Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
constipation and high altitude
About This Forum:

This is a place to ask questions about digestive problems and receive a personal answer from a highly qualified doctor. You will also find support from other members who share your interest in digestive disorders. Digestive Disorders include: Anal and Rectal problems, Barrett’s Esophagus, Bleeding in the Stomach and Digestive Tract, Constipation, Crohn’s Disease, Gastritis, GERD, Heartburn, Proctitis, Short Bowel Syndrome, Ulcers, Whipple’s Disease, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (and many more).

Font Size:
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

constipation and high altitude

About 5 years ago I was told I had irritable bowel symdrome. Then I moved to a new state and in a town the is approx. 5500 ft altitude.  My problem with constipation has gotten 10 times worse, especially at night.  I feel tired all the time and have terrible gas at night and although I feel the need to eliminate, I can't have a bowel movement at night no matter how hard I try.  In the morning, if I'm alone and nothing upsets my routine, I can eliminate with no problem.  Now I am starting to also have terrible heartburn at night, every night, even though I have taken Previcid for 2 years, it doesn't help.  I also am having frequent lower back pain and reoccuring bladder infections.  Could all these symtoms (symptoms) be caused by IBS??  And can the higher altitude have an effect on my system??  Because, when I go back to WI. to visit family, I have no problem with constipation!!  I'm very frustrated and it's starting to effect my relationship with my husband.  Can anyone help???
Related Discussions
1 Comment
I have IBS also, diagnosed in my 20s.  I live in a high altitude area but did not notice any difference when I lived in the midwest.  I also have gas at night often and my gastro put me on something called Miralax which is not a laxative like Ex-lax but just puts water in the stool.  It has helped a great deal.  I hate IBS. I have yet to figure out what I can eat without a problem.  So far I think I can eat rice, ha ha.  Rice is one of the grains that I was told would not cause gas.  I have also used Maalox which has seemed to help occasionally.  I do not get heartburn.  The Miralax is wonderful and you can start and decrease it to the point where you think is best.  I was told I could stay on it for a while. Of course the doctor told me that I needed more fiber. Well, i ate plenty of it before and it obviously didn't do much good, but fiber also creates more problems for IBS sufferers.  I have never been able to digest fiber well since I have been diagnosed.  It actually creates more gas than if I had taken none at all.  I think most of the doctors have really missed the boat on IBS.  I am almost positive that there is a link between hormones and IBS at least in my case.  When I was pregnant, I had no problems with IBS.  I have also heard that endometriosis can affect IBS, making it worse.  My mother has IBS as well as my brother and sister and both my mother and sister have had hystorectomies.  They both said that their problems were helped after their hystorectomies.  But it has been difficult to convince a doctor that maybe that is the answer.  I suppose since 75 percent of IBS sufferers are actually women and a large portion of gastros are men and have never experienced IBS firsthand.  Anyway, I could complain forever about IBS because I hate it, but maybe my comments will help.  Good Luck
Dear Kiefer,

I do think there can be a connection between high altitude and some digestive problems.

One reason for this is: It takes a lot of oxygen, to fully digest fats, normally. But at high altitudes, there is less oxygen available. Therefore, many people have problems digesting fats at higher altitudes.

One thing you could investigate that might help you, is DIGESTIVE ENZYMES.

My husband likes "Acid-Ease" by Prevail, which is nice for those with ulcers and/or Gastric Reflux.

I like "Total Enzymes" which are made by Nutri-West, and can be bought from chiropracters, etc.

Look through many messages here that deal with constipation. You'll get some good ideas.

Here are some things that NOW keep me from being constipated, and I used to be a very constipated kid!!! Not any more!!!:

1)Acidophilus/Bifidus "pro-biotics" are WONDERFUL for naturally treating constipation!! Get from a good health food store. Keep refrigerated, but not too close to the freezer.

2)I try to drink MORE GOOD QUALITY WATER, to prevent dehydration, that can make constipation worse. We have a well, non chlorinated, non fluoridated!

3)PRUNE JUICE, in moderation. (preferably "organic", from a health food store).

4)Walk, walk, walk! Gentle exercise really helps stop constipation.

5)If medically OK for you, learn some abdominal massage techniques, from a good Osteopathic physician.

6)Avoid WHITE ("DENATURED") GRAINS. Whole grains are more nutritious, and have natural fiber. This means "COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES", rather than just simple carbohydrates, like sugar.

7)I used to use Psyllium products, but found they didn't agree with me. All the above worked better than the Psyllium, for me.

Anything I'm forgetting here, is probably in some of my other messages! Good luck. Don't give up! You can conquer this!

Hopefully others will also give you some more advice.

But, also see a good gastro-enterologist, in case you have something else none of us has thought of!

Concerned lady

Continue discussion Blank
MedHelp Health Answers
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
TMJ/TMJ The Connection Between Teet...
Jan 27 by Hamidreza Nassery , DMD, FICOI, FAGDBlank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank