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??? Dangers of Immodium ???
      #21903 - 09/28/03 11:24 PM
Tim G

Reged: 08/07/03
Posts: 95
Loc: NSW, Australia

Hi All,

I am in a desperate quandry at present and need to get back into the office. For the past three months, with the exception of about 6-8 days, I have been forced to work from home due to my IBS-D symptoms.

Everyday I get up and go through the motions of preparing for work, only to be tripped at the last hurdle of leaving by crippling IBS attacks. I know my body is giving me a pretty obvious hint here, but I am now getting pressure from my boss to get back into the office on a 'more frequent' basis...yeah like it's that easy !!!

Following some earlier suggestions I was toying with the idea of dosing up on immodium as soon as I wake up in the hope that I can get through the 1 hour commute.

I have two concerns here...the first is that when I tried Immodium melts a few weekends back it took 6 tablets following the prescribed doses to arrest the symptoms long enough for me to get home. Secondly, I spoke to my doctor today about the implications of taking this over a prolonged period...I was horrified when he told me that it should not be used long-term as it could completely arrest bowel function altogether essentially leaving me with a dead colon...is this true?

I am 100% certain that, in my case, the IBS started through a high level of work stress. I also believe that, as a result of a few near misses from IBS attacks on the train I have developed an anxiety which is fuelling the attacks.

I am soon going to start some counselling around the anxiety component, but would be interested to know...

How do other D-sufferers cope with commuting to work etc?

How many of you have been forced to give up or change career as a result of this illness?

Thanks and best regards
Tim


--------------------
Tim

-A poor man's Jamie Oliver...without the attitude!

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Re: ??? Dangers of Immodium ??? new
      #21906 - 09/29/03 03:47 AM
*Melissa*

Reged: 02/22/03
Posts: 4508
Loc: ;

Hi Tim - sorry you're having such a tough time.

Here's everything that I've done to help my IBS-D:

1. Follow Heather's diet. (Of course )

2. Exercise in the morning. I find for me that if I exercise in the am, it 'gets things moving' and I usually can go with plenty of time, and not right as I'm going out the door. I have not been feeling quite right the past few weeks, and realized that I haven't kept up with my exercise since I was on vacation back in July. I think this is a big part, because when I got back into exercising back in February, I noticed a huge improvement in my IBS-D.

3. I take one calcium supplement a day for the binding effect of calcium.

4. Citrucel 2 T, 2x a day.

5. Levsinex (anti-spasmotic) prescribed by my doctor as needed.

6. Listened to the IBS Audio 100 program.

All that combined has helped me tremendously. Has helped with the D, urgency, and anxiety. I hope something there can help you too.

In the beginning of this year, I could barely stand the to drive to work, which only takes me about 7 minutes - I can't even imagine having to go through that on a train! Now, I almost never have problems going anywhere. I may still get a little nervous, but I can usually manage it and it goes away. I honestly can't remember the last time I didn't go somewhere, because I was afraid I was going to have an attack.

Oh - and I never heard of the problems of taking Imodium long-term. Maybe Heather or someone else will have some info on that for you.

Hope you find some relief soon.

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Re: ??? Dangers of Immodium ??? new
      #21907 - 09/29/03 04:14 AM
skywalker

Reged: 09/08/03
Posts: 38
Loc: CT USA

Hey Tim,

Sorry to hear you have it so bad. I only get it on average once a month sometimes up to 3 or 4. I also have the D. I am an airline pilot and yes i feel your pain on the D and no bathroom for extended periods. I used to fly the 19 seat no bathroom commuter planes for 1 to 1 1/2 hour legs yuck. A couple of times had an interesting hefty bag story in the cargo hold. Not fun. Yes this could easily effect my career. I have pu in so much time, money, education, and effort to get where i am an i can't imagine starting over. Hopefully i can get it under control. As for the imodium i can't say i used it only in extreme conditions but i don't have it as bad as you do. the diet(only four weeks in)seems to be working, listen to mags on the exercise. i have a friend in our boat and she does about 50 sit ups per day. this helps in relaxing the muscles. not bad for the abs either.

Hopefully you can get things under control. I won't know for another few months how things are really going. I also take the calcium but to a day about 1200mg, two packets of citrucel per day, lots of water although not what i should take, and i stick pretty much to the diet. no dairy, meat etc.

Good luck and hope you find your solution.

--------------------
Luke
<><

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Re: ??? Dangers of Immodium ??? new
      #21977 - 09/29/03 01:14 PM
HeatherAdministrator

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7795
Loc: Seattle, WA

Hi Tim - You are just going through so much lately and struggling so, this is one of those times I really wish I could hug someone through my computer.

Mags and Luke gave great advice, and I know you're already following much of it. Immodium, from all I've read, is actually safe to take long term. It's Lomotil you have to watch out for. There's drug info about anti-diarrheals in the First Year book excerpted here web page and a drug chart here web page

You could also search google for immodium and get some great info. I'm trying to add more of this type of information to the glossary for folks - that's coming soon.

