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Posts: 148
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi All

Can I pick your brains?

I used to have IBS, but for a few years I have not had to take meds as it calmed somewhat....

After a recent bad flare of my IC, I seem to have my IBS back as well with a vengeance.  When I previously had IBS, I did not have constant IC pain (I only had occasional BC) and my meds were some tablets to take with food called ? mebeverine (or something like that) - is there any meds which are good for IBS but will not impact my IC?  I could not bear to have my IC made worse.

IBS-wise I am getting bloating, some diarrhoea, nausia (can be very bad) and abdominal pain. 

Any comments appreciated.



Posts: 914
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Fio

I have IBS and like you it comes and goes. My IB flares if my IC flares, if I get stressed or if I eat the wrong diet. I control it by doing the following:

  • I take 'Colafac' (Mebeverine) but it is not 100% effective for me
  • I stay away from starch such as potatoe
  • I stay away from pastry (like on pies - this is a big no-no, its almost instant tummy swelling)
  • I try not to drink a lot of tea or sugary drinks.
  • I keep an 'IBS' diary of when I flare to work out whether its been something I have eaten or if its stress related
  • I try to relax as much as possible, espcially if I have had a stressful day, because again its instant tunny swelling
  • I have relflexology (this is brill!)
  • I also use cream for when I'm constimpated and sebseqently then get piles
  • I try not to eat a lot of sweet food like biscuits, crisps, cake etc.
  • I have been given fibregel but I near enough vomit everytime I try to drink it
I used to take Buscopan but I was taken off it as a side effect was pain of unrination and it keep making me flare. (bear this in mind with your IC)

I personally find that if I control all of the above it negates the need to take the medicines. Becuase I am already on treatments it frustrates me having to keep taking more so I try to self-help instead.

I have included some self-help advise and some useful websites.


For most people with IBS, a healthy lifestyle is the best way to improve symptoms. This can include the following.

