Helping With IBS
Many people damaged by FQ’s have gastro-intestinal problems caused by the damage done to the CNS and in some instances by the disruption of the digestive tract fauna. Because there is no magic cure bullet for the FQ damage one can really only treat the symptoms until the episode passes.
Basically, as far as medication goes there are really only two ways of non-short term treatment for the symptoms of IBS. One is to take an anti-spasmodic and the other is to take an anti-depressant. The problem with a lot of the IBS medicines on the market (non antidepressant), such as dicyclomine or hyoscyamine they work by affecting the acetylcholine receptors. So, if the acetylcholine receptors are damaged or affected by the FQ’s then it could cause unwanted side effects. There is additional information on neurotransmitters on this site.
The other medication treatment is to take an antidepressant. Alot of doctors prescribe modern antidepressants for their side effect of having a calming effect on the digestive tract. They are usually given in small dosages. But there is also the drawback of having to deal with the side effects of the antidepressants.
I prefer the minimal medication approach in treating my FQ damages.
One way to help the digestive tract is to maintain the healthy flora and fauna by taking a probiotic. There are many over the counter probiotics on the market and some may help. Recently a gastroenterologist friend of mine told me to try the probiotic approach again. This time he wanted me to use Align. It is a new probiotic on the market that has the Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 bacteria (Bifanits)that no other brand has. He said the bacteria has been specifically developed to treat or help IBS symptoms. He said it takes about one to two weeks to start noticing the improvements. I have currently started this regimen and willpost later whether it is working for me or not. Some people have told me that taking too many probiotics can actually cause digestive tract upset. Supposedly bifanits is not suppose to cause this.
Another suggestion is to increase the fiber by using oat bran (which is much gentler than wheat bran). I found some oat bran that I can sprinkle on food. The bran slows down the digestive tract without irritating it. It takes away the urgency right after eating.
Yet another suggestion is using the good ole heating pad, applied directly to the abdomen. The gastro doc said that it is known to help because it helps opens blood vessels and bring more blood to the intestines. It also relaxes them, slowing down the motility.
I have noticed that since being floxed, stress seems to go right to the gut. Since the FQ’s damage the CNS, including the GABA and Acetylcholine receptors, it would make sense that almost all floxies would have some degree of IBS issues, since the gut is loaded with the receptors.