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Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Constipation

Posted by @riseagain3 in Digestive Health, Aug 10, 2011

Most people when they hear IBS, they think diarrhea. Mine is Constipation. It all started with a cold 8 months ago and the taking of a strong antibiotic,docxycycline. My colon spasmed to the point of no BM for four days. Horrific cramping. Finally stopped taking the antibiotic and had a BM but the cramping has returned periodically. Have not been able to ID any trigger foods. It feels like my colon has just forgotten how to work. It also feels like inflammation. An attack usually comes with no reason, last 4-5 days and leaves my gut feeling like I've been hit by a truck. Been having 2-3 attack a month. All the CT scans, colonoscopy, blood and stool test are negative. Nausea accompanies the attacks so I have lost 40 pounds as well. This disease has made it so I can hardly live my life. The Dr's treat only the symptoms, RX for spasms and pain. Anyone else have this experience and what did you do?

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Posted by @riseagain3, Aug 11, 2011

I know I can't be the only one with this IBS-C....anyone?

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Posted by @mbengst, Oct 6, 2011

I have IBS-C as well. I think I've tried everything under the sun to get things moving regularly. Some things have worked for a week or two, but then stop working. I tried Miralax on four separate occasions and reacted very negatively all four times -- so I won't use it ever again. I discovered that my IBS-C is eased significantly when I use unrefined gray sea salt (sparingly) on my food and drink coconut water. Sounds odd, but the minerals from the unrefined sea salt and the fiber, electrolytes, and potassium from the coconut water balance things out and I don't have constipation any longer. I also drink a lot of water through out the day. I'd had constipation for 40 years and IBS-C for 26 years.

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Posted by @tk7312000, Aug 12, 2011

I wish I could give you answers. Mine is the opposite- diarrhea. But I am in the same boat as you. They keep treating the symptoms but not the cause. Have you thought about a second opinion? My friend who has had IBS for many years suggests an over the counter probiotic. I am trying it myself this week. Sorry that's not much help. Please let me know if you get any good advice also!

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Posted by @riseagain3, Aug 13, 2011

Thanks for the reply. I am also taking probiotic with some improvement. I am still hoping for some replies from the community.

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Posted by @reneep, Aug 18, 2011

I actually have severe IDS with diarrhea, GERD, NERD, functional abdominal pain syndrome. I am a patient of Dr. Douglas Drossman at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Drossman is the world's leader in treating functional GI disorders. Doctors come from all over the world to train with him.

I have a friend that I have met through facebook that has IBS with constipation and functional abdominal pain syndrome. She has been seeing Dr. Drossman for 2-3 years and has seen tremendous improvement. Let me know if you want and I can try to put her in contact with you.

Something that Dr. Drossmand advises patients to use is Miralax. I think he told Erin to take a dose everyday to help with constipation. You can mix in a OJ or water or whatever. Hope this helps.

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Posted by @riseagain3, Aug 18, 2011

Thanks for your feedback. I have used Miralax occasionally but have considered using it daily. I is good to know that it worked for someone else.

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Posted by @billlion, Sep 24, 2011

OMG.Do not recommend daily Miralax.Drs put me on it for 2mos and a year later I still am not regular.That's NOT the answer!!


Posted by @riseagain3, Sep 26, 2011

I found out that daily use in not for me either. Occasional is ok and does help.


Posted by @misty, Sep 17, 2011

Have you been tested for Celiac disease? It can cause severe constipation, weight loss and sometimes nausea. I had these symptoms but tested negative for Celiac.
I had begun a gluten free diet and the relief was amazing. It took three weeks before I felt a difference. I have been on this diet for a few years, thank god I finally found the reason for feeling so bad for so long. Good luck!

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Posted by @riseagain3, Sep 17, 2011

Thanks Misty. Gluten is not my problem. I eliminated it for months with no change in symptoms. I am still searching. Thrilled for you that you found what works for you. Good on ya.


Posted by @jejageorge, Oct 12, 2011

I have a friend who has been suffering for months now...she has abdominal pain in her upper right quadrant, severe diarrhea, nasuea, and gets dehyrated very easy...her mom has taken her to dr after dr and 6 er visits and still don't know what is wrong with her. Like you she has lost about 40 pounds. I hope the both of you find out what is wrong!

Posted by Anonymous-8e458bd4, Oct 20, 2011

I am sorry to read about your troubles and discomforts. My own story would tell of many years of symptoms that I did not begin to understand until 2.5 years ago. By then I was experiencing tremendous constipation episodes of several days that would end in a day filled with bowel evacuations. Not fun. One day I landed in the urgent care/emergency room. I learned about gluten intolerance 2.5 years ago and launched into a gluten free diet, that eventually led to excluding corn, and now to excluding starches and more.

At some point after going gluten free, I figured out how to bake things with gluten free starches and grains. That was accompanied by an uptick of symptoms. By June of this year I knew that a gluten free diet alone was not the answer, though with the initial gluten free phase there was significant improvement to the point of some normal weeks or months. It motivated me to pursue dietary approaches.

This past June when I was ready to ask for medical help, I read the supplement containers that I was taking, and many of them had croscarmellose sodium in the ingredients list. I looked up that ingredient on the internet. It is used to break apart the tablets when the absorb moisture. The web research revealed one source that said people who have intestinal disorders should avoid that ingredient.

There was also a suggestion to learn about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Because this diet approach is attached to a book, I hesitate to do anything to promote the book. I have not purchased it, but I did read the web site about the concept of, and the approach to, this particular kind of diet.

