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IBS-D and Overweight

I'm new to the site so I'll try to be brief until I know how this works. I am overweight despite having IBS-D for many years. Doctors suggest diets that include foods I know I cannot eat. In addition I have borderline high cholesterol and need to cut carbs which are one of the things I turn to when I feel sick and can't eat. Exercise is difficult because I never feel good. I'm exhausted and want to feel better.
Please reply if you feel the same or have suggestions. Thank you.

  1. Welcome to our community. I hope that we can be a source of helpful info and support to you. Thank you for sharing a bit of your story and reaching out. I hope others in our community chime in as well with what's helped them feel better. In addition to speaking with your doctor, this article on IBS Diarrhea may be helpful to you: https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/underlying-causes-diarrhea. As you've learned, there is no one-size-fits-all quick fix out there, which can be so discouraging. Trail and error and listening to your own body seem to be the best route.

    I'd encourage you to focus on small consistent changes that you can make. Are you able to add in small amounts of physical activity? This is a great article on exercise from one of our contributors and how it can actually help IBS symptoms: https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/what-ive-discovered-about-exercise.

    Hope those are some helpful thoughts for you. Please reach out with specific questions, we're here to support you. Best, Kelly, Irritablebowelsyndrome.net Team Member

    1. Love your outlook! Rooting for you and new beginnings. -Elizabeth (team member)

    2. Never found exercise to help my IBS-D. Frankly, it prompts explosions, but Aloe Socratina homeopathic remedy REALLY helps - 5 pellets 4x a day. I still have to pause elliptical trainer quite often but not always. For me, this is a vast improvement. Exercise for me is more a stress buster and for pain control. I cured my VERY painful calcific tendinitis lifting 5 lb weights. No more Tylenol.

  2. I've recently re-introduced the Monster (my stomach/digestion overlord) to the elliptical trainer with mixed results. At first it prompted a brief explosion immediately so I'd have to hit pause and then return and carry on. I gave up for awhile but I've decided to condition Monster to take it. It's better now. I can do 30 min now w/o the need to pause. I also do strength training with 10 lb weights to combat calcific tendinitis, VERY painful shoulders - a hereditary thing, I think - and liftees are very effective. The alternative - physio of some kind - is too $$ and inconvenient. I do liftees before the jump b/c they, too, quite often prompt the urgent need to pause. Less so now. It seems to be a matter of becoming accustomed to it - accustoming Monster to the new routine.


    I've never been able to persuade an MD that chronic diarrhea is a life-altering condition that requires urgent treatment so they've been both useless and occasionally insulting. So far, Immodium as per label is effective but I worry about long-term regular use and alternatives. Probiotics are useless as are Rabaprazole, Dexilant, Metamucil and Olystra. Ugh. Awful filth.


    Eating less and removing tomatoes altogether have been very helpful tho I squeeze half a lemon into Sodastream bubble water with vodka once a week or so - no more than an inch of vodka per drink and no more than 2 drinks.


    I have given up going anywhere after eating and going anywhere w/o toilets. Can't meet friends or take transit or walk more than a few blocks in my hood.


    I'd stop eating altogether if I could but I'm the chief cook here which means meal planning, shopping and cooking so no easy outs.


    I treat every outing, every liftees, every jump as a major victory and I feel pretty good most of the time. I'd like not to have be so mindful. I had a hard time thru school denied access to toilets without first having to plead a case publicly. No MD has ever explored what exactly goes wrong in my guts or why. IBS-D began for me with menopause but I had had anxious stomach troubles at various times. I had a GI specialist who tried very hard to insist anxiety is the root cause but I say NO: Undiagnosed, untreated chronic diarrhea is life altering and along with the need to have constant access to a toilet just in case, is the CAUSE of my stress!


    For now, the Immodium controls the crises, and diarrhea is a crisis.


    Once the diarrhea is under control, then one can contemplate exercise. So first get the diarrhea under control, I would say.


