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sad tales: women with ibs-c page twenty

The tale of...Rebecca (6 November 2009)

I am only 23, but I have been dealing with IBS my entire life. It used to be just bloating and constipation. After many talks with my pediatrician when I was young they put me on Glycolax (Miralax). It helped a bit but they would not refer me to a specialist because they said I was too young. I lived with the IBS for years after that. During my third year in college I was rushed to the hospital for what was thought to be a bursting appendix. It turned out to be a severe intestinal blockage in my large intestine that almost ruptured.

That summer I was finally referred to a specialist. I had a colonoscopy and an exam. The results of the exam (at age 20) showed fissures and internal hemorrhoids. The colonoscopy only found that I have a tortuous colon. At that point I was officially diagnosed with severe IBS. I tried a medication called Amitiza. The doctor told me that this was the only FDA-approved medication at the time. Forty-five minutes after taking my first pill I had a severe allergic reaction to it (shortness of breath, heart palpatations, loss of all bodily functions in front of my boyfriend in my car). After that the doctor said there was nothing else he could do.

I went on taking the Miralax and managing my diet. In the summer of this year I moved and started seeing a new primary doctor. I told him my problems and he put me on omeprazole (I had a small stomach ulcer in college) and Librax. I had an upper GI done and the results were that I had a hiatal hernia and an inflamed duodenum. He kept me on the omeprazole and Librax for three months.

I was still having severe pain and it was causing problems at work because I was constantly either doubled over at my desk or in the bathroom for 45 minutes. I went back for a follow-up and he took me off the omeprazole and put me on Kapidex and Librax three times a day. I tried to explain to him that I wasn't having any acid reflux but he said that the Kapidex would still help. I have now been on these two meds for a week and I have never been in so much constant pain in my life.

I go back to see him in two weeks. I told him that I think I need to be referred to a new specialist but he wants to try all of these new medications first. I am 23, I take two meds in the morning, two in the afternoon, and two at night. This shouldn't be my life! He also wants me to take Miralax every day and Metamucil. This is too much to have to do. I am looking for suggestions on any new medications that are out or any advice that I can get. I'm getting desperate.

E-mail Rebecca: [email protected]

The tale of...Sherry (24 November 2009)

I am 37 and I have been suffering from IBS with constipation since I was about 19. At first my mother offered a mild laxative not thinking back then that my bowel would get used to it and I would never be the same again. I blamed it on the food I was eating or the stress I was under but all I know is that it has been a long 18 years.

I have tried everything on the market from Metamucil to herbal laxatives, Dulcolax, etc. Things really changed for my when I was pregnant with my second child (who is four months old now) and I developed hemorrhoids along with the severe constipation that comes with being pregnant. I feel like I have been tortured for a full year and I am still suffering.

When I was pregnant there was nothing that my GI specialist could do for me until I had the baby. I finally saw my GI about six weeks ago where he wanted to do a sigmoidoscopy to see how bad the hemorrhoids were and to see if banding was an option. At that time it was not and the surgeon who saw me afterwards recommended that I take milk of magnesia (one medication I had not tried). He told me that I have to have a bowel movement at least once a day and that this should help make the hemorrhoids smaller and my bowels work more regularly. Thanks to this wonderful product I have been going every morning and my hemorrhoids are getting smaller but they are still really painful.

I did have banding done about four weeks but it was so painful that I will never have it done again unless I am put under or at least given a sedative. I am for the most part an energetic happy person but this last 11 months has put a strain on my relationship with my husband, my friends and my family and I would really like it to end. I found this site with the hopes that someone is or has gone through the same torture that I have been going through. I truly believe that a support group is a great idea for sufferers like myself to vent to someone who is going through the same thing as me. Thanks for listening.

