Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Attack Of The Groans

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Doniker asks:

This phenomenon had baffled me for many years. If a person knows what is causing the stress and anxiety that is messing up his bowels, why can't he control his bowels?

Here are just two examples:

  1. During the four months before my daughter was born, I was a basket case. I was 31-years-old at the time and, up until this point in my life, had always led a carefree existence with only one person to worry about: me. I was stressed about becoming a father and moving in with my soon-to-be wife and her son. I was bothered by the added responsibilities entering my life. But mostly I was freaked about the actual event of being in the room during the childbirth.

I spent those four months feeling nauseous, with cramps in my lower abdomen. I would have days of severely painful constipation or days of nasty diarrhea; it made no difference what I ate. No matter how hard I tried to relax and stay busy to keep my mind off my problems, I still suffered down under.

  • About ten years ago I had a job working at a communications parts warehouse. Every fourth week I was on call, meaning that seven days out of every month I had to be ready, 24/7, to drive to the warehouse, pick up equipment, and go to a job site to meet the repair technician. There were times I would have to drive to a destination 150 miles away at 3:00 AM in a snowstorm; it got pretty stressful, seeing that I am not a very spontaneous person.
  • The overtime pay was great, but the stress was brutal. Even though I might go the whole week without even getting one call, I still had an upset stomach and the squirts the whole time. That day every month that I handed the pager over to the next on call guy was my ticket to twenty-one days of rectal bliss.

    Now, what I don't understand is that if I knew what was causing my spastic bowels, why couldn't I control it? One thing I have found in life is that once I discover the cause of a problem, the relief of finding the origin and understanding it helps the problem become minimal.

    If the problem is all in my mind, and I understand what my problem is, why are my bowels still getting involved?"




    In a similar vein, Loo-Pee asks:


    What's the deal with IBS? Is it really the "silent epidemic" that Lynda Carter and all of those commercials make it out to be? Is it one of those vague-symptom-maybe-I-have-it but I-can't-really-ever-be-sure conditions, or is it a good bet that someone who usually has irregular poops, constipation/loose stools, bloating (or is that just fat?) and intermittent -- but sometimes inexhaustible -- gas might actually have IBS? And if so, is this a condition that you are born with, or can it come and go?

    Knowing I might have it wouldn't change much, I know, but it would allow me to put a label on my shame.




    Poonurse responds:

    JUST WHAT THE HELL IS IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME, ANYWAY?

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome is, first and foremost, a functional disease. This simply means there is no sign of an actual physical or organic abnormality when the colon is examined. This annoys both doctors and patients alike. Doctors like to have something available to cut out or to throw drugs at, mostly because they can bill you more that way. Patients are annoyed because no one likes to be told that nothing shows up on tests. It somehow makes the symptoms less legitimate if the doctor can't hold up an X-ray and say, "Wow -- no wonder I haven't crapped for six days!"

    Functional syndrome or not, if you have IBS, you are not a happy camper. Though IBS does not cause permanent harm, nor does it lead to intestinal bleeding or cancer, it can really be disruptive to your daily life. Plus, it is hard to explain. You can tell your boss that you missed an important meeting because you have a brain tumor, but it can sound bad to say, "Sorry I was late -- I had the shits so bad I thought my tonsils were coming out of my ass."

    Here are some of the symptoms Irritable Bowel Syndrome:


    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Mucus in your stool (more than usual)
    • Abdominal discomfort, either crampy or dull

    IBS can and often does come and go inexplicably. Sometimes you have symptoms every few days; sometimes it goes away for months.


    WAIT -- HOW THE HELL DOES THE NORMAL COLON WORK?

    In order to fully understand what causes IBS, it is necessary to understand a little about the normal working day of the average colon. Hang in there, this is the incredibly boring part.

    The colon is about six feet long. It connects the small intestine to the rectum and anus. (We simply aren't going into the working day of the small intestines, because I think if there were anything MORE boring than the large intestine, it would be the small intestines.) The major function of the colon is to absorb water and salts from the digestive products that enter via the aforementioned boring small intestines.

