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This is ridiculous....
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This is ridiculous....

Hi:

I have never been diagnosed with IBS, but I strongly suspect I may have IBS with constipation . My mother and my sister both have it. For as long as I can remember, I have had bad issues with constipation. Its been getting worse and since the week after Easter, I have not been able to go, or very little. My lower abdomen is noticably bloated and full of gas and it is giving me awful heartburn. I have to actually suck my stomach in because it hurts to let it loose.

Every place I go to for advice just gives me the same crap- fiber, water, and exercise. I take Metamucil 2x a day and try to eat foods with fiber, I drink 128 oz of water alone a day, and work out 5 days a week. I have taken Colace- nothing. Milk of magnesia- nothing. Did an enema the other night- nothing. I decided to try Magnesia pills and then found out they had calcium in them!

I don't know what else to do right now. I am so gd miserable. My weight has gone up a couple pounds and I am suspecting it may have to do with this bout of constipation. I really don't want to have to resort to taking a laxative, although at this point I am ready to take Magnesium Citrate. My mother insists I take too much Metamucil, although I did cut back on it this week to once a day and still nothing. I don't want to give up the Mucil because it does work at times and until I started to take it, I was often doubled over from gas pains in my lower left side after nearly every meal. I know one can have too much fiber, but I am starting to wonder if when you take a supplement like Mucil, if it is possible to drink too much water.

Thanks,
Nikki
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Avatar_n_tn
   I'm no expert on IBS, but I will give you some ideas to think about.
      Is it possible you're drinking too much water? Maybe you're diluting your stomach acid to the point that it's not strong enough to break the food down properly. Try not drinking with your meals.
      Is it possible you've taken too many laxatives or too many fiber supplements in the past and now your body is dependent on them for a bowel movement?
      Have you ever tried aloe vera juice? It's great for constipation. It is full of enzymes that help with digestion and has something in it that has a lubricating effect. Maybe drink a little of this throughout the day in place of some of the water, in  between meals. Then drink a little regularly to keep things moving.
     I know that when my husband gets bloated/gassy/burpy and he drinks some wheatgrass juice or other "green" juice from the health food store, it seems to help get rid of it quite well.
     Good luck!
    How about digestive enzyme supplements? I use Source Naturals broad spectrum enzymes before each meal with great results.
    Once you get your bowels to empty regularly, that should take care of your heartburn problem.


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Avatar_f_tn
You are drinking too much water, and I think you need to back off the fiber.  Colace has never worked for me, but it sounds like you do need a stool softener along with a motility.  Try Miralax, it is very safe, not addictive and can be used long term.  You do need to take something to get cleaned out because you are impacted with stool right now, and then you can start with the Miralax.  Magnesium Citrate is a good cleanser and is used to cleanse the colon before a procedure like a colonoscopy.  Also, probiotics are  helpful, you can get this in Activia or in tablet form, but the Activia seems to work very well but takes up to two weeks to start working.  If you don't see any relief, then this needs to be addressed further with a gastroenterologist.  Take care...
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Avatar_n_tn
    Yes, I agree with mammo. Back off on the fiber too, especially, I think, the grain based fiber, because some are harder to digest than vegetable fiber. I think if you increase your intake of watery fruits and veggies, like cucumber, grapes, apples, you get the idea, that will be better than engorging yourself with just a lot of water. I also highly agree on the probiotics. Get a big colony of healthy bacteria established in your intestines and I'll bet your "IBS" symptoms will be a thing of the past. But first get rid of that impacted stool by what mammo suggests or anything you eat will just sit and ferment, giving you even more gas.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi:

Before I got a chance to check on any responses, I did break down and took Dulcolax last night. It definitely did work and I was down on the scale. Before I was having problems on the scale, I was around 136. When my stomach acted up, I was bouncing between 138 and 140. Today the scale said 134. I felt great, except for the terrible cramps I got from the "gentle" laxative. No more bloating, milder heartburn (I do have GERD).

I also suspect that I am drinking too much water while taking the Metamucil. I did neglect to mention that the reason why I drink so much water is not due to constipation; rather, due to being prone to urinary tract infections. It seems to have- knock on wood- kept me in the clear of developing any. I am going to try to cut back on water, as well as the Metamucil dosages and see what happens.

