How bad does your diarrhea get? Hard to believe this is IBS!

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Hey Everyone,

By process of elimination (had every blood test, stool test, tube stuck up and down me & scans besides a capsule endoscopy) doctors have diagnosed me with severe irritable bowel syndrome. I am a 34 year old male and it's hard to believe this is actually IBS due to the severity of my symptoms.

The most disturbing symptoms are chronic intestinal noises (swooshing, popping and gurgling non-stop), sulphur burps from time to time and diarrhea that can become pure liquid & is not the "one and done" style but I keep going every couple of minutes so severely that it takes me at times a overdose (8+) of Imodium combined with Lomotil and Anti-Spasmodics medications to stop it, it also smells quite horrific and has a yellow tinge to it. For those who suffer with chronic diarrhea as a symptom of your IBS how severe can it get for you & how long does it last? and do you have tips of strategies to normalize your bowel movements that have worked in order to be able to live a semi-normal life. Ive tried almost every technique and medication, FODMAP diet, Dycyclomine (anti spasmodics), Imodium, Lomotil, Anti-Depressants, Calcium Supplements, bile acid medications, and none seem to be a permanent fix to this ongoing problem that has controlled my life now for 2+ years.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Matthew, Let start from the beginning ,first of all if you do have ibs there is no cure ,You can get watery diarrhoea which can last quite some time ,however certain medication like citrolopram which is an anti depressent can help as ibs can give you anxiety and cmake you depressed and when your bowels get nervous as you will then taken 20mgs daily of citrolopram can make you feel better ,and i know this because i suffer from ibs and it does help me.The fod map which you say you have used and does not work ,how long did you use the fodmap for ,as this will terll you what is ok to use and what is a no no for ibs Any spicy food is a no no and brussel spouts ,carrots is also not good for ibs sufferers.Do you have a computer at home and if so go onto the web site called The Ibs network and also google fodmaps ,and by eating the wrong foods you can get watery diarrhoea and also it can give you problems .

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    • Posted

      Hi Marsh,

      I have tried anti depressants already. Antriptlyine & Desipramine. I took them for 2 months with no improvement. Also FODMAP I did for 40 days without going off the diet even a little bit & I had little to no improvement. However I will mention Citrolopram to my GI doctor to see if he thinks it is worth giving a shot. Thanks for the advice 😃

      • Matt
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  • Posted

    Have you tried bananas or rice? That can help to firm up your stools. You could also ask your doctor for codeine tablets. I had a bad bout of IBS D last year and it lasted 3 days. The only thing that worked for me was Imodium and avoiding fruit.

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    • Posted

      hey Pippa,

      ya of course Ive tried the BRAT diet (banana, rice, applesauce, toast) doesn't do much for me. I wish my bouts of IBS where only once and awhile but unfortunately they are a everyday symptom. Which is why it is hard to believe it is actually IBS causing all this.

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    • Posted

      IBS can be like this. My first flare up lasted three and a half months with constant, daily symptoms. Once I was diagnosed, my anxiety got better and so did my symptoms. At first, I was convinced I had something other than IBS and I had difficulty believing that something as simple as this could be so debilitating. Many IBS patients experience this when they have a bad and prolonged flare up.

      The reason why my IBS was so painful and prolonged was because I was under constant stress, Stress makes symptoms worse. Try to stay as calm as possible and ask for a different antispasmodic. There are many on the market. Some anti depressants can cause diarrhoea so be aware of that if you try any more of them. Drugs like Mebeverine/Colefac can help with diarrhoea but can cause stomach upsets. However, you could try it since nothing else has worked; some people do benefit from it.

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  • Posted

    Hi Matthew. I've had IBS for almost 4 years. Fortunately I am able to largely control and manage the condition through a combination of Low Fodmap eating and use of Immodium during flare ups but I have not achieved a "permanent " fix and doubt if it is possible to do so. My flare ups occur at random intervals but probably the longest duration I have been entirely symptom free has been 8 weeks and flare ups can last anywhere between 2 and 10 days. Diarrhea is usually very loose stools but can also be yellow liquid. My worst time was a few months ago when I was having diarrhea over 20 times a day - even a drink of water would send me rushing to the loo. A stool sample revealed I had Campylobacter and I was given a course of antbiotics but it still took several weeks for me to get back to my version of normal. The combination of strong antibiotics and IBSD wreaked havoc! During that time I took Symprove - a very high strength probiotic. It is worth giving it a try although it is very expensive at around £80 for a 12 week course. It doesn't work for everyone, and it isn't an instant cure but it did seem to rebalance my gut. Gurgling, bloating, cramping and sulphur burps are all pretty common IBS symptoms. As others have said, anxiety can play a major role with IBS and it can become a vicious circle - stress or anxiety can cause a flare up which in turn causes more anxiety, with the fear that you won't be able to get to a loo in time if you're away from home. Just one other thing: even though my cholesterol levels are slightly higher than desirable my brilliant and understanding GP agreed that statins, with their common side effect of diarrhea, would probably cause me problems and although I might reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke by 5% if I took them, I'd increase the risk of being a prisoner in my own home with a miserable quality of life by 50%.

    IBS is a horrible condition, and I do get very irritated when those who don't suffer with it come out with comments like "oh, it's just IBS". Only when you've experienced it do you understand the impact it can have on your life. Having said all that, once you do find the ways to manage and control it that work for you ( even if that means taking 8 Immodium in a day) you can lead a full and active life.

    Good luck, and try to stay positive.

    Jan

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  • Posted

    Hi Matthew,ref my last reply , and what else i found out,When i started taking citrolopram it was because of panic attacks and depression,so i started this medication and went up to 40 mgs which i took for 8/10 years and suddenly i decided after 10 yrs of taking citrolopram i felt great ,so i went cold turkey and came of it and 4 weeks later and many tests later i was told that i had ibs,then i had a chat with my local pharmacist and explained that citrolopram was the cause of ibs ,because ibs is a nervous problem and citrolopram was for anxiety ,so back i went too my doctor and explained what i had been told ,and went back onto 20 mgs citrolopram ,and 6 weeks later my ibs problems started to disappear and now i get loads of constipations due too my medication ,but however i don't get diarrhoea anymore ,so maybe just because of citrolopram has helped my ibs.I am not saying that this cure is for every one ,so try it and see for yourself

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  • Posted

    Just a quick note that ibs happens with woman allot more than men,I don't know why.,I can also eat eat what ever I want too as well.

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  • Posted

    Hi matt, Are you getting severe diarrhea, like up to 10-15 times a day. Does imodium work for you?

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    • Posted

      hi Rachel,

      ya some days can be very severe. however after taking several Imodium (6-8) accompanied by Lomotil (1-2) & a few doses of antispasmodics I can finally get it to stop. Sometimes I will have a off good day & ill have a bowel movement and only take 2 Imodium and that is all I will need for the day.

      • Matt
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