    Approximately two quarts of liquid matter enters the colon each day. This material may remain there for several days until most of the stuff is absorbed into the body. The stool then passes through, via a series of movements or contractions, to the left side of the colon, where it is stored until it's time for the grand exit.

    These contractions of the colon are controlled by nerves, hormones, and electrical activity in the colon muscle itself. It's sort of similar to the pacemaker mechanism that controls your heart function. A few times a day, strong muscle contractions move down the colon, pushing your feces ahead of them. When they reach the light at the end of the tunnel, it's go time.


    SO WHAT THE HELL CAUSES IBS?

    Because no one can really find an organic cause, doctors are forced to just make some wild guesses. It is often thought to be caused partially by emotional conflict or stress. When a person with IBS is exposed to stressful situations, the pacemaker (so to speak) of the colon muscle becomes overstimulated, and the colon muscle spasms. These spasms can result in either diarrhea or constipation, depending on whether the spasms delay the passage of poop or fast-forward it.

    Just recognizing your stress or even receiving counseling for it may not necessarily relieve IBS. Sometimes your colon just has worries and stresses of its own.

    Certain medicines or foods can also trigger the spasms. Chocolate, fats, alcohol, and caffeine are notorious offenders. A good rule of thumb for IBS sufferers is that anything that tastes good or makes you feel good may contribute to the spasms and the onset of symptoms.

    Hormones may also play a part, as women are affected by IBS twice as often as men. Damn it. Periods AND IBS. Now I know God isn't a woman.


    HOW THE HELL DO YOU DIAGNOSE IT?

    IBS is diagnosed mainly by deciding that you aren't dying of something more serious. If -- after a series of lab tests, physical exams, barium enemas, and the insertion of obscenely large tubes containing cameras up your butt -- the doctor can't find anything wrong, then you may just have IBS.


    OK, I HAVE IT, NOW WHAT THE HELL DO I DO?

    Diet

    Eating a proper diet may help lessen the symptoms. Increase your intake of tasty dietary fiber. Whole grain breads and cereals, beans, fruits, and vegetables are good sources of fiber, as is the cardboard packaging these items come in.

    Yogurt is better tolerated than other dairy products because it contains the organisms that supply lactase, which is the enzyme necessary to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk products.

    Large meals can cause cramping and diarrhea in IBS prone people. Stick with small, more frequent meals.


    Medications

    Certain medications, such as anticholinergics, antispasmodics, tranquilizers or sedatives, are sometimes used to combat IBS. If you are depressed (which I sure as hell am after writing this), antidepressants have also been used with some success.


    "Natural" Remedies

    Now, normally I am not a big fan of herbal or natural remedies, but I include these for someone who might be more open-minded than I am. For constipation, you can increase your intake of Vitamin C and Magnesium. Start with 2000mg per day of the former and 200mg per day of the latter. Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day.

    For diarrhea, there is supposedly an amino acid called L-Glutamine. Since it's described as "virtually tasteless," I can only assume it is incredibly foul. Start with 1/4 tsp per day mixed with cold water and drink it on an empty stomach. You can increase the frequency up to two to three times a day if needed, and gradually increase the dosage up to a full teaspoon if that doesn't work. DO NOT USE IF YOU HAVE LIVER OR KIDNEY DISEASE.

    If PoopReport had a legal department, they'd ask me to recommend you to check with your doctor before trying these remedies. So ask your doctor first. Why would you take advice from an Internet doctor? You don't know me.


    Colonic Massage

    Here's an interesting little cure that I hadn't heard before. It might not help your stomach, but it would pass the time, if nothing else. You should be able to convince your life partner to help you with this; if you do not have one, a hooker probably would do it, if the price were right.

    Perform the massage either sitting on the can or lying down with your knees bent. Make a fist with your right hand and massage your colon using a digging, circular motion with your knuckles. Start at the lower right hand quadrant of your abdomen (just inside the hipbone) and work up to under the right side of your ribcage. Then travel straight across, then down the left quadrant of your abdomen. When you get to just inside your left hip bone, massage in towards your groin/pubic bone. You are supposed to do this a couple of times a day.

