Help 😔: My ibs is making me miserable. I can’t... - IBS Network

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Help 😔

Maxine12345
Maxine12345

My ibs is making me miserable. I can’t get an appointment with a dietitian due to Covid so I’m just being given buscopan, mebeverine, and dulcolax. I can go over a week without going and I can’t remember the last time I went “naturally”. I have to take way more than the recommended dose in order to empty myself and the blasting and pain is unbearable. It feels like someone literally has their hands inside my guts and is twisting them around. I don’t know what I can and can’t eat and there’s so much conflicting advice on the net. One saying that weetabix and bananas can help and another saying it can make worse. My stomach is so tender to touch 24/7 and only slight relief I get is by lying with a hot water bottle on my stomach. Any advice would be so greatly appreciated xx

10 Replies

Bless you, your post shows anxiety which can make you feel worse.The only website to use is the IBS network only and don't forget you should still be able to get a phone consultation with your GP. 🤞

Maxine12345
Maxine12345 in reply to Linley

Thankyou for replying. I have had telephone consultations and all they’ve done is first try mebeverine which didn’t do a thing. Then buscopan which I’m not sure if it’s helping or if the hot water bottle is what’s helping. They gave me dulcolax after I ended up in hospital with fecal impactation (think that what it was called). I also have an ED which is what seemed to have started all these problems and it’s not helping My recovery much as I’m afraid to eat at times as I have no idea what is causing the problem to worsen. I’ve eaten a sandwich before and been fine and then I’ve eaten the same thing and been in agony, so I have no clue what helps and what doesn’t. I hate living like this 😔 xx

Linley
Linley in reply to Maxine12345

What's your fruit intake like?

Edgar77
Edgar77 in reply to Linley

The most common food intolerances (not alergys) are gluten or dairy. I would start with one of them. Good luck. Have you been tested for coeliac ?

I've suffered from IBS for many years. The problem with medications for IBS is that they relax the bowel which means that anything that is an irritant to you stays in the bowel longer causing extra pain. It's my experience that they also cause constipation. The best advice I can give is switch to a low Fodmap diet. Remove all non soluable fibre. Porridge is often recommended but it is often a big irritant to the gut. Peppermint oil is also suggested but again evidence now shows that too is bad for IBS. I was told to avoid ALL fruit and stick to low Fodmap veg. Actually, the only veg I can tolerate is carrots and spinach. Also, you may have intolerances, most IBS sufferers have intolerances the biggest being dairy/lactose and yeast. I would suggest you cut out the medications, cut out porridge and fruit for a couple of weeks and try exclusion diets to see if you have an intolerance. Also some medications particularly acid reducong medications like Omeprazole can aggravate IBS too.

Hi Maxine I suffer from the same thing constantly also have a hot water bottle daily . Was prescribed buscopan did nothing I did cut out all whole grain bread , cereal which I believe was making the problem worse . Have tried all laxatives the only one which works is Movicol but it causes bad side effects for me .it softens the waste making it easier to pass . Have had impaction quite a few times it’s very miserable , I would keep on to your gp and yes I have the tender stomach also think it’s irritation . You could try a actimel every day it’s helping me , just don’t eat lots fibre it makes it worse and drink warm plain water x

You may be suffering from IBS-C (constipation dominant) and visceral hypersensitivity (functional abdominal pain) which is the same as me.

To improve constipation in the short term you can try ground flaxseed on your breakfast, starting at 1 teaspoon and increasing at 1 teaspoon every 2-3 days - you'll need to consume extra water with it.

This is what I have for breakfast: 75g oat bran, 50g of all (wheat) bran (if tolerated) soaked overnight in water plus 10 almonds & 1 tablespoon flaxseed ground together, 2 tablespoon chia seeds and 9 prunes plus homemade oat milk - all soaked for a further 15 mins (so the chia seeds form a gel).

There is also Shredded wheat (or wheat free version: Gluten Free Nutribrex) .

Before lunch I have 1 orange (which contains a natural laxative).

Before dinner I have one of these high fibre fruits:

2 small hard pears

5 dried apricots

90g Raspberries

2 kiwi

I bulk buy fruit and freeze where necessary to allow me to have this variety.

At other meals I have:

Quinoa

Wholewheat bread

Whole grain pastas (Spelt or Wheat free: Buckwheat)

I also take 30 drops of ginger extract before bedtime to aid motility. You may need to work up the dose to say 7 drop increments each night.

I have been giving Optifibre a go, which has been helping but I need to be careful with the amount since it gives me gas.

Exercise can help with BMs. The government recommends 150 mins of moderate exercise (e.g. walking as if you are late for an appointment) or 75 of intense exercise (e.g. jogging) per week. I also have a bit of a walk around straight after breakfast to get things moving.

You need to ensure that you are drinking enough fluids (2 litres of fluid per day).

There is some good advice about constipation here:

theibsnetwork.org/constipat...

theibsnetwork.org/constipat...

