IBS Network
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Newbie taking activated charcoal??

Hi everyone i'm new here. I was diagnosed with IBS over 15 years ago and was first prescribed spasmanol due to cramping pain in my stomach. That was pretty much the only symptom I had for a few years. Sitting down all day in work too! I have always suffered with excessive wind and this is what causes my lack of confidence and makes me feel anxious. I am a worrier and have a nervous stomach, which I don't think helps IBS so sometimes I can be on a vicious circle. I read on NHS direct that activated charcoal can be good for excessive flatulence so over the last few months I have been taking it. You can take up to 12 tablets daily but I only take 4 tablets a day (2 in morning, after breakfast and 2 a night before bed). Recently on the odd occasion I have been feeling sick when I eat and get heartburn. My bowel movements are quite varied and I can get constipated but the last few days I have been quite loose. I also suffer with pain in my lower abdomen and rectum and have read that this could be a condition called proctalgia as I seem to have some of the symptoms. I have also read that the charcoal can cause blockages and is no good for you. Does anyone else use activated charcoal and have issues with it? My plan is to get xmas out of the way and visit the drs in the new as most days I don't feel great especially in the mornings and I'm getting very fed up with it!

Sorry for prattling on!

7 Replies

I found that charcoal made me more constipated and didn't reduce the gas. There's an argument that it might help to reduce some of the unpleasant odour but I don't remember if that is the case for me.

The symptoms of pain in you rectum and lower abdomen, along with changes in bowel habit, are classic signs of IBS. I note that you say you are a worrier. Did you know that heartburn and nausea, as well as IBS symptoms, are all signs of anxiety? Have you done anything to try and address this?


No not really however I gave noticed my feeling of anxiety getting worse these past few weeks so I'm planning on seeing Dr after Christmas as I have not had it diagnosed. The charcoal does reduce my gas and odour which is why I would like to continue taking it but not at the cost of my health so another thing to ask dr about.


Rather than trouble your doctor about the charcoal, try speaking to a pharmacist first. Charcoal has been used for centuries to treat all sorts of things, and I suspect the pharmacist will know what the long term effects might be. The only thing I warn people about when taking charcoal is that it might effect the activity of other drugs, because it can stop them being absorbed into the blood stream.


Hi Please see GP ASAP are you could have a rubbish xmas



New here, got diagnosed with IBS 3 years ago after having it for at least 50

+years, I'm a perpetual worrier, but not depressive ( at least don't think so) and have been since childhood ( poor childhood, big family, excessive responsibilities at an early age etc, but no abuse)

Have never known what a 'NBM' is as far as I can remember, for many years short bouts of constipation followed by very LBM being the norm, but no C for many years

Windy BM very common, after donkeys years of stress, things changed and BM started to approach some kind of normality ( a least in the IBS scheme of things-;)

But after a short interlude, things went back to normal, major health issues with my wife( partner, if some prefer) major dislocations in providing care for a lad we have looked after for over 20 years ( learning difficulties issues)

And general ageing.

Looking at my IBS it's largely due to being a 'permanent worrier' and while finally getting a GP who took a holistic look at my problems and prescribed liporimide and buscapan but also codeine phosphate (which, medicinally were a godsend, for the first two years, now seem to be loosing their effectiveness,

Just wondering if anyone can guide me forward?

PS, I'm managing the (forgot to mention them-:( gout and arthritis just fine.

Actually just wondering how many like me have gone through so many years being dismissed as 'hydroponiscs' by their GPs

Luckily, my first 25 years of employment offered ample impromptu toilet facilities, the regular Army and Coal mining-;)


I went to see dr few days before xmas after getting things out in open with hubby etc and I realised that I felt like a mess and just couldn't cope daily anymore. I have been diagnosed with severe anxiety and mild depression. I've had an inkling for a while about anxiety. I have been prescribed Sertraline, which I will start taking this evening. They will investigate my physical symptoms once I feel better 'in my head'. I am worried sick about taking them due to side effects but feel needs must so that I can get back to me or a better me. I am hoping once the feelings if worry etc are dealt with that I will more in touch with physical feelings and I am interested to see if it my ibs or my head as at the moment I'm not too sure which it is and I'm on a vicious circle. I would just say to anyone dont leave it too long to speak with a professional as the worry of things is a destroyer. I have had other issues to deal with over the years such as family and confidence etc so dr has said it my be helpful for me to talk to someone so the ball is rolling on that too. Here's hoping....


I suffer with colitis and I take colpermin recommended by the pharmacist, it works well for me, helps my bloating and excessive wind


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