Embarrasing questions, but hoping I'm not the only person with this problem

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Embarrasing questions, but hoping I'm not the only person with this problem

Post  KimbaK on Tue 27 Aug 2013, 11:01 pm

Please excuse the subject matter. Its bowel related and I would rather just ignore it.

I have a tentative diagnosis of IBS. Previous symptoms included diarrhea and the unpleasantness that accompanies it.

About 18 months ago, I changed from too much to not enough. I suffer from awful constipation and bloating and difficulty voiding (how's that for a polite term?) I have seen a specialist just before I lost my insurance. At that time, he did not see any issues. He advised me to drink a lot of water and get moderate exercise. I wish the exercise thing was an option. Any kind of mild or more exertion triggers migraines for me.

I do stay hydrated. Since I have pain medication I have had to add stool softeners to my daily meds. Otherwise, passing stool is excruciating and takes more time than it takes me to dress and put on a little make up.

I take 1200 mgs of Magnesium daily. I take roughly 680 mgs of docusate sodium daily (or whatever its correct name is). I take Senokot-S when needed. I am still struggling with hard stool.

Also, when I am really constipated it seems like I get a severe migraine. I have terrible lower back pain (which I have researched and learned is just a symptom of the constipation.) And straining to have a bowel movement intensifies the pain of the migraine.

Is anyone else having problems like this? If yes, how are you addressing it? I plan to go to the doctor in November and have a colonoscopy, the GI series if the doctor recommends it, whatever. I'm just trying to hold out until November. I'd rather not pay an enormous doctor bill to be told I just need to hydrate and exercise.

Any suggestions?

K

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Re: Embarrasing questions, but hoping I'm not the only person with this problem

Post  7777Trinity on Wed 28 Aug 2013, 8:34 pm

Kim
I have the same issue and use an enema almost daily. It gets the blockage moving. I have taken laxatives, but find those pretty harsh.

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Re: Embarrasing questions, but hoping I'm not the only person with this problem

Post  tortoisegirl on Wed 28 Aug 2013, 9:15 pm

Have you tried a combo of a laxative and stool softener? I also have bowel issues...I have very slow moving loose stool (combo of predisposed constipation, IBS, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and opiate induced constipation).

Miralax is the most recommended laxative. Its an otc osmosis laxative, which pulls more water into the bowels. It has a lot of dose flexibility as its a powder...some people take a fraction of a capfull, and some take almost the whole bottle in one dose.

I take Miralax plus Senna. I can't seem to tell if the Senna is helping, but my gastro doctor hopes it would help speed things up for me. Senna is a vegetable laxative, also otc. It seems to be gentler than most everything else, but it can cause cramping, so I started at a very low dose (1 pill once a day) and worked up to two pills twice a day (I think 8 is the max).

The Senna would likely work better if taken daily. Magnesium causes issues for some folks, so even if you are having constipation, you may want to try going a couple weeks without that and see if you do better. A combo of Miralax, stool softener, and Senna could be a good thing to try. I'd work up on the doses until things get regular.

If you have severe constipation, it can take weeks for the meds to make a good difference. Sometimes things can switch course quite quickly, so I would increase the dose slowly. I'd avoid stimulant laxatives, enemas, and the like. Those things can get you stuck in the cycle of needing to use them.

I have been doing better than I used to. My bowel habit used to be either nothing (sometimes for weeks) or diarrhea. Now I seem to be the closest to normal I've been in a long time. I think for severe constipation exercise wouldn't make a difference anyways. One tip I do have though is a heating pack on your lower abdomen. I have found this actually moves things along some, in addition to helping the discomfort. I always forget to do this though...

Another thing to look at is diet. Contrary to popular belief, for some types of constipation, fiber maxes it worse. I also discovered I am bery fructose intolerant. Limiting both in my diet has been causing me less issues (I also get "attacks" with nausea and cramping, presumably from the SIBO). Good luck! Best wishes.

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