Hi my name is Liss and I was diagnosed with IBS when I was 20, and I am now 23, and initially I scheduled to see a GI specialist, and she told me I could mostly control it with diet, I avoided fructose, sugar, and grease... theres not alot of things I like to eat that fits the category, I lost 15 pounds doing it though! Dont think it helped with IBS ALOT, but it did help. I've felt that my symtoms were tolerable, and started eating sugars and fats again. I lost 30 pounds last year, and gained 15 back. Id like to stay below 140, but now I am somewhere around 157 Ill bet. I am addicted to Soda, I get at least one 32 oz coca cola a day. I dont experience the constipation side of IBS nearly as much as the diarrhea side... I have BMs at least two or three times a day, every day, and they are always loose, mucousy and you can see what I ate the day before in the midst of it... I have been trying not to be concerned since last year when I had my colonoscopy, and they told me everything looked good, I still feel as if my food is not digesting fully, and that it goes through me way too fast. I am always tired, and its probably cause my body is malnutritioned, and over working the digestive organs... something has to be causing it, I never had trouble until I was 20. But doctors dont seem to wanna go after the problem aggressively, with my age "nothing could possibly be wrong" but I have read some posts where folks have had a endoscopy (which im afraid of! tubes going down my nose into my throat!) and they find blood vessels blocking, or the jujunum is messed up... I dont think I have a blockage, I am not sure what I really expect them to find... But I just have no idea how to treat my symptoms really. Its so embarrassing at work (I'm a medical assistant) Im always in our bathroom more often then anyone else, I'll be rooming patients and my stomach is bubbling and gassy, trying my best not to gross out my patients with farting or noises coming from myself! I like to plan dates with men on nights that I feel my symptoms are minimal, and Ill avoid dinner dates to avoid running to the bathroom on a date... I left my brothers super bowl party early last sunday cause his ribs made me feel like I'd have an explosion. He gave me alka seltzer but that didnt help... Ive never had a problem with heartburn til the past few months, can heart burn be a sign of something else other then IBS?? I dont know, I dont wanna waste money at the doctor if I dont know what questions to ask, how to be aggressive about this, Id like to know what treatments people have tried that do and dont work, and what I should eat, if there are over the counter meds that give fast relief? I have some gas tablets, they dont help much. Pepto... I dont know if pepto helps much, I dont have trouble with constipation as much, but I do know fiber and stool softener help with that for me... I also remember reading some where mucous in your stool can be a symptom of fibromyalgia, and I COULD have fibromyalgia, I havent been tested yet, with the 18 points of pain, but I have random points on my body that hurt and ache at times. Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks webMD friends!
I empathize completely with your story. I have had IBS for 14 years now (since I was 13) and for those first couple of years we had no clue what it was, so I had to suffer through it as if it was a curse from the gods. And I know you understand how utterly frustrating it is when something you feel like you cant control owns your life schedule. However, I am here to tell you that you will be fine and you can beat this thing. Your doctor gave you the right advice, unfortunately though they never seem to fully explain what consists of a "diet" or how that reflects on you.
First, I had the *exact* symptoms you have, (bm's 2-3 a day, and mucous and all). As it stands today, I still have a relatively fast GI tract, but what has changed is that I no longer suffer from bloating, gas, cramps, or diarrhea. It took me years to figure out the right mix for my diet and in the last couple of months. I added what could possibly be the most important piece of the puzzle!
Water - it sounds extremely silly but over 50% of the adults in the U.S. are chronically dehydrated. I drink about 1500ml of water a day, more depending on what I eat/drink (I will get into that in a little bit). Now, how did water affect my GI tract. I always associated the diarrhea with "watery" stool right? However, whats happening is that the stool is actually "drying out" because of the lack of water (your large intestines is like a giant sponge with sole purpose of sucking up water back into your body). So when stool cant move and you drink or eat something that causes gas. *Bam*, instant cramps/bloating resulting in mucous-y diarrhea.
-- I'm not familiar with your triggers but the other two parts of the equation were stimulants and acidic foods. As you know, soda combines the worst of those two worlds, as it is both highly caffeinated (on average twice as much as a cup of coffee) and extremely acidic (i think the last lab test I did put it slightly above or around orange juice -- another thing I cant really drink--) so unfortunately I have to report that you might need to find another route for your daily dose of "go-juice". However, I find that coffee is pretty manageable as a substitute because you can add milk or cream to cut the acidity and the caffeine content is not extra ordinarily high.. although with ANY stimulant you should expect some motility of your GI tract, so be ready for a bm! I always make sure to add a glass of water with every stimulant I drink. 1 cup of water to 1 cup of cofffee, etc. And you can add that water to your 1500ml a day goal, so it adds up quick and becomes less of a thing to remind yourself to do.
-- Also, I have cut a large portion of red meat out of my diet. Its not because of the fat content or the fact that meat is harder to digest (although those are good reasons) but its because red meat is especially full of hormones and antibiotics. Hormones and antibiotics (especially) act as irritants in your body, more so because our GI tract are sensitive to inflammation. Thats not made up either, a couple complaint of antibiotic therapy in inflammation, itching, irritation, and burning. Usually, I eat red meat (steak or otherwise) about 1 - 2 times per month without issue. I still eat chicken and pork and usually have no problems.
If you try those previous suggestions and your diet really stabilizes, I suggest adding fiber to your diet. I use metamucil about 1 to 2 times a day, depending on how I feel. I usually ONLY take it if I am feeling okay, because if my stomach is irritated it is already too late and it will just make it worse. I dont have much space left so I'll make a list of foods I avoid, foods I eat when Im feeling alright or in moderation and Food that are good to go.
Avoid: honey nut cheerios (guaranteed to make me cramp up), life cereal, citrus juices, deli meats (I find the preservatives really give me acid reflux), hard cheeses (once in a while is okay tho but in moderation).
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