but still have to watch what I eat. I was on anti sickness pills and Imodium. I would have recovered much quicker if I hadn’t lost so much weight. I was fed up because all the doctors I spoke to said my condition was unusual as most people had constipation ! Suggest you discuss this with your pharmacist as they know more about the side effects of drugs . I now have normal bowel movements .

Pollypuss
Pollypuss
in reply to Pollypuss

Ps I meant to say I couldn’t take any of the “prazoles”

Pollypuss
Pollypuss
in reply to Pollypuss

Paracetamol,Lansoprazole,Bisoprolol,Furosemide,Aspirin,Ferrous Fumarate ( for anemia but could not tolerate) I don’t really get on with much medication I don’t know why. But I stick to a really low fat diet and my stomach can not tolerate junk food - it’s as though it’s telling me to behave. However my diet was pretty good before bypass both BP and cholesterol were fine . Hope you manage to resolve this because I know how horrible it can be . It’s not the bypass that I felt so much as this issue of not being able to go out

Pollypuss.. have you tried SpaTone for the anaemia? Our midwife daughter recommended it. It’s naturally iron rich water from Wales, comes in sachets and is absorbed by the body much better than any tablets. My husband has anaemia now and again and the only treatment he can tolerate is SpaTone. You would have to buy it, but we’ve found it on offer at various outlets on line, including Amazon. May be worth trying, also for anyone else suffering simple anaemia. x

Yes thank you so much. Yes I have been taking it every morning before breakfast and it does not effect the stomach or constipate

Pollypuss
Pollypuss
in reply to Pollypuss

Also can I ask how much your husband takes a day

Just 1 sachet a day mixed in a small glass of fresh orange juice (Tesco’s own) , helps his energy levels and of course I wanted to make sure his red blood cells were not deplete to improve oxygen carrying levels, in case he catches the coronavirus. x

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to Pollypuss

Thank you for your reply and am pleased to hear that bowel movements have returned to normal. What were the original medications that you were taking immediately after your bypass?

I had something similar a few days after my angioplasty. I had chronic diarrhoea for 48 hours and was so week I could hardly move. I ended up going back into A and E and collapsed with extremely low blood pressure. In the end they put me on a drip for several hours and I was out the same day but they said they were sure it was a bug I picked up in hospital as no one else in my family had any symptoms. I would definitely go back to A and E as you are at a very vulnerable point in your recovery and the weakness is something your heart doesn’t need right now.

I hope you are able to get it sorted.

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to Changeling43

Thankyou for your reply. Do you have any idea of what drug cured the problem for you?

Changeling43
Changeling43
in reply to DofEer

It was just saline to replace body fluids directly into the veins. It works quicker and is much more efficient than home remedies.

Hi I had this 3 months in from taking meds...gp changed Lansoprazole to Omeprazole about 3 months ago...so far no problems.

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to jos64

Thankyou for your reply and am pleased to note that the change to Omeprazole benefitted you. How soon after beginning this drug was there an improvement in symptoms?

jos64
jos64
in reply to DofEer

Hi within a couple of days of stopping the Lansoprazole.

I'm sorry to hear you're suffering like this, has your GP suggested you send a sample in so your local hospital can see if you have an underlying infection maybe ?

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to Mittens2011

Thanks for your reply. Yes, a sample was sent to the local hospital and, with regard to an underlying infection, the test carried out proved to be negative.

Like others on here, I had this too. My GP's pharmacist had prescribed Lansoprazole, despite me having no stomach problems with my mix of heart meds. My GP then advised me to stop taking the Lansoprazole and it worked. Now back to just one regular morning bowel movement, but it's still very loose.

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to Zac11

Thankyou for your reply. Once you had stopped taking it, how soon did symptoms improve? Did your GP prescribe a substitute medication and, if not, have other symptoms developed, such as an increase in the amount of acid that your stomach appears to be making?

Zac11
Zac11
in reply to DofEer

Symptoms improved within a week. No substitute prescribed and no stomach problems, except the morning looseness. I'm on Edoxaban 60mg (recently changed from Apixaban earlier), Bisoprolol 1.25mg, Ramipril 10mg and Atorvastatin 80mg.

Your not on Lanzoprazole by any chance are you? I was, it went through me like a hurricane, terrible!

I agree, it is terrible. What medication did you change to?

Well, GP put me on Omeprazole, which was way better. However, I was kept on it when I stopped the dual anti-platelet Aspirin/clopedogrel, and just stayed on clopedogrel, but then I discovered they should not be prescribed together! Am now on Aspirin and the Omeprazole, no problems with it. Some people don't seem to be prescribed a PPI at all though for some reason.

Great sympathy for you. Just about all the heart meds cause either diarrhoea, constipation or flatulence. Mostly your body adjusts, but not always. And if you change meds...

I was nicely adjusted to the constipation (with some chemical help) switched meds to one that caused the runs, amplified because of the previous cocktail, all while taking one that gave me the botty-burps. That was an interesting few days😳😂.

Yes my doctor gave me cyplaflorafaxine I think thats how you spell it it's a stong antibiotic for gut infection took 3 over 2 day's and it cleared it.

The doctor should send stool samples away to check for infection

DofEer
DofEer
in reply to Shootist

Thanks for your reply. A specimen was sent for testing and no infection was found.

Yes, I feel your pain. My severe gastric issues lasted for about 3 months after my MIs, and I lost about 10kg in bodyweight, so was fast tracked for an appointment with a gastroenterologist. Turns out that the shock of the MIs to my system triggered IBS. I also developed erosive gastritis and duodenitis from all the meds I had to take, so was in constant pain, too. Of course, the stomach sits almost in the chest, so after having MIs you start freaking out because it feels like you're having another one when the burning starts, but it's just caused by the holes burnt into my stomach lining.

Unfortunately, IBS can never be cured, so I've been put on a strict FODMAP diet to manage the symptoms, and rarely have flare ups now. I also started taking slippery elm, and it seems to have calmed the gastritis symptoms quite a bit.

Pollypuss
Pollypuss
in reply to The_Voice

Poor you. I know what it’s like as my symptoms echo yours. I felt everything I eat was wrong. I still cannot drink tea which I love 6 months on but that is more a bladder problem. I am surprised I can now tolerate aspirin and not have to take lots of Gaviscon. I take my aspirin with a bowl of porridge every night and it helps. Also I try not to overdo things and keep calm After my bypass my emotions could accelerate my physical condition. All this takes time but I found it does help

I want some of whatever you have that's causing it as I have the opposite problem exacerbated by nerve damage to my nether regions which makes it even more difficult to "go". But seriously it could be your medication or you could have developed IBS. I had IBS for many years until I went on my tablets so in a way shoudl be thankful because I used to spend full days rolling on the bathroom floor in agony and too afraid to be more than 3 feet away from the toilet. My IBS responded to a low fibre diet rather than the high fibre they usually suggest. I would be looking at tablets first but if it doesn't clear up, get investigated for IBS. (sorry about the italics; no idea how that happened).

Thanks for this advice and am pleased that you eventually overcame your problem.

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