Also, I'm nagging Will to answer your fatty liver post. He's been swamped, though finally over his bad cold, so hopefully he'll get back to you this week.

xxoo
Heather

--------------------
Heather is the Administrator of the IBS Message Boards. She is the author of Eating for IBS and The First Year: IBS, and the CEO of Heather's Tummy Care. Join her IBS Newsletter. Meet Heather on Facebook!

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Re: ??? Dangers of Immodium ??? new
      #21986 - 09/29/03 03:15 PM
Linz

Reged: 09/01/03
Posts: 8242
Loc: England

Hi Tim

I also have IBS-d and found it made commuting pretty awful.

My doc told me that taking too much Immodium (the drug's actual name is Loperamide), especially at once, can be really bad for IBS. It can give you extra tummy pains and sometimes just throw you the other way to IBS-c. Just have a look for the story someone posted about having to go the ER with a completely packed up colon!

However, what my doc's done is put me on daily Loperamide tablets, but at a lower dose than you get with over-the-counter Immodium. I've found this has worked really well controlling my d and letting me get on with my life without any adverse effects. Also, as I'm on a really low dose, I can just take more tablets if I need it.

Talk to your doc about this! Hope this helps.

Linz

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Re: ??? Dangers of Immodium ??? new
      #21987 - 09/29/03 03:21 PM
Tim G

Reged: 08/07/03
Posts: 95
Loc: NSW, Australia

Thanks all for your suggestions, and thanks for the 'virtual hug' Heather (I could certainly use one about now!!)

Yeah it's been a really tough time recently, but I am sure I will come through it. I think the thing that is really churning me up at present is the whole work-thing. My wife and I bought a new house last year and to suddenly be faced with the prospect of either having to look at lower paid options, which could cause some real problems, or worst case having to give up working altogether is a real concern.

Mags, I liked your idea about exercising first thing in the morning. My only real concern there is that I already get up at six am to get to the office, but I guess another half hour or so won't kill me...I will give it a try!! (I am exercising anyway at present, but its typically in the evening)

It doesn't sound very nice I know, but when I get grief from people at work I really wish they could live a week in the life of an IBS sufferer...then they might be a little more tolerant!!

Listen, I really appreciate all the support and suggestions guys and hope that I can get things stabilised soon.

All the best
Tim

--------------------
Tim

-A poor man's Jamie Oliver...without the attitude!

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Re: ??? Dangers of Immodium ??? new
      #21992 - 09/29/03 03:55 PM
*Melissa*

Reged: 02/22/03
Posts: 4508
Loc: ;

Tim - I know what you mean about getting up in the morning - ESPECIALLY to exercise! Yuck!!! But, I had my first attack on Saturday since January, so with that fresh in my mind, I got my butt out of bed at 5:30 am this morning. No, I am not a morning person. I pretty much have to literally roll out of my bed and throw myself on the floor. At this point, my dog gets riled up and there's no going back, so she's a help!

One other thing about the am exercise is you know it's done and out of the way, so you can enjoy the rest of your day. It reminds me of when I was little and my parents used to make me eat green beans (I gag just thinking about them. ), I used to eat them first so I could enjoy the rest of my meal.

I hope something helps you soon. Keep us posted on how you make out.

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Re: ??? Dangers of Immodium ??? new
      #21994 - 09/29/03 04:03 PM
peaches

Reged: 09/28/03
Posts: 1183
Loc: Fort Wayne, Indiana

Hi. I had the same question as you, and I had an appointment with the doctor today, so while there I asked him about taking Immodium every morning. He said that doing this is fine, but that you shouldn't take it every single day of your life. So you can tak it in the weekdays, but on weekends don't take it and just relax. Hope this helps!!

--------------------
It comes down to the art of living on [color/red]

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Re: ??? Dangers of Immodium ??? new
      #21996 - 09/29/03 04:30 PM
suzyq

Reged: 05/22/03
Posts: 630
Loc: Northern Ont. Canada

Hi, I too asked my Dr. about immodium and he said take when I feel needed. Last week I supplied as a teacher 2 days in a row, so I took immodium 2 days in a row,1 each day. I wait until I have my bm's then take 1 or 2.This is just precautionary. I agree with Peaches,try it every second day and none on weekends. Myself when I do take immodium one day, I usually find that the next day I only have 1 or 2 bm's which to me is heaven as I usually on any given day, is about 5-8 bm's. Ask your dr. about immodium (Lopermide) and see what he says. Hoping your feeling better.

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Re: ??? Dangers of Immodium ??? new
      #22000 - 09/29/03 04:57 PM
Ang

Reged: 09/22/03
Posts: 44


Hi Tim,

I also have IBS-D and find it hard to drive the 20 minutes to work somedays! I try to get up every morning at least 15-20 minutes early. This helps me to relax and I don't feel so rushed. Before I leave I make some peppermint tea and bring it with me in the car. Then I turn up the radio and try to focus on positive things - once I start to worry about something, that's what'll get me into trouble!

Hopefully you can take some advice from everyone and find something that works!

