I cured my IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS) with an ANTIBIOTIC (Amoxicillin)

I’ve been meaning to post about this for some time now in the hope it is of use to someone suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Up to 12 months ago I had constant diarrhea for 2 years.  It started after a particularly hot chilli  Indian meal, that I knew at the time I shouldn’t have eaten, however I felt obliged as I was a guest at the meal.  The next day was excruciating and no mater what I did over the following weeks the diarrhea continued.  I had many tests including 3 different stool tests checking for bad bacteria, a colonoscopy and a gastroscopy (sometimes called an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy) and of course blood tests.  Apart from a slightly inflammation of the bowel nothing showed up as a cause.

After 2 years of this,  I was thinking it was something I was going to have to live with the rest of my (probably shortened) life.

About 12 months ago I got a throat infection and was prescribed a course of the antibiotic Amoxicillin.  My diarrhea immediately stopped. But when I finished the two-week course of the drug the diarrhea came back.

I googled antibiotics and IBS and sure enough there were a few references by sufferers who’d had the same experience, not with Amoxicillin but some other antibiotics, the main one being Rifaximin (Xifaxan).  Neomycin, Clarithromycin (Biaxin) and Metronodazole (Flagyl) were also mentioned.  As soon as the 2 week course of the antibiotic was stopped the diarrhea returned.  One did say that they were cured after two months on antibiotics.

One research site also mentioned the need for a study of a longer-term course of antibiotics to see if it might effect a cure. (This may have been done by now, I haven’t checked).

I decided anything was better than what I was experiencing so went back to my doctor and asked him to prescribe a further month of Amoxicillin.  It took some convincing (because he  had organized the stool tests for bad bacteria which were negative) but he did eventually prescribe it for me. (I’m not sure whether I had a further four or six week course).

So, after a total of 6 or 8 weeks of Amoxicillin I stopped, and I have had no more diarrhea in the 12 months since.

I am not a doctor so if you do this, do so under the direction of your doctor. All bodies are different and yours may react differently, but if you try a longer course of Amoxicillin or Rifaximin or another antibiotic and it doesn’t help in 2-3 days I’d say it probably never will.

Some websites I accessed and where some of this information came from:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279415/

https://www.webmd.com/ibs/news/20110105/2-weeks-of-antibiotic-therapy-relieves-ibs##1

1https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3290607/How-irritable-bowel-misery-cured-just-taking-antibiotics-helped-Nicola-scientists-think-benefit-too.html

If you find this information interesting or you have had a similar experience please leave a comment below.

(If you have stumbled on this page when searching about IRS; some background: I am a 70 year old male dealing with advanced prostate cancer and I have an interest in vintage guitars.  The Homepage to this site is here, and all my posts are listed here.

All the best

Charles

11 thoughts on “I cured my IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS) with an ANTIBIOTIC (Amoxicillin)

  1. We’re glad to hear you cured that one. Must have been incredibly uncomfortable. These material bodies are indeed a source of endless problems.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. It gives me definite food for thought. I’ve had problems that came on very suddenly at the beginning of the year. After a few months of this I had some tests but due to covid they weren’t doing PCR stool tests which would have covered a wider range of parasites, and the tests (including blood tests) that were done found nothing. Colonoscopy was suggested but I didn’t want to do that as it sounds like a horrible experience and my feelings were that it was not cancerous.

    In fact my suspicion was that I had picked up something from bats as I had been cleaning up bat chewed seeds from underneath a palm tree that attracts hordes of noisy squabbling bats when it is fruiting. In retrospect it was foolish to have done that while they were still fresh so to speak. I have now booked in to get the palm tree removed before the next fruiting season although I will miss seeing it out the window and hearing the wind shushing through its fronds with the sound of rainfall. It is interesting to note that since the emergence of covid bats have become yet more widely acknowledged as a source of many diseases and pathogens. Not that I am anti bats, every beast has its place. I find their silhouette across the early night sky very evocative.

    In any case I am grateful my situation has been easing from its peak when I had to get up sometimes multiple times in the night, having woken too late, as well as daily issues and I was losing weight (which was the silver lining for me but concerned the doctor) and didn’t want to leave the house in case I was far from a toilet. Another morbid silver lining, I guess, is that it was an ideal time for it to be happening as it overlapped lockdown.

    I have thinking of doing a course of a fungal probiotic, Saccharomyces boulardii – not easily available except through a natural practitioner in Australia – but I point out for anyone that may be reading this, they are a fungi and can, rarely, but dangerously, invade beyond the gut wall in someone with a lowered immune system, hence the need for them to be prescribed in Australia. I had them initially some years ago from a reputable practitioner who knew my background and prescribed them not for this problem but to improve my general digestion. S. boulardii are good at clearing out bad bacteria in the gut microbiome. As a matter of interest these helping hands are not expected or desired to take up permanent residence as may be hoped for with other probiotics.

    Anyhow, as I said, things have much improved (and weight is going back on again boohoo) but the evacuation system is still not back to ideal so I will have to think about your experience and investigate further. Thanks again for sharing. All the best.

    1. Thanks Margaret, A couple of things. Firstly I have had multiple colonoscopy’s over quite a few years and I don’t find the procedure a ‘horrible experience’ in itself but the preparation for it can be as you need to fast beforehand and take a preparation that flushes out the system. This can be hard if you have a sensitive stomach but you feel good after it :). The procedure is a cakewalk after this. Also you say your ‘feelings were that it was not cancerous’. From my experience my feelings are often very wrong in such circumstances. In the early days of my cancer diagnosis I’d be feeling so good I was sure the cancer must be decreasing with treatment or I’d be feeling not so good and thought the cancer must be increasing. Often I was wrong in both instances.

      We also have the same problem with fruit bats with palms as you have and I had not connected that may have been a contributing factor or even the cause. We have been meaning to have those palms removed for time but it is expensive. I’ll have to rethink. Thank you for taking the time with your comments. Charles

  3. Thanks Charlie, I appreciate your comments re the colonoscopy and the dangers of taking ones feelings as a final authority.
    Margaret

  4. Health is scary and acutely important. You take it for granted when younger. Yes, we are fortunate to have knowledge we are not our bodies…..it is a frame. The frame must be maintained & repaired. I appreciate your sharing this information. Namaste

  5. My sister and I were travelling in India, and did some whitewater rafting on the Ganges which lead to us both picking up diarrhea. After multiple days of this at Gangotri (next activity was hiking to the source of the Ganges), our guide took us to a roadside docter who gave us some sort of antibiotic for the equivalent of $2 or so which immediately fixed everthing – sometimes antibiotics are wonderful things. It is terrible that 80% of antibiotics are used in agriculture rather than being preserved for human use when needed.

    1. Thanks for the story. I had a similar experience in India when, many years ago, I was in Jaipur and contracted a kidney infection from contaminated food. Fortunately I was with a friend who contacted the Australian embassy and they recommended a hospital in Delhi. After an excruciatingly painful trip back to Delhi and 3 days in the hospital with antibiotics I was released and our trip continued.

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