    My reference source gets sort of hazy on what happens next, so use your imagination. It is described as "fantastic."


    More Remedies

    There are also mind-body therapies like craniosacral, acupuncture, reike, and other forms of energy healing that you can try; but these would probably empty your wallet faster than they empty your colon.

    Poonurse is an RN with 25 years experience in labor and delivery. Her qualifications include seeing a lot of poop, and owning a computer. Also, she works in Michigan, which she calls the asshole of the universe, so that's another bit of credibility. Poonurse would like to remind you that she is a poo nurse, not a poo doctor. Her advice should be taken with moderate skepticism, and you should consult a REAL, sober medical professional if you have a serious medical condition.

    Got a question for her?












    100 Comments on "Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Attack Of The Groans"

    Jack Scat's picture
    m 1+ points - Newb

    Ho: "Hey baby, you lookin' for a date?"
    Doniker: "Nope, I need you to rub my colon."

    doniker's picture
    j 1000+ points

    very funny and informative, thank you poonurse.

    Slim Jim Junkie's picture

    Well, I am glad you explained it better. Before this, I only knew that it made shitting painful.

    poopmagick's picture

    Poonurse, you are fantastic! That was a funny and informative read. Timely, too, as my friend who has IBS has just had another flare up. I'll pass along the advice you've listed here.
    Thanks!

    Poonurse's picture
    j 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

    Ya'll LIKED it? I thought that you all would think it sucked.
    Thanks--once again, PoopReport and bowel movements have bolstered my flagging self esteem.

    nunyabizz's picture

    OMG Poonurse! For 6 years I worked as a CNA in a nursing home. Nurses came and went and believe me, I observed plenty of nurses over the years! Let me say that I am very impressed with you. Most of the nurses we had on my shift were LPNs, but even most of our RNs seemed to have forgotten most of their training except for how to do the paper work. I bet you are a lot of fun to work with too!

    Poonurse's picture
    j 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

    PooQueen,

    No, for some reason fiber can act to solidify things. The great Normalizer, as it were. Someone explained it to me once, but I just worked all night and I don't remember.

    My dog George has the shits all the time, and the vet has us add fiber to his diet. Of course, it doesn't help. Not expensive enough. Animals can only be cured by spending vast sums of money.

    Maybe it will work with people.

    Crapslikeclockwork's picture
    m 1+ points - Newb

    I get terrible IBS, mainly caused by stress. The thought of going anywhere out of the ordinary can bring it on, to the extent I'd rather stay at home. I find drinking peppermint tea works, especially if you have a mug first thing in the morning.

    pooQueen's picture

    Thanks, poonurse, I've had what doctors have passed as IBS for the past 5 or 6 years. Being only 29, I can look forward to a lifetime of shitting my brains out about 4 or 5 times a day. I've tried a dozen medications, even one called Lotronex that I had to sign a release form before the doc would prescribe it to me. It seems that in Europe it was causing some serious complications and a few deaths here and there. Anyway, to no avail. So I kind of abuse Immoduim when I have a busy day ahead of me and won't be in the vicinity of a toilet. The only thing I don't understand....won't increasing my fiber intake only make me poo even more?

    The Shit Volcano's picture
    Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

    So I have serious anxiety issues. Just picking up the phone makes me shake and want to vomit. You'd think ME, out of everyone here on Poop Report, would have it. Why did it skip me? (Not that I'm hoping to get IBS, either!) Why is one person with normal stress issues plagued by this condition and a psycho stresser like me is just fine?

    I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

    doniker's picture
    j 1000+ points

    TSV says:

    "So I have serious anxiety issues. Just picking up the phone makes me shake and want to vomit."

    you shaking or wanting to vomit is your stress outlet. With other people it's a case of the hives. With others its IBS. We all have different outlets.

    I too get the urge to vomit during anxiety attacks. I haven't had the shit attacks from stress for quite some time though.

