Problems with bowels - diarrhoea!!

Hi I've been having problems with my bowels off and on since 2012. The problem is diarrhoea and the need to go to the toilet suddenly without warning. When this first started happening I had a number of embarrassing accidents whilst out when I didn't make it to the loo. My doctor prescribed Imodium which seemed to help.

I've just had a year with no problems but am under a lot of stress at the moment. My husband is having to shut down his business after 40 years. He also has Parkinson's disease which has got worse recently. On top of all this I have Bipolar Disorder, endometriosis and currently a trapped tendon in my shoulder and am in constant pain!

In November I had an accident and I've had two further ones whilst out. I saw my doctor on Thursday when he suggested I might have IBS due to all the stress I'm under. He recommended I increase the Imodium which I did but yesterday I had an accident whilst walking with my neighbour. I didn't make it home in time and am now completely traumatised by it all and am frightened to go out. I also was left with bad stomach pains until about 4.30pm. Last night I awoke with stomach pains.

Does anyone have any tips? My niece who is a doctor suggested I avoid spicy food, coffee etc. I had drunk orange juice before I went out so maybe I should avoid that?

16 Replies

  • I have no medical knowledge but would certainly think avoiding fruit juices especially before going out would be a good thing for sure.. hOw about trying boiled rice that might help, when my children were little I seem to remember a doctor saying a little stew apple helps diahrrear, so maybe you could ask someone about that..whereas a raw Apple makes you go. jUst wondered if you have a prolapsed bowel beginning or maybe the schfincta (spelling??) is stretched .

    Also maybe when you know you are out for the day, don't eat too much the day before.. Not sure if any of my thoughts would help..I have chronic constipation quite opposite to you but I understand your distress which tho different is in many ways similar

    Take care


  • Well, you've certainly got enough going on in your life to cause you anxiety and, it's true that your symtoms may be stress-related, but don't accept this as a given until you've had appropriate tests done to rule out all other possibilities. IBS is not an illness in itself, just a set of varied and variable symptoms which can't be attributed to any known cause; in other words, the medics don't know what's wrong with you.

    Until you can get some tests done, I suggest you try missing out a few of the usual suspects from your diet, e.g. stone fruit, wheat, dairy, the onion family (the green ends of spring onions are okay and you can cook with these), apples, pears, caffeine, peas, beans and pulses.

    Keep a really meticulous food diary and see if you can make any links, it can take up to 48 hours for food to transit your digestive system so problems may not just be down to what you ate the day before.

    Hather has suggested the possibility of a bowel prolapse and I agree that's another avenue (ha!) to investigate.

    I hope life soon starts to treat you a bit more kindly.


  • I'd try and find ways to reduce stress as it can exacerbate symptoms. Gentle walks, yoga if you're up for it, any hobbies that relax you. Also as mentioned the food diary and more testing is a must.

  • Yes please stay away from orange juice! That will definitely get you going. Try peppermint oil pills. Ibgard is one and try to relax more. I relax with nature sounds. Rain, ocean waves etc. Meditate or start yoga. Until you can control the diarrhea you may want to get depends to help with the accidents I have IBS-D and a diabetic so with the nerve damage and IBS it's an adventure, I have another idea, have you tried to do soft food? Like mash potatoes or baby good? You may want to try that as well. And I always keep a ginger ale on hand So stay away from spicy food, fried food, orange juice, salt, wheat and grains. Praying for your healing, praying all of us affected with this horrible condition are healed,

  • I agree about the orange juice, I haven't been able to eat or drink citrus for years as it goes straight through. Also one of the effects of Imodium can be stomach pains, so if they've got worse since increasing the dose it would probably be worth discussing that with your GP. Also if you are on medication for bipolar maybe that needs reviewing.

  • You need to ask your doctor for hospital tests - gastroscopy and endoscopy as these will tell if there is any other cause than IBS for your symptoms

    In the meantime try a very plain diet - white bread, chicken, fish and boiked potatoes might help

  • Thank you everyone for all your comments. I am going to the doctor first thing tomorrow morning.

  • Hi, my GP recently prescribed mebeverine which helps with the bowel spasms. Worked O.K. for me. I'm not completely pain free but at least it reduces the amount of times the bowels need to be emptied.

  • I am doing a sort of experiment to see if it helps bloating, wind and constipation other problems reflux,gallstones, prolapsed bowel..otherwise seeming fairly ok..

    I just love,vegetables but as I don't have a big appetite, being 80 I was going to buy an new blender..then I found my stick blender wow..I am enjoying loads of vegetables again..only started yesterday so as I say it's an experiment.

    I made a very thick soup of potatoes, celery,leeks(which I love but previously have caused embarrassing wind) carrots parsnip, red lentils, stock and seasoning, and a dried bay leaf..took under an hour then used my stick blender to turn it into a really thick soup...It was really tasty and filling, and I put far more vegetables in than I can usually eat, kept some for a snack this morning.

    nOw I am going to do this for a few days and see it it has any effect on my symptons. I am supposed to eat little and often..but I find this hard as usually although. I eat well I am not that Hungry to eat other than porridge , lunch meat, fish and veg (not too much) and a sandwich and fruit for tea..

    So I will see if I can start changing my earring times a bit..hope this has not bored you all though

    HAther 😉

  • I'd stay away from Brussels sprouts as well.

  • Hi Hather I make soup exactly the same way, have done for years, carrot

    and coriander is good also butternut squash. Just a word of warning, they

    can tend to cause a bit of wind, but if that happens I take Windeze which

    works a treat.

  • Try taking amitriptyline I take 35mg it definitely works and will help with the stress. Hope u feel better soon

  • I'm really sorry to hear of your distressing difficulties all bundled into a package together. Can't really suggest much, except I think I am more helped if I eat white rice and stay off wheat. I sort of do the Fodmap diet but don't think it's that 100%, also my symptoms are milder than what yours sound to be, and Immodium usually works.

    One tip to help anxiety about having an "episode" when out, is what the Consultant told me, which is "Always wear pads when out on business". Business meaning, I guess going out anywhere for longer than half an hour. This I do as I get anxious about London tubes, trains and anything else. It certainly helps calm one bit of anxiety down!

  • Orange juice would go straight through me without touching the sides.

    Years ago when I worked, I used to sometimes take Arrowroot ( not sure if correct spelling). You make it into a pudding , with milk or water, can add a little sugar. It is very bland but it helps stop D . Might be worth a try in a morning before going out anywhere.


  • wood. You need to completely omit high sugar. Too much fibre. Any dairy. Any gluten. And take yoga classes. Find your trigger. Is it for example travelling then not being able to find a washroom? You will need to slow your life down and get into some good research and planning. Make sure you eat and drink well. No coffee! But natural teas are great. Follow my blog if you would like lots or receipes tips and tricks for free! any question feel free to ask me. I've been through it all.

  • I had very bad diarrhoea. Had to be admitted back to hospital where they shut every thing down nil by mouth for several days. Found i had inflamed colon. Was going to loo 15-20 times a day. Was a result of chemotherapy and gvhd. Much better now but use immodium as back up and have bought pads if I'm in a vulnerable situation though funnily enough I've rarely been loose outside.

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