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Vitamins & IBS

(27 Posts)
Katymac Thu 19-Nov-15 20:53:05

I have had IBS for years; the only thing that works is a very strict FODMAP diet (which limits what I eat)

So I take supplements - today I found one of my iron tablets passed through undigested

So my taking vitamins plan is flawed......what do I do now?

Clarella Thu 19-Nov-15 21:06:00

Could you take liquid forms?

Dontlaugh Thu 19-Nov-15 21:20:35

There is an injectable form of iron. It is more expensive, so GPs less likely to offer it.
There is also iron infusions, but time consuming. On the plus side, there are options other than the oral ones. Speaking as an IBS sufferer also, I found the injections fantastic.

Katymac Thu 19-Nov-15 22:01:54

Liquid may be the way to go- I can't see my GP cooperating with injectionssad

I'd just balanced everything so it wasn't setting my IBS off & now I'll have to start again

Dontlaugh Thu 19-Nov-15 22:09:42

But if you are passing the oral tablet forms undigested, then there are clinical grounds for requesting a review of your options. I would mention that next appointment. In those words. And then I would request a blood test, specifically for iron levels. Hb levels. So you have a base to work off.
You could always drink red wine! Amazingly a few glasses a week got my iron levels up when nothing else worked. I think about 4 glasses a week did it.

Katymac Thu 19-Nov-15 22:14:09

My iron was 9.9 at my last test (2/3 weeks ago) - the range is 2.7-15 so it's slap bang in the middle

But at that point my guts were behaving themselves (only going 4-6 times a day vs 12+ probably due to my B12 injection) so I guess the tablets were being digested

But for the last week or so I'm bad again (goodness knows what slipped in this time) so I'll be down again

It's the inconsistency of it, I can hardly test & supplement like a diabetic does

Katymac Thu 19-Nov-15 22:15:34

Sorry I'm a bit down about it atm

Dontlaugh Thu 19-Nov-15 22:38:23

Of course, it is normal to be down about this. Are you still on B12 injections? They make a big difference.
I am not a medic, BTW, just someone who has been through this.
9.9 is ok, not great but tolerable. If you were pregnant or have another condition then that may change the outlook.
Are you either of those?
I suggest another appt with GP, reiterate the lack of absorption of iron and request an alternative. Failing that, a complete review.

Katymac Thu 19-Nov-15 22:43:41

Sorry you only have half the tale; I have CFS & FM as well as IBS

The B12 will be stopping as my blood result was 1808 hmm

I think there is a massive absorption problem due to or caused by the IBS

The GP thinks I'm depressed and won't consider a referral to anyone - I saw a private Gastro on Monday who said basically no more B12 (& to be fair I am having overdose side effects for it - but it makes me feel so much bloody better)

Katymac Thu 19-Nov-15 22:45:10

I don't think they can accept the debilitating effect going to the loo so many times a day can have, on my diet, on my energy level, on my mood or on my day to day life

megletthesecond Thu 19-Nov-15 22:49:39

Having to live your life around your bowels and going to the toilet would make anyone depressed. (Fellow us sufferer here).

Can you get a second opinion?

Katymac Thu 19-Nov-15 22:52:28

I've had a 4th & 5th (been diagnosed since 95)

Best they can come up with is "a very fast transit time" which is about as much use as a chocolate teapot

Medication confuses everything - meat, potatoes & root veg and can keep it at bay - but it's hell to keep to

Dontlaugh Thu 19-Nov-15 22:52:45

Ok, nothing like a full history!
If you have FM then that will feed into the fatigue and pain, I imagine. The B12 will have to stop with those bloods, sadly. However, are you linked into any support groups locally? I absolutely accept the effects of constant loo going etc. however it looks like you're going to have to take matters into your own hands here to an extent.
I will ask you honestly, are you depressed? Couldn't blame you if you were, tbh, and if so, what can you do yourself to change that, without meds for now? Exercise, dietary changes within reason, socialising etc.
And if you need meds, that's fine too.