    The Shit Volcano's picture
    Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

    I see your point, Doniker. The mind (and body) works in mysterious ways. And not always the same way.

    I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

    Shat On's picture

    Mucus in your stool??
    YIKES!!!!

    John Stephens's picture

    I had to have half my large intestine surgically removed several years ago ("you mean...?" "Yes. I have a semicolon.") What's left only functions intermittently, producing symptoms very like what is described here. Immodium is definitely the way to go (or not).

    The Shit Volcano's picture
    Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

    I just passed this article again and out of the corner of my eye I thought it said "Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Attack of the GNOMES". ?!? Don't ask. I'm pretty tired.

    I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

    ms. poopsalot's picture

    Thanks poonurse! I have IBS and teach at an elementary school. The worst feeling in the world is the gurgle of the colon and the sweats as a class gets started. My classroom is waaaaay down the hall from the potty and I can never find an aide when I need one. Any tips on how to hold a butt shut for 30 minutes?

    Dave's picture
    PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content Moderatora 10000+ points - Super Pooper

    Hey, Shat On: Yes, mucus in the stool. Normal stool has mucus in it -- mucus lubricates the stool to make the trip down the colon easier when you have a hard, dry log -- that's why shit can glisten or look greasy. With IBS, you can have TOO MUCH mucus... but normal bowels always have some.

    Di Uhreea's picture
    Comment Quality Moderatorl 100+ points

    Man oh man, did nobody else do the "Colonic Massage"?
    No results but, it felt kinda relaxing until I started to feel sick!!

    pooQueen's picture

    OK, poonurse, I will try to add more cardboard to my diet. Thanks for the tip. It's great having a trusty health professional on this site!

    Poonurse's picture
    j 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

    PooQueen--if it tastes bad, eat it! (except don't eat feces and then write to me about it--I am sickened by the # of people who apparently do this and then write to ask if it will hurt them).

    Di--I actually did this the other night at work when I was feeling a bit bloated and gassy. Absolutely NOTHING happened. I was SO disappointed. I may have farted a tiny fart, but I expected something amazing. This is why I don't trust nature.

    The Shit Volcano's picture
    Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

    Yeah, the poo eaters drive me nuts, too. Half of them probably don't do it, they just say they do for the shock value. And most of them are like thirteen years old at the most.

    Ahem! Anyway, you might try eating a lot of fruit to cure diarrhea. Fruit? The ultimate laxative? Yes, I say fruit. But only certain fruit. I eat a LOT of strawberries and they firm my turds right up. Don't eat a lot of bananas and plums or you get the opposite affect.

    I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

    PooperGal's picture

    TSV,
    I remember in college nutrition class learning about the natural pectin in fruits such as apples. We were told that the pectin helps solidify liquid crap. When you stop to think about it, that's what is used to make jelly gel. Pectin. So... An apple a day may keep the trots away.

    Bananas, too. Eating bananas can have a laxative effect when you're clogged, and a solidifying effect when you have the runs.

    Fruit. The Miracle Drug.

    Oopsie Poopsie's picture

    Poonurse, can IBS come and go twice a year or so? I had a roommate who was a poop machine for a few weeks out of each year (maybe one week every four months or so) and I always thought she had IBS.

    Slim Jim Junkie's picture

    Exactly what do you mean, oopsie?
    Does she just go in and out of the bathroom like there is a revlving door?
    Does she plug the crapper with impossible amounts?

    Oopsie Poopsie's picture

    SJJ, I mean that maybe three times a year, each time for about a week, shd's crap her ass off. She'd eat, then go running off to the bathroom and sit in there for at least 20 min. Then she'd come out and since she'd pooped away her entire meal, she'd have to eat again. This went on for about a week, then it'd be like someone turned off the switch and she was normal again. So yeah, I guess she was running in and out of the bathroom like there was a revolving door!

    There was never any crapper-pluggin' b/c it was never solid (at least, that's what she TOLD me). Actually, I was the crapper-plugger in that apartment.

    The Shit Volcano's picture
    Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

    Who knows what evil lurks in the bowels of men? The Toilet knows!

