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Avatar universal

bloating, gas and constipation

Last week my absolutely daily bowel movement stopped, now for 7 days. I went to a doctor who discovered that I had shingles, and sent me to a scan to find if I had a blockage. I did not.
However my constipation, gas and bloating continues in spite that I am taking Ex Lax, and Metalusil. I have severy pain in my stomach and beg pressure. I look preganat. The doctor did not seem to concerned and told me to take Milk of Magnesia, which I did with no results.
Any suggestiosn?
11 Responses
Avatar universal
Exlax in itself will cause gas and bloating, but will also make you have a bowel movement as it is very potent.  I have had a lot of experience with blockages with my children due to an inherited colon disease.  If you are not getting any relief from the laxatives, I would go to your ER.  It sounds like a blockage to me, and if you are blocked for a long time, that part of the bowel can die.  Not trying to scare you, but your doctor obviously isn't taking you seriously, and I've seen my share of incompetency in doctors!  
Avatar universal
Thanks for your inteest. Ex Lax did not work at all. I went to a hospital to have Cat Scan to look ofr a blockage. They did not fing anything.
I was really surprised about the lack of concern by the doctors about my constipation and the pain associated with it. I also got "shingles" in the same time and maybe these shigles are connected with my constipation.. Have you ever heard about such connection?
Avatar universal
Dear Lauyferein,
Yes, shingles can cause flu-like symptoms, which includes an upset tummy and diarrhea, which is sort of diff from what you got, but could be shingles is indeed how come you are stopped up.  Also, some medications and even vitamin pills will cause constipation, so if in the last few weeks you took some new pills or vits, you need to probably at least switch kinds.  Antibiotics, pain medicine, and tranquilizers are the usual meds that are the culprits, and some vitamins can stop your digestion for days.  If your digestion is ready to come out but won't, then at the drugstore is "Baby Lax," a small box of tubes of ointment, squirt two in there, and it'll come right out, repeat as needed.  If your digestion stoppage is further up, you can do some enemas with the long tube, keep at it for a few days, and it should eventually and finally cause it to come out.

The natural stuff I've done to get things moving again is to eat whole wheat bread daily, eat Activia yogurt daily for a couple weeks, eat dark green salad a few times