GI update # 3

Good morning!  I hope you all had a nice relaxing weekend filed with sunshine, racing, coffee and whatever makes you happy.

It’s been awhile since I last updated you on how I’m feeling, so I figured I’d do a post on it.  If you’re new around here (hello!), you may check out this post for more information.

Overall I’m feeling about 90% better, which is huge for me.  I used to have a stomach ache every single day and while they still haunt me, they are a lot less severe, and tend to go away faster.  #winning

  • Official diagnosis is chronic & severe IBS C. It’s a party.  But really I am relieved to finally put a name to it, learn how to fix it and move on with my life.  Although it’s not as easy as that, I’m slowly getting better learning what my body can tolerate.

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  • Probiotics  I’m still taking them every day along with calcium.  The Trader Joe’s brand my GI specialist recommended are horse pills and I’d forget to take them, and let’s be honest, I didn’t want to take them, so I switched back to the gummies from Costco.  I figure something’s better than nothing.  Plus I am 4.
  •  Prescription anti acid  I’m still taking a double dose of a powerful  which is working to control acid reflux and heartburn for the most part.  I might schedule a follow up and see if I can reduce it and possible go off it completely.  It’s the only prescription I take so if not, it’s not the end of the world.

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  • Moderate fiber  About 15 grams a day.  I made the switch to white breads, pasta & rice.  It feels so weird to go against everything I’ve ever learned about choosing whole grains, but I’m willing to sacrifice those for fresh produce.  By the way that salad above was not a great idea.  It had too much fiber which did not sit well.  I already knew this, but I guess I need to be reminded every now & then.
  • Miralax is life changing.  I’m pretty much keeping Costco in business!  It’s okay, you can laugh with me because we all know I am 80 so this shouldn’t surprise you.  Winking smile  It took some time to figure out the right dosage.  That was fun.  <-insert sarcasm.  I might be the only person who can take a dose & a half of that stuff before a run and have no side affects.  You think I am joking, but I am not.
  • Moderate amount of water I feel like I’m doing a good job with this.  I take in more when I exercise thanks to my new addiction, Watermelon Nuun.  I try to stay on top of hydration since I tend to dehydrate easily.

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  • Coffee I tried making the switch to all decaf and thought my life was over.  Dramatic, no!?  So now I have a cup of full caf in the morning and switch to decaf the rest of the day.  Most of the time it sits well on my stomach, but on occasion, it doesn’t.  It’s worth it though.  The good news is the pain is not as intense nor does it last as long as it used to.  Coffee for the win! 
  • Dairy is back in my life.  CHEESE!!  Oops sorry that tourette’s pops up every now & then.  Anyway chowing down on pizza without any repercussions is pretty freaking awesome.  I still don’t know why dairy seemed to be a trigger before my diagnosis.

Something I need to work on:

  • I really struggle with lowering my fiber intake while still maintaining a healthy the lifestyle that I love so much.  I think this may be why I’m not feeling 100%.  I’ve done some research about a low fiber diet, but surprisingly it’s hard to find, so I’m feeling kind of lost.  I mean how in the heck do I eat healthy and only have 5 grams of fiber a meal!?  Ha!

Do you have a GI issue?  Any other IBS friends out there?

How do you manage it?

Anyone have experience with a low fiber diet?  Please spill your secrets.   

If you have any questions about IBS, please leave a comment or email me.  While I’m no expert on this, I do have a little experience and would be happy to help if I can.

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19 Comments on “GI update # 3

  1. When I was diagnosed with acid reflux and GERd I pretty much thought life was over too. ha. Lots of food on the list that I was told to avoid eating. I made exceptions to fit my lifestyle and depending on the severity of the reaction. Sometimes i do go a little overboard and pay for it. Stomach issues suck.

  2. That’s interesting that your GI doc recommended lowering your fiber intake. When I was having a lot of GI trouble a few years ago my dietitian told me the exact same thing. I’m terrible about it still but my GI symptoms have somehow improved? Cutting out lactose was huge (and the fact that i didnt die from lack of cheese/yogurt was pretty cool too). Or I’ve gotten used to having the weird pangs throughout the day. Reading this makes me feel like I should maybe try to get to zero pain though… I feel you on the Miralax! That stuff is amazing!

    • I too found it interesting he told me to cut back on the fiber. It seems like everything is labeled for high fiber. Even when I Googled IBS C treatment, most sites recommended upping fiber. From my experience a lower fiber diet really does make a difference but I’m just not a fan of cutting out fresh produce. Sometimes I wonder if I actually “like” being in pain. lol Hope you feel better soon friend.

  3. Fellow IBS friend here! I have been dealing with it for a few years now. I found that I slowly got out of my episodes, like you’re describing. Coffee still bothers me a bit too, but I just add milk now to soften the acid blow, and I only drink one cup a day. Finding the right fiber balance is definitely difficult-if I mess up one day, I get stomach aches and headaches. But the difference is that now I can recover much quicker. A little advice: when you’re in a bad episode, boiling your vegetables/meat can be helpful. When I hurt now, I opt for boiled chicken with boiled vegetables; it helps keep me regulated.

    i’m glad you figured out what it was! That is a huge step, and I expect you will continue to feel better and better!

    • Thank you so much for the advise. I’ll definitely have to give it a try when I’m feeling terrible.
      Coffee is so worth the pain. 😉
      How do you do with dairy?

