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What do you think, really crappy luck (pun intended) or something else? I'm way too wiped out to write more details ... suffice to say that it's not been a very pleasant 36 hours. I took 1 immodium yesterday b/c I was stricken while out, but the runs kicked in big time this morning first thing. Then the Fatigue and a break, then the runs again way way worse this afternoon. A 24 hour nurse I called (thanx, health insurance) said that I shouldn't take immodium. I'm on the brink, tho--I really ought to go to work tomorrow!

For those who suffer from IBS, how can you tell the difference between bouts of that and gastroenteritis? Is IBS ALWAYS either constipation OR runs? (I do have the tendency to get stopped up as well.) I bring this up because the nurse seemed concerned that this was the second time in rather short order ...

Also in the same month that I started the beta blocker ... but constipation is a documented possible side effect, not runs.


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Oh, Merrill, that stinks. (Literally, too, I guess) :P

I used to have problems with IBS about five years ago or so. I would know the difference b/tw that and GI viruses by the fever -- sometimes I'd get one; the general yucky "sick" feeling; and usually I would vomit with the GI viruses. If you're having bouts of diarrhea that have absolutely no other symptoms, I'd suspect IBS.

On the other hand, have you traveled anywhere exotic, eaten anything strange, been exposed to something that might have caused diarrhea? Usually it's your body's way of getting rid of a toxin. The Immodium is effective but I would NEVER take more than 1 pill. You will not go for at least three days otherwise!

IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion; there's no testing for it. If it's IBS, some people have luck with ginger or peppermint tea, and with bulk-forming fiber agents like Metamucil.

Good luck.


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Hi Merrill

Sorry for your difficulities.

I don't know much about IBS, except like calypso said, it is a diagnosis after all else is ruled out.

For what it's worth--we have 2 intestinal viruses getting passed around in my area this past month. This is definitely a bit unusual. My daughter has had two of them in the past month, along with all the others kids at day care and my husband and me as well. Neither one involved a fever.

Also, just thought I'd mention, in Peace Corps training which included general medical self-care training (very helpful when the closest doctor is several hundred miles away), it was stressed that OTC remedies like immodium should not be used for diarrhea--if you have a virus or bacterial infection, you have diarrhea for a reason--the body is trying to rid itself of the infection. Best to let that happen naturally and replace electrolytes with rehydration salts and take clear fluids and plain foods until things settle down.

Hopefully things will settle down for you very soon! If not, then hopefully you can get a prompt diagnosis!

Take care,


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Guest tearose

Oh Merrill, sick again like this?... you must be pooped! :P

I agree, don't take the immodium. Let your body get rid of the toxins and see if you can get over this. I would be real careful with what you eat for the next three weeks. Build up your intestinal flora and stay away from spice. Try to give this a bit of time. You don't want to get yet another dx of IBS until you have tried all other avenues of remedy!

take care, tearose

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Merrill, so sorry you are having GI problems. I have IBS but don't often have the runs. If I do, it is once or twice in the morning and then it is over. I don't feel ill like you describe. So maybe a virus?

I know others have said let it run its course but one caution I would add is if you are hypovolemic. I am and after more than 4-6 bathroom runs I find it almost impossible to get enough fluids to quickly rehydrate. It can take days and during that time I am very weak. If you have not been able to get in enough fluids, don't hesitate to ask for IV fluids.

If you get cramping there is a medicine you can take to relieve the spasms.

Feel better soon.

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Thanks, guys. I haven't been diagnosed as hypovolemic, Geneva, tho it wouldn't surprise me if I were. I still feel pretty weak altho the runs have stopped. Now just a little achy and fatigued and I'm sure very dehydrated. I definitely fantasized about IV fluids last night (woo hoo), and if I'd been sick to my stomach, I definitely would have awakened my husband for a hospital run. Sticking now to the brat diet, tho haven't had much... I'm feeling very accomplished b/c I actually got a shower--I love my shower chair--and then lied down for another hour.

And why do you suppose it's so hard to drink when we're feeling so run down? (I'm assuming that's true for others, but perhaps I shouldn't.) That's the hardest part for me, I think. And when I'm having a normal day at work etc, I can chug down my 2 liters no problem (well, with the help of salty snacks anyway).

Katherine, sorry to hear you (and your family!) have been struck with this a couple times recently as well. I guess lightning can strike twice... Were you all sick at the same time? Someday you'll have to tell me how to take care of a little one when you can't get out of bed (or out of the bathroom). That concept terrifies me.

PS I made it through w/out the immodium--thanks for the advice! :lol:

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Hi Merrill,

Sorry you've had a hard time of it! Glad you're feeling somewhat better now and that you didn't take the immodium. I have IBS and if I were to take that I'd get an illius (sp). When I have an attack of IBS all my discomfort is in my belly...at least until or if I get dyhrated. When it's a gastro infection I feel totally crummy all over right away and usually am vomitting as well. :) I don't know if this is true for other IBS sufferers but I am also extremly suseptible to every stomach bug that's out there.

Sounds like you are doing the right thing with a brat diet. I hope you continue to get well. :lol:


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Guest Mary from OH


I'm still really, really sick with strep and on my 2nd round of antibiotics, so I'll keep this brief. But, def. stay away from Immodium. Also, go and get a product called Culturelle. You can usually find it near the Vitamens. It's a probiotic. They have it at CVS if you have that by you. If not, go to www.culturelle.com and call and find out the nearest store by you. You need to restore the natural flora in your intestine.

Personally, I think it's a POTS thing. I don't have any answers why or how to improve. BRAT diet is a good start. Sometimes it helps. For me, when I get like that, I'm also not hungry at all either.

Good luck, I'll try to check back with you.


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Guest tearose

Here's hoping you are doing better with with these gastric issues Merrill! I'm wishing it is a passing gastric thing like you had recently and not a more chronic issue now!

Mary, get over the strep and strive for one week without any thing else!!!

take care all, tearose

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Mary, I'm soooo sorry to hear that first antibiotic didn't work for you and you're still suffering from strep! Drag, man. :)

I'm pretty much better :) and back at work :) . I'm 98% sure it was a virus (tho I wonder why you said it's POTS--because it happened recently?) This exact kind of thing does strike me far more often than the average guy, and I do think that's related to POTS. But a virus is a virus, right? Thanx G-d I never throw up--about once every 10 years and I'm not exaggerating there. But I did have a low-grade fever (under 100) which frankly I might still have... and that extreme exhaustion and swooning dizziness and runs just isn't part of my day-to-day.

I didn't take the immodium this time... Funny you should mention the probiotics. I just finished my parrot on 2 weeks of antibiotics in her water and a pinch of probiotics in her food. (Actually, the probiotics will continue for a few months.) We're birds of a feather as it is!

Thanks for writing--and feel better already, woudja??? :)

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