The concept of Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) was introduced during this research period, and it made sense to me for what I was experiencing. The more healthful dietary approach through the SCD, and eliminating anything else that triggered a negative response was a choice I was willing to make. The concept promotes this diet as a means of reducing bacteria that has invaded into the wrong part of the digestive system, causing reactions (simplified description), and would help strengthen the good colonies where they belonged. The diet must be adhered to, for a long period of time, until each individual finds that point when other foods may be added back. It could be a year or longer. This very simplified description can be augmented by reading resources on the internet. The bacterial colonies in our intestines have a massive role to play in our digestion and well being.

It made sense, and I could relate my symptoms of constipation to evacuation episodes to the foods that I was ingesting. Within a couple of weeks of adopting the approach, I noticed some improvement. Now at four months, there are long periods of normal or close to normal bowel activities. I notice when I ingest something that causes another response cycle, and will then try to be sure to avoid that food.

Basically I avoid all starches, grains, thickeners, potatoes, sweet potatoes, sugars, honey (for now), milk, cream, sour cream, beans, and my own other trouble foods such as tomatoes and pineapples. The SCD web site has a helpful list of foods that may and may not be eaten during this diet change.

I do eat lots of fresh fruit and cooked vegetables, lots of leafy greens such as kale and collards, eggs, meats, fish, oils, lots of nuts, a little butter now and then, aged hard cheeses, and a lot of particular kind of yogurt with Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Streptococcus Thermophilus, and Lactobacillus Bulgaricus. It must not contain Bifidus/Bifidum bacteria. It should contain gums, sugars, or additives, or flavors of any kind. I also make my own kimchi, without sugar, since it is a positive source for lactobacillus.

I feel well fed, much improved, but still wary of experimenting with former or questionable food choices. My blood tests for essential vitamins and minerals at my annual physical appointment showed that all levels are normal.

The bowel disorder improvement, with the support of the dietary change, motivates me to continue adhering to this new way of eating. It is completely possible to do it. The alternative, seeking medical evaluation and medicines to treat the symptoms was and still is a choice that I could take. But, for as long as this dietary approach improves my health and bowel performance I am thankful that I have a choice to not seek medical intervention.

I hope with my own story that others may find alternative choices to reducing your bowel disorder discomforts. If you are beyond being able to change your diet alone, do seek medical help.

Even so, be aware of what you eat and how your body responds to it over the next days and weeks.


Posted by @glutenfreecuredmycrohns, Nov 2, 2011

Go gluten-free, wheat-free, for a month. You still need whole grains to keep your digestive tract in order, so buy Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal or Pancake Mix. The colon needs fiber to move things along.


Posted by @riseagain3, Nov 2, 2011

I have improved considerably by stopping anything that stimulates the colon, ie Miralax, Metamucil, stool softener and limiting coffee. I am careful to eat high fiber, got to love those veggies. I still take probiotic, magnesium and enteric coated oil of peppermint capsules. The best thing that works for me is a audio program of guided imagery meditations that are specifically designed for IBS. It has taught me to relax and has relaxed my gut. This works for me. I encourage everyone to keep trying to find what works for you.


Posted by @blzeitlin, Nov 10, 2012

I am interested in what you are saying about stopping the miralax....I have severe pain after every bowel movement. I was told to take miralax daily after surgery I had a year ago for an obstruction in the small bowel. Please clarify. Thank you


Posted by @riseagain3, Nov 10, 2012

Stopping the Miralax is what worked for me, maybe not for you. I have IBS-C. My triggers are when I stray from a high fiber diet and stress. That is why I am able to find relief with the proper diet and guided imagery meditation to help with stress. I encourage you to determine your triggers and address them. Thanks for the reply.


Posted by @shaelaruns, Nov 3, 2011

I have had GI issues since I was in 6th grade (I'm 24 now) and I have been tested for every GI disease/disorder under the sun with every test coming back normal. So my symptoms were labelled as IBS. I also had my gallbladder removed when I was 17 because it was infected due to a blockage of the duct with stones. I get extremely bad episodes where I get really bad vertigo followed by severe abdominal pain. It's not localized ... just a wall of pain and a very strong urge to vomit. My whole body shakes and it lasts for 4 hours. It's so painful that I can't lay down, I pace and eventually curl up in a ball and will myself to sleep. Sometimes I have episodes that aren't as bad but last for days ... I feel nauseous and and my stomach and intestines feel completely raw.

I've done a lot of work with a dietician to perfect my diet and that has helped a lot ... but it's so frustrating feeling like I have no control over my own body. I've been underweight my entire life because of this. When I'm feeling good I make an extra effort to pack in the food and I'll gain a pound or 2 but then I'll have an episode and I lose it. I'm extremely self conscious about my thinness.

It's so frustrating. I hate living this way ... I'm sure some of you can relate! I'm tired of being given drugs to mask the symptoms when all I really want is to know what is wrong.


Posted by @glutenfreecuredmycrohns, Nov 4, 2011

Have you had allergy testing?


Posted by @polly512, Sep 25, 2013

YUP I Have it it makes one think what are doctors learning or NOT learning about these intestinal disease's Sheesh youd think a gastroenterologist could diagnose you properly and treat you. I'm 56 all these years several doc's diagnose me having GERD, Gastroenteritis, IBS, Acid reflux & an erosion just found during recent endoscopy.. riseagain3 tell your doc to prescribe promethazine suppositories for the cramps it worked for me Pauline

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