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Sat Jan 14, 2012, 12:59 PM

Anyone else have chronic constipation? What have your doctors said? Has anyone ever had it go away?

I've had chronic constipation for 6 or 7 years. It has been getting worse slowly. I have a gastroenterologist who's done all the required poking and prodding and testing. Several colonoscopies show I have a perfectly pink and healthy bowel with no obstructions, polyps, etc. An endoscopy showed that my esophagus had healed up fine from its reflux (I take Nexium). I was diagnosed with a "slow bowel," which is hereditary, it seems. As I age, it is assumed that my bowel gets slower and slower.

For a year I have taken Miralax as prescribed and it worked perfectly (3-4 nice soft BMs per day) until the day I had some sort of intestinal or stomach bug or food poisoning that gave me diarrhea. From that day on, the Miralax did nothing. What the hell?? I called the doc, who told me to keep taking the Miralax and also use senna tea twice a week to jumpstart everything. He said that if I started to need senna more than twice a week, I should come back in for an exam. So far the senna and/or the Miralax is working somewhat, but not as perfectly as the Miralax alone before the intestinal bug.

I'm interested in other people's experiences and what their doctors have suggested, especially any prescription meds that I may ask my doc about. I know about Amitriza -- they've told me about that one.

As a Type 2 diabetic, I know that I am more prone to constipation, although the constipation predated the diabetes.

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Reply Anyone else have chronic constipation? What have your doctors said? Has anyone ever had it go away? (Original post)
Nay Jan 2012 OP
libodem Jan 2012 #1
Nay Jan 2012 #2
Peregrine Took Jan 2012 #3
CountAllVotes Jan 2012 #4
tpsbmam Jan 2012 #5
Nay Jan 2012 #8
MedicalAdmin Jan 2012 #6
Nay Jan 2012 #9
MedicalAdmin Jan 2012 #10
Irishonly Jan 2012 #7
Vinca Jan 2012 #11
cyberpj Jan 2012 #12
Duer 157099 Feb 2012 #13
condoleeza Feb 2012 #14
tpsbmam Feb 2012 #15
Nay Feb 2012 #16
tpsbmam Mar 2012 #17
BeHereNow Mar 2012 #18
otohara Apr 2012 #19
roody Jun 2012 #20

Response to Nay (Original post)

Sat Jan 14, 2012, 04:27 PM

1. Nobody jumped in here I noticed

Sorry for your very personal misery. I've been a nurse in a nursing home. Actually I've done tons of institutional care giving. Bowel care is a big deal. You know that old joke about the "asshole" being boss of the body, despite the brain and heart having superior qualifications.

If you can't go it takes over any other functions.

You know already the basics I'm sure. Exercise, moving your legs to walk stimulates everything. Extra fiber and plenty of water.

Has your doctor given permission for you to try ducolax suppositories in an emergency? One will usually blast you clear in 15 minutes to an hour.

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Response to libodem (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 14, 2012, 05:43 PM

2. Thanks. Yes, I do the exercise, water, etc. The senna is the 'emergency' stuff. Had any of your

patients been on Amitriza? I hate to go on a med, but I have to say I'm really tired of having my days ruled by my "asshole"!

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Response to Nay (Original post)

Sun Jan 15, 2012, 11:58 AM

3. Try taking chelated magnesium tablets.

I take one every night and a cal mag in the morning. Those plus a small cup of coffee in the morning work for me.

A big bowl of oat bran is excellent, too and throw in some raisins! That should definitely do the trick along with the water and exercise.



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Response to Nay (Original post)


Response to Nay (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 11:12 AM

5. I do thanks to MS. A visiting nurse recently gave me this recipe after I'd had abdominal surgery,

which, of course, made the constipation even worse. Simply mix equal parts prune juice, applesauce & fiber/bran cereal and drink it down! That sounded a little funky so I looked it up online and this is what I found -- more appealing IMO:


Power Pudding

2 cups pitted prunes
1 cup applesauce
1 cup Bran Cereal
enough prune juice to make pudding consistency

Blend it in a blender and eat 1 cup in the morning and 1 in the evening for a couple of days, or until it works. It's food so you can't over dose, but I don't recommend you go out the first day or so you start eating it.


I haven't needed it yet, but she swears it works first time, every time! I bet it does given the ingredients!


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Response to tpsbmam (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:45 AM

8. Prunes, prune juice, cereal, applesauce, etc., are all problematic because to eat them in the dose

needed would almost always send my blood sugar into unwanted highs. (I eat fairly low-carb because I'm diabetic.) But thanks, everyone, for the advice and the recipe. I will keep it in reserve.

