What should and shouldn't I be eating drinking? - IBS Network

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What should and shouldn't I be eating drinking?


Right I understand my title depends on the person but IBS-D seriously is stressing me out...

I work full-time and use public transport alot, buses and trains. Every day is extended by half an hour to an hour due to (possible loo breaks) to and from my destination. My life is seriously about routing my voyage to ensure I know a toilet is not far from me, and if so, I will take a longer route than necessary to include one.

I start my day with a cup of coffee or tea and a couple of biscuits. I use the toilet, I wash shave then use toilet again, half an hour before I leave the house I take loperamide hydrochloride. I then reuse toilet again before I leave the house.

During my commute I take another loperamide hydrochloride in the form of immodium instant.

I tend to use toilet once or twice during travel approx twice a week.

Some days I'm totally fine, and others I'm in a severe depressed anxious state.

I hardly eat anything at work for fear of needing a number 2 and I eat nothing at home after work for fears of diarrhoea in the night or morning before work.

I say no often to days out because of how I feel, and my partner thinks sometimes it's in my head, and I do agree that the more I worry about it, the worse I am, but in 25 years of suffering as I do, I would hate to experience a bad episode of suffering and not being able to get to a toilet.

I love the wrong foods too much and they disagree with my tummy, ie curries pizza onions vegatables fruits the list is exhausting.

I just don't see what else my life holds except constant pre ahead planning of my work commute.

I regard myself as healthy despite my food intake of predominantly biscuits tea and coffee (done this now for 25 years) I do eat other things, but only if I'm on a day off the next day or on holiday. But the day I eat other things I tend to spend the best part of that day sat on the toilet to get rid of it.

I'm at my wit's end.

23 Replies

I have experienced similar and an currently exploring my triggers....the first change I made has made the most impact and that’s dropping the milk in my coffee (I don’t drink tea) I think it’s something about having a milky drink first think that sets me off. Worth a try?? (Or use a milk alternative such as almond or soya milk?)

Knew the milk would be a big trigger :( I can't stand black coffee but gonna try it from tomorrow morning and see if that helps :)

Try rice milk - it tastes the most similar to normal milk IMHO. I’ve served it to unknowing friends and family and they’ve actually complemented me on how nice their coffee/tea was etc. Although, it would be better to stop the caffeine and switch to decaf too...

As others have suggested as well, give FODMAP a go, keep a food diary and perhaps look into taking a probiotic. All these things helped me.

It’s miserable at first to stop eating all the foods you enjoy, but after a while you don’t mind so much as you feel so much better. Nothing is foolproof, but these things should help.

I get anxiety movements too - right before I leave the house. I am now good just forcing myself to leave the house and telling myself it will be Ok. This doesn’t always work of course, but if I can achieve it even once a week, it’s a win as far as I’m concerned.

Good luck with it all!

I quite agree missymoo. My dietician currently has me on a lactose free, onion free, wheat and garlic free diet and toilet visits are reduced from 3 to 4 toilet visits (every morning) from 7am when I wake to 8.30am when I leave for work commute, down to 1. This was noticeable improvement after just a few days of following the NHS diet. Try the lactose free milk for couple of weeks and see if bit helps. Good luck

Ah, there's some things here that you're eating that are very likely making things much worse. Coffee is a stimulant and is usually completely avoided by those with IBS-D as it's one of the worst things for it. High fat foods like cheese on your pizza also stimulate the bowel. It's often recommended that people with IBS-C eat lots of healthy fats to help them go, so you can imagine (well, you know for sure) that lots of fat all at once can wreak havoc for IBS-D. I highly recommend completely cutting out high fat foods (especially sat fat) and coffee for a time to see if it makes any difference. Please do talk to either a nutritionist or a doctor about this though because it can be difficult for people to quit coffee right away if you've been taking it for a time.

My guess is, if you stick to eating a small amount of unsaturated fat at a time, and you cut out coffee, things will improve. I know it's hard to cut out food we love, I've done it myself, but it will be worth it. And when you know you've got a night in and you don't have to go anywhere the next day, you can have some naughty foods without worrying about having to deal with the symptoms away from home.

In my personal experience the fat content has made no difference...I’ve cut fat out over last two months as I have gall stones and that’s made no difference to the IBS symptoms, the diarrhoea has virtually gone since making the morning coffee change but I still have other symptoms so working through possible triggers (FODMAP foods)

The black coffee is nicer when it’s an instant and decent quality one but I still have milk in fresh coffee but as long as it’s not first thing on an empty stomach it’s fine.

Is decaf coffee ok

I haven’t noticed a difference tbh but it’s worth a try to see if it makes a difference?! :-)

I really think you should try to cut out your early morning coffee - many people will drink coffee if they have a tendency to constipation as it helps to get things moving!

Otherwise I sympathise with you entirely - your fear about not being able to get to a loo in time is just like mine. Some people have had success taking Enterosgel to control diarrhoea - you could look into that (you can buy it in Boots)

Hi! This is my life, I turn down opportunities to go places for fear of accidents, I refuse to eat out just in case and if I do have a rare night out I load myself up on so much medication I end up in agony for the next couple of days.

