Posted by: desperate | 2008/06/08


Hi Doc

In 2006 I was diagnosed with IBS after having excruating cramp-type pain in the colon area. It only occurred on my left side and didnt last long but kept coming back. After my specialist surgeon (he specialises in GI cases) did a colonoscopy he confirmed IBS and put me at the time onto Zelnorm 2 a day for 3mths. The pain vanished. He also diagnosed my haemmorhoids problem a few years prior to that. I recently went to my gynae for my annual check-up and that pain came back while I was in his rooms, he checked for gynae-related problems and said that side was fine but said I was so badly constipated this probably had a lot to do with my pain. He gave me Dulcolax and Glycerine supps to use (I have only used them a couple of times) and Movicol (I went on 28/5) - I finished the box and my gp suggested I go back to my Fybogel 2 a day (I have used it before). I think my stomach is slowly coming right, but for heavens sake how many boxes of this stuff do I have to take? This surely shows how bad I was?!My question is I know how important fruit and vegs and drinking water is for regular bowel movement, but what else can I eat (apart from high fibre bran!). I dont really know all the things with high fibre. I am trying to switch to brown bread instead of white. My haemmorhoids problem has also been playing up at the moment.

I would appreciate any advice you might have. Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Desperate
I am sorry to hear that your IBS is giving you such problems. Some patients have to use Fybogel for very long periods of time to normalise their bowel function. This is a better option than using harsh laxatives that damage the normal function of the bowels.
Two of the most important factors in IBS are a lack of dietary fibre and stress. To increase your dietary fibre intake and obtain tips about this condition, click on ‘Diet’, ‘You are what you eat’ and “Healthy GI tract’. Probiotics are also often helpful and you can consider using products such as LP 299V (buy at chemist) that also promote normal bowel movements. If you suffer from flatulence and bloating, you will have to experiment with the foods you eat that may cause problems with a spastic colon (raw onions, garlic, cucumber, green peppers, very spicy foods and condiments, gas-cold drinks, fruits that contain pips such as guavas, figs, etc). This is often an individual reaction and you will have to keep a food diary to see what foods cause this problem and then cut them out. If you find that this is a problem for you, please consult a clinical dietitian who will work out a specific diet for your condition. (Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area).
To relieve stress I would recommend that you should learn relaxing techniques, how to do deep breathing exercises and some form of physical exercise which is also relaxing, such as yoga. Going for brisk walks in the fresh air also helps to relieve tension. Most exercise also helps to combat constipation.
Best regards

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: pp | 2008/06/08

Hi you sound just like me. I began to look like a fruit and veg shop i ate that much but to no avail. Then I found a web site that detailed the fibre in each fruit and veg and I realised that I was not eating enough of the right kind hense it did not help. So also fed up I just went to the shop and brought a packet of bran and take a desert spoonfull every day with my cereal , fibre ban and I would say I'm 90% cured. I suffered for many years so cannot expect to come right in a week but the difference is fantastic. I even have a flat stomach. It could work for you but just make sure you drink a lot of water. Hope it helps.

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