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New member but had IBS for 30 years!


EmmaSegura
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Hi everyone,

My name is Emma. I am 44, originally from the UK but now living in Portugal. I was diagnosed with IBS a long time ago (my symptoms started when I was around 13) and over the years I have seen many specialists. I am now on first name terms with my gastro here in Portugal who has tested me for absolutely everything and found nothing (like many of us I suspect). My IBS seemed to get worse with the onset of the pandemic - stress maybe or age - and now I am suffering so badly. I am going to try peppermint oil and would appreciate any advice on which brands to take (have to be available in Europe) or any other treatments that might help as I really am at my wits end. I have done the FODMAP elimination diet and I know which foods to avoid but to be honest it doesn't help. I eat lactose and gluten free and I limit my fructose as I am also intolerant to that and yet I am super bloated all the time and continue with all the symptoms. It's so frustrating!

Anyway, it's good to find this platform and others who understand what having this condition feels like.

 

Emma


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Jeffrey Roberts

Hi Emma,

So glad you found us so at least you know that you are not alone.

At wits end is a popular expression right now because I used the same expression with my GI doctor recently.

You have suffered with this for a long time. The pandemic stress was certainly hard. One of the good things of the pandemic was that many of us could work from home so that we were closer to our own bathrooms.

Several peppermint brands come to mind, Colpermin, IBgard and Pepogest. Not sure about availability in Portugal.

I can't say that the low FODMAP diet works perfectly for everyone. It is good that you identified some of your triggers.

You didn't say whether you were IBS-D or IBS-C; however, have any of your doctors suggested a low dose of an antidepressant to try and lessen your symptoms? You wouldn't be taking it for depression. It works in small doses to lessen the signalling between your gut and brain which might be helpful.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Jeffrey, thanks for your reply.

I'm IBS-D and I've never considered anti-depressants as I did take them once when I was younger and had bad side effects but if there is a possibility that they might help I would consider them now. I'll ask my gastro in the next appointment.  I managed to get hold of some peppermit capsules yesterday and I'm going to take them for a few weeks now so I'll let you know how it goes. Fingers crossed!

 

Emma

Edited by EmmaSegura
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Jeffrey Roberts

Fingers crossed Emma!

The antidepressants that are typically taken for IBS-D are tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and desipramine. They have anti-cholinergic properties that slow down the bowel and reduce abdominal pain. It can take 4-6 weeks for it to take effect once you start the medication. SSRI anti-depressant medications are not for IBS-D. They often cause diarrhea which isn't what you want.

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