Ibs-d effects on digesting nutrients - IBS Network

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Ibs-d effects on digesting nutrients


Long story short, it has pretty much ruined my life. Avoid any kind of excitement, enterprise, relations etc.. It's as if (not 'as if' actually, as that's the fact) my body needs to act out in some way when faced with anxiety. It was nausea when i was a little kid, then it turned into this. Have no strength to cope with difficulties or any unknown whatever, that life may throw at me , that others tend to even enjoy. No life left, though. Anyway,

I didn't really want to know the truth up until now, because it's too demoralizing, but it doesn't really matter anymore. Question is, if the ibs-d is triggered, does that follow the fact that the digestive system of that person can not make use of the nutrients he's got/whatever he's eaten the way a healthy body is supposed to be able to?

And, if it (ibs-d) is under control, say, for a stretch of time when the symptoms disappeared, can we assume, that our body takes of our food whatever -and to the normal degree- it's supposed to take?

Thank you for going into truoble of reading and answering this.

16 Replies

Can I suggest you have a test for Dysbiosis,?

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To answer the questions in your post, I am not a doctor (but very well-read on the subject): Yes, you are what you digest.

If your IBS-D is triggered, or have bad digestion in any way you will be absorbing fewer nutrients. It is something to know and watch out for. You may find natural supplements help, but these need to be digested too. Getting out in the sunshine will help your vitamin D levels. Baths with Epsom salts are thought to boost magnesium levels.

You sound like you have hit rock bottom. I can really relate to that. I felt there was no way out - and today I have beaten my chronic IBS (and before you wonder, no I'm not selling anything). So know there is hope.

Just 2 thoughts to help you move forward:

1) Consider seeing a NLP hypnotherapist (get one recommended to you by your doctor). I have been (and survived:) Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is often very good for getting to the roots of a repeated response to situations. It's really worth a go.

2) As I am interested in reprogramming stress responses, I have been reading Panic Attacks by David Carbonell. This could be worth a read. You may not get panic attacks as such, but the mechanism is probably similar. David offers tactics to deal with these.

3) Have you been checked out for Candida or SIBO? If you have been digesting badly for a while, this could be going on in the background and is worth paying attention to: sickofibs.com/ibs-symptoms/...

Hope something in here helps you,



I've often wondered this myself, interested to see if anyone has answers to these questions.


Sorry you are having to deal with this. I've had it for years and it interrupts so much of life just like you say. People who don't have it cannot understand fully what you go thro on a daily basis. I take anxiety tablets on prescription and also probiotics in capsule form, both of which take edge off and I'm now retired so don't hv to go out. It was he'll when I worked with embarrassing episodes! And keep imodium with you. I always take imodium if I'm going out with friends before I leave home. I've also decided to eat normally, as trying to avoid foods, or working it out, was making me more anxious. Everything in moderation I would suggest


Have you tried the low fodmap diet - worth trying and also writing down your diet each day to see what may be triggering the diarrhea.

Low fodmap diet copy and paste the link


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Have you tried calcium carbonate for your diarrhea? I haven't used it myself but it has helped others. Avoid buying it combined with magnesium. If it has added vitamin D it should be OK.


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Thanks, I haven't, but I will. What I've been trieng to do recently is, to pinpoint risky foods, avoid them, and support all positive factors, let it be behavior-wise or concerning food intake, limiting medicines much as possible. Thank you for your responses. I take all of these into consideration as I'm just in the process of reading all the relevant stuff about this. And as i've found out some simple things add up and can make quite some difference as a result.


Low FODMAP diet helped me. Developed by Monash University who are ongoing testing foods.

Get the app it helps you hugely to regulate what you eat and is. very easy to follow as low Fodmaps foods are all traffic light symboled in green.

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Yeah, what surprised me was, that its list matches up so well with my previous experiences. I'll follow that too. Thank you.


Thanks for all your infos and suggestions. I'll try any of them if applicable.

The link between my state of mind and what it leads to has been so obvoius for me that i haven't suspected anything else, until recently. It may be a combination of things, but it's another issue now.

I need some natural solutions without involving the doctor and expensive medicines. And i document here a few observations of mine and ask a few further questions later.

-loperamide hydrochloride made a huge difference at first, but i'm quite certain that a tolerance is being developed to that. If used regularly.

-it's true that certain foods make the digestive system more prone, but at these moments, when i seem to lose my constant battle against the sources of stress, what i've eaten doesn't matter really.

But, to clarify with an example. Say, the mind is at ease, than drinking coffee is ok, but as i've found out some foods make the excretory system work so unnecessarily even if there's no state of anxiety, it may or may not be the result of the ibs, for instance, plant based protein sources, like protein powder, vegimite (i live in australia as an immmigrant), peanut butter. Or alcohol, it's never being tolerated anymore, although i was able to drink in reasonable amounts until recenly, but things are seemingly getting worse.

I'll make some additions later, i just wonder if these things are common experiences.

Losing considerable amount of nutrients after each meal(not, if i'm feeling bright, which is what gives me some hope that there's actually no physical reason why my body can't work normal, and this disorder can't be overcome) is demoralizing beyond description.


-vegimite and peanut butter weren't to be blamed, wrong deduction

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This condition can be overcome. I did it after having IBS for over 25 years.


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Hi I could have written this, I feel the same even making phone calls etc and talking to relatives and close friends brings on ibs d although sometimes just getting out of the house helps, I find relief going out by myself it means I am in control of things myself, if I want to get out of a shop or whatever I can or if I want to go home I can without making myself feel guilty if I am with someone who you feel does not understand what you are trying to deal with. A safety bag helps clean clothes pants wipes pads etc.

You are not alone, as joining a group like this you realise there is a lot of us suffering the same.


Hey, really appreciated. I can definitely relate to what you say.

In fact, it's not that I suffer from uncontrollable diarhea bouts, but considering my circumstances, the impact has been as bad. Thanks so much


Aghu and Sosampop, I developed IBS as part of ME/CFS when I was 16 and just starting my A-levels. I had to drop out of college as I was vomiting 8 times a day and if I got at all anxious I would get diarrhea.

After years of trying everything under the sun, I've been diagnosed with depression and OCD, and they're investigating the possibility of anxiety. My GP has prescribed me with Sertraline for the depression and OCD and a side effect has been that my IBS has reduced.

Whether it's because I'm less stressed so my body isn't getting as aggravated, or because sertraline is "fixing" things I don't know, but what I do know is that it is working.

I suggest speaking to your GP (don't be disheartened if you get turned down at first, it tend to take a few attempts) and asking them to investigate your mental health and the possibility of going on Sertraline.

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Just a little addition:

Certain foods to be avoided:

Fruits in this fodmap list, like peaches, nectarin

Hot, hot chili, hot whatever,

bread kept in the fridge and not heated up well before eating(if not sourdough it's more risky i figure)

Raw food, not cooked well or just smoked etc

Not fresh, some dish, sitting in the fridge even for a short time that wouldn't pose any threat to any healthy/normal digestive system

Things to be done,

Some aerobic activity, like running long distance, combined with considerable water intake and with a watchful approach to diet and quantities eaten( not any liquid, not carbonated something, just water. I noticed, i've been overlooking this)

In the morning 2 tabs loperamide hydrochloride (unfortunately).

I just wanted to write these, also reminding to myself. I keep doing mistakes on the other hand. I breached it just today by eating a little smoked salmon sandwich, with some hot sauce in it, to save it from wasting, and i realized, one more time, i really shouldn't take any risk.


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