  • If your main symptom is diarrhoea, you should try not to have tea, coffee, alcohol, spicy food and the artificial sweetener sorbitol, as these can increase your symptoms.
  • If you have constipation, you should try gradually introducing more fibre-rich foods, such as bran, fruit and vegetables, into your diet.
  • If bloating or wind is a problem, cutting out gas-producing foods, such as beans and green vegetables (eg cabbage and broccoli), may help.
  • Some people find that certain foods regularly bring on symptoms, but this isn't always easy to discover. It's best not to miss out one food after another from your diet to see if it's causing your symptoms, as you may not be getting all the nutrients you need in your diet. Advice from a dietitian can be useful.
  • If stress triggers your IBS, learning stress management or relaxation techniques may be useful. You may also find keeping a diary to compare your symptoms with life events helpful. If certain events are identified as triggers, it may be easier to deal with the stress of them.
  • Taking regular exercise helps to keep your bowel movements regular and reduce stress.
  • Soluble fiber helps both diarrhea and constipation. It dissolves in water and forms a gel-like material. Many foods contain soluble fiber such as apples, beans and citrus fruits. Psyllium, a natural vegetable fiber, is a also a soluble fiber. You can buy psyllium supplements (some brand names: Fiberall, Metamucil, Perdiem) to drink and you can add it to other foods.
  • Insoluble fiber helps constipation by moving material through your digestive system and adding bulk to your stool. Insoluble fiber is in whole grain breads, wheat bran and many vegetables.
  • If milk and other dairy products bother you, you may have lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance means that your body can't digest lactose (the sugar in milk).
  • Stress may trigger symptoms in people with IBS. Talk to your family doctor about ways to deal with stress, such as exercise, relaxation training or meditation. He or she may have some suggestions or may refer you to someone who can give you some ideas. Your doctor may also suggest that you talk to a counselor about things that are bothering you.
  • Heating pads and hot baths can also be comforting.
  • Food intolerance is gaining ground as a possible cause for IBS symptoms in many people. Sufferers find that by cutting out particular types of food such as dairy or gluten they reduce their symptoms, or they may find that they have certain 'trigger' foods that always set off symptoms.
  • There are also various food intolerance tests available, which offer to identify what foods affect you by testing your blood, your skin or sometimes even your hair.
  • Imodium is a popular drug for diarrhea and is effective, but more for occasional use than as a long-term solution. Laxatives you may be given for constipation include Lactulose and magnesium oxide solution (milk of magnesia). You can also buy laxatives, of course, and there are hundreds available, such as the senna-based laxative Senokot or Exlax. You may find that this type of laxative works well but gives you stomach cramps.
  • If you need to use painkillers, paracetamol is less likely than ibuprofen or aspirin to make your IBS worse. )I don't know which painkillers you take so bear this one in mind)
  • Hyoscyamine (some brand names: Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin) and dicyclomine (some brand names: Bentyl, Di-Spaz) help relax the spasms in the colon.
  • Strong laxatives are not suitable for long-term treatment as they will eventually stop working and cause the bowel to become even more constipated. It is generally considered that milk of magnesia is the gentlest laxative if you really need to take one for a longer period of time, but please be careful.
  • Your doctor may also offer anti-depressants. Don’t be alarmed by this - your doctor is not just dismissing you as someone who is mentally rather than physically ill. Anti-depressants can actually be helpful to IBS sufferers as they have recognised gastrointestinal effects. They are generally taken in much lower doses than those given to depressed patients.
  • Recently there have also been two new major drugs specifically designed for IBS treatment: Lotronex for diarrhea-predominant IBS, and Zelnorm (or Zelmac) for constipation-predominant IBS. Although the original clinical trials showed these drugs to be fairly effective, and many patients found them helpful when they were released for prescription use, there have been some unwanted side effects reported, and this has resulted in an ongoing battle between patient groups and regulatory bodies about whether the drugs should be in use.
  • Fiber supplements are commonly used. Examples include Citrucel and fibercon (in the US) and Normacol and Celevac (UK). They are normally advertised as bulk laxatives (because they ‘bulk’ up the stool and make it easier to pass) but they can be useful to diarrhea sufferers as well because the bulking effect can make more solid stools. These kind of products, as long as they do not have any additional ingredients (some have added laxatives rather than just simple fiber) can be used over long periods of time as they are not actually medicines, just fiber.
  • Watch out for added artificial sweeteners as these can, ironically, cause stomach problems in some people. You may find that you have to try one or two different products before you find the best one for you, as they contain different ingredients - some sufferers find that psyllium products such as Metamucil cause them stomach problems, but methylcellulose products such as Citrucel and Celevac do not.
  • Calcium supplements, specifically calcium carbonate, can be used by diarrhea sufferers as they can have a constipating effect. Many sufferers in the US use a product called Caltrate Plus which contains calcium and vitamin D. Magnesium supplements in pill form, such as magnesium oxide, can be useful as a mild laxative for constipation sufferers.
  • Flaxseed (also known as linseed) can act as a bulking agent in a similar way to fiber supplements. They can be swallowed whole with water or soft food such as yoghurt, or some people prefer to grind them before eating. High doses of vitamin C, such as 1,000mg, can have laxative effects.
  • Hypnotherapy is a fairly well-established treatment for IBS. There are practitioners who offer specifically gut-directed hypnotherapy for IBS sufferers, and studies have shown that some sufferers do respond well to treatment. Dr Peter Whorwell is a leading expert on IBS and hypnotherapy in the UK, and a study he conducted in the 1980s found that a group of IBS sufferers who had failed to respond to other treatments showed dramatic improvements when treated with hypnotherapy.
  • acupuncture, homoeopathy & reflexology
  • Antispasmodics/Anticholinergics This class of medications targets and reduces the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the nervous system with the result of slowing and reducing contractions of the muscles in the intestinal system. Their benefit for diarrhea predominant IBS comes from the reduction in the secretion of mucus and intestinal spasms. This anticholinergic effect is the same as seen in the tricyclic antidepressants and thus may result in similar side effects. (Bentyl (dicyclomine) , Levbid, Levsin (hyoscyamine) & Buscopan (butylscopolamine)

  • Selective Seritonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are medications that were designed to increase the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the nervous system with a beneficial effect on mood. Because only the neurotransmitter serotonin is targetted, SSRIs generally have fewer side effects than the tricyclic antidepressants. Common side effects of nausea, diarrhea, anxiety, and headache often lessen as the body adjusts to the medication. Sexual difficulties (loss of sex drive and/or difficulty achieving orgasm) and weight gain may be a prolonged effect. It is important to remember that different people react differently and a person may tolerate one type of SSRI better than another.


