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Is a colostomy a good solution?

Hi, I have been living with some form of IBS for almost 9 years now. It has made me housebound over time due to uncontrollable diarrhea, and now i have just recently became a dad and i feel its about time i gave up on the trial and error of untold amounts of tests and treatments and go for a colostomy to give me the freedom to be an active father and allow me to go back to work. Im going to see my gastroentorologist in 13 days and im really scared that she is going to say no but do any of you have any experiences similar? Just below this i will post all of the things ive tried and been tested for (copied and pasted from the letter i have written to my gastro to help my case) Thank you in advance for your thoughts, Ricky.

I’ve had a colonoscopy, a LOT of blood tests, x-rays, a ridiculous amount of gp appointments with a lot of different gp’s and it’s just all been for nothing so far. I always just get given the “There’s nothing we can do” or “You will just have to learn to live with it”…. This isn’t living, this is existing!

I’ve been tried on increasing doses of sertraline, up to 200mg, which have made no difference, and I’m now at 100mg.

I’m having to take amitriptyline to help with the pain and I was solely on amitriptyline originally to try and help with my bowels, and now to help with the insomnia sertraline brings.

I’ve been tried with isphaluga husk(fibre supplements), peppermint capsules, pro-biotics, vitamin B supplements, multi vitamins, aloe vera juice, giving up caffeine, high fibre diets, low fibre diets, exclusion diets, CBT, hypnotherapy, glucosamine,Lactulose, macrogol (laxatives), Citalopram, Fluoxetine, anti-spasmodic’s, and Toilet and food diaries/schedules galore!

I’ve also tried kegal exercises, bowel retraining & exercise itself, I lose my appetite frequently when I go through a period of frequent attacks and I end up not eating well for a week or two after because of it.

5 Replies

Have you tried the FODMAPs regime?


Yes, my GP suggested it a while ago and it made no difference at all. My attacks are just as severe/frequent even after all i have tried :(


You really do sound as if you're up against it.

I suggested FODMAPs as, much to my great surprise, it worked brilliantly for me and I hoped it might be something you hadn't tried.

It really is appalling that you have to even think about such a drastic solution as a colostomy, there should be much more research into this vast array of symptoms that get labelled as 'IBS' - it's just medical shorthand for 'sorry we don't know'!

Have you put your question to Dr Nick Read on the IBS Network? He really is an expert on this and might be able to help.


No i haven't yet, I have kind of given up talking to IBS doctors because i always get told the same things and it's so exhausting to have to explain my entire history of everything i have done over and over again, just to be told to try something that i've either already tried, or something similar (especially when it comes to the massive amounts of diets ive had to try), ill send a copy of my OP and see what he says however, but thanks for telling me :)


I can imagine how very fed-up you must be constantly explaining your situation to different people, but it might be worth one more try.

Have you ever had a candida overgrowth test? You would have to pay for this to be done as it isn't a condition recognised by the medical profession. I had one done in Germany (by post) a year ago which yielded a positive result. and I had to follow a very strict anti-candida diet (yes, yet another one!) for 4 months. I felt about 40% better at the end of this, had a further test done and the candida had cleared. It was the remaining 60% that I couldn't get rid of until I did FODMAPs.

Also, the following has just been posted by Inndie as a comment on my own post which you might find of interest:

I have also read the book by Mark Pimentel, New IBS Solution, and he argues that IBS is caused by bacteria living in the small intestine where they don't belong. He has had success with specific antibiotic therapy to kill the bacteria, and you can get a lactulose breath test to check for these bacteria. I am waiting for an appointment with the gastroenterologist to see if they will give me the test, but in the UK they are less believing of these ideas. However, they do now recognise small bowel intestinal overgrowth (SIBO).


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