E-mail Sherry: [email protected]

The tale of...Rachel (9 Feburary 2010)

Out of sheer desperation, and feeling very isolated as an IBS sufferer, I found this site. My GP says he can't do anything and I just have to live with it. Great! I've been feeling really unattractive with bloating and extreme wind and belching, very feminine I'm sure! I am IBS with constipation but every so often I am so ill with stomach cramps worse than labor pains, sweating, vomiting and diarrhea which smells worse than anything I can describe. I almost hyperventilate with the pain. These bouts can last for several hours. They leave me exhausted and with a bad headache for over a week, and I lose a week off works without pay.

When not suffering from the after-effects of an attack my life consists of terrible wind, belching (which, even when disguised as well as possible, gets laughter from my colleagues), bloating, and my stomach growls and rumbles really loudly. I have got to the point when I don't even want to make love to my wonderful husband as I feel so damn unattractive - belching and farting are not really turn-ons are they? He is really good about it and tells me he knows I can't help it but I hate it

I have tried pills, medicines, leaving things off my diet, adding things etc, which seems to work for a short while and then stops working as my body gets used to it. I am hoping I can gain some comfort from other sufferers and not feel so depressed by being able to talk about this to other sufferers. Also to help others realize that they are not on their own in this too.

The tale of...Nikki (15 February 2010)

I am 31. In November I went into the hospital, thinking that my appendix was the problem. After a day and half, and testing that I really wanted to stop, I was told that I have IBS-C. At first I did not think much of it. I kind of thought that I could eat healthily and drink water and things would be fine. But of course I am not fine. The pain I go through every couple of weeks is hard, and I have been noticing that it is just getting worse. I am starting to get scared of it. I have pain, bloating, burning and swelling.

I have tired to eat well, drink water, and do everything that I am supposed to do. It is just not getting better. I am not all that sure what to eat anymore, or what to drink. If I have one cheat night I pay for it, big time. I am just hoping that someone out there will be able to give advice on foods and different ideas that could help me. So I can live and be myself again.

E-mail Nikki: [email protected]

The tale of...Katheryn (15 February 2010)

I just wondered if anyone else has similar problems to me in that my system doesn't tolerate medicines easily and I my symptoms are constant. I suffer from IBS-C and I am trying to find out what foods affect me - to no avail as yet even though I have been trying for a year. I avoid gluten and wheat products (they give me grief) and I am careful with dairy products (only a little milk and occasional cheese which usually doesn't make a lot of difference either way). I also have problems with potatoes and eggs. I am pescatarian, which means I eat fish but not meat.

It seems that I may have had a predisposition to the condition for a long time but I was not diagnosed until about a year ago. Previously I had been 'treated' by doctors only for the constipation, but I am sure they made it worse in the long run. But in November 2008 I had a really bad water infection and it has become progressively worse since then.

I have, as I said, tried to ascertain dietary causes, but although I am aware of some allergies and avoid the culprits, some days I feel quite ill with it all and yet I haven't eaten anything that should've set it off, just things that would normally be OK.

I took mebeverine which was very effective until it caused a nasty itchy rash, and a lot of other meds cause side effects for me too. I am taking Buscopan at the moment but it seems to aggravate the constipation. Any thoughts on this would be wonderful, please. Thanks to anyone who can help in however small a way.

Update on Katheryn...

I am now trying a 'natural remedy' called Lepicol which is manufactured by the Healthy Bowels Company. It contains probiotics and psyllium husk (a source of fiber) and, after a minor glitch, it seems to be helping my constipation without side effects. I do sometimes get side effects even with natural medicine. I am taking the powder form at the moment at the young adult dose even though I am 52. I am only 7st 9lbs so maybe that is why this seems to be the best dosage for me. So I am currently hoping it will not cause any side effects and help me. Anyone else tried it?

Update on Katheryn...

An update on the Lepicol - it worked well but I have now discovered I have an allergy to the psyllium husk itself (Lepicol contains psyllium plus probiotics) and have had to stop taking it. I would nonetheless say it is worth a try. I have started taking a magnesium supplement with some minor success but am ever hopeful!

E-mail Katheryn: [email protected]

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