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Constipation Relief???
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Constipation Relief???

Ok everyone, this is a topic I dont like to discuss but I need some serious help. I asked my doctor for some stool softener and it seemed to be helping for a couple of days, then all of a sudden it won't work. I know it is there and ready to come out but it won't. I have pushed until my hemmoroids (hemorrhoids) are starting to act up.

I am in a real need here. I am about to go get an enema to help me but if there is anything I can do to not have to do that I would like to try it, if I don't go soon I am going to explode.

LOL thanks for reading and hopefully i can get some relief soon.


Paula
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Paula

A enema will provide instant relief but for long term you may want to try something like metamucil it will keep everything moving along and soft which with hemmoroids (hemorrhoids) you need . if you dont like to drink it they now come in graham crackers and they are pretty good. a stool softener wont help you go if that is the problem you are having. I only go every 3 or 4 days and sometimes it will be a week and then I will have to use something this has been my "normal" for over 10 yrs now . I hope you can get some relief soon I know how uncomfortable you must be .

Take care
Kat
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I have to drink prune juice every day in order for it to be easier for me to go but I still have major problems.  My problem is the same - it's there and ready to come out, but it won't.  

I starting going to physical therapy for it.  My muscle strength in that area for pushing is 0/5 and my muscle tone on biofeedback should only be about 1 mcv and mine ranges all the way up to over 13 mcv (way too much muscle tone / spasticity).  

Good luck!!
Kelly  
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Increase your fiber intake. I have had terrible issues with constipation due to diverticulosis/diverticulitis. I have been eating way more fiber (spinach, romaine, organic veggies) Benefiber would be a good supplement as well. Yogurt (I like the stonyfield french vanilla) is very good too because of the good bacterias. drink LOTS of water! People should be having BM's at least once per day.Going once every 3-4 days or weekly is NOT GOOD!!! Also I cut out all meat and dairy.. I am eating a very strict vegan diet. Not only am I regular with my bowels, I have lost nearly 20 lbs.

I wish you the very best!!
Krystal
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I'm doing pretty well with the maximum does of Citrucel (12 caplets).  It doesn't cause gas like Metamucil.  Also daily dose of Miralax.  Don't let it go too long.  I gave myself a rectocele being constipated long term.
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When I was a patient in the neuro ward they routinely gave everyone a glass of pear juice with breakfast.  The nurses said a lot of neuro patients have bowel issues and they tried to be proactive.

Before I was introduced to pear juice I used to use lactulose syrup it worked very well.

BTW, I have had to stop my Baclofen because I was vomiting every day but I noticed it also caused constipation, not a good side effect in people who already have problems.

Regards

PS Paula, as a one off emergency treatment, have you thought of using bowel prep.  The type they use before colonoscopies.  Not nice but as an emergency it's pretty sure to be effective.
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I am on Miralax stool softener and it worked at first but I think the hard stuff has moved down and now won't come out. My stomach is killing me, I would do anything just to have a BM.

Where would I get bowel prep? Never heard of it before, well I have for colonoscopys but didn't know it was available over the counter.

I am dealing with this and doing everything I can. My fiber intake is good. I have changed my eating patterns. Not sure that I could cut out all meat though. I love my meat I don't eat a lot of red meat though so that wouldn't be hard to stop.

Thanks for all the advice, Believe me when I say I am willing to try anything.

Paula
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Regularity for bowel movements is different for everyone.  Some people go daily while the normal for others is every few days.  Please do now think you have to have  a BM every day.  That is not the case but many people think that way.

That said, I read in your words that you are very uncomfortable and this is not about how often but rather not going.  The drugs we are on can be a major cause of constipations.  You have to dabble with the various diets and softeners that will work for you.

Its ok to uswe some drastic measures now, but whatever you do, don't start using laxatives, enemas  or colonoscopy preps with any regularity, it can set up a condition in your colon that gets to the point you are dependent on these aids.   And that is worse than the constipation.   Get your immediate relief and then focus on what you can do differently with your diet that might help.  Once you find a good combination, stick iwth it and don't stop.  My magic combo is my morning steel cut oatmeal, mixed with walnuts, raisins and cinnamon.