  4. Hey darling I’m a Crohns girl, so IBD rather than IBS, but still the same boat. I’m glad that you’re figuring out what is working for you, even if it can be frustrating at times. I myself eat a high fiber diet (though it has taken a long build up to that point) and right now am on the Low Residue Diet for a week (one. More. Day. Left.) for a colonoscopy this week and let’s just say that it is my hell. I don’t like white foods and flours, plain and simple, and neither does my body! I’ve had the worst sugar spikes and crashes, my face has broken out, and I miss my veggies sooooo bad. But I say, if it works for you, go for it!! Once your system chills out, you should be able to transition back to finery foods as you like.
    A few notes on your observations- with regards to dairy, it is not so much dairy that you can eat but lactose free products. Lots of us with digestive issues find ourselves to have lactose sensitivities, and yogurt and hard cheeses are lactose free! Plus, yogurt is great in addition to your Costco probiotics, as yogurt helps to repopulate your bod with good bacteria. I would say that you should make sure to get in plenty of dark leafy greens (iron) alongside vitamin c but NOT alongside calcium–calcium will impede irons absorption.
    I too made the switch to decaf when my body was in a flare and super sensitive (switched to caff free sodas as well). Now I do mostly dc with a bit of full caff and the occasional full caff soda as a treat! You can also do black tea an green tea blends.
    Oh goodness, I’ve turned this into a full book! PLEASE email me if you want to chat more– I am very well informed on the dietary side of IBD/IBS, I’m a long distance runner, and I am (obviously) a talker 😉
    Good luck my dear, and Carpe Viam! (Seize the road!)

    • Susie, you are freaking amazing!!
      Sounds like you’ve overcome quite a bit. I’m so happy for you!
      For some reason I find that yogurt (Greek) doesn’t seem to sit well so I tend to stay away from it. But everything else is fine. Weird.
      P.S Carpe Viam! (Seize the road!) <-LOVE!!!!!

      • It could be that greek yogurt is too much for your stomach to handle all at once–it is very dense after all. Good luck and thanks for your kind words!

  5. I’ve had IBS C/D for almost 17 years until I cut out dairy and gluten this year and now my symptoms are almost nonexistent…But I still have my days.

    I had been told by a GI to buy stock in Mirilax as well, until I discovered aloe Vera juice and also Senna tea (Smoothe Move is the brand I like) it’s a more natural alternative that I found less umm unpleasant ?!?! Lol

    Glad to hear you’ve made improvements I don’t know how I’d do a low fiber diet either, unless it was only during flare ups

    • I kind of think it will haunt us forever in some way or another, but sounds like you’ve come a long way. Aloe Vera juice sounds interesting, maybe I’ll have to give it a try. How much do you take?

  6. Thank you so much for sharing! I’m a long time reader but finally got the courage to post my struggles. A year ago out of the blue I became constipated and after being regular (like almost to the minute) all my life…..I had nothing and it got so bad I had to go to the ER. I’m a runner (usually around 16-30 miles a week) eat healthy but I have noticed that along with the constipation I get SEVERE stomach aches in my upper stomach and my chest. I have never had heart burn prior but I’m assuming that’s what it is. It’s literally crippling though and now the only way I can go is to consume double the dose of Metamucil along with about 40-60 oz of water immediately after. I want to stop that because drinking that much water is almost unbearable but it’s the only thing that works. Same with stomache aches….usually with 5 anti acids and some pepto it’ll go away in about an hour. I had a colonoscopy that was normal but never got any real follow up. Can you suggest anything other than drinking so much water and Metamucil that I almost throw up?

    • Hi Ash, I with you on the severe stomachaches. Most nights I’d lay in bed in so much pain I couldn’t move. I swear people thought I was making it up. Ha! I’m not sure what the difference is between Metamucil and Miralax but my GI doc has me on Miralax and said it’s extremely safe with no side affects. It basically extracts water from the intestines and softens things up. Maybe give that a shot? I mix a dose & a half with half lemonade, half water in the morning right before breakfast. I’d also recommend a follow up with your doc, they are wayyyy smarter than I am. 😉 But please let me know if I can help in any way.

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  8. My 2 year old daughter has been constipated from birth! I gave her pureed prunes and kyro syrup in her bottles as an infant and the dr just kept saying to giver her apple or prune juice. Prune juice worked great until a few months ago. I always make sure she gets plenty of fiber and fluids but her dr put her on Miralax and I hate it. I feel like there should be another way. This poor girl can’t poop right to save her life sone days. She gets very little dairy (almond or coconut milk) and very little wheat and will still have bad poop days. Maybe I should take it upon myself to find a good GI doc for her…..Thanks for sharing everything you have gone through, certainly made me think more!! Thanks!

    • Your poor baby. I’ve had the same experience with things that used to work, suddenly stopped working. I have no idea why.
      Keep me posted on your findings, I’m always interested in what works for others. Good luck!
      Just curious, why do you hate Miralax?

      • Thanks for the reply, it’s not that I hate Miralax I just hate giving it to my 2 yr old. I feel like there has to be some reason that she is constipated. They are checking for food allergies by a blood test. I have been giving her some Miralax while on vacation, but I don’t want her body to rely on that and stop doing its job, but I guess she wouldn’t be constipated if her body was working correctly, huh?! Do you feel thar way about the Mialax or haven’t really thought about it that way? Maybe I’m just crazy! Ha!

  9. Hi,
    I’ve just stumbled across your blog, it’s so nice to find someone who’s going through I similar thing, I have chronic IBS C and have had it my whole life (I’m now 20). It affects my life SO badly, and there’s only one medication that helps (movicol/macrogol) which I think is the same one you mention above?

    I actually felt so alone I started to blog a month or so ago about my experiences! (http://ibsconstipationhowitis.blogspot.co.uk/) It is definitely theraputic!

    But again thanks for this great blog, and I’m glad I stumbled across it! You don’t know how comforting it is for someone like me!

  10. Didn’t you find the bloating unbearable with miralax? I know I did! I’ve also read that it can cause weight gain?

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