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Response to Nay (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 02:07 PM

6. You might want to consider "gut permiability"

or if you a have a healthy ratio of "good" gut flora, either of which can really lead to these problems. As well you might have an IgG allergy to certain foods. IgG reactions are slower than the better known IgA reactions and can take up to 3 days to manifest (although 12 o 24 is a more normal reaction time). There is testing for these problems.

I hope this helps.


For non specific and non pathological digestive issues we tend to refer to a local naturopathic and functional medicine doctor. Try this link and see if you can get a free phone consult. http://www.naturopathic.org/AF_MemberDirectory.asp?version=1

Good luck.


The other suggestions seem good too, but it also seems as if you are aware of them and already doing some of them.

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Response to MedicalAdmin (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:48 AM

9. I have taken Align to repopulate my good gut bacteria after the bout of diarrhea, just on

general principles, but it didn't seem to do anything about the constipation. I looked at your link and saw several practitioners near me, so maybe I'll try one of them. Thanks!

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Response to Nay (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 01:31 PM

10. We consider Align a very low strength probiotic in terms of recolonization.

We usually start at doses 50 times that and work our way up for serious cases. 50 billion would be a minimal daily dose for most patients. We also have a few prescription products that are in the 250 billion to 1 trillion per dose range.

Align is a low dose maintenance product with some fillers that are not the best (like titanium) that can block the recolonization or at least slow the process down.

Glad to help while I can. Good luck.


And there is also a procedure called heal drops which I will leave to your doctor to discuss with you (if they are aware of it) because it is a treatment that is specific to only certain conditions.

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Response to Nay (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 10:10 PM

7. I drink lots of water and walk a lot

I am on several medications that constipation so I eat lots of fiber, drink the water and walk. I am in pain management and almost everything I have been given is a culprit.

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Response to Nay (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 05:34 PM

11. Here's something to try - pea soup.

Whenever I'm constipated I make up a batch of split pea soup and it never fails me.

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Response to Nay (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 10:16 PM

12. I've had good luck with Culturelle Probiotics -

whenever following bouts of diarrhea or a round of antibiotics.
I take it at night before bed and it's working well to move things along by morning.
http://www.culturelle.com/?utm_campaign=MSN+Search&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=

Another product I use that moves things along and makes them softer as well is Wobenzym.
It's primarily a great natural way to fight inflammation anywhere in the body but people report lots of other good effects from the product. For me, that includes better digestion and easier bowel movements.
http://www.gardenoflife.com/ProductsforLife/SUPPLEMENTS/ImmunitySupport/WobenzymN/tabid/1900/Default.aspx

Good luck to you! I know how uncomfortable it can be!




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Response to Nay (Original post)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 02:47 PM

13. How about psyllium husk?

Seems it is just an easy way to add fiber. Either as a powder to add to liquids, or capsules.

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Response to Nay (Original post)

Sat Feb 18, 2012, 03:37 AM

14. We are what we eat

and nearly all intestinal issues are caused by food allergies, be it gluten, dairy, yeast, legumes, soy, whatever. I would seriously recommend that you have the ELISA Panel testing. Most insurance companies will pay for this. In the meantime, L-Glutamine is wonderfully calming, as well as probiotics and proboulardi, all available at a Naturopath's office w/o prescription.

Unfortunately western med isn't into healing as much as they are into prescribing drugs. I suggest you read these articles written by an MD that I have a great deal of respect for:

http://drhyman.com/5-simple-steps-to-cure-ibs-without-drugs-2226/

http://drhyman.com/are-your-food-allergies-making-you-fat-40/|

Your body is reacting to something it can't digest. I'm not a doctor, but I've been where you are and found that I am genetically gluten intolerant, as are both my daughters, my grandson, and recently my husband. It explained a lifetime of illness for all of us grownups and my grandson was being told he had IBS at 10 months old, he was the last of us to be tested by Enterolab, which our insurance didn't cover, but he is like a new kid now.

Start with the ELISA test and be sure to have them also do a check on your C-Reactive Protein level, it speaks volumes.

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Response to Nay (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 10:56 PM

15. I do thanks to MS. I recently started my own bowel retraining program.

I'm on an iPad -- I'll look for my link tomorrow. My primary referred me to a gastroenterologist but they didn't take my insurance so it would have been cash pay -- no way! Gotta love USA healthcare. Not. In my case, this becomes a medical emergency.

I've developed autonomic dysreflexia secondary to the MS & key spinal lesions. My BP rises to dangerous levels in response to noxious stimuli elbow these spinal lesions. I've had my BP go as high as 204/114! I could easily stroke out, among other things. I have ways of dealing with it (mainly taking a prn clonidine) but it's essential I get control of the thing that causes most of the elevations -- my bowels. So I'm embarking on my own bowel retraining program, which I'll fill you in on if you're interested. It's well researched & sound. Te one I chose was consistent with those recommended by most hospitals/rehab hospitals -- this one is from a rehab program I'm very familiar with at M. D. Anderson (I used to work in physical medicine & rehab.). In my case, I'm trying to save my life here so I'm highly motivated to stick to a program!