    I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

    Krusty Krapper's picture

    Thank you poon nurse very informative. I always wondered why it would hurt to poop that may be a possible problem for me. Thank you again!

    TheLongestPooMaker's picture

    I have a constipation problem, three days ago I find information about raw Psyllium as a colon cleanser, aka Ispaghol. I had a normal three meals and three tea spoon of Psyllium in a day with lots of water, the other day I had a poo almost two feet long with a healthy diameter, never seen in last 30 years.

    safety shiter(robyn)'s picture

    poopnurse is right ive got IBS and its SHIT you get stumch achs EVERYDAY of your life well it has for me anyway sometimes i wish that i was dead cause of it i would swap with anyone please!!!!!

    Dookie Dog's picture

    ThANK YOU POOPNURSE FOR THE IMFORMATION TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY AND i HAVE i.b.s.! I called my mommy because I'm constipated and she told me to take this stool softner called colace, the last time I took my mothers advice about meds, I almost had a heart attack, she scares me so I'm glad I found your article. I think this i.b.s. stuff comes with age you know, the older you get, anyway I used to pound the alcohol I mean on the average 30 plus 12 ounce beers a day always shit great then I quit drinking it's been fucked since, I would drink but I'm a big guy and a real jerk when I do it, anyway thanks for the advice.

    Tracie's picture

    Thanks so much for this article! I'm 18 and have been diagnosed with IBS and it sucks. My mom's got it too so I'm wondering if it's hereditary. I've also got bipolar disorder with anxiety (I'm having fun here, now aren't I?) so that doesn't help with the IBS. My doctor put me on generic Donnatal for the IBS and told me to take it as needed and it helps a lot. Xanax helps sometimes too. This article was quite, quite informative. Thank you, Poonurse!

    Richard's picture

    I often wonder how many people here smoke. I drag down a pack a day, and of course heavy smoking seems to iritate the colon. And to add on that, I used to down a blunt a day of Mary Jane.... stopped the Jane, kept the Nicotine, and get less exercise. I guess I asked for it.

    tmac's picture

    I've had the great fortune of inheriting both of my parents terrible intestines and was diagnosed with IBS - the constipation kind - a few years ago. After making me go through the rounds of all of the fiber aids (Metemucil, etc which did absolutely nothing!) my doc finally prescribed the laxative Miralax and it has been a mira-cle! (It is a powder that you mix with water or juice...basically it's a plastic that bonds with water and stays this way all through the colon.) No more painful movements or sitting on the john for half an hour - things are nicely softened up and, though there are occasional flareups, life is better!

    Poop Meister's picture

    Poo Nurse - What you described is an actual legitimate part of Sweedish Massage. It is refered to as an Abdominal Massage. A Licensed Massage Therapist will know how to do it. Basically, with the smooth hand motions starting at the Cecum (the lower right part of the Large Intestine) they move upwards to the rib cage, across to the left side, and then down to the sigmoid colon (lower left side), and then across to the right under the navel. This is followed by a massage stroke that is more like a gentle short pushing motion, repeated over and over along the same path that I just described.

    With the correct amount of presure, this can do 2 things - 1) help the large intestine get started in its mechanical motion of churning (to get the poop moving), and 2) actually nudge some of the ppo forward. This is a stimulant and often produces a poop shortly after the massage. In someone with IBS, it can help with consipation, but you must be careful of putting too much pressure on if the person is tender or bloated.

    me's picture

    dont forget to rub your kidneys too. its good for you.

    PooBeeDooBeeDoooo's picture

    IBS is not fun.

    I can remember when I was a little kid, when we went on a trip I'd often feel crappy. It wasn't too debilitating, but sometimes the urge to crap would come on at the most inconvenient times. Other times, it'd cause constipation. Clearly, it was all just stress induced and I knew that was the case just from my own observations. Why else would a guy start to feel sick as soon as he headed out for what ought to be a fun outing?

