Warning: Gross medical question about stomach issues

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    35 is a mess, as you all know. But now he is driving to Urgent Care because of an ongoing stomach problem he has had since the middle of the custody battle. He gets extreme pain in his stomach and sometimes goes to the bathroom and sometimes can't. (WARNING: GROSS FACTOR NOW!) When he does go it is pure water. I told him to go to ER and not Urgent Care, but he claims he doesn't want to be in debt, he is trying to build his credit, so off to Urgent Care he goes. He thinks it may be an ulcer.

    Anyone here venture a layman's guess? I think it's caused by nerves and may be IBS. We have horrible stomachs in our family and he is the most nervous person in our family (and that's saying a lot).
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That is NOT an ulcer.

    IBS... maybe. Could be any number of other bowel issues.

    What is he doing for self-care? Severe case of the "runs" can dehydrate you quickly. BRAT might help, especially the first three (bananas, rice, applesauce)... if IBS or celiac is a possibility, then toast isn't the best thing to be having.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Anxiety........highly probable. IBS possible.

    If he is still drinking.........well, I've known a large amount of drinking to do such things to people. And if he has IBS issues, drinking would greatly intensify it.

    Ulcer does not cause diarrhea. I'd imagine if that were the case his first trip to urgent care would have given him the diagnosis as well as antibiotics to treat it.

    My bet? Most likely severe anxiety.
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would guess it is anxiety related or IBS. Ulcers would cause the liquid bowels. When I had an incarcerated colon last year I had lower abdominal pain and explosive liquid bowel movements. There is a difference between stomach pain, abdominal pain, and intestinal pain.....

    Hope by now he has a few answers.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, he is back from Urgent Care and the doctor said it was IBS. I've had this and it's not fun, but I did try to control it with proper food and lifestyle choices. I know he won't give up alcohol or chewing tobacco (isn't this a horrible habit? He has such an addictive personality that he did it once on a dare and is hooked. Yuk!). Anyhow, I'm assuming both are bad for stomach. He did mention eating less junk food, which would help.

    Thanks to all who responded. Now he knows; now it's on him. I don't have to worry.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have IBS and in the last few years it has been misery and pain. I flat out refuse to do another endoscopy or colonoscopy because it took six months after the endoscopy for my system to be close to regular and a full year after the lower end scoping (imagine never having even five days with-o diarrhea AND constipation that alternate for an 6 mos to an entire YEAR even with medicine, yuck!). It has been awful. Even a bad flu can give months of problems.

    There ARE things that can help. I strongly suggest he add fiber to his diet. He wants psyllium fiber because it does not ferment in the system like other types. He can get it in a capsule or tablet at the store and it will help regardless of what the IBS is doing. It will absorb the excess fluid of diarrhea and it will add bulk and ease the constipation. He MUST drink a full 8 oz glass of liquid with each tablet, preferably water or juice but anything at hand will help.

    One thing that has helped me through the years is to keep cereal like frosted mini wheats on hand. I eat them dry, always have, and it managed mine for 15 years without any other medications needed. They are a great snack, crunchy, slightly sweet but not too, and filling. Granola also helps, as do other cereals. I have even done snack mix using unfrostedmini wheats and chexs etc... and the spices from chex mix or even taco seasoning to help a friend who craved salty snacks but could not handle the grease from chips. I used a small amount of olive oil to mix with the seasonings. He said it helped a lot and was a way to get the fiber he needed and avoid snacks that caused problems. Maybe a care package of some high fiber treats from mom (NOT marked high fiber, lol) would help. He should also try the various fiber bars that are available now. Fiber is one of the best ways to help with this.

    There ARE medications that help. One that might be good is donnatol. My mom used to give it to me as a kid when I got sick and my doctor gave it to me a few years ago. It is a mix of 4 medications and can be helpful. Another rx medication is levbid, generic name hyoscyamine (sp?), and it is very helpful. It relaxes the smooth muscles in the gut, but you have to take it only as directed because it can cause blurred vision if you take more than rx'd or are very sensitive. It relaxes the smooth muscles in your eyes and temporarily can blur your vision. It is actually very safe, in fact they rx'd it for colic for J when she was a baby.

    Tell him to avoid immodium like the PLAGUE. It is one of the WORST things you can do for IBS. It will only make things worse. It provides a temporary stop to the release, but it will build up pressure in the gut, causing cramping, and the waste will only get hard and then liquid waste will end up passing around the overly solid stool. My reg doctor and both my gastro doctor and my mom's gastro doctor ALL say taht immodium should be taken off the market because it makes the entire situation much much worse and it draws it out. If there is infection and you take immodium, you get much worse. If you have IBS it adds to the spasms that cause the pain and it can keep your body from being able to try to help heal itself.

    One thing that helps but few people think of it is to take mucinex. It is an expectorant and people with IBS generally have a lot of mucus in their waste. It can get thick and cause problems but mucinex does end up making it less sticky and problematic.

    If he drinks water, have him think of the source. Even for coffee and brushing his teeth, suggest he use distilled water or a brita type filter pitcher. He should NOT NOT NOT use the type of filter that attaches to the faucet. Those filters are fine until they get clogged. Once they are clogged they then start sending out the stuff they filtered into your water and you get a double or triple dose until you change the filter. The pitcher filters are easier to keep track of how much water goes through them. You don't really know how much water you use through each faucet so you don't know when to change the filter on the faucet mounted systems. If he buys water, he needs distilled water, which is purified more than just bottled water. Bottled water can be tap water from anywhere so you don't know what or how much of the minerals etc... are in the water. someone here suggested that to me, I think it was IC or maybe TM, and it was very helpful.

