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IBS-C Newly Diagnosed and Full of Questions

  • By Nobs

    Hi Forum, I’ve been recently diagnosed with IBS-C. I’ve read a lot about it on the internet, and while the diagnosis seems to fit, I have some questions about the nature of this ailment, maybe someone here can help enlighten me.
    I had a strangulated ventral hernia 3 months ago, which required emergency (open) surgery to repair. I was lucky that a resection was not required. I was a week in the hospital.
    My recovery was slow, and soon kind of fell flat. The incision was healing well, but I was having intense cramping pain in my abdomen, especially at night. It was severe pain. I was constipated, and magnesium citrate and Miralax didn’t seem to help. This went on and on. My doctor prescribed Dicyclomine for the cramps, and it has helped somewhat. Along with the cramps, I have lots of gas and water in my gut. The gurgling is poisitively symphonic. The noises are amazing in their variety and volume. This has been going on every day for the last 3 months, since the surgery. X-ray of abdomen was normal. I was astounded. How could it be normal? There is nothing normal about my digestion. It’s weird because I never had any digestive problems at all. I’ve always eaten whatever I want to eat, and have always been regular, generally. Is it unusual to have sudden onset IBS after a surgery like this?
    I’m wondering about frequency and timing of symptoms. This pain and constipation has not let up. I have had it every day for 3 months, with a brief semi-respite of a day and a half following a bout of explosive diarrhea. Accordning to the new Rome criteria, diagnosis of IBS required experiencing symptoms at least 3 days a month, or 1 day a week. I only wish! Is every day unusual for this stuff, or not? Also, my symptoms are about 5X worse at night. Is that common for IBS?
    Also, I’ve started the low FODMAP diet … kinda. I’m checking it out, and avoiding sugar alcohols, lactose, and gluten. Nothing seems to make much difference. Eating anything sets it off. I’ve lost 25 lbs.since late June, when I had the hernia surgery. I am thinking of supplementing with Boost Very High Calorie nutritional drinks. I need to be able to maintain my weight. Does anyone have any experience with similar?
    Lastly, I’d like to hear any recommendations for probiotics. I’d like to do pills/capsules instead of yogurt, which sets off the symphony of the winds and waves in my belly.
    Also, I really hate that this has happened to me.
    Thanks for any info!

  • By Becky Oleson Moderator

    Hi Nobs, thanks so much for reaching out! I really hate that this happened to you, too. 🙁

    I’m a fellow IBS-C sufferer, and while I’m not qualified to answer some of your questions, I can definitely relate to many of the things you’ve described (especially the symphonic gurgling…thanks for the laugh!) I have symptoms 3-4 days a week, too — wouldn’t it be nice if it were only 1 time per week? I used to suffer with it every single day, but the low FODMAP diet and probiotics has really helped me to reduce the frequency of IBS-C symptoms. (And yes, those symptoms are worse at night, though I’ve read from quite a few folks that their symptoms tend to be worse in the morning. So, it really varies from person to person.)

    As for the probiotics: personally, I like Activia yogurt. I know you’ve said you prefer non-yogurt options. I really enjoy Happy Belly probiotic drinks. I try to avoid pills/capsules as much as possible (so many of them give me heartburn). I hope this helps! And I hope others will chime in soon with their experiences and recommendations about what has worked for them. Please let us know if you decide to give the low FODMAP diet, and keep us posted on your progress! -Becky, team member