What’s hyoscyamine got to do with it?

Maybe nothing, actually.

Hyoscyamine is a prescription drug that allegedly slows smooth muscle contractions and helps control IBS symptoms. Reading reviews online, it seems like some people think it’s a miracle and some think it’s useless.

Personally, after two weeks, I’m not noticing much of a difference in my symptoms. I was feeling better taking fiber supplements twice a day and a probiotic in the am, and then I cut back on fiber and started the hyoscyamine thinking that taking both would be overkill. Then I felt terrible for a week and started taking more fiber again.

The hyoscyamine is pretty gross; it’s a sublingual tablet that doesn’t always dissolve under your tongue and tastes sweetish and chalky. I’m supposed to take it 30 minutes before I eat, but it seems like some people take it as needed (when an attack starts) with good results.

*Whoops, got so distracted with talking about my feelings that I forgot to add crucial note re: side effects. They can be severe, especially for older folks. I’ve noticed that hyoscyamine makes me tired – like falling asleep at 8 pm tired. Also, the dry mouth thing is not a joke. I’m pretty much constantly sipping water. While this isn’t bad for you, it’s inconvenient when going 5 minutes without liquid makes your mouth uncomfortably dry.

I’m less enthused about taking a prescription drug four times a day for the rest of my life – and I’m still convinced that IBS is not a thing. It doesn’t make sense to me that millions of peoples’ digestive systems would just malfunction for no reason and that science can’t do a thing about it. I feel like it has to be connected to a food allergy or intolerance or something.

Over brunch last Sunday my friend Molly was telling me about a book she’s reading that links digestive disorders to breast feeding – specifically, if someone is taking antibiotics while breast feeding the baby’s intestinal flora is killed off, resulting in digestion problems later. Interesting, but also a little troubling that we’re constantly finding new ways to make parents (specifically women parents) feel inadequate.

Anyway. The Gluten-free Experiment continues; today, I am exhausted. I think a little gluten withdrawal is setting in. I’ve been dreaming about eating things like pretzels and feeling crankier than normal. Of course, I might be tired and cranky because work is stressful and I need a vacation. And I’m feeling a little anxious about my upcoming trip to Raleigh.

This is a reunion trip with a group of friends from Boston. Most of us have scattered over the past couple years, but we try to get together every October. It will be interesting to try to keep up a vegan, gluten-free diet in North Carolina. And to avoid alcohol for an entire reunion weekend? Yikes.

So I’ve got nothing interesting I report on the food front. A food routine is helpful for managing IBS, so I try to eat small meals at the same times every day. I usually have the same breakfast and snacks for the week and try to mix up my lunch. Today I brought a couple of the adzuki bean and quinoa burgers I made Sunday, mashed them up with some salsa and ate them in corn tortillas. Next time around with these burgers, I will refrigerate them longer than the 1/2 hour recommended in the recipe and make fewer, thicker burgers. The taste and texture are pretty good; they remind me of Boca burgers, with fewer mystery ingredients. I’ll add a link to the recipe tomorrow.

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