    I hope some of this helps. It is no fun to endure this. There really isn't much the ER will or can do for diarrhea other than to give you some antispasmodics and really they don't use them much. been there done that a couple of times a year for the last 2-3 years after I get a flu bug of any kind.

    Does he have indigestion with it? Nasty tasting burps, cramps, etc???? If so, I have recommendations for that also. First of all, he needs to start taking lansoprozole or omeprazole (prevacid or prilosec respectively). They are OTC and under $20 for 3 courses of medications with 14 days in each course. The directions say to talk to the doctor, but every doctor I have ever had says you can take it for long term with no problems unless your other medications interact. I have taken one or the other for many, many years, and so has Jess. These will shut down the acid producing pumps in the system so there is less acid to bother him. Gas X (simethicone) is also very safe, effective and inexpensive. Two bottles of 72 gelcaps are about $7 here. Charco caps, capsules of activated charcoal that you take with lots of water, absorb problems like acid etc..., is not absorbed by your body, and is incredibly helpful, esp if you have the sour or sulphur burps that taste so awful. If you don't drink enough liquid, you may burp charcoal powder, which can be a tad disconcerting but generally won't be a problem. You will also have black waste for a few days after you take it, but only because the charcoal is coming out of you and it is black. He may want to consider taking acidophilus tablets as an imbalance of the bacteria in the gut can cause or contribute hugely to these problems. Price doesn't make them better, so look for active cultures and store it in the fridge after you open it.

    An rx medication for problems in the stomach, esp ulcers and irritation/cramping, that is amazing is carafate. Generic is sucralfate and most places only have the tablets in generic, not the liquid. The liquid isn't made by many generic medication companies, but the tablets are easy to find and most pharmacies have it on hand. Sucralfate is also taken with a full glass of liquid and it forms a protective barrier over the lining of the stomach so that food, acid, etc.... doesn't hurt. It has been a miracle for me. You do take it before or after food and other medications because otherwise it won't coat the stomach well. It doesn't react iwth many medications, and the body doesn't absorb much of it. It can keep medications from absorbing properly, so taking it as directed before or after other medications is important.

    I hope one or more of these things helps. I have battled this since I was 14 or so and have tried lots of things for it. Anxiety truly does make it vastly worse, and medications truly can make a big difference as can diet (esp fiber). If he hates whole grain bread, brown rice, etc...., the fiber bars really do help and so do the other things i suggested. I can give you easy recipes for snack mix (sweet or spicy/salty), granola and other high fiber things that don't taste like health food. I know he stresses you out, but a care package of some of these might help him find some sources that he likes and make him feel better/more loved with-o you having to directly talk to him. Of course I know he is well loved by you, but in his anxiety he likely forgets.

    Let me know if you want recipes, ideas, etc...
  7. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Pumpkin. Because it is rich in fiber (and whatever else is in there), pumpkin often helps with upset on either end of the spectrum. It has to be real pumpkin though, not just pumpkin bread or something. One or two tablespoons of pumpkin, or a piece of pumpkin pie every day, is worth trying.

    Yogurt. Especially if he gets the kind specifically for rebalancing intestinal flora, yogurt may help him very much. It will take a few days, once he begins the yogurt regimen. The bacteria in yogurt that is so helpful can also be purchased, in pill form, in any health food store.

    Poor 35. I wish him well.

  8. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    they told my girlfriend that she had IBS and she was in terrible pain everyday. SHe had colonoscopy, endo, gall bladder removed and then found a kidney stone, and removed it surgically and has never had another problem, with bowel issues or cramping since. Just a thought.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The bacteria in yogurt is the acidophilus I mentioned. It can be any of the yogurts that has live/active cultures. It doesn't have to be the ones specially marketed for tummy troubles. That is a HUGE money maker because they charge so much more for the yogurts but actually any yogurt will do. Plain is actually best, but flavored will work.

    Pumpkin IS helpful. Pumpkin bread will help some, but not as much as other things made with pumpkin. If possible, buying canned pumpkin and not the canned pie filling is far more helpful. The canned pumpkin pie filling is not nearly as helpful because of the sugar and other things. I make pumpkin pie filling and rather than pouring it into a crust, I put it in a baking dish. I mix a yellow cake mix with a stick of melted butter and put that on top of the filling. I bake a 9X13 pan with two fo the big cans of pumpkin made into filling for about an hour, until the toothpick comes out clean. It is a lot easier than pie crust and tastes wonderful. Plus the pumpkin is super helpful.

    Ginger also helps the tummy. Just cut the fresh ginger root into thin slices and steep in water with or with-o a tea bag. Or try capsules from the vitamin aisle but they don't work as well. Ginger candy is more effective than the capsules, in my opinion. Make sure it has real ginger, like ginger altoids or hard candy like "gingies".

    Herbal tea helps also. This will sound super odd, but catnip tea might do amazing things. I gave it to thank you when he had colic as an infant and it worked far better than anything else we tried. I have recommended it to lots of people, and once they try it, every one says it is incredible. I have used ti when my stomach is out of whack and it helps a TON.