CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Monday, 11 May 2009

Gut instincts

image Too much info perhaps, but for the last few weeks I've alternated daily snacks of dried figs, prunes and apricots, along with dates, on top of regular veg, fresh fruit, loads of bean or chickpea salads, green salads, oaty breakfast "roughage", etc., yet I've struggled to maintain "regularity" and been left, for want of a better term, feeling rather "full of shit."

Yes, I drink LOTS of water, the foods listed should help (I eat boringly healthy), I try to walk when I can ... and it's a situation I had under perfectly good regulation, thank you, in a country where I had better water, fresher fruit and veg straight off the (less chemically castigated) land, as well as decent weather so I could get out and was able to walk more regularly and, needed less painkillers (that also make the problem worse.)

It's been nowhere near as severe this week as while I was taking the amitriptyline that the GP prescribed last year, when more than once, after 10 or more days of being solidly blocked up, I'd get to the point where I could hardly lift myself off the bed, I was so bloated and sick.

Since I stopped taking the amitriptyline, I've really had to battle to get back into a decent rhythm and I really don't ever want to get into that uncomfortable situation again, so on Monday or Tuesday, I took one of what are now packaged as "Constipation Relief Tablets".

Now, is that the "politically correct" alternate wording to "laxative" - you know, why use one perfectly good direct word, when three slightly euphemistic ones will do? Or is it dumbing down, because no-one knows what a laxative does any more? If the latter, will the ignorant masses know, or even care, what constipation is?

Or, heaven forbid, could it be "prohibited" to use the word laxative these days, just in case someone with an eating disorder is tempted to abuse them?

... anyway, it took until Sunday to see any effects.

Yes, really. Next time I'll try dynamite.

(NO, I won't and don't try that at home either!)

But, of course, when one suffers IBS (actually diagnosed, by a GP in the UK, in 1980), there are no moderate effects, no middle-ground nor happy mediums.

The eventual result ... was so significant, anyone would be forgiven for thinking that I had used dynamite!

And it also left me with a terrible bloating, an awful stomach ache and, I'll certainly qualify for the 2012 British Olympic Farting Team! Next time, I'll just drink more water and try to go for more walks, weather permitting, pain and fatigue permitting. 

I've also been conducting a one-woman trial (which is probably more impartial than some other studies carried out) over the last few weeks to see if I could discern any positive benefits from a daily dose of Yakult.

To begin with, I think we can safely say that in the area of "regulation of bowel habits and constipation" or of gut flora maintenance, I cannot report any at all.

The other reason I wanted to give that a try was having read about the pilot study which claims that, "Supplements of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota may ease symptoms of anxiety in people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), according to new research funded by Yakult."

It may be fairer to give it a longer chance, but I can't say I've noticed any huge difference in my mood. Overall, I think I'll save my money and avoid the massive sugar hit - which is never good for anyone's gut, surely. 

1 comment:

Lou Cheese said...

I've had nothing but good results with amitriptyline as far as sleep is concerned, but I've never had it affect my digestive system. You might want to have your GP check for an intestinal tract infection. I was bloating a while back and the doctor gave me some nasty tasting powder to mix with water 3-4 times day to kill the bad bacteria, and sure enough, the stuff worked. Unfortunately I threw out the bottle a couple of months ago, so no idea what the name was, but your GP should be able to pick something just for your situation.

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