View Full Version : What Now?
02-17-2007, 11:22 AM
So I have been having some gastrointestinal troubles for the past two to three weeks, but I have just been dealing, because everything else was going pretty well. Yesterday morning, I woke up with excruciating lower abdominal pain, to the point that I couldn't even straighten up. It scared me. So I went to the doctor. I was thinking maybe the MTX was affecting me or something.
The doctor did an exam, and some blood tests, and says I probably have Irritable bowel syndrome with intestinal spasm. It is very real, and something I will probably have to deal with for a while.
I am really upset. I just feel like I was starting to get a handle on things and now here is something else I have to deal with. Totally change my diet, and two more medications two deal with (which make me feel awful). I am feeling so . . . defeated.
02-17-2007, 11:35 AM
Peach, I'm so sorry - I know you were really excited about planning for the upcoming vacation. I've always heard that stress can trigger an episode of irritablr bowel syndrome - maybe "happy stress" can too? At least the doctor was able to give you a diagnosis without leaving you hanging for weeks wondering what the heck was going on. I hope the new meds give you some relief soon so you start feeling better.
Sending big cyber-hugs your way.
02-20-2007, 11:41 AM
Thanks Marycain! I am just disappointed because things seem to be going better lately.
The medication he gave me is kicking my butt. I am spaced out and loopy, practically drooling on myself, for hours after I take it. It keeps the intestinal spasms away for about six hours but the side effects last for about 12 to 14 hours. He gave me belladonna/phenobarb and Ultram. Is it supposed to make me feel that way?
02-20-2007, 12:16 PM
Peach, does this doctor know about your neuro involvement with the lupus? Ultram is NOT recommended for anyone with a history of seizure disorders - it can lower the seizure threshold and combining it with things like muscle relaxers, antidepressants, or meds for nausea and vomiting increases the risk of seizures.
It is also a narcotic-like pain medication intended for moderate to severe pain, so it has basically the same side potential side effects - dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, blurred vision, etc.
You have to be super careful about combining Ultram with other meds, especially any other med that also causes drowsiness - it can cause depressed respiration, slowed pulse and breathing, and potentially serious interactions.
Since the other medicine you were prescribed contains a sedative - mixing the two might not be a great idea if you are sensitive to meds that make you drowsy or "high" feeling. Ultram can cause the same spaced out feeling as any narcotic, and combining it with a sedative would just make that effect worse, so please be careful.
The belladonna/phenobarbitol combo is the generic of Donnatal (it's also marketed under other brand names) - it's an antispasmodic that relaxes the muscles of the intestines - the phenobarbitol component is a sedative so it can make you very sleepy.
Donnatal can cause a lot of different side effects - Agitation, blurred vision, constipation, decreased sweating, difficulty sleeping, difficulty urinating, dilation of the pupil of the eye, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, excitement, fast or fluttery heartbeat, headache, nausea, nervousness, vomiting, weakness - it can also cause you to overheat, so be careful about how showers, etc. as this can make you feel really dizzy and weak.
If you continue feeling really spacy and sleepy with the drugs- you might want to call you doc and ask about something else - especially with the seizure issue. just be careful, okay?
02-20-2007, 04:42 PM
Hi Peach: Sorry you are having problems with IBS. I have had that since my early 20's and you are right it can be quite painful at times and just a nuisance at other times. Do you also have fibromyalgia ? because many of us that do have FM also are blessed with IBS. It comes with the territory.
Just to let you know that I have managed my IBS without additional drugs, so it is possible. I would suggest you pay attention to what foods trigger your symptoms and try to eliminate them as much as possible from your diet. I think if you pay attention you will find that certain foods trigger an episode of IBS. I have always found the constipation phase of IBS causes much more severe cramping in the bowel than the diarrhea phase. Both have its own set of symptoms. Try and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, and this will be helpful to you in eliminating many of your symptoms. Many people find, spices, coffee, fat set off a bout.
Good luck with managing your symptoms and at least you know IBS is not life threatening, just painful and inconvenient..
02-20-2007, 05:40 PM
Marycain, thanks for the advice, I will be very careful. I haven't had any of the neuro symptoms for almost a year, so hopefully that won't become an issue. And that is a blessing because I have an interview with the DMV on March 6 so I can hopefully start driving again and I don't want anything to interfere with that!
Beautifulbeluga. Yes, I am blessed with FM as well. I did a little research and did notice that Fibro people do seem to have more problems with IBS than most. How lucky are we?!?! My doctor did indicate that the drugs were very short term, two weeks at most, while I learn to manage my symptoms and get over this "flare". I ordered a couple of books about managing IBS through diet and stress relief. Based on what I have read, I have probably been suffering from IBS for about the same amount of time I have had Lupus/FM symptoms, I just was lumping it in with everything else. I have had problems with irregularity and painful cramps and weeklong bouts of diarrhea for a couple of years, I was just too embarrassed to bring it up to a doctor until I was in so much pain that it scared me.
Thanks for the good wishes!