I hope you get some relief soon.
L
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I'm going to add some additional comments but first (and I hope you are still here Paula) your instinct is right for immediate relief tonight.  

You can use a small disposable enema (Fleet or generic).
OR
You can use a Dulcolax (or generic bisacodyl) suppository.

I think I'd be more inclined to try the suppository.  You can probably insert it yourself (got gloves?) and that's a plus for most people.  It can also help get some rhythmic muscle contractions going that help move the process along once it starts.

Lie on your left side to insert and try to retain fluid or suppository as long as possible even though you may feel like you need to release either immediately.  It takes time for the suppository to melt so about 20 minutes is best for it.   Concentrate on taking slow deep breaths to control any discomfort or cramping or get up and walk around if you feel confident you can.

Wait as long as you can because neither treatment should be repeated tonight.  If you have great results - GREAT!  If you have good results I'd be tempted to follow up with a dose of milk of magnesia unless you have big plans for church in the morning.

Hope you get relief tonight.  Most of us have been in your present state and know how important it is.  Besides, you need to eat Superbowl treats tomorrow, right?

Mary
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Another thing you can try is - using a glove or tp, you can push up on areas around your "exit."  This will change the tone of your muscles, and perhaps will change them enough to let you be able to push it out.  

Also, can try relaxation breathing while you're trying to go. Deep breath in while your stomach goes out as you're breathing in, then pushing belly button in as you breathe out (time breathing out should be twice as long as the time you spend breathing in - ie breathe in for 3 sec, then breathe out for 6 seconds). This relaxation can help as you breathe out and push it out at the same time.  
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General notes about constipation control.

Fiber is tricky.  Fiber is a good thing but it isn't THE thing or the ONLY thing when it comes to constipation.  ONE thing is true for sure - if you eat lots of fiber (natural or packaged) you must, must, MUST also drink lots, lots, LOTS of water.  Otherwise it becomes nothing but hard-as-concrete, stop-you-up and shut-you-down bulk, bulk, BULK (and you'll have to send in nano miners with pick hammers to solve that kind of problem).

Psyllium causes gas in many people.  Some fiber "laxatives" have it and others don't.  

Metamucil is actually a bowel REGULARTOR.  You might be surprised to learn it can be used to control diarrhea as well as constipation.

Lulu is absolutely right that daily is not necessarily necessary.  Several times a day can be normal as can every two to three days.  That pretty much pushes the outer limit though.  Weekly elimination isn't usually seen in healthy people and can turn into trouble quickly.  If that become your routine you need to find a routine that establishes more frequent elimination.

Softeners can usually be taken once or twice daily without problem.  Laxatives should be reserved for occasional use unless you have a spinal cord injury or disease causing inertia of the bowels.  In that case a bowel routine protocol may be prescribed which could include regular laxative use.

Laxtulose is a prescription drug as far as I know.  It can certainly solve a constipation problem but is usually ordered for other problems.  Loose stools are a 'handy' side effect but one that could create greater problems than it solves.

Miralax works for many people but is also very expensive.  Look at labels for the active ingredient.  There are generics of Miralax that work just as well at a fraction of the price.  (This is a Lulu oldie but goodie tip.)  The active 'stuff' of Miralax (Polyethylene Glycol 3350) is actually the same "stuff" that's in the drink-the-whole-gallon bowel preparations.  The preps just have some extra electrolytes and a larger dose of PG.  The preps shouldn't be used for constipation unless it is under a doctor's supervision and that is why they are obtained by Rx).

Lulu is also right that different solutions will work for different people.  It may take a long process of trial and error until success is found.  When you get there, STICK WITH IT.  Once the magic is broken it can take another long struggle to find a new best solution.  

Been there, done that and searched for years before I found my magic bullet.  An ounce of stabilized flax seed in a couple of ounces of yogurt is my BFF.  I use ONE brand of flax in a single flavor of a specific brand of yogurt.  I'm loyal as a yellow dog.

Guess that's enough.
Maybe a little too much.

Mary
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I like your breathing tips Kelly!

Pear juice was new to me as well.

I'll add both to my memory banks.

Thanks gals,
Mary
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Hi Paula,

I don't know about the US but in Oz we can buy lactulose and bowel prep at the chemist without prescription.  Bowel prep can be either Go Lytely or Fleet. You can't usually get Fleet here though because there have been cases of people literally exploding from Fleet.  It's flammable. Ouch!

Lactulose is commonly used for people with liver failure who are prone to confusion because of a build up of ammonia.  Lactulose causes bowel motions with elimination of ammonia so it's a good treatment for the prevention of encephalopathy.  It was recommended to me by my oncologist because the chemo and the anti nausea medication I was on were both very constipating.  It worked so well I now keep it in the cupboard as the families regular laxative if needed.

Regular intake of pear juice helps prevent constipation but sometimes you just NEED something extra.

Regards

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I have a suggestion that I haven't seen yet...Castor oil.  Just a few tablespoons mixed in with a cup or so of liquid.  It works!  Trust me!  But like the colon prep, when you mix it you may want to mix it with something that you don't drink regularly.

When I was pregnant, I was sooo constipated I was crying.  It hurt!  I heard of this old tried and true remedies from an elderly person I used to care for.  Sure enough, I mixed it with root beer (I think I did 4 oz of castor oil and 4 oz of root beer) and had results very quickly, I would say within an hour and a half at the longest.  Be prepared though, your constipation will then turn into the opposite problem.  Make sure that you drink lots of fluids, probably something with electrolytes like Pedialyte or even Gatorade.

I must point out that I whole-heartedly agree with Lulu.  I know this isn't what you were asking, but I want to point it anyways.  Not everyone has a BM everyday.  In the medical field, what is considered normal is every one to 3 days.  And some people have multiple BM's everyday.  It just depends on the person.  As a nurse, we tend to start pushing the laxatives on the third day.  This is universal as far as I know.

I also agree with Lulu that while laxatives are okay for the times we really need them, like now for you, but no one should take them everyday.  You will become dependent on them and will no longer be able to go on your own.  BIG problems!  It's not pleasant at all.  (When I talk about laxatives, I am talking about a stimulant laxative that "makes" you go, not a stool softener or bulking agent).

Good luck and I hope you feel better and find relief soon!
Sarah
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Castor oil when pregnant?  Wow.  When I was pregnant they had me take castor oil in hopes it would start labor.  It produced neither baby nor BM.  Both came in their own timing.  I'm sure glad you didn't get more than you expected from the dosing.

I know castor oil used to be a standard (mineral oil was used as well) but I'd be cautious with any oil preparation when so many other options are available these days.  Oil prevents absorption of nutrients when given systemically and can leak out of the bowel at unplanned times.

I think Moms used to chase after their kids with castor oil.  If it helped anything that ailed a kid it probably had something to do with Omega-3.  I do wonder if there's any chance it might have had a forever effect on my husband.  

Hey, is it just me or is there a thing about nurses names Sarah around here?
Mary
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I was having all kinds of issues with my bowels not moving. My Doctors and I tried all the stuff. Finally I accidentally hit on avocado. I eat fresh avocado everyday and no more problems. I put it in salads or make homemade Mexican food since I do not like to eat processed. It has helped with my diet as well.

Alex
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Hubby had to take drastic measures once recently and bought the bowel prep stuff--not the golightly that is prescription (and is miralax plus some electrolytes) but the small bottle of clear liquid called magnesium citrate.  It worked wonders.
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Thank you everyone for your responses,

I do know that a daily bowl movement is not always the norm for everyone. I went from having to rush to the bathroom so that I wouldn't lose control of my bowels to being constipated which really stinks. I would almost rather have it the other way rather than constipated.

I went and bought an enema today and yes I do know that it is just for immediate relief and I would never use them on a regular basis, but for now however it is what I need to do and will do.