I don't know what is considered laxative abuse, but I would say that at the very most, I may take laxatives 6 times a year and even that is pushing it. Usually I try to use them as an absolute last resort.

I have seen Aloe Vera Juice, but never tried it. It may be worth a shot to try it, though. I am reading up on it and it seems to have a lot of benefits. Is it something safe to take long term? I know 2 people that have tried Activia with some success, so I am willing to try that as well.

I am trying to find something to try that can be natural and safe for long term use. Both of you have provided me with some very good information.

Thanks,
Nikki
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Nikki,
I am sure you know to consume cranberry juice to avoid UTI's? Unsweetened is best. The acidity keeps your tract inhospitable to bacteria that cause infections. Harder to find, but health stores and Trader Joes carries it.
   As far as I know, aloe juice is safe long term. You only need small doses of it to be effective (a few tablespoons or a couple of ounces at a time).
   Since you do have GERD, I would definitely do the digestive enzyme capsules with meals, too. Some brands even have a probiotic included, so you would only need one supplement instead of two.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh yes, I know about cranberry juice. It has helped with many UTIs in the past. :)

I have to ask out of curiosity- what does aloe vera juice taste like?

Are digestive enzymes usually just sold in health stores?
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Avatar_n_tn
       Hi again!
                Aloe juice is a bit sour and has a little zing to it. People seem to be really concerned about how it tastes, but just plug your nose, and down the hatch! I've been drinking it for years and don't mind the taste anymore. It's better chilled.
                I have been able to find broad spectrum enzymes in health stores, specialty vitamin shops, and of course, online. I prefer the Source Naturals brand
               Oh, I also should have mentioned, but I guess this is obvious- The probiotics should help prevent your UTI's also, in the yogurt or in the supplements, but unsweetened yogurt is best. :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi!

I have read more on Aloe Vera today and I am really considering trying it. Who knows- it may not taste too bad to me! So many people told me how nasty Metamucil is and I think it actually tastes pretty good! If it works for me, my mom and my sister may benefit from it as well.

That's good to know about the probiotics and UTIs. I have heard something about yogurt preventing them, but never read more on it. In addition to trying to help my stomach issues, I am always looking for ways to prevent UTIs.
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Avatar_f_tn
One more thing- recommended brands of Aloe Vera? I have seen this ginormous jug of Fruit of The Nector brand AV juice in several stores that I was going to buy, but I don't know how that rates.
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Avatar_n_tn
  I did a search on this brand you mentioned, but couldn't find any info. Are you sure it isn't "Fruit of the Earth"? I can't comment on brands really, because I've only used "Aloe Botanicals" brand from Trader Joes. I would say, in general, as long as it's 100 percent aloe juice with little or no additives, it's probably okay. I know mine has citric acid added as a pH stabilizer, but it doesn't seem to bother my stomach or my husband's. If you can't find it online to research it, I would say try it. As they say, the proof is in the pudding. If you get positive results after drinking that brand, stick with it.
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Avatar_f_tn
lol yeah I meant Fruit of the Earth. Reading too many things at once.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, since I have taken that laxative, my stomach is right back to where it was- bloated, unable to go to the bathroom, gas, heartburn, and pain (mostly in the belly button area and left side). I am also having the typical after effect I keep suffering from every time I take a laxative anymore. I cut back on the fiber and the water and I actually feel worse!

BUT....I did buy George's Aloe juice today and I am really hoping this will work. Any rough estimate on when you can start to see the benefits of it?
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Avatar_n_tn
        I can see you are really banking on the aloe juice working its magic on you. Let me just say, you didn't develop this condition overnight, nor will you "get rid of it" overnight. It's what you do everyday, over time, where you will see the real results. Drink a little aloe juice each day, after each meal if need be. Eat the yogurt, or better yet, drink the kefir, everyday. ( Kefir has the most probiotics). Over time, your body will adjust to having these new additions and start to work more efficiently. Be patient. There is no time table. You may need to tweak the amounts, including the fiber and water intake. Experiment and do what feels right. Best wishes!
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Avatar_f_tn
Yeah I am really hoping it does work. I have not had a bought of stomach problems like this in a long time, so needless to say I am miserable as anything and just wish something would work. So far, I have not seen any real improvement. I wish I could remember where I read it, but somewhere I read aloe vera effects can take anywhere to 2 weeks to a month to see any benefits. My mom keeps asking if I should really be taking the Metamucil while trying the aloe vera, but I don't know. All I know is any day I tried not to take the Metamucil, I was in tears because the pain in my lower left side was so bad. Every time I would inhale, I wanted to scream. I felt like there was barbed wire there. I don't know what is in the Metamucil that prevents it, but it keeps me basically pain free.