02-21-2007, 06:08 AM
I'm SO sorry that you're struggling with this pain right now! :( I also have I.B.S. (I was practically born with it), as does my mother and as did my grandmother; it's clearly hereditary in my family! :wink: I have Fibromyalgia too and according to the brochure that my Rheumatologist gave me, Fibro. and I.B.S. are definitely related!
I know exactly how severe this pain is; believe me - I once passed out from it! There is officially nothing worse than sharp, severe constipation pains! :mad: I suffer terribly from constipation, so I was put on Zelnorm twice a day and four spoons of Agiolax a day.
I definitely believe that diet plays a big role in controlling I.B.S. symptoms! I find that the worst contributors are gluten (especially wheat), fatty foods, tomatoes (or anything too acidic) and spicy foods.
I think that the worst thing about I.B.S. is that doctors, including Gastroenterologists, do not understand just how severe the symptoms are and just how much we suffer! :mad: I think that the only people who can understand I.B.S. fully, are those who actually have it!
Feel better, Peach!
02-21-2007, 09:26 AM
HAVING COLITIS MYSELF I KNOW HOW YA FEEL.
NOT TO MENTION THAT OST OF THE MEDS WE TAKE UPSET OUR STOMACHS AND MAKE US IRREGUALR AND HAVE NO APPETITE AND THEN WE END UP LOSING VALUABLE VITAMIN'S AND ANTI-OXIDANTS WE NEED.
I TRY TO EAT A BOWL OF RASIN BRAN DAILY TO KEEP THINGS REGUALR AND BE SURE TO TAKE ALL YOUR MEDS.
I KNOW IT ALWAYS SEEMS LIKE SOMETHING....AND IT'S ALWAYS THE SMALL STUFF THAT GETS TO US AND WE HANDLE THE BIG STUFF WITH PERFECTION.
YOU MAY WANNA TRY TO GET SOME ACIDOPHILUS TABLETS AT YOUR NEAR BY PHAMRMACY.
IT IS THE SAME INGREDIENT IN YOGURT THAT HELPS IN DIGESTION PROCESS.
ONCE YA GET THAT INTO YOUR SYSTEM THINGS WILL BE BACK TO NORMAL SO YOU CAN ONLY WORRY ABOUT THE LUPUS !!!!!
HOPE YOU ARE FEELING BETTER TODAY !!!!
btw...THE STORE BRAND HAS THE SAME INGREDIENTS AS THE NAME BRAND AND IS ABOUT 7 BUCKS CHEAPER FOR THE SAME AMOUNT OF TABLETS!!!!! :wink:
02-21-2007, 10:41 AM
Thank you all for all your wonderful support and suggestions. I will definitely be trying some of those ideas.
I got a call from my doctor's office this morning. He is my new primary doctor (and doesn't have copies of all my records yet) and when I was in the other day, he kept saying that he thinks the IBS is being triggered more by issues of being overweight than anything and was insistent that if he ran a lipid panel, my cholesterol and tryglicerides would be high and he would have to put me on medications for that too. Guess what. They are normal. Just like I told him they would be. So, this morning when he called, he said, "Well, take the meds I gave you until they run out, and try to get on a good regimine of diet and exercise" Thanks, I'll do that. I can only hope things will get better when he gets my whole medical records and a clearer picture of my entire history and current status.
02-21-2007, 11:25 AM
One of my friends in high school had this. It got so bad where she would be walking along and just double over in pain. I hope yours is not that severe and I wish you the best of luck!
02-21-2007, 11:27 AM
Peach, you can get some good info from aboutibs.org -
My GI doc didn't tell me about the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber - he just told me to add more fiber to my diet, and it actually made me feel worse because I was adding it too quickly - you have to start low and work it in gradually -
02-22-2007, 08:50 AM
*hugging Peach* It is wonderful to "see you again" dear. I too, have IBS along with my lupus. I couldn't tolerate the meds they tried on me, so I practically live on Immodium. Also try the "BRAT" diet: Bananas, Rice, Applesauce (and apple juice) and Toast when the problem is really bad. Most of the meds out there for IBS are for the chronic constipation kind of IBS, not the constant diarrhea kind, which we have. Feel better, friend. Love, Kathy
02-22-2007, 11:32 AM
Thanks so much.
We leave tomorrow for our Disney vacation...so everybody pray that it's going to be the best ever! I just know it's going to be great (even though its raining...)
02-22-2007, 12:23 PM
You know what is the worst about IBS, eating out and being overcome by uncontrollable cramps, and trying not to let anyone notice. I hate that......the sweat beads up on your forehead and you are trying not to double over in pain and get to the bathroom without anyone noticing. Walking with cramps in you gut and pretending to be "normal" is almost impossible. Do I ever have a million stories to tell about this..
Also, I used to fly to work every week, in small aircraft without any toilets. Boy, was that ever a challenge with IBS. When I would get up in the morning I wouldn't even take a sip of water because even that would set me off. Really the things we have to deal with...........
02-22-2007, 01:53 PM
Enjoy your vacation, Peach! :D Be sure to tell us all about it when you get back! :D