Nausea: It’s effect on IBS sufferers.

Article by Sian

The onset of nausea
Apart from childhood stomach bugs, prolonged nauseous feelings seem to have been part of my life for perhaps thirty years.

My first severe bout of it I associated with traveling on a bus with some-one from school and my first panic attack brought on by agoraphobia. I remember at about sixteen nights of standing in the downstairs toilet thinking I was going to vomit, but my mother giving me an antacid which would make me burp. The worse onset of it thus far was at about nineteen, when I recall lying on the sofa at my grandmothers sweating with the intensity of it. Yet I would never be sick, and unlike a stomach bug, it would go on day after day. I tried so many remedies for it, anything from a tot of brandy to Kaolin and Morphine, a remedy no longer available in the UK due to the ingredient morphine.

Ad Nauseum
As I entered my twenties I first began to experience the pain and diarrhea which became part of my life. It would feel like a wide iron band being tightened about my lower stomach and back, and this was often accompanied by days of nausea. I did not know which was the worse. It happened frequently when I was staying with relations and helping to look after my grandmother who was in her last illness. It was obviously the worry and fear for her. I would sit reading day after day, terrified to move lest it make the sickness worse; I would walk as if I might shatter.

It was the feeling sick more than the pain and diarrhea of IBS which began to shrink my life. If I panicked about being in a crowded place, saliva would flow into my mouth and I would flush red-hot, sure I was about to vomit. I took to carrying mints around to suck, but I still had to leave as soon as possible, and after that would come the abdominal pain and the diarrhea.

There would be many days where I did not go anywhere at all, if I had to go to the local shops I would almost run, feel disassociated and unreal, dizzy and on the brink of throwing up until I got back in the house.

Even if I went nowhere I would be huddled in a chair with grinding, chronic nausea. I had had stomach bugs which made me feel sick, and I would vomit, sometimes several times, but they would usually ease within 24-48 hours. It dragged on and on, day after day. I was sure I must be green with the severity of it; I imagined I would be sweating green perspiration.

Sick to my stomach
'Pea-green sick' I have always answered when I am suffering bouts of nausea. To me it is definitely the worse symptom of IBS , as in my case it is also part of my agoraphobia and the panic attacks which accompany it. I cannot go out when I feel that sick, and if I have to it is a trial. I remember being in jobs where I sat and sweated with nausea, terrified to take time off, but also furious that I felt like this so much of the time. The jobs were usually ones which were very stressful, and in larger companies with many people around, which I believe was the reason for my feeling nauseous. I felt as if I were in a continuous nightmare. I was young, I was supposed to be enjoying myself, going out, perhaps going abroad, and shopping in the town center. I could not; I felt like nausea incarnate and could only struggle through it until it gradually eased after days, a week or sometimes more.

I have tried so many remedies that I have some difficulty remembering all of them. The earliest one was a white powder which looked like chalk, called Magnesium Trisilicate which was mixed into a little water and drank. That did tend to make me burp and make me feel less ill.

As the years went on I tried ginger capsules and peppermint - both of which I did find quite effective - Gaviscon liquid, Pepto Bismol , were also quite effective. Colofac IBS ( Mebeverine Hydrochloride ) was suggested to me as a medication for IBS and Nauseous feelings, and if taken regularly this also seemed to ease it.

Not so many years ago after about ten days of almost unbearable nausea, when I was at my wits end and utterly depressed and exhausted, the doctor prescribed me Metoclopramide. I also find these ease it, but nothing works as a magic pill unless it forces me to burp. I believe a great deal of my sickness has been caused by trapped wind allied to an acid stomach, for which I am prescribed Lansanaprol.

The problem seems to be that if a remedy does relieve the trapped gas, it is only temporary until something I eat or drink (even water) produces more gas. The periods of nausea can sometimes be relieved but they will fade in time, they will not be instantly cured by anything.

Any or all of the remedies I have mentioned may be worth trying if you also suffer bouts of nausea. I cannot say that any of them have cured me, or been of remarkable relief, but for me, any relief is better than nothing.

For those who prefer not to take prescribed medication, ginger capsules or peppermint are definitely worth trying, and Pepto Bismol is effective at treating both nausea, diarrhea and stomach cramps, however it is not suitable for people allergic to aspirin, so please speak to a pharmacist about it, and read the label.

If you think your nausea is caused by trapped gas or acid stomach, Gaviscon liquid may also be helpful. If, like me you have a hyper-acid stomach, tablets such as Zantac, which can be bought over the counter may also be useful, or doctors can prescribe tablets such as Lansanaprol. It is worth speaking to your GP if acidity is a perpetual problem.

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