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My father has been diagnosed with IBS but everyday he faces high levels of pain no matter what he eats. We follow the IBS diet but he is in constant pain. I have tried everything I know.

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Entirely anecdotal, sample population of 1 (me), but for me the answer was peppermint oil capsules. They worked like a charm, so well that I have not needed them for years now, but I keep an up-to-date supply in the medicine cabinet in case. The cramps of IBS are greatly to be feared and should they ever come back I want to be prepared.

These are readily available over the counter: Colpermin is one brand, there are many others I'm sure, they are literally peppermint oil in a capsule, no other ingredients.

Also anecdotally - I really wouldn't mess about with his diet, and especially not if the the regimen you're following isn't helping him. There isn't a much better rule than "eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

Gut health is an area of medicine that is still very poorly understood but there is a lot of interesting research going on. It may be that there's some in your area: why not have a look? If you can get a stool sample analysed you might learn something useful about your father's personal flora and fauna, and that could be a real help in guiding his choice of foods.
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What pain killers are you using? I hope not Neurofen or any of the Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). 10% of the population react badly to them, and 5% of people can have quite serious effects on the bowel and digestive tract. Check it on their website, I am not making this up (I wish I was). If by chance you haven’t been warned and think that they are just ‘ordinary’ painkillers, you may be causing and continuing the problem. Codeine is much better and safer (if you can get it now). Turmeric is a safer anti-inflammatory that I have to use. Please reply if you want information about using it.
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You might try serving vegetables that are cooked in other ways than by frying. I've had IBS for about 65 years, and while don't enjoy fried foods anyway, I believe they are often contraindicated, at least in daily amounts, because they may be more difficult to digest. Again, better to check with his doctor. As others have mentioned, the best diet for him is going to depend at least partly on what form of IBS he has. And as others have also mentioned, since he appears to have GI pain much of the time, that warrants further investigation.
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Meant to add as a sufferer of gastric issues myself, I am VERY careful with my diet. Consume no butter as it would cause spasms.
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Imho, he needs to see his gastroenterologist as soon as is possible with the Novel Coronavirus protocols that have been put in place. A few things to consider - #1 Does he take a probiotic daily?, #2 When was list last colonoscopy?, #3 When was his last upper endoscopy? for starters.
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DionneM Jun 28, 2020
Hello,

Thank you for your helpful reply.
He does take probiotics daily it helps a bit. I have removed foods that I know irritate him such as red meat and dairy. We eat fresh fried veggies and meat substitutes. He drinks water only.
I had to take him to the emergency at the hospital. They performed a gastroscopy which resulted in normal. They mentioned abdominal angina as I guess they ruled out ulcers. A vascular specialist is supposed to contact us sometime (probably a year away). He does have some anxiety (had a close friend pass due to covid-19) but since I moved in it has almost gone away. He is 84 years old and his health is fairly good. He lives with my mother of 80 years. The other result from the hospital visit is his doctor diagnosed him with diverticulum of the gall bladder and this is a wrong diagnosis per the specialist at the hospital. His last colonoscopy was 2017 and results were normal.
Upper Endoscopy he has never had so I will see if his “doctor” will assign one.
Thanks again
Dionne
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I am not sure what "IBS-Diet" your father is following but there is IBS-C, IBS-D and IBS-Mixed. Probably the right type of fiber, not too much and not too little, is helpful with all of these, along with sufficient hydration and exercise. It is trial and error to narrow down an individual's trigger foods. In my mother's case, there is a strong connection with anxiety as well. Flare-ups are common when she is anxious. And of course, flare-ups create quite a bit of anxiety in themselves. Certain antidepressants are given for anxiety and IBS problems, some more for the former, some more for the latter.
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Yes, I was surprised that Sauerkraut was mentioned as something u can eat. I don't have IBS but cooked cabbage really bothers me. But I can eat it raw. Like Tothill, I can eat raw better than cooked. Cooking seems to change things.

My daughter suffers from IBS. Acidy foods, like Spaghetti sauce do a job on her. A few years back she discovered that eggs do a number on her. She is now a Vegan and doesn't seem to have as many problems. My SIL found a few years back she is allergic to meat.

I agree everyone is different and its more a process of elimination. Keep track of what he eats. That way if he gets sick you can see if something new was introduced that may be the culprit.
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The drug Bentyl (Dicyclomine) 10 mg has been a godsend for my own IBS as has the realization after long years that it is in part SIBO or small intestine bacterial over-proliferation. A good gastroenterologist is what is needed here, and careful diary of what works, what doesn't, what symptoms are, and etc. I also recommend daily (at night) citrucel which gives usually a good bowel movement daily in the a.m.. Do not substitute metamucil which is quite a lot like citrucel but which ferments in a different way in the bowel, causing many IBS suffers to have increased gas and bloating. Good luck. Start with the bentyl; for pain it is the best and spasming often stops within 15 minutes. This is a prescription drug.Notify your Dad's doctor he wishes to give it a try.
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jacobsonbob Jun 24, 2020
I sometimes have a form of IBS (or, as one doctor once called it, "mucous colitis") that comes on if I get very frustrated over a long time. Bentyl cures it, but it takes about a month to do so--no obvious effects for a few weeks, and then over the course of a few days it resolves. It is taken 4 times a day.