ETA I tried daily Miralax and it didn't work for me. It left me very gassy but not a whole lot less constipated, which made the BP problem worse.

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Response to tpsbmam (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 09:36 PM

16. Thank you. I'll be interested to see the link. nt

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Response to Nay (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 11:14 AM

17. Oops, my apologies for taking so long to get back here! Had one of those days for a couple of days!

What I've started following is provided in the patient education handout found at the M.D. Anderson site:

http://www2.mdanderson.org/app/pe/index.cfm?pageName=opendoc&docid=28

What it mainly added was paying attention to getting two types of fiber, which I've added to my daily routine. So far, it's working along with other things I already had going (daily stool softeners). Paying attention to drinking a full 2 liters of fluid a day has helped a little -- I wasn't drinking enough. I still haven't gotten up to the full 2 liters, but I'm definitely drinking more than I had been and making sure that a good deal of it is just plain water.

Other aspects of bowel training programs are more problematic for me, mainly because I'm stubborn. It includes eating 3 meals a day at relatively regular times. Um, nope. I don't eat breakfast 'til I'm hungry, which may be 1 p.m. I rarely eat lunch -- it's usually just a late afternoon snack of some kind (fruit or cereal or a nutrigrain bar). I eat a good dinner by about 7. I have a really low calorie diet and, despite that, am overweight due to being in a wheelchair and getting very little exercise. (That also contributes -- exercise helps. I used to be 100% regular even with MS, in part because I had more routine, did eat 3 light meals a day and I worked in hospitals and walked a lot during the day. And the MS has also progressed & it's affecting things it didn't before.)

It also includes training your bowels to go at regular times. So, for example, it's recommended that you eat breakfast and have something hot (to eat or drink), which stimulates the bowels. And then you just bloody well just go sit on the can to go.

These two aspects are pretty consistent across all of the bowel programs I've read. And, as I said, I worked in hospitals. I was usually based in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and many of the principles here were used for spinal cord injury patients, who needed to have strategies to get their bowels working since they were always below the level of the spinal lesions.

Establish a Regular Time for Elimination

A bowel training program needs to occur at the same time each day. The goal is to establish a routine and predictable time for elimination. When choosing an appropriate time a person should consider his or her past pattern of bowel elimination and present lifestyle. The time should be convenient and not rushed. Planning the program after meals allows one to take advantage of the wave-like movements that propel the fecal material through the colon to the rectum, which occur 20-30 minutes after a meal.

Stimulate Emptying on a Regular Basis

A stimulus of some kind may be needed to help empty the rectum. The stimulus will vary from individual to individual. The stimulus creates peristalsis or wave-live movements of the colon. A meal or hot drink may stimulate some persons. Others may need to use suppositories, enemas or laxatives (only under the advice of a physician) or a combination of the above. One should use the least stimulus that is effective to promote evacuation.


One more link:

Bowel Training for Constipation Relief

Hope this helps! So far, it seems that it'll help with me but won't be THE answer. Of course, if I'd institute more of a routine as recommended, that might help. And that might come yet. I have to do something -- I can't keep letting my BP soar the way it does with constipation and all of the bowel problems I've been having!

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Response to Nay (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 01:40 AM

18. My daughter has had it since she was a wee one-

My mother in-law told me to feed her dried apricots.
To this day, it works like a charm.

Also papaya, whether fresh or the enzyme tablet supplements.
A side note- my doctor told me my constipation could be related to suppressed anger-
and diarrhea was connected to fear.
Just another bit of information- I know when I have panic attacks,
diarrhea and nausea are often present...my just my personal medical pattern.

Hope this helps!

BHN

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Response to Nay (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:23 AM

19. Transdermal Magnesium Therapy

get yourself some Magnesium Oil, or make your own with some flakes and water (1/2 cup flakes +1/2 cup water). Use everyday twice per day, especially before bedtime. It feels like oil, but it's not - so it doesn't stain your clothes. Magnesium is great for regularity but is hard to digest - this will keep you regular, help you sleep and so much more.

It's amazing!!

I'm thinking I use a couple teaspoons or more in the AM & then PM on my arms, legs, back, tummy...and feet before bed..ahhhhhhhh...
I'm pretty small.

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Response to Nay (Original post)

Sat Jun 9, 2012, 04:55 PM

20. Psyllium husk and beets have saved me.

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