I love the avacado idea, mmmmm I just love avacados and they have healthy oils in them so that is a plus too. I will try that. I actually just ate 1/4 of an avacado before I got on here.


I am going to change my diet up to try to figure out what works for me. Once again thank you for all the advice :)

Paula
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Hope your are feeling better!
Sarah
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Eat lots of veggies!  Veggies (especially the green ones) not only have lots of good vitamins for you but they for the most part have natural fiber in them. That, with a generous amount of water consumption on a regular basis will keep you normal.

Julie
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Julie,

Thank you,

I do eat lots of fruits and veggies and drink about a gallon of water a day. I have been on Weight Watchers for some time and I am down 40 pounds so water and fruits and veggies are not a problem for me.

I am going to work on things to help me keep going.

Paula
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Another option for occasional relief is liquid magnesium citrate. It comes in 8 oz. bottles and you can get it over the counter. The advantage here is that you drink it :-) In about 30 minutes it thoroughly clears things out.

http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-522-Magnesium+Citrate+Oral.aspx?drugid=522&drugname=Magnesium+Citrate+Oral
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According to my boyfriend, I'm full of $hit and there's no remedy for that. I'm so fortunate.

I thought I'd give you laugh. (hope so)

I know what its like to be full like that.  In fact, I had a CT Scan about 9 months ago and was told the impression of the scan was, "Patient is full of stool".  Nice huh?  Something my boyfriend knew already without the CT Scan. Heh.

You know you will find your niche in regard to aid your bowel regimen to an acceptable level.  It's finding that mix that will help YOU and you alone.  Lord knows you have a plethora of remedies to choose from.  

I hope the discomfort and timely evacuation will soon come to an end!  (Pun sort of intended).

Lisa
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Lisa,

LOL my dad use to always tell me I was full of sh@t. Thanks for the laugh.

I found my relief and I am sure I have lost 5 pounds from it lol, ok well not really but sounds good. I got some suppositories to try first and it took a couple of days but I finally got some serious relief.

So hard to have these problems, but yet me must go on and find out what works for us.

Thank you :)

Paula
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So now we are twins!  We're both full of **** from time to time! Hahaha!

The FOS club!

I am so happy to hear you have finally found relief and I would believe you have lost lbs after all that!

When you get your formula, stick with it baby!

Lisa
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I just found an joined this site.  I hope you are doing better.  I'm sixty two and have had MS for more than half my life.  My biggest problem is lack of peristalsis. I need stimulants along with softners of various types and try to drink lots of fluids, but with MS urological problems also complicate matters.  "Success varies, any suggestions out there to help with the little peristalsis I still have would be greatly appreciated.
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Hi!  And welcome to the MS community at MedHelp.  I'm glad you decided to join us but this particular thread is pretty old and I'm afraid your concern isn't going to get much attention here.  I realize this might feel like too tough a topic to introduce  yourself with but we are quite used to discussing it all around here - and I mean anything.  Try starting a new topic by scrolling to the top of the page and clicking on the "Post A Question" icon.

In case you decide against that......
It sounds like you might need to use a neurogenic bowel routine.  A GI doctor should be able to help you develop an individualized plan.  Another good specialist to ask for help (and my personal preference for the job) would be a physiatrist.  They are physical medicine specialists (as in rehabilitation) NOT shrinks.  LOL  A physiatrist who works with people who live with spinal cord diseases and disorders should be very familiar with bowel routines.

Otherwise, organizations like the United Spinal Association and Paralyzed Veterans of America can be very helpful.  MS qualifies you for membership.  :) and :(

Hope something in there helps and hope to see you around here some more.
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You might be not taking enough diet. Try to consume fiber, natural vegetables and fruits. And you should try to drink a glass of warm prune juice every day will help you move your bowels. Epsom salts work they attack the constipation really well and very quickly. Drink 2-3 liters of water or 6-8 ounce of water per day. And be active in physical exercise. And avoid fatty foods its takes longer time to digestive. I hope It will helpful for you.
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