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My mom has Ibs-d, she takes linzess, she has had multiple tests and doctors say nothing else is wrong. I know she has always had attacks every few months, normally she is alone and handles it. This time, I am here, and I do not wish this on anyone. She made it to the bathroom the first time, but she didn't make it the 2nd time. She says she is SUPER WEAK, is that common when having an attack? She is 56. How long do these last? Its been about 29 hours since the first bowel movement. I just feel so bad, I read online unless there is blood in stool or severely dehydrated [which I am afraid of, i keep having her drink a little water every hour] there isn't much the hospital will do. This has to be so emotionally and physically draining on the person and family. Thanks for listening, just needed to vent and try to get some clarification. 

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First of all, I'm glad you are there for your Mom. You mentioned ibs-d, but the medicine linzess is for constipation., so I am just trying to understand what is going on. From reading what you wrote it almost sounds like both. In any event, if you have time, please clarify. I have had ibs-c for most of my life. Even if I can't help, just know that my heart is with you. 

I will check back to see if you updated.

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Dear HearToLearn,

Yes, living with IBS can be emotionally, socially, and physically challenging no matter what the doctors say about it "only being IBS." From what you're describing your mother probably exhibits both forms of IBS, IBS-c and IBS-d. She probably takes the linzess when she is experiencing more of the constipation at the time.  Dealing with an IBS flare or extended flare can be difficult. 

Let's take it in steps to get to a better place.

1) Let's be grateful we're alive. - your mom and you.

2) Yes, these things can be embarrassing, but they don't have to be between you and your mom. Make her feel comfortable. It maybe challenging for you, wear a surgical mask if there are issues around her flare ups, but be there. Hold her hand, and reassure her she's loved regardless, and that you'll both find a way through. (I did, and she can too). Knowing there's someone on your side helps a lot, especially since stress and anxiety is part of the cause of some IBS distress.

3) What's going on in this situation?- Well, I don't know 100% b/c I'm not her, and don't have the full back story. But, from what you stated, it seems that she is having a "bad episode" at the moment.  I'm not a doctor. But I can tell you my experience of something that maybe very similar. When my IBS was bad, I used to oscillate between constipation and diarrhea sometimes within hours, sometimes in a few days. This could play out for a few weeks actually (when it was really bad). 

-What I learned from my oscillating between constipation and diarrhea:

I learned that my intestinal system was not stable at all.

What you mentioned about how your mom didn't make it the second time, suggests a "spastic" colon, and that was her effect at that moment. 

The linzess may  help with the constipation, but it may have also caused a stronger reaction in the reverse direction (diarrhea). 

I've also had experience with this too but not with linzess. In my case, Loperamide HCL (antidiarrhea) would cause  me to constipate if I had more than 1 in 24 hrs, and my stools would be very difficult even with just 1 pill. -- Point is--- regulatiry, balance. In both cases, your mom's and mine, we're moving too far along a see-saw.

I would look for more gentle natural laxatives to help her constipation instead of a medicated one. That way we move more gently on the see-saw and we don't push it to diarrhea so quickly. Well, one that is medicated, that is gentle is Miralax (but you're not supposed to take long-term).

Natural ones include things with: rhubarb rhoot, or marshmalow root. I've used Healthforce "Intestinal Movement" for gentle help. Some people do well with Metamucil (I couldn't it, gave me gas). Some people can tolerate fiber pills, if she can you can do that (do a few only, not too many). 

My current regimen is drinking a spinach smoothie every morning (with pea protein). I ensure my daily fiber gets my  bowels moving in a regular manner. That should be the long-term goal, a daily fiber intake (a fiber that doesn't cause her side effects like gas or discomfort) that creates regularity in her system.

These things take time. You have to remain positive and follow the track. But with a good, small amount of fiber daily, in a few days she should see improvement. Best of luck!


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