    So I figured out early on how to cure the problem. You just have to consciously relax. If you're sitting on the crapper, just breathe in slowly through the nose and out slowly through the mouth. Nice and easy. Pretend you're going to sleep. It

    roxi's picture

    IBS sucks.ive had it for 3 yrs,i cry alot from it cos it is hard to handle it.ive tried changing my diet.i get stomach aches everyday, and it is very rarely that i feel 100% well.nothing much seems to help me.if u wanna chat bout IBS cos u suffer it , post bk a reply.
    from rox

    Pooperscooper's picture

    Abdominal massage definitely helps.

    A couple of things I found that make it work even better:

    Get some lotion. You dont need much. Smear a bit on your fingers.

    Kneel down, knees on floor, back straight, elbows on floor. Let your belly relax and hang down.

    Massage your abdomen as Poonurse advised. I advise a firm gentle massage, rather than a digging motion. Think of your belly as your friend in life (hey, it digests food for us, poops for us--if that isnt a friend, no one is).

    You want to produce a firm, soothing massage of your colon, using that bit of lotion on your fingers to make things feel more pleasant.

    As you do this, breathe deeply and gently from your belly. This is a good relaxer. If you do this at bed time and first thing in the morning, and you're drinking enough water and fiber, this should help you poop much better than before.

    Still, IBS is a bitch. I have a shy bowel and it refuses to perform when I am away from home. Almost nothing helps, except industrial strength laxatives. My stepmom knew a guy who could not go on trips longer than 7 days because he couldnt lay a shit unless in his own toilet.

    A researcher named Gershon wrote a book entitled The Second Brain. He and other scientists have found that the gut has an independant network of neuroreceptors--literally a mind of its own.

    Dunno if anyone has ever done a study on this, but I had horrid infant colic as a baby. Could it be possible that people who have colic as infants are more likely to have stress-related colon symptoms as adults? Might be worth investigating.

    Shaun's picture
    m 1+ points - Newb

    I was diagnosed with IBS about 3 weeks ago, so I'm pretty new to all this. There was the thought that I was lactose intolerant. But it turned out that it was something more. WAY more. It's really hard to explain why I'm always on the crapper to my friends without embarassing myself or sounding like a total idiot. I have found that IBS is the condition that no one understands. That's part of why it's so frustrating. If anyone else has been recently diagnosed like me, tell me.

    Kim's picture
    m 1+ points - Newb

    OMG...loved this column! I have been reading endlessly about my newly diagnosed condion..This was the best column I have come across.
    Anyway...I do have a question for you all...
    What is the difference between IBS and Colitis? After the many fun tests one DR says IBS the other says Colitis? The only difference I am reading is Colitis involves bloody stools,everything else is the same as IBS? Also is it normal to treat Colitis with an anti-biotic?(no parasite infection was found) Everyone is saying they have pain on the right or lower side of abdomen. My pain is on the left side, slightly below my rib cage, can sometimes seem like it's my side. I have experienced a massive cramping, not like a usual stomach cramp, but more like I can't move! like a charlie horse cramp. Is this still a IBS symptom??? Also how do female hormones effect this??? My female issues and IBS(?) issues suddenly began at the same time.
    I guess I am not convinced I have IBS..Too many conflicting answers from the DR's
    Any help is appreciated!
    Thanks
    Kim

    britt ney's picture

    well i dunno what have i mixed some alchol and then thre up 3 times and then my stomach has been feeling quezzy or gasy for 4 days now help!! what should i do!?!

    pooooooooooooooop's picture

    ok, i have ibs i think... but im not diagnosed with it. but seriously, if you dont take vitamins you should. i always feel like shit in the stomach when i forget my vitamin but i take womens one a day and it works like all day and helps me feel normal.

    Vanessa's picture

    My ex (Shaun) posted on here. We were going out when he told me about how he was diagnosed. He tried to explain to me what the whole thing was about. I just didn't get it. He got pissed at me for not getting it, so he dumped me (no pun intended). I now can see that IBS is a pretty big problem, especially if your partner has it and you don't get what the fuck they're talking about!