I am actually starting to wonder if hormones might be contributing to the intestinal upset. Whenever I am due for my period, I get really bad physical and emotional symptoms. I have not had my period since March; however, since the beginning of April I have had symptoms I only suffer from during my menstrual cycle. No other time. Right around the time my DS started to act up.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wait a minute, wait a minute.  What??? You have not had your time of the month for two months??  Hon, would you PLEZ go to your doctor, you need a checkup, nevermind all this other.

By the way, even tho you had a refreshing bowel movement, you've been stopped up so long, that's how come you bloated back up.  It takes a while for the whole works to come out of there.  Take the Ducolax again, get you a couple more good movements and then quit it.  

If you've taken antibiotics for the UTIs, those will tend to cause constipation, so the advice here about aloe juice, probiotics, activia, all of that stuff should at the very least be consumed right after you finish the very last round of antibiotics whenever you finish taking those.  And I do think if you will get some probiotics in you right away, it is going to help your digestion a lot.  One more thing on the medicine list.  I don't know if you take any other medications, but you should have your doc review the side effects of everything you're on, and could be one of those is contributing to your constipation.  That happened to me.

Throw the Miralax out the window.  If you eat enough fiber foods, and of course about five glasses of water (no more), you are not going to get stopped up.  But you have to eat fiber foods every day as a routine.  This includes whole grains of all kinds, like Cheerios, oat cereal, 100 percent whole wheat bread, spagetti.  Also includes a salad every day, fresh washed whole fruit as a snack only, vegies of every kind, even V-8 will help.  See, if you keep pouring Miralax in your guts, it will make fiber TOO MUCH, and all that will pile up and make things ten times worse.

As for water and UTIs, please do find a website where that's all they do, is talk about that, and find out what other people do, aside from what's been offered here, to find out what all can cause those and also how to prevent them.  But if you've been taking a bunch of antibiotics lately, it can create a vicious circle, where your flora is so messed up, that your body's natural immunity won't work right, and this applies to UTIs.  It's the same thing with kids and earaches, they get them over and over, becuz the drugs kill the "good" bacteria, so they are susceptible to more, at least in my opinion.

And since your relatives also have similar digestive problems, you might pay attention to what you all are eating (or not eating) that's the same, could be you all have perhaps an allergy to a particular type of food, or could be you guys use too much salt, or maybe your family simply does not like a particular essential type food group, there's lots of things a family can eat out of habit that can cause "group" digestive problems.  Sorry to butt in, but when you said you hadn't had a period since March, I kinda freaked out, so thought I'd tell you everything I knew about the digestive situation, too.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi ggreg:

Well the good news is my period FINALLY did just come yesterday. It actually used to be pretty irregular (one time I didn't get it for 6 months and that time I had everything checked out and nothing was out of the ordinary) but for the past couple of years, it was coming every month. Usually weight loss or gain will throw it off, but I have had neither in the past few months.

Oh, I am not on any antibiotics right now; I have not had a UTI in a few years. I do try to follow the basic guidelines of preventing UTIs (wiping front to back, etc) and yet I still will occasionally end up with one. Currently, I do not take ANY medications and have not since....well, probably since the last time I took antibiotics with the last UTI, which was summer 08. So no meds are behind the constipation.

Now when you say throw the Miralax out the window....Miralax or Metamucil? I have never taken Miralax.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, Metamucil, my boo-boo.  And I mentioned antibiotics since you did not specify as to when you may have taken any.  But the rest of my examples do carry some weight, so please consider those items whilst on your saga of getting your digestion straight.  Take what you want, leave the rest.  And by the way, you CAN throw any past, present, or future Miralax out the window, too, since the Ducolax gave you the best movement recently.  Smile.
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Avatar_f_tn
Okay just double checking about the Miralax. I wasn't sure if you just had confused it with the Metamucil or if you meant just don't even bother trying it! :)

Oh I am definitely jotting down most of the suggestions on here. I am to the point where I am desperate to try ALMOST anything (not desperate to the point of trying wacky dangerous things though) to get my DS working better. I need to go to the doctor about this, but I have no insurance right now and while I probably could afford to pay for just the visit, any testing or anything is out of the question. I have had constipation problems for so long and it just ends up getting worse over time. Since I started the Metamucil over a year ago, I actually do have a week here and there where my stomach functions pretty well. But most of the time, its constipation. I'm sick of it.

