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  • IBS and living in Japan

     ardchen updated 1 month, 3 weeks ago 4 Members · 26 Posts
  • ardchen

    January 12, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing about your IBS treatment and living challenges with it in Japan. I assume you’re quite aware of a few different types of IBS so I won’t talk more about it. 

    My type is when I am stressed, particularly knowing that I have to travel and might have limited or none access to toilets is one of my main triggered. I was prescribed Irribow, too (by a doctor in Bangkok). It worked for me twice but it took a long time to see some positive changes (about 3 months). I had a 3-month prescription once many years ago (at that time the long course was 3 months) and my symptoms of IBS reduced significantly for a few years. Then university gave me some stressful situations and maybe I was away from the medication for awhile, the issue came back. I went back to see the same doctor and he prescribed a new version of Irribow for 3 months and he said it was now okay to have it daily not just a 3-month course. I now feel better but not totally fine. Something that I also found useful was talking to a psychologist to learn how to manage stress. 

    I am doing my best trying to avoid Imodium as it has both short and long terms nasty side effects. Also, I avoid eating breakfast and it helps for some reasons. I feel like my stomach cannot work that hard in the morning to digest food.

    I love Japan and I am applying for a multiple entry visa. Restrooms there are generally clean so one less thing to worry about for a person with a mobility disability and IBS.

    Happy New Year!

    Thanks Accessible Japan for great information for disabled travellers to Japan 🙂

  • iliketurtles

    January 12, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Hello there!

    Im glad iribo was good for you. but in my case it seems its bile acid malabsorption is my issue giving me an IBS feel. thats why iribo didnt work at all for me. I also get really nervous if i know ill be away from a toilet for a while. Lucky for me here in tokyo, many stores, malls parks and other places have toilets. so im usually pretty good on that. 

    i was given “cholebine” / “コレバイン” for my issue and it seems to help a lot. this stuff traps the bile that doesnt get stored again and makes it exit my body safely.  that makes me sure i have a bile acid issue thats getting too far down my stomach giving me urgency to go to a toilet. 

    also i have some Lopemin pills the doctor gave me in case the cholebine doesnt work. 
    the lopemin pills here are 1mg vs Imodium which is 2mg. The box for imodium says start with 2 pills which would be 4mg right away. 

    Here the doctor said take 1 lopemin in the morning and one near dinner time. so thats only 2mg for the day. Im better off on this than imodium. imodium will back me up for days….

    Lopemin is safer i think. also i dont need to take it daily. just when needed. i was worried i wouldnt have something for an emergency like imodium. im glad japan is able to give lopemin! its a life saver. 

    My big hospital visit is feb 7th. ill be sure to have a nice update about that. 

    Really hope my experience can help others. 

  • ardchen

    January 16, 2020 at 4:39 pm


    Thanks for the update again. Lopemin seems like a better alternative choice to Imodium. Is it a prescription drug? 

    Best wishes with your hospital visit in Feb!

  • iliketurtles

    January 18, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    Yes it is prescription. Pretty easy to get once the doctors know your issue. Over the counter would be super expensive for a few pills. 

    and thanks! im hoping to get better answers next month. So far i feel im making progress here in japan with meds and doctors Vs american doctors. 

  • iliketurtles

    February 11, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Update from last week.

    Not the reply i hoped for. Told doctor my issues and worry. Told him ive lost 30 points in 1 year and im currently at 100 lbs.

    because the lopemin is working best. He asked me, “so what do you want from me?”.

    like if i found the cure and dont need to see him about it. He didnt understand there is a rick with this lopemin where it can block me up for days if taken too often.

    its happen to me before where i got so backed up, i had to pee every few minutes from all the stuff in me.

    One good thing to come from this is ill go back next week friday for an ECHO test of my lower body. Might be something not related to IBS that has me needing to pee so often. He did say that IBS and having to pee so often are not connected. Other doctors have said they are.

    One thing i forgot to ask was for a breath test to measure gas in me for bacteria over growth. Also a food allergy test. I might have something bad for me i never knew about.

    Over all the experience at st luke hospital was great. The staff speaks pretty good english and i didnt feel a worry about any of the process there. My wait times were no more than about 5 minutes it seemed.

    As for as my IBS goes, the meds im currently taking, Lopemin and Cerekinon have been a life saver. i can almost eat like a normal person and not rush to the toilet anymore. Solid stools are now an everyday thing. In the past it was pretty rare.

    I guess i dont mind taking the meds for a very long time. My new issue is the having to go pee so often.

    Thanks to japan for having toilets all over the place. getting off at stations on the way to places isnt a problem. use toilet and get back on the next train 🙂

  • ardchen

    February 11, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    Good to hear the update from you, although part of the outcomes might have not been as favourable as you might wish for. I hope your echo or breath test would give you some further insight information regarding your issue in to order to find the best treatment for it.

    Keep fighting!

    Best wishes,


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