    Can't Poo's picture

    Thank you for this website!!! I've been feeling really sorry for myself after struggling to find ANYTHING whatsoever that has any effect, stumbled across this and it's really cheered me up! Makes a change from "functional gastrointestinal blah blah blah try giving up food you timewasting psycho mer mer mer etc etc" Off to try that massage now...

    ibs hater's picture

    I suffer from the constipation ibs which ain't good. Noone like shit breath blasted into their faces. To help it i really watch my diet. I eat lots of vegetables and fruit, don't eat any bread unless it's wheat free, and drink tons of water. I have to piss a lot, and i still have to shit alot, but it's better out than in. Stress is a big prob for me as well, so i'm getting in to meditation. Also, i make sure i exercise regularly. even going for a walk helps to get the blood flowing and get me pooping. It's funny, so many people must have IBS, but it's so embarrassing noone ever talks about it.

    sickofthisshit's picture

    If you suffer from loose-stool IBS and you have to use a public restroom, it's important to know how to wipe properly and not get fecal matter all over the underside of your genital region and hands, especially given the Soviet-Union-era quality of the toilet paper a lot of public restrooms use.

    People who defecate normally start from in back of the sphincter muscle and wipe forward with the toilet paper. For a LS IBS patient, this will spread fecal matter over too wide an area and get it on your hands. What you need to do is to start just forward of your sphincter, wipe forward just as little a bit as you can manage, and then pinch the toilet paper closed as you remove it from that area. This will get a lot of the "excess" that would otherwise make a horrendous mess. And use as big a rolled-up bunch of TP as you can. Not easy, I know, as those enclosed dispensers in which they put those super-sized rolls makes this a chore and a half. Repeat this process in the same area until there is a lot less fecal matter on the TP than when you did your first wipe. And *then* start wiping directly behind the sphincter in the usual way. Afterward, wipe off the underside of the genital region just forward of the sphincter as best you can. If you have really bad LS IBS, this might not be a perfect answer, but it will be a lot better than what you get with the usual method.

    sickofthisshit's picture

    I almost forgot an important part of the wiping method: after each wipe, you also need to wipe that lower genital region just in front of the sphincter to get any fecal matter that may have been pushed forward, and repeat until the paper comes up mostly clean. You'll have your work cut out for you doing all this wiping while getting the TP out of those awful plastic dispensing cases, so know you will have to be very patient. AND FOR PITY'S SAKE, WASH YOUR HANDS WITH SOAP AND WATER THOROUGHLY AFTER DEFECATING WHETHER YOU HAVE LS IBS OR NOT!!

    Anonymous Coward's picture

    thanks for this wonderful site. I feel it will help me loads as I suffer from constipation type IBS, and its the first site to give me a laugh and get rid of the awful stress I normally suffer, so thank you all you folks for sharing.

    Rogue Shitter's picture

    Wow. I did not realize shit was such a problem. How about untimely shit attacks, like in the middle of the night? I HATE that!

    Medical Condition Vic's picture

    IBS is most definately a pain in the ass.

    True IBS, not stress induced D that lasts a cpl weeks, or a semester, etc, can be caused by other problems

    take me, i have acid reflux AND crohns.
    i had diarhea/heartburn, so i drank 1 bottle of pepto a day. as we all know - pepto-poop = goo. After getting tired of spending a day cleaning my hairy ass after every movement, i talked to a doc.

    4 yrs later, and finally landing a competant dr, i get informed of GERD. take aciphex, still having problems

    1 colonoscopy, 1 barium xray, an endoscopy - im told i have sexy Crohns, in my colon entrance, which gets inflamed, and when it does - my colon tries to purge all contents to get some peace and quiet.

    resulting in what goes in must come out.

    asecol helps - but youll lose a little hair on your body during the start, it doesnt just reappear, but it does seem to grow back.

    you get married to medications though, and can not stray from your schedule. Amitryptaline helps mellow your colon from IBS, but again - you become married. It slows your shit down, but it also slows down your thyroid, so you get syntrhoid to counteract that.

    pooptastic

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