Update 05 sept. 2011: I added some advice on using L-Glutamine at the end of this article.
First of all, my apologies for the lack of updates these last few months. I am still dedicated to finding efficient treatments for IBS, and well, I need to test and approve them before posting anything here.
Now to the good news. Fellow irritable bowel syndrome(diarrhea variant) sufferers, there is one drug you MUST try out. If you check out some websites, lots of users have had tremendous relief thanks to it: L-Glutamine.
What is L-Glutamine?
A quick stop on the wikipedia page tells us that it is an amino-acid, naturally produced by the body. It is considered as non-essential (i.e your body creates it, no need to take some supplement for normal people), but recent discoveries may change this point of view.
L-Glutamine's first role in the system is to help the muscles regenerate after an effort. Not necessarily what we want, but it's good to know, because you should find it easily as a supplement for body builders at your local sports store, or on amazon.
How does it help me?To the point that interests us now: It has been discovered that L-Glutamine plays a very important role in the digestive system.
- It absorbs water from the stools, meaning you should have less diarrhea. This happens within the first days of taking it, and believe me, it works really well, way better than calcium.
- It repairs the intestine.
- It repairs the intestinal wall, thus helping other conditions that are linked to IBS, like leaky gut syndrome.
Could L-glutamine CURE IBS-D?
This assertion may seem exaggerated, but a recent study published in the gut magazine shows that many IBS-D sufferers do not create enough L-Glutamine naturally. Here's what happens: under stress circumstances, the amount of glutamine lowers in the body. A normal person will have its glutamine levels restored naturally within days. For many IBS-D sufferers, this won't happen, due to a defficient RNA (meaning, if several persons in your family suffer from IBS, you might have found the reason).
Have you ever had a stressful period where your symptoms got worse, and after it they still remained pretty bad? This could be it.So taking L-Glutamine as a supplement for a few months may be the way out for many of us. Once the gut has been repaired, no need to go on with the treatment, maybe take some from time to time to keep the levels up.
You can actually read a lot of success stories on the internet by searching l-glutamine and ibs with your favourite research engine.
My success this far
I began taking L-Glutamine on the 8th of June, 2g twice a day, outside meals. Since then, I had... 2 diarrheas. Now, I still experience urges, a need to go to the bathroom urgently, but even this starts to get better. Even in stressful situations, I find out that I do not necessarily need to go.
So what happens next? Well, if things keep going on at this rate, all symptoms should disappear in a few months. I have been suffering from IBS since I was a kid (now 31), the gut won't heal overnight. In the worst case, things remain like they are, and I already found a way to feel a LOT better. I will keep you informed.
To conclude with, unfortunately, L-Glutamine won't work for everyone. First of all, IBS-C sufferers, although some of them claim to have some success on the forums. Also keep in mind that IBS has many different causes, see my post on the origins of IBS. But I'm sure we'll eventually find something that works for you!
Some advice on using L-glutamine
As of the 5th of September, I still experience the full benefits of L-Glutamine. I strongly advise you to try it out. In the meantime, I have discovered a few things about it that may help you.
- Buy L-glutamine in powder form, it's more efficient than in capsules.
- L-glutamine makes the kidney work more. So be sure to drink more water as normal. Do not take it if you have some kind of kidney condition.
- Take your L-glutamine 30 minutes to 60 minutes before a meal, twice a day. This will drastically reduce the amount of diarrheas you experience.
- Start with 1g twice a day, move up to 2g after a few days.
- If you start feeling constipated, reduce your intake.
- L-glutamine is also known to be a neuro-transmitter, and will excite you. For me, this means some light insomnia, nothing I can't handle. But some people reported panic attacks! Be sure not to take too much L-glutamine to avoid such problems, I would suggest not exceeding 5g a day. This dose used to make me more irritable, so I cut it down a bit. Of course everyone is different, but be careful here.