In terms of the visceral hypersensitivity (functional abdominal pain) - there is info about it here:

iffgd.org/lower-gi-disorder...

It is where the brain interprets the normal activity of the bowel as pain - this is due to a wearing down of neurons in pain control centres of the brain which can be caused by PTSD, neglect or abuse in childhood, extreme stressful events etc. The first line treatment is nerve pain agents such as low dose amitriptyline. There is a theory that being on something like amitriptyline for 6-12 months can help the pain control centre neurons to regenerate. Note that amitriptyline can cause constipation, but this can be helpful in people who are diarrhea dominant. Unfortunately I couldn't tolerate these. Linaclotide (for IBS-C only) & Alflorex probiotic have helped me greatly with this intestinal pain.

You may also find assistance with enteric coated peppermint for the pain.

IBS (general):

IBS can be due to a number or combination of factors - these can be stress (including stress from early life experiences) which impacts the communication between the brain and the digestive system. There are lots of free webinars online at the moment regarding mindfulness meditation which might help. Plus you can ask to be referred for CBT or something similar to reduce anxiety - I would have thought online appointments are available. Exercise can play a major role in IBS in terms of reducing stress, helping your gut microbiome and regulating bowel movements.

There is also not absorbing certain types of carbohydrates called FODMAPs very well, the residue ending up in the colon and bacteria feeding off them causing symptoms. Ordinarily feeding gut bacteria is a really good thing - when you feed good gut bacteria these produce by-products that have great health effects in the gut and throughout the body. However, in some people with IBS bad bugs might have the upper hand over good - these bad bugs may cause symptoms such as excess gas, pain or disordered bowel movements. There is an interesting infographic on this here:

gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com/....

This is why it’s worth trying probiotics such as Alflorex (which has been scientifically studied for IBS) to crowd out the bad bugs and make their numbers die down. If that doesn't work you can try the FODMAP elimination and reintroduction diet. This is normally under the guidance of a nutritionist via GP referral - this may not be possible at the moment so you can read about it online. If you download the Monash University FODMAP app and Kings College fodmap apps, they will tell you which foods contain FODMAPs and in what quantities. You can eliminate all FODMAPs for 2 weeks and then introduce each type of FODMAP one at a time starting in small quantities, increasing over a 3 day period and wait up to 4 days for symptoms. I go much slower than this - only introducing a small amount (1/4 to 1/3 of a normal portion size) of the same food for 3 days and then increase if tolerable or no symptoms and cut back to the previous amount if symptoms for longer and then try to increment again . I've read your microbiome can adapt to handling a new food if introduced very slowly and your bad bugs are under control with a good probiotic. Ideally you want to eat as many FODMAPs as you can since they are good for your health. Many people with IBS don't have diverse gut bacteria - it has been found that people who lack a diverse microbiome are more prone to diseases in general. In the long run, if you can get your symptoms under control, the ideal situation is to have a very varied diet - lots of different coloured fruits and vegetables, a variety of protein and carbohydrate sources including cereal fibres. This may seem a long way off, but with the right treatment all of this is possible. The year before last all I could consume to control my IBS was white rice, protein and limited low fodmap veg. Using the approach above (particularly introducing Alflorex) I am now able to consume far more foods - more than I've ever dreamed of including wholewheat bread and the extra fibre that I need to have a BM.

In summary, I would try something like Alflorex probiotic first to see if your pain has a gut bacterial balance as a factor. If not working try dietary measures to see if there is anything specific upsetting you, plus seeing if the probiotic allows you to consume much more fibre to have a natural BM. If you are diagnosed with IBS-C, Linaclotide is certainly worth a go. It reduced my pain by 50%-60% after 12 weeks. When I introduced Alflorex after that my pain reduced to zero (except when I am reintroducing foods and my body gets used to them or I have to give up). Good luck.

Lots of good advice here already, I just thought I'd add one thing I saw someone say on this forum a little while back which is that they found drinking water slowly throughout the day made a big difference to them with IBS-C. Plenty of water, but not big amounts a few times, a gradual intake spread out over time. Haven't tried it myself but it seems like one suggestion you could try pretty easily at the same time as other things and seems very unlikely to make things any worse for you.

Aw no its awful, ibs is a nightmare its trail and error with everything, I have IBS c and it is unbearable at times with the pain and not being able to go to the toilet naturally. I think laxatives made my bowel lazy so I try to avoid them. I take psyllium husk in milk in the evening its extra fiber its seems to help abit or even just a black coffee might get things moving good luck 👍

Hi. I used to suffer from the same thing and took dulcolax for a few years but it did give me stomachache and did nt always work so i switched to taking cosmocol powders and i take lactolose if i need a quicker fix. You need to drink a lot of fluids and try and follow a healthy diet but i can honestly say i feel a lot better. It may take a few days to work once you start the cosmocol but its a natural way to help things along. Good luck. 🙏

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