HA, the Dulcolax, with the exception of the nasty cramps I got, worked great. That was the best my stomach felt in a while.
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Avatar_f_tn
Any opinions on something like the Sanar Colon Cleanser 2002? All the reviews make it sound like it is safe to take in general and safe to take long term, but then I read up on the ingredients and get another story. Any input or personal experiences?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey there, I was wondering how all your efforts have been working out for you. I have to second the suggestion for miralax. It worked for me a bit, and if u don't have a serious colonic issue that should do the trick. If not. I would go see ur gi specialist and do a sitz marker test. Hope u have been feeling better. My best.
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Avatar_f_tn
Miralax is a healthy and low dose of what the doc would give u if u were having a colonoscopy, to cleanse u out. It is a very light white powder and should not bloat you up like medimucil does. If ur having a problem releasing after all the laxatives, I would also suggest not takin in a lot of fiber because it will probably just fill ur intestines and sit there making u feel more bloated (at least it has for me). Good luck.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi barbeezee:

Well....I have not been doing as much as I should. I'd still like to give Aloe Vera a shot, but I have to find one that isn't so expensive. But the good news is, since my period finally came on, my stomach has been functioning somewhat better. I am still having bloating and constipation problems, but I am not at the point where I am not going at all.

My sister has also suggested Miralax to me. She takes it, although not on a regular basis, but she never does say if it works for her, although it could work for her and still not work for me. My mom said it didn't work for her when she took it, but with her, she might have taken it 2 days and called it quits lol. I know a few people have told me to not try it, but I am seriously considering trying it. All I want is something that will help and can be taken long term. I wanted to try the Sanar pills, but I am leary on how safe it is for long term and I don't know if a pharmacist or someone can answer that since it is outside the realm of prescription meds. It has Aloe Vera and psyllium husk in it, but as for the other ingredients....I don't know how they are in the long term.

Thanks,
Nikki
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Avatar_f_tn
Okay, I am on day 3 of taking Miralax. Haven't seen too much of an improvement, but I am not expecting miracles here, so I am going to try it AT LEAST for a full week. I am not sure whether the bloating I am experiencing is from the Miralax or just from eating kind of bad the past few days, but I'll see what happens over the next few days. It is making me feel kind of nauseous though, especially if I don't eat right away after taking it (I have the same problem with stool softeners).

Now, with probiotics....is it best to take a variety of them or do I take one specific one? I am always hearing about acidophilus and I saw bottles of it in Bed, Bath, and Beyond and was thinking of giving it a try. Or giving the Phillips Colon Healh pills a try. Any experience with these?
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Anyone ever try Sustenex? Sorry, I know everyone's "mileage may vary", just wanting to hear any testimonies on different products and whether to give them a shot or forget about it.
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..... I just wanna leave a simple note.....pure glass of orange juice in the morning if you can  from fresh oranges, than followed by another big glass of water( try to make about 1 liter shot in the morning) normally  fiber and the liquid pressure helps to evacuted....  but get infos about CHLOROPHYLL/ CHLORELLA,  see if its fine for you , its an amazing source of health hidden  by the syntetic industry of medication,,,,,,, i wish the best and please let me know if worked .
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Avatar_f_tn
Miralax update:

Okay, so I have been taking Miralax for over a week and I feel awful. I have had nausea and a headache every day since I started taking it, my abdomen is bloated like nothing I have ever seen before (which is giving me worse heartburn)...the only way I can describe how my stomach feels is toxic. And its not helping, even with drinking lots of water and cutting back on the fiber. Thankfully I should be getting insurance soon so I can go see a GI doctor ASAP, but until then, I am going to look into more of the suggestions here. Try another brand of aloe vera or the chlorella or something. I have been doing a ton of research on probiotics over the past few days as well.

Thanks everyone!
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