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Antibiotic induced IBS D


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Hello everyone,

I'm a 64 yr old woman who was dx with IBS D probably about 30 years ago after a bout of diarrhea with blood in mucus. My gastroenterologist did a colonoscopy at the time and based his dx on a clean colonoscopy and my symptoms. I should add that I have a lot of anxiety issues also. Symptoms came and went over the decades, resolving themselves over about 1-2 weeks, sometimes with Lomotil, sometimes Imodium.


About 24 yrs ago, after a bad case of food poisoning and right in the middle of dealing with my late daughter's brain cancer, I developed an anal fistula (OMG, what awful timing) which required a fistulotomy. About 9 years ago, I developed an abcess in the same location which was successfully treated in office.

Fast forward to now-- I developed yet another fistula in the same spot which was surgically repaired Nov. 17. Here's the issue: the surgeon had me on 500mgs of Cipro 2x a day and I'm not sure how many mgs of Flagyl 3x a day for 10 days before the surgery and 5 days after. My bowels went into overdrive 3 days into the antibiotic course and haven't let up since. I've been off the drugs for almost 2 weeks now and I'm still pooping up to 15x a day, mostly semi solid or loose stool with LOTS of mucus. The mucus is now pink or clear with red streaks of blood in it. Thankfully I had my regular colonoscopy in late June, so I know my colon is ok. I've also had upper GI'S done about 5 years ago after a spell of diarrhea with blood in mucus to rule out Crohn's. It was normal. 

I had stool cultures run last week and they were negative for toxins/parasites and they couldn't do the C Diff culture because that required liquid only, which I don't have-- just the loose mucus stuff. 

Gastroenterologist says to take Imodium 1 tab 2x a day and Align probiotic. I'm so depressed and frightened. I KNOW it was the high dose antibiotic regime that kicked this off, but how do I slow my gut down and stop this mucus with blood? Having had surgery in and around my anus 2 1/2 weeks ago complicates things, but I'm so sad, frustrated and scared. Please help if you can offer words of encouragement! Thank you so much!

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Jeffrey Roberts

I'm so sorry to read your story and what you have endured for so many years.

It does seem like you have antibiotic associated diarrhea (AAD) and likely a C Diff infection. My daughter went through a C Diff infection this year and they were able to test semi-solid stools. I strongly suggest you get tested again and perhaps take it to a different lab. Imodium might slow things down, but then if it is infectious, that could get much worse. If you develop terrible abdominal pain with a rigid bowel sensation (distention) and/or a high fever then you should go to emergency as it could be toxic megacolon or even sepsis.

I'm sorry to be so dramatic, but I'm worried given your history.


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