CalmYoBadSelf Thu 19-Nov-15 22:54:35

Just buy Spatone. It is not usually given on the NHS but is an easy to absorb form of iron

Katymac Thu 19-Nov-15 23:00:32

I'm down but not depressed, if I had energy I have a list of things as long as both my arms to do

I have been depressed and that was different because I couldn't imagine a time when I would feel better so the idea of 'doing things' was out of my arena. Talking & Prozac got me through those times. But each time it has been reactive depression - life threw shit & I struggled to cope but made it to the other side. atm I'm just knackered

I run a reasonable successful business although atm I am struggling with the fatigue

I'm about to start a new vitamin/supplement regime which may help (from on MN) but I am concerned about the vitamins/supplements sliding straight through - which is where this thread started

GP will refer but not to Gastro or rheumatology as we have exhausted all those possibilities and I know not where to dump myself next

Just to add to the mix my brother has RA but is abroad & treated quite differently there (first diagnostic test for RA is a stool sample)

Katymac Thu 19-Nov-15 23:02:57

liquids may well work but my intolerances make it tricky

I was taking floradix tablets - I may try their liquid

Dontlaugh Thu 19-Nov-15 23:05:00

Spatone works for maintenance, but not raising levels so no good here.
If there is a history of RA were you definitely tested for this? Were all tests negative?
Have you any symptoms? Did any other member have RA that you knew of?

Dontlaugh Thu 19-Nov-15 23:08:15

Vitamins and supplements take at least 6 weeks to kick in. Can you plan your work around that? Running a business is hard work. It is relentless, have you someone you can call on?
Sorry for all the questions. You don't have to answer them.

Katymac Thu 19-Nov-15 23:14:10

I'll try floadix liquid

If there is a history of RA were you definitely tested for this? Were all tests negative? No my Rh factor comes & goes with the wind - they never did anti-ccp because my symptoms weren't right- despite knowing my brothers anticcp is the highest ever recorded in Sweden

Have you any symptoms? well I have CFS & FM my everything hurts wink joints, bones, ligaments, skin (hair occasionally wink)

Did any other member have RA that you knew of? 2 older aunts my grandad's aunts were crippled by thier mid fifties but that would have been around 1920/30 so.......

Running a business is hard work. It is relentless, have you someone you can call on? this is my life the business was designed around me doing 4.5hrs am 2 hr nap, 4 hrs pm but I'm struggling with the pm so my team are rallying round and helping

Katymac Thu 19-Nov-15 23:18:26

My hands & feet are the worst, my lower back & hips have been a problem since my teens, my knees, shoulders, neck and ankles can be painful, my breastbone & shins hurt to press

I get pins & needles all the time and neuralgia & numb spots

If I take painkillers my tummy plays up - co-codamol is the best & pre B12 I was on about 100 every 2 months so not horrendous levels but if I reduce them significantly (B12 supplements) my tummy plays up

Vitamin D, Zince, Magnesium & Calcium are also part of my daily supplements

Dontlaugh Thu 19-Nov-15 23:26:53

I am truly not any way a medic, but have been liaising with medics for years due to my ill child.
My own instinct would be here, in your case, to take you off everything, start from scratch and see what was what.
You don't really have a diagnosis that is fitting your treatments, is that correct?
Run the anti ccp etc and see what comes up. Post coming off everything. Family hx is significant imo.
There's a bit too much going on for a GP to run with, is my own uneducated opinion, but it is entirely up to you.

Katymac Thu 19-Nov-15 23:31:18

As of 18m ago all I was on was the co-codamol

Everything else was as a result of going back to basics and testing for what I was deficient

Vit D,Zinc & B12 had the best effect

I don't know - off to bed now - thanks for your help...as they say tomorrow is another day

Dontlaugh Thu 19-Nov-15 23:36:27

Co-codamol not great for guts. But you have been there, so you know this.
Madonna loves her B12 shots! Explains how she looks so young!
Ever had any CBT or any other talking therapy?
Tomorrow is indeed another day.

Katymac Thu 19-Nov-15 23:41:57

Oh Yes smile CBT twice! the second counsellor took some of my strategies to use with other people wink

Talking helps with a counsellor previously and I have regular appts with an alternative therapist

I do lean towards mindfulness but it's not working for me tremendously well atm

The B12 gives me a two week window of opportunity when I can get things done but it is causing acne/spots which is a side effect of overdoses- so I think a lower more constant dose is a good idea

TJEckleburg Thu 19-Nov-15 23:42:35

Are you sure you have ibd and not ibd? Have they run faecal Calprotectin to check for inflammatory factors in your stool? If you've had colonoscopy a, have they also done white cells scans and pill cam to check for ulceration in the small intestine?

(Not a medic, crohn's sufferer, misdiagnosed with IBS for years)

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