I have had d episodes out of the house with no toilet to near and it’s obviously incredibly humiliating...

Things are getting better and I’m becoming more away of predicting when I will have an episode due to combining loperamide with amytritilyne. It does work to solidify your movements however they still turn up when they want to....

I have cut out all dairy and don’t eat much other foods that are interesting esp if I know I’m going somewhere in the next couple of days. I also don’t eat until I’m full as that can be a massive trigger for an explosion, if I eat out I make sure I can take my order home with me as I will never finish a meal outside the house. And if I have a big meal at home I ensure I’ve got a good book in the bathroom..

Hope you find an answer or at least figure out how to manage thing. Believe me I know and fully sympathise with you x

Lots of people mention mebeverine can these be crushed before taken as I can't swallow tablets and can I also carry immodium and take one if I need to? It also states mebeverine contains lactose :/ I'm so confused lol 😂

I have buscopan on hand if I get stomach spasms as I find it helps to relax my bowels when it gets painful however I don’t take them daily.

Loperamide taking has been a bit of a try and see. I now take 4 first thing in the morning every day, after this if I have a loose movement I will take another 2 unless it’s in the eve and I’m at home as I will usually ride it out. You can take up to 8 per day and I have them on prescription otherwise they would cost a fortune...

I did also try probiotics but once the amitriptilyne started working I found that the probiotics worked a little too well and blocked me up for days which was really painful. I would consider taking them again when I go on holiday to help me out as the stress of holidays makes me even worse.

Have you been to see an-NHS qualified dietician (NOT a nutritionist!) ? Get your GP to refer you ASAP. Biscuits, tea and coffee is not a healthy diet for anyone and is likely to cause even more serious long-term health problems, though I do appreciate your priority is the D now, rather than the possibility of other nasties later. People with IBS-D generally need just as much dietary fibre as the 'C's to improve their stools.

What happens when you go on holiday? Is there any improvement in symptoms when you are in an environment where you are not stressing about the next loo stop and are are able to try different foods?

This is the thing, I constantly worry on the go, and now I'm home and I know there is a toilet I'm fine :) it's only when I am ready to leave the house :/

I know how you feel gave to commute as well and trains do not always have toilets especially tubes. I as I've got older seem to have the problem that even if I am not going to have diarreah and have a fairly normal bowel movement I only gave about one minute to find a toilet, I would give anything to be normal, so hard isn't it to get out of the house and not panic, I do sympathise

Shaunie, interesting that you are fine at home when you are not worrying. So maybe it's mostly the anxiety that's causing the problem, not what you're eating? Could your GP prescribe something to help with the anxiety?

I think what I'm eating and drinking does make things worse when I'm worrying or not but it does tend to be worse when I am panicking :) for instance on way to work I am constantly worrying until I arrive at work and know a toilet is nearby. Then on way home I'm worrying again until I know I'm literally 10 15 mins from home. Then it seems to all go away. I've even tried to stop taking medication thinking it was all in my head, but had an accident on way to work and I'd never be so careless again lol 😂 so it might purely be IBS-D caused by anxiety but I know that pizza, curry, spices and certain other foods, definitely cause it as I've had issues at home almost instantly after eating :) it's doing my nut in :/

And I can't even think about holidays lol I never know where a loo will be :)

Drs don’t refer if they can help it I’ve been asking for a year

My daughter was diagnosed in July of this . Not as severe as yours but now explains the intermittent stomach aches/ cramps constant visits to the loos . Had been visiting the doc for 2 years. Buscopan and mebevrine, And mintec taken from Sept . As had first major flare up after a dodgy Chinese.cutout diary in the mornings .breakfast was a mint tea 2 brown toast with Jam . Very controlled eating. Now down to 1 mebevrine a day And mintec As and when needed ,. Also kept a food diary also listing tablets - very detailed . Soon saw a pattern and spotted triggers . Def recommend a food diary as really helped us .

I don't know if anyone has suggested a probiotic to you?I suffered with similar symptoms for months saw dr.,went on Fodmap diet all to no avail eventually saw dietician and gastrointerologist privately both suggested a probiotic and although expensive I would almost go as far as to say it's cured me.I use Symprove, initially it was every day for 12 weeks I now take every other day and know that after my two visits to the loo in the morning I'm set for the day.Definitely worth a try.

Have a look at the low FODMAP diet. Coffee might be a no no as well as biscuits - you may have an issue with wheat. Also get tested for a candida overgrowth this can give you IBS symptoms candidatest.co.uk/ x

Well I really think you do need to re-think your diet as it's ruining your life and your partner's. It might be just giving up the tea/coffee. Biscuits are fine but coffee really is the thing that makes most want the loo. You could try really weak black tea as a compromise. Just try it, and try Silicogel instead of the immodium. That lines your tummy to protect it against irritants. That curry may have to go.....or your wife might!

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