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Re: ??? Dangers of Immodium ??? new
      #22007 - 09/29/03 05:31 PM
Karin

Reged: 02/11/03
Posts: 483
Loc: Southern California

Have you tried Calcium 600+ D????? That binds your stools up while giving you much needed calcium. It works for me and many others that have tried it. I take one 600mg pill with breakfast and then one with dinner. Everyone is different, you can take 3 a day if you feel the need. 3 constipates me, 2 is just right. Try it. You can get a generic, just make sure it's Calcium Carbonate.

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Re: ??? Dangers of Immodium ??? new
      #22022 - 09/29/03 06:12 PM
Chris

Reged: 02/12/03
Posts: 30
Loc: Kansas

Hey,
I feel bad for you about the work situation. My IBS came up during my Freshman year of High school, I missed about 70 days of school during my last 3 months at school, I had the principle telling my mother day after day, your son needs to come to school more. Thank God for the Charter School. About the Imodium, my doctor told me I could take 16 a day, she didn't recommend it but she said I could, she also said it was fine to take Imodium long term. Hope your situation improves soon.

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Re: ??? Dangers of Immodium ??? new
      #22024 - 09/29/03 06:29 PM
louise

Reged: 02/05/03
Posts: 836
Loc: canada

I was on lomotil(pre ibs.diet) and had no problems. I had it only once a day and my doc said that was fine. I took it fair,y often, sometimes, twice a day. No serious side affects at all.

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Re: ??? Dangers of Immodium ??? new
      #22030 - 09/29/03 08:30 PM
paintlady

Reged: 02/10/03
Posts: 95
Loc: Columbia, CA

Hi Tim,
I also have IBS-D with years of struggle with it, many years couldn't work then tried Imodium and I was able to work for a few years. I didn't have Heather's books back then and lived on bland diet with fat!!! was trying to keep from loosing more and more weight, not knowing I wasn't helping myself diet wise, anyway I took Imodium during the week and not on weekends for 3 years straight. As my body adjusted to the dosage I had to add more and more it made me less alert, that scared me, I drove to work every morning.
So I quit my job.
Now I have a tip I use- works most of the time.
I eat 2-3 hours before I have to leave the house. Most of my IBS-D problems happen in that timeframe each morning.And take Oyster shell Calcium 600mgs 1 pill with each of the 3 main meals. exercise before breakfast.
If don't get up in time to do an exercise program I turn on soft music and do 5 minutes of easy stretching to get the kinks out then 5 minutes of deep breathing meditation.
When I'm away from home and feel stressed I drop into a few minutes of deep breathe meditation and press the web between thumb and pointing finger(do a Search acupressure by shawneric) this helps my stomach relax.
Remember were all here for you, and know what your going through.
Be good to yourself.
Paintlady

Edited by paintlady (09/29/03 08:39 PM)

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Thanks Everyone for all your support and suggestions - nt new
      #22130 - 09/30/03 04:49 PM
Tim G

Reged: 08/07/03
Posts: 95
Loc: NSW, Australia



--------------------
Tim

-A poor man's Jamie Oliver...without the attitude!

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Re: Thanks Everyone for all your support gestions - nt new
      #22381 - 10/03/03 11:06 AM
britsarah

Reged: 02/16/03
Posts: 253
Loc: United Kingdom

Tim,
Just to add a bit more...
I try not to take imodium as I find it will constipate me too much, then set me off on a spiral of alternating diarrhea then constipation. Having said that, I'm relying on it at the moment as I have started a new job that involves erratic travelling eg 2 hours in a car, or 3 hours in a train. I find a train better as at least there are bathrooms on it unlike when you're stuck in traffic LOL!
Perhaps try taking the imodium the night before, as this gives it a chance to work preventatively(sp?)


--------------------
Sarah

Looking for inspiration...

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Re: ??? Dangers of Immodium ??? new
      #22566 - 10/06/03 01:43 PM
Pezz

Reged: 10/06/03
Posts: 10
Loc: NYC

Hey Tim....wow this sounds familiar I have to ride the subway (NYC) everyday to work and its a 15-20 min ride....30 on crowded days. it used to be a nightmare. panic attacks would hit me....or else i'd just be worried out of my mind and hence...would be sick. it didn't seem to matter how early i got up...the D would hit me about 10mins before i was ready to head out the door to work.

i also took imodium a lot. it got me through school when i moved to NYC. but it got to where it started a yucky cycle of C then the D would come back, i'd take more and the C was with me for days. just not good. but it was the only thing that worked to cork me up...so i took it almost everday at one time.

now that i'm on anti-anxiety drugs i don't take imodium anymore. i'm fine most days out of the week....i still have to eat sane b/c my stomach is just sensitive in general. i hope you find a solution....some of the advice here sounds great. high stress does indeed fuel bad attacks tho....i've been job-hunting for 1.5yrs now and the stress got to me so badly by spring of this year i was *seriously* plagued by ibs-d problems daily. i could barely function. i was lucky i had a temp job with a friend (still do) and it's not high-stress.

exercise in the morning can help....i'm in such a stupid good mood after i workout it helps keep my stomach relaxed too. good luck!

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