Hi, new to the forums, thought I'd post my story while I read posts...
I’ve recently been diagnosed with constipated IBS. I was originally diagnosed with IBS many years ago, but it was never like this and hasn’t seriously affected me until now.
Five months ago I stopped drinking alcohol. Before that, I was drinking little, but regularly - 3 pints of beer a week. Historically I was a much heavier drinker, but have scaled back loads in recent years. As soon as I stopped I was beset with chronic constipation, bad enough that I couldn’t have a bowel movement at all without a laxative. No choice but to take Dulcolax (bisocodyl), which I’ve been on for five months, while waiting for doctor’s appointments.
I had a CT colonoscopy & blood tests, which were all clear (phew!) apart form evidence of ‘quite a tortuous sigmoid colon’.
I then got a GI consultation. I went private to avoid the 4 month wait, then referred back to the NHS. The doctor diagnosed IBSc, said it wasn’t IBD and the tortuous sigmoid colon wouldn’t be contributing to it. He advised a celiac blood test and a referral to a dietitian, which I’ve yet to attend.
He also prescribed prucalopride (Resolor), a relatively new drug for laxative resistant constipation. Its a 5HT agonist working in the gut much like prozac does in the brain synapses. So far, it seems to be helping with minimal side effects (fingers crossed).
I now have several concerns:
I don’t want to become reliant on prucalopride as I have been on bisocodyl, because while its helping the important symptom its doing so by masking it, not tackling the problem. Does anyone else have any experience with prucalopride?
I don’t want to go back to Dulcolax if the prucalopride loses effectiveness, but I may have no choice. I reckon the Dulcolax was causing inflammation/irritation in the colon, which is not something anyone needs. I hear differing reports, some saying stimulant laxatives are harmful and addictive for long term use, some saying that there is no evidence to support that. What is the consensus?
I want to modify my diet and lifestyle to help me out and I’m willing to put in the work. However, how can I try various diets if the medication is masking the symptoms? I can’t come off it if its working, as I really can’t have a BM without it.
Diet wise, I’m looking forward to seeing the dietitian. Does anyone have any thoughts on fiber for IBSc? I’ve had a reasonably high fibre diet in the past and upon reflection, I think I’ve been suffering from functional constipation for years. I’ve seen many reputable sources that recommend a high fibre diet. The traditional view is a high fibre diet to bulk stools and aid peristalsis. Fair enough. But won’t that lead to even bulkier stools, more straining and more pressure on my tortuous sigmoid colon? Won’t that cause more issues in the long term?
The inability to have a bowel movement without medication coincided with stopping drinking alcohol. I suspect the small amount of alcohol may have been acting as a natural laxative and I’d become dependent on it. Maybe this is a red herring, but has anyone else experienced something similar?
Also, has anyone else experienced systemic itching with IBSc? I’m wondering if it was actually exacerbated by the bisocodyl also.
Thanks for reading.