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sad tales: men with ibs-d page five

The tale of...Bob (September 2006)

My Mom and I have had the damn thing ever since I can remember. Mine became especially worse when in 1999 a) I went back to college at age 35, b) I had a chronic sinus infection and was on antibiotics for four months, c) my wife and I hurdled toward bankruptcy and d) all this was done while driving a limo full time and eating fast food non-stop.

It was terrible for a couple of years with diarrhea three-plus days per week, an accompanying hemorrhoid and raw rear end, indigestion and tongue problems (thrush and geographic tongue). My keys have been: a vitamin regimen, fiber supplement to give the stool bulk, acidophilus and an exercise routine in the morning when just about everybody gets their worst bouts.

I am down to only periodic episodes which are highly manageable with one or two doses of Imodium. I also avoid onions and deep fried stuff especially Chinese food as this will put me down. Good luck to all.

E-mail Bob: [email protected]

The tale of...Philippe (September 2006)

I am 28 years old now and never had any major health concerns until about a year ago. I'd wake up every morning and the first thing I'd do would be to sit on the toilet. I'd have classes at about 8am and I'd go three or four times before class and another two or three times during the morning (yes, I'd have to excuse myself during an hour class up to three times).

I've had all the tests done and today the doctor said I have IBS. I haven't controlled it very well at all over the past year. I follow a strict diet, but I still suffer at least two or three times per week. Even if I don't get explosive liquid for a few days I will still feel uncomfortable with cramps and pain.

At the moment I am in China. If you all think that Western doctors don't know much - just come here! Most doctors here say that IBS is a curable condition and it is just a stomach disorder that can be fixed with traditional Chinese medicine and some pills. Well, I've tried all of them. Some days I am afraid to leave the home because I am afraid of having a sudden attack.

I hate eating in restaurants also because I always worry if the food is going to trigger explosive liquid. I know the book Eating For IBS has helped a bit, but no way enough. I just fear living with this the rest of my life. It has seriously strained my relationship with my girlfriend. I was athletic 12 months ago, now I am skinny.

E-mail Philippe: [email protected]

The tale of...Steve (September 2006)

I read these stories and it's like deja vu. I have had IBS for about 15 years. It started with minor cramping and going to the toilet three to five times a day. Then the explosive diarrhea events started. Mostly at night, or after a rich meal at a restaurant. Also on business trips. I got decent relief with Librax, but I had to take it 5-10 days to stop the event and it zoned me out bad. The cramps were so bad I yelled out in pain. The doctors, as many of you know, don't know squat.

As of now, I am now in the 'constipation phase', however, I am controlling it nicely. I have some tips that may or may not help.

  1. Take two Citrucel tabs after every meal, and a glass of the powder form at night. Soluble fiber is the key. It relieves the constipation and eases the cramps when they come. Remember, it takes time for your colon to adjust and become regular again. It took me three weeks before I got consistent relief.
  2. Cut out all caffeine except for one to two drinks at your 'good time', the least likely time of an attack.
  3. Don't smoke!
  4. Stop drinking altogether, or only drink after a light, bland meal. Never ever after a heavy fat laden meal.
  5. Absolutely do not combine caffeine, dairy, or acid causing foods.
  6. Eat regularly during the day when you are active, and eat bland foods in small portions at night.
  7. Only eat fat-rich foods when you are active.
  8. Drink water all day long. Dehydration is a big trigger for me.
  9. Absolutely do not use chemical laxatives. Keep drinking the water and taking the soluble fiber and it will 'work itself out'.

E-mail Steve: [email protected]

The tale of...Jon (September 2006)

I grew up with stomach problems. My mom always told me I was 'born crapping'. I had projectile diarrhea as a baby and here I am 22 years later very ill.

I've had stomach and intestinal problems all of my life. I've been through so many tests and all the doctors say is I have IBS and GERD (reflux). It sucks, it affects my life, my relationships, my friendships. I feel like I'm dying and have cancer or something. I seriously prepare to die sometimes because I feel like I'm being eaten out from the inside by an alien or something.

My symptoms are getting worse as time goes on. My reflux disease goes hand in hand with the IBS. Whatever I don't regurgitate back up after eating, comes out in the form of severe discomfort. I manage to go to work, do what I can when I can. The key word is when. I just went through a month were I was totally fine, I was constipated a bit but really welcomed that more than the runs 24/7. But all of a sudden out of nowhere Thursday night I started feeling that familiar discomfort.

My symptoms include: nausea, stomach pains and cramps, loose stools/diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, burning sensation in the eyes (directly associated with the stomach cramps) and so many more. I've had people laugh at me about it. My girlfriend does not really understand, she is awesome though and tries and does what she can for me. Altogether it's lonely and uncomfortable.

As we speak I just had a handful of crackers about an hour ago and right away my eyes started burning, and my bowels feel like there's a hamster running around in there looking for a way out. It's brutal. I really feel like I'm dying sometimes, I would never imagine a 'minor' disease to hurt so badly. I hope people without IBS read this and understand that it's much more serious and can even be debilitating.

E-mail Jon: [email protected]

The tale of...Jim (September 2006)

10:25am and the symptoms have finally let up...this was a five-hour session. Relatively light duration this time. Damn, I hate IBS. I've had it for almost as long as I can remember. I'm 56 now so it seems like forever. Must have read every article I could find on it. It's amazing how all fellow sufferers have similar symptoms, but no-one seems to be exactly the same.

I'm a morning sufferer. Always have been. Very rarely have attacks at any other times. Do get some distress every so often, but not full-fledged attacks. Can't even say I'm reacting to certain food groups either. Seems like the reaction is actually caused by eating something late the night before (after about 9pm).

Just seem to wake up at about 4:30am wondering what the hell am I doing up. Usually don't feel sick immediately. Needs a few minutes to 'kick in'. Then we go into attack mode. Nausea...constant rolling nausea. This usually leads to the throne room for awhile, but it's the damn nausea I hate. Just keeps coming in waves for the next 5-8 hours.

Had a million different tests. Tried all sorts of meds. The only thing that seemed to work was Propulsid and they pulled that off the market. I'm not as bad as some of my fellow sufferers who posted here. I feel for you all. I can't imagine the levels of this affliction that some of you are going through. I wish you all the best and hope that they find something for us....

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