IBS trigger foods (not all of these will be affecting you so please don't read this list and cut everything out!)


French fries
Onion rings
Fried chicken
Corn dogs
Anything battered and deep-fried
Anything skillet-fried in fat of any kind
All oils, fats, spreads, etc.
Salad dressings
Tartar sauce
Cool Whip
Coconut milk
Shredded coconut
Solid chocolate
(baking cocoa powder is fine)
Solid carob (carob powder is fine)
Nuts and nut butters
Croissants, pastries, biscuits, scones, and doughnuts
Pie crust
Potato chips
(unless they're baked)
Corn chips and nachos (unless they're baked)
Store-bought dried bananas (they're almost always deep fried)

Coffee ~ both regular AND decaf contain an enzyme that's an extremely powerful GI tract irritant. Go cold turkey today and drink herbal teas instead.

Caffeine is a GI stimulant and should be avoided, especially in higher doses.

Alcohol is a GI irritant and often triggers IBS attacks, especially on an empty stomach (though small amounts of alcohol used in cooking are fine).

Carbonation in soda pop and mineral water can cause bloating and cramps.

Artificial sweeteners, particularly sorbitol, can trigger pain, cramps, gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Artificial fats, namely Olestra, can cause abdominal cramping and diarrhea in people who don't even have IBS – imagine what it can do to you.

MSG has acquired lots of ugly anecdotal evidence against it regarding all sorts of digestive upsets. It can simply be avoided, so why take a chance?

Top Twenty Most Avoided Foods

1. Spicy foods11. Pulses (beans, lentils etc)
2. Fried and fatty foods12. Vegetables (non green)
3. Greens13. Brown bread
4. Citrus fruit14. Salad
5. Cheese15. Nuts
6. Onions and leeks16. Sweets & desserts
7. Cereals17. Beef
8. Non citrus fruit18. White bread
9. Chocolate19. Eggs
10. Bran20. Dairy products


IBS Foods that may help!


Top Twenty Helpful Foods

1. Fish11. Bran
2. Green vegetables12. Bananas
3. Other vegetables13. Chicken
4. Non-citrus fruit14. Bland foods
5. Rice15. Salad
6. Citrus fruit16. Potatoes
7. Brown bread17. White bread
8. Yoghurt18. Porridge
9. Cereals19. Apricots, dates, figs & prunes
10. Pasta

20. Biscuits

IBS most avoided drinks


Top Twenty Most Avoided Drinks

1. Coffee11. Spirits
2. Alcohol12. Soft drinks (sugary)
3. Fruit juice13. Milky drinks in general
4. Milk14. Horlicks
5. None15. Drinks containing Sorbitol
6. Tea16. Cocoa
7. Fizzy drinks (general)17. Very cold drinks
8. Red wine18. Ovaltine
9. Beer 19. Anything
10. White wine20. Tomato juice

IBS drinks that may help!

Top Twenty Helpful Drinks

1. Water11. Decaffeinated coffee/tea
2. Weak Tea12. Drinks containing ginger
3. Herbal Tea13. Slippery elm
4. Fruit juice14. Semi-skimmed milk
5. Alcohol (general)15. Ribena
6. Milk16. Soya milk
7. Chocolate, cocoa, malted milk drinks17. Carbonated drinks (general)
8. Tonic and soda water18. Aqua Libra
9. Wine19. Vegetable juice
10. Peppermint Tea20. Lemonade

Useful websites: (info from above) (info from above) (Colofac) (IBS info) (symptom checker) (you can download a food diary)

Hope this helps!

Kerry xx

Survivor of IC since November 2002, finally diagnosed in Summer 2004. Had 4 cystoscopy's, 4 hydro-distentions, 3 urethral stretchers, 1 laparoscopy, 4 urodynamics, numerous ultra-scans, Cystistat and DMSO instils of which I have lost count, perform ISC, suffer with retention, pain, bleeding, frequency and urgency and now have a urethral stricture. Had botox injections in Nov 2014. I'm on ibuprofen and tramadol daily along with my other six daily tablets.
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