IBS is so .... lovely

So I have IBS. And with that comes chronic constipation. I'm at a loss these days at how to eat. And I'm currently stuck on using softeners daily to keep things moving. I tried high fibre (with lots of water of course), it worked for half a week then stopped working.

Then I tried eating more fat, which also worked for half a week and then stopped working.

On vacation, I tried some new things. Wine, more garlicky food, seafood, which helped for a week, then stopped.

I have now upped my exercise to twice the normal amount, not necessarily for this purpose but because I want to improve my endurance. That also helped for a little while, and now that too, has stopped working.


My friends seem very amused to see my jeans fitting fine one day and then the next they don't fit at all because I have a bloat-baby.

If anything, it certainly keeps my diet varied and my head turning in confusion, but other than that its a literal pain in the behind.

Replies

  • Strawblackcat
    Strawblackcat Posts: 944 Member
    Are you on a good probiotic? One of the ones from a specialty store that actually handles and stores them properly? It can take some experimenting to find one that fits your condition personally, but probiotics help many people with IBS and other digestive issues. Yogurt, kefir, kombucha, raw saurkraut, and other fermented foods have probiotics naturally in them.

    Rather than focusing on increasing or decreasing in relative amounts of a particular nutrient (far, fiber, ect.) maybe it would be worth your time to try an elimination approach to see of you can identify what foods trigger flare-ups. Most people start with common triggers and continue from there. For example, try cutting dairy or FODMAPs from your diet for a couple of weeks and see how you feel. If you're still having trouble, test out other foods.

    Magnesium would also be worth your time to look into with your main problem with IBS is constipation. Magnesium acts like a natural laxative by drawing water into your colon, so it can help speed things along. I've had constipation issues for most of my life despite a fairly healthy and balanced diet, and magnesium supplementation has really helped me. I usually have a movement at least every other day now, whereas I used to go as long as 4 or 5 days without pooping. There's lots of different brands and forms, but I take Natural Calm, which is a powdered form of magnesium citrate. It's one of the more absorbable forms of magnesium, and I can mix it into a yummy drink instead of taking another pill.
  • QueenofHearts023
    QueenofHearts023 Posts: 421 Member
    I do take in probiotics through food, yoghurt mostly. Every day. As far as trigger foods go, well, that's about everything I eat except for a small hand full of really bland foods unfortunately. So I decided rather than limit the foods I eat to that extent I'd rather take medicine to keep things going. The medicine doesn't always help though. And in that case there's milk of magnesia (which is a very good laxative!trust me being more than a few feet away from the bathroom is not recommended when you take that stuff.)

    I've actually just started taking magnesium supplements, not for this though. I had weird heart palpitations and my dr recommended taking them. (Those are gone now thank goodness) so I hope maybe it will help out the other problem too.
  • Whitezombiegirl
    Whitezombiegirl Posts: 1,044 Member
    I have to cut out all grains and potatoes. Ive eaten these recently though ( i know i shouldn't) and and am now suffering with horrible constipation. Maybe its dietary with you too?
  • QueenofHearts023
    QueenofHearts023 Posts: 421 Member
    I have to cut out all grains and potatoes. Ive eaten these recently though ( i know i shouldn't) and and am now suffering with horrible constipation. Maybe its dietary with you too?

    Yes it is. Some of it although not all.
  • MelaniaTrump
    MelaniaTrump Posts: 2,694 Member
    edited January 2016
    I hate to see anyone using laxatives. Nutrients move through the intestines faster and many are not absorbed. Even magnesium and vitamin c in high amounts have this laxative effect.
    Many people share in your problem. You could open your diary and ask others to look for triggers.
    One of my favorite foods, quinoa, is good for IBS.
    http://www.webmd.com/ibs/what-is-fodmap
    Not boring foods:
    Low-FODMAP foods include:
    Almond, coconut, rice, or soy milk
    Bananas
    Bell peppers
    Blueberries
    Carrots
    Cucumbers
    Grapes
    Oats
    Potatoes
    Quinoa
    Rice
    Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens
    Tangerines
    Tomatoes
  • Pawsforme
    Pawsforme Posts: 645 Member
    Are you on a good probiotic? One of the ones from a specialty store that actually handles and stores them properly? It can take some experimenting to find one that fits your condition personally, but probiotics help many people with IBS and other digestive issues. Yogurt, kefir, kombucha, raw saurkraut, and other fermented foods have probiotics naturally in them.

    Rather than focusing on increasing or decreasing in relative amounts of a particular nutrient (far, fiber, ect.) maybe it would be worth your time to try an elimination approach to see of you can identify what foods trigger flare-ups. Most people start with common triggers and continue from there. For example, try cutting dairy or FODMAPs from your diet for a couple of weeks and see how you feel. If you're still having trouble, test out other foods.