    Typically, one removes acidic food - tomatoes, citrus fruits - replacing them with bland, binding food - eggs, bananas, cereal, rice, potatoes. As with exercise, get the explosions under control then one may contemplate variations. Look for a pattern of what works for you to control the diarrhea. MDs in my experience don't know or care to investigate so I work my own case. Your body will tell you pretty fast what it can take.


    I no longer eat raw food beyond apples and an occasional carrot. Whole grain anything for me is indigestible. This means the popular view of food has no relevance for me. So be it.


    I feel best when I eat beef. Meat and potatoes are best for me. I cook for a vegetarian so it's challenging but in a good way. I like to cook so I don't mind kitchen adventures.


    I made a pear crisp last night with ground walnuts and it gave me some trouble after midnight but controlled with Immodium so life goes on. Am planning a beet-horseradish salad that might kill me but worth a try if it doesn't.


    Moral: Keep trying new strategies and combinations. This yields a better understanding of what works going forward and gives one the sense of being in control despite the crises, which become less frequent in time, or they have for me.


    This forum has been a game changer for me. Very grateful to all who have shared your narrative.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Lots of helpful information here from your perspective. I hope you are doing well today! Hugs, Elizabeth (team member)

  3. i am overweight also. Probably from steroids i inhale for COPD. as part of my treatment for IBS-D, i have been prescribed COLESTIPOL. It ia an anti cholesterol drug that can help with diarrhea. you might talk to you provider about it. IT HELPS ME.

    1. Thanks for the tip! GP supposed to be referring me to a new GI for 2nd opinion but it's been months and no call yet. The Cdn health scheme is broken so not hopeful. Tried for antidiarrheals with US MD online service. Useless. Searched online again when lo and behold an Indian homeopath blog revealed several remedies. So far: Aloe Socratina, Croton Tiglium, Podophyllum and Mercurius all via amazon. Aloe so far is best. A truly quiet Monster - you know, when you don't have to think about it for hrs at a time. About every 4 days it's bad at bedtime but Immodium is effective. It's all very experimental but I take very little Immodium now and no Tylenol for the flu symptoms and sharp pain that accompany the now very occasional bedtime explosions. Still avoiding spicy, tomatoes and citrus and raw food except apples. Dr. Pranjali's blog is unique in its description of different kinds of diarrhea. The Aloe was so dramatically helpful that I searched academic articles on digestion and sure enough research falls apart on something called MUC2. My theory is that the aloe re-moisturizes too-dry intestines from cancer radiation and yrs of asthma puffers. No idea how long I'll have to take this stuff but pellets and drops are pretty painless and the aloe if not the others is very effective.

    2. So glad to hear that you are finding relief! So frustrating that your GP has yet to get back to you. Thank you for sharing and contributing such helpful experiences with our community! For others here, be sure to speak with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new supplement to ensure it's safe for you. Best, Kelly, irritablebowelsyndrome.net Team member


  4. I absolutely hear you with everything you said. You are doing well in finding your own way through this IBS nightmare.
    I agree that the stress CAUSED by the gut dysfunction does seem to be the worst thing for me too. I doi not feel stressed or down or sad when my gut is calm. I feel normal then.



    Re: tomatoes. NOPE! They may be low Fodmap, and allowable but they do NOT suit me. Last year I got some lovely organic ones from a friend's vegetable patch. The first night I ate 5 (cherry type) and got away with it. 2nd night I ate 5 again and oops....
    Had to give up tomatoes. Pity because I like them.

    I find I can drink Vodka too, and I marinate pieces of ginger and a bit of cinnamon in mine, and add some honey (I am OK with honey though it's high Fodmap it never bothers me) I usually have about an inch also and that doesn't upset my gut. Sometimes 2 drinks and that's fine.
    Sometimes one of those can even ease my gut if it is windy and uncomfortable in the evening after dinner.

    I'd never like to stop eating. My issue is I Love Food which is sad as often I can't eat much of it or the things I'd like to eat. I used to love cooking and baking but have lost the enthusiasm nowadays and just prepare quick simple meals.

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