In my case I have found that specific foods make no difference either in causing it or resolving it.
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Reading the responses re-enforces for me that there are many differences between people. I can eat many of the things others have said they can’t (eg all the veges and dairy are ok for me), while Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian usually have chili and are a disaster, and I had a very bad day after Kimchi. I do my own curries at home, as I have found a chili-free curry taste. My medico daughter pressed me to have a test for IBS, but I didn’t want any more diagnoses of health problems, and she agreed that I am probably doing all the right things for myself anyway. I rush for imodium if I've made a mistake. I’m thinking that there is no real alternative to the food diet (similar to allergy testing) to work out what the problem is. One issue in eating out and in processed food (Geaton’s mother’s query) is the number that have an additive that can matter.
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MargaretMcKen Jun 21, 2020
Sorry, curry paste, not taste.
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Once my vitamin D level got up to normal, I quit having IBS attacks. Once Mom's vitamin D level got up to normal, her bathroom issues improved. It's not a quick fix, but worth a discussion with the doctor.
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Geaton777 Jun 21, 2020
A doctor can have a lab test run for vitamin D deficiency if they think it's warranted.
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My diet problem is chilli. It affects me about 12 hours later, uncontrollable diarhoea with cramps. It took me months to work it out. Too much garlic can also be a problem for me, but not as badly as even tiny amounts of chilli. I read every label of processed food I buy (which is not much, but it seems common to slip a bit of chilli in almost everything, sometimes hidden as ‘spices’). Keep a food diary for a week or two, it can be very hard to pinpoint the problem. When I got this sorted, I realised that when I changed underwear rather than cleaning it up, I also stopped having UTIs.
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IBS-D here.

The greatest help I have had in the past 4 years was meeting with a dietician who suggested the FODMAP elimination diet. The initials stand for various complex carbohydrates that some people cannot properly digest. Each person will have different things that they can comfortably eat.

https://www.monashfodmap.com/about-fodmap-and-ibs/

IsThis gave some suggestions, but for me most cows milk dairy are a no no. I can eat goat or Ewe's milk cheeses. Fermented cabbage (sauerkraut or Kimchi) send me to the bathroom within minutes and it takes hours for me to recover.

I used to enjoy Cauliflower, I can no longer eat it. I can eat raw cabbage, not cooked or cured. I can eat broccoli, but not Brussels's Sprouts. I cannot eat raw spinach, but I can eat cooked.

I avoid more than 3 servings of wheat in a week, otherwise I suffer.

When it is really bad I make rice and put butter and wheat free soy sauce on it. There are times that is all I eat for a day or more waiting for it to settle down. Then I very slowly add other foods back.

I find I can eat Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian foods fairly well. Generally they are dairy free, wheat free, have lots of vegies. I used to love Aloo Gobi, but I no longer can eat the cauliflower in it.

Is your Dad's pain from cramping and gas, or is his anus burning from the runs? Sorry to be graphic, but when things go bad for me, my anus burns and I have to use a barrier ointment.

If you Dad has pain consistently in one area of his abdomen, please get him in for a CT Scan. I have a very dear friend who was told she had IBS, until she almost died from Diverticulitis. Her colon was close to rupturing from infection. The infection did not cause a fever.
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Geaton777 Jun 21, 2020
Tothill, your IBS sounds very similar to my mom's. After years of trying to do process of elimination (no pun intended) with her, it just seems so random. Last week I watched a very interesting show on PBS / Nova (I think) on fecal transplants. Prior to watching this I just blew it off as some weird fad, but the scientific research is showing some fascinating results (in mice, anyway) regarding Parkinsons and other diseases. They gave a fecal transplant to a woman (who ingested 30 transplant pills) suffering immensely from C. diff for weeks and within 24-hrs she was a new person. I realize c.diff is a bacteria, but a transplant relieved Parkinsons symptoms in mice. That really go my attention. They don't know why it worked, though. Gotta wonder/hope if it would help those with IBS some day?
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My mom has IBS. Her internist tells her to take Imodium. That works for her, but IBS can be different in different people. My mom's is cramping and diarrhea. Interesting to note that since she's been quarantining herself, her IBS has been almost non-existent. The only thing she can attribute it to is eating out less, more and freshly prepared home-cooked meals. She has always monitored her diet very carefully. Not sure if that's the reason for the improvement. She has tried pro- and pre-biotics and none of those have helped. They are supplements and not FDA regulated. No real scientific clinical proof that they actually work. Also, sauerkraut and gassy foods make my mom's IBS worse.

If your father's symptoms can't be relieved, I would follow-up and pursue that it might be something else. Good luck!
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I would introduce prebiotic/probiotic rich foods and drinks, sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kombucha and anything that sounds good to him. You don't need much like a couple of tablespoons 1x or 2x daily. Do the research, there are many foods that have pre and probiotics.

I would also give him a probiotic supplement every day.
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I have ulcerative colitis and Digestive Advantage (probiotic) is about the only thing I have found to relieve pain.
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