    Magnesium would also be worth your time to look into with your main problem with IBS is constipation. Magnesium acts like a natural laxative by drawing water into your colon, so it can help speed things along. I've had constipation issues for most of my life despite a fairly healthy and balanced diet, and magnesium supplementation has really helped me. I usually have a movement at least every other day now, whereas I used to go as long as 4 or 5 days without pooping. There's lots of different brands and forms, but I take Natural Calm, which is a powdered form of magnesium citrate. It's one of the more absorbable forms of magnesium, and I can mix it into a yummy drink instead of taking another pill.


    ^^Good advice here.^^

    Magnesium is my friend. It really helps and is something most of us (everybody, not just those with IBS) are deficient in anyway. I take magnesium oxide. It's not one of the more absorbable forms, but it works great for constipation. And since I've been taking magnesium (a year or maybe even longer) I'm a lot less anxious than I used to be. That might be coincidental, but I tend to think it's from the magnesium.

    Walking helps me a lot, as does eating low FODMAPs.

    But I still have to use more Miralax than I'd like. Even though my doc says it's absolutely fine to use it every day.
  • singingflutelady
    singingflutelady Posts: 8,738 Member
    @QueenofHearts023 I really recommend not eating your trigger foods. I know it is "boring" but "boring" is better than being sick. I am on a super restrictive diet as I have Crohn's disease (I usually have super horrible diarrhea but it is sometimes constipation which is sometimes worse because of all the scar tissue anh narrowing of my intestines from Crohn's). I onvr in a while cheat but it ends badly with extreme pain and many, many bathroom visits. I'm not saying IBS and Crohn's are the same but they seem to have similar trigger foods. Though honestly when the ulcerations are bad all food, including water, is a trigger lol. I'm on a low residue and low fibre diet Here are the foods I can't eat: all raw fruit and veggies except bananas, most cooked fruit and veggies (except sweet potatoes, potatoes, squash, pureed cooked to death carrots, apple sauce), nuts, seeds, legumes, popcorn, red meat, pork, spices, sugar alcohols, lactose (can eat with lactose pills), whole grains (can only eat white bread, white rice, white pasta), overly fatty foods, garlic, um probably forgetting some. Boring but better than ending up in the hospital on steroids and TPN.
  • QueenofHearts023
    QueenofHearts023 Posts: 421 Member
    @QueenofHearts023 I really recommend not eating your trigger foods. I know it is "boring" but "boring" is better than being sick. I am on a super restrictive diet as I have Crohn's disease (I usually have super horrible diarrhea but it is sometimes constipation which is sometimes worse because of all the scar tissue anh narrowing of my intestines from Crohn's). I onvr in a while cheat but it ends badly with extreme pain and many, many bathroom visits. I'm not saying IBS and Crohn's are the same but they seem to have similar trigger foods. Though honestly when the ulcerations are bad all food, including water, is a trigger lol. I'm on a low residue and low fibre diet Here are the foods I can't eat: all raw fruit and veggies except bananas, most cooked fruit and veggies (except sweet potatoes, potatoes, squash, pureed cooked to death carrots, apple sauce), nuts, seeds, legumes, popcorn, red meat, pork, spices, sugar alcohols, lactose (can eat with lactose pills), whole grains (can only eat white bread, white rice, white pasta), overly fatty foods, garlic, um probably forgetting some. Boring but better than ending up in the hospital on steroids and TPN.

    It's hard for me to do low FODMAP because the area where I live don't have a lot of options for gluten free food or lactose free things. I really love yoghurt yet I can't find a lactose free one here. Luckily they have lactose free milk! I also really enjoy bread and pasta, I can't find gluten free options here either, yet they have gluten free digestive biscuits... :neutral: Pretty much everything high FODMAP triggers me so I'll have to stick with low FODMAP for the rest of my life, which is...well, sad. Haha.
  • singingflutelady
    singingflutelady Posts: 8,738 Member
    Do the lactose pills help? My dietician pointed out that for milk products that the hard products (like hard cheese) don't have much lactose in them and are much more tolerable than liquid lactose products and that yogurt might be OK if you eat it with something else. I don't think I have gluten issues but I don't want to cut out half my restricted diet to find out as I am on disability and can't afford gluten free alternatives
  • QueenofHearts023
    QueenofHearts023 Posts: 421 Member
    Hard cheeses are alright for me. I mostly use cheddar anyway. Yoghurt doesn't cause cramps it just makes me constipated. Might be because I eat small amounts.

    The grains I can tolerate well is rolled oats, rice and potatoes. I don't know about quinoa because it's not available here so I've never tried it.

    I can tolerate all proteins, lactose free dairy, vegetables I can tolerate well are carrots, green beans, sweet potato, zucchini and leafy greens (I only like spinach). My digestion starts to struggle with other vegetables.

    Fruits I can eat are melons and berries, as well as oranges and kiwi. Bananas are low fodmap but they trigger me.

    Legumes are a big no. As is nuts and seeds. (I can eat 10 almonds a day and that's it.)

    Fats I can tolerate is limited to olive oil.

    I can't have sweeteners or sweets because of the ingredients in them.

    So yeah. That's it. :(
  • singingflutelady
    singingflutelady Posts: 8,738 Member
    Believe me I understand. Along with the Crohn's I have ibs-d so one of them is always flaring. It's a pain in the butt lol. I made a huge mistake and had a few cookies with sorbitol in it last week. Omg that was oh so fun lol
  • QueenofHearts023
    QueenofHearts023 Posts: 421 Member
    Oh I can also tolerate cucumber and tomatoes, but I'm not such a huge fan of cucumber. I do add tomato a lot to my food though.
  • QueenofHearts023
    QueenofHearts023 Posts: 421 Member
    Believe me I understand. Along with the Crohn's I have ibs-d so one of them is always flaring. It's a pain in the butt lol. I made a huge mistake and had a few cookies with sorbitol in it last week. Omg that was oh so fun lol

    Yeah that's horrible. I can have stevia but I don't like the aftertaste so. I'd rather not have it.
  • BioQueen
    BioQueen Posts: 694 Member
    Are you really stressed? That can often exacerbate the problem. Have you tried activities like yoga for relaxation? It also helps keep things moving with all the twisting. Also, have you talked to your doctor about it?
  • QueenofHearts023
    QueenofHearts023 Posts: 421 Member
    BioQueen wrote: »
    Are you really stressed? That can often exacerbate the problem. Have you tried activities like yoga for relaxation? It also helps keep things moving with all the twisting. Also, have you talked to your doctor about it?

    Walking is my relaxation. And yes I have been a bit stressed. But yeah I think mostly its because I'm eating things I'm really not supposed to. I'm lucky that I don't get gas and cramps from a lot of things, most things just slow things down.

    But like I said I'd rather take the medicine than eat such a small variety of food. My foodie-nature does not help this situation.
  • Strawblackcat
    Strawblackcat Posts: 944 Member
    As far as grains, nuts, and legumes go, you could try soaked and sprouted versions. Raw/roasted nuts tend to be harder on my stomach, but nuts that I soak and rinse in warm salt water beforehand don't give me as much trouble. There are also several different brands of sprouted grain breads avaliable nowadays (Ezekiel bread, Alvarado St. Bakery, ect.) in your grocer's freezer. Sprouting breaks down the enzyme inhibitors in the grains used to make the bread, which makes it easier to digest.

    Can you tolerate coconut? You can do tons of stuff with coconut, and it has always been easy on my stomach. I buy bags of coconut flakes, sprinkle them with a little salt and oil, and toast then to make coconut chips. I also use full-fat canned coconut milk to make coconut milk yogurt and puddings. You can use it to make ice cream as well, if you have an ice cream maker. Really, you can sub coconut milk in some quantity (sometimes diluted with a little water depending in the recipe) to replace milk in just about any recipe.

    When you say that you can't have sweets because of the ingredients, are you referring to the sugar itself in the sweets, or the stuff that the sugar is added to? If it's the latter, you can always make your own sweets, especially if you're a self-proclaimed foodie. I make homemade taffy and marshmallows out of honey. I've made brittle out of brown rice syrup before as well.

    Maybe try bone broth? When made properly, it's rich in gelatin and other amino acids that are easy on the stomach. I love a warm mug of broth this time of year when I'm tired of coffee and tea. It's used on the GAPS diet, which was created to help heal people with digestive and autoimmune issues as a food that promotes digestive healing.

    Sorry this got so long -- I'm just shooting out ideas.
  • crfeen
    crfeen Posts: 85 Member
    I feel your pain (literally!) I have IBS- but with diarrhea, not constipation, and it is the worst. i'm not here to be that guy that thinks they can "solve" your IBS, because its such an individual thing, but I have cut out diary and most added sugars and it really REALLY helps me - although a lot of super healthy foods do horrible things for my IBS as well (read: kale). I eat a high carb diet and that works for me, but i've heard gluten free helping some people, i've heard low carb, i've heard vegetarian so you just gotta see what works for you
  • girlwithcurls2
    girlwithcurls2 Posts: 2,245 Member
    I have nothing to offer but my sympathy. My teaching assistant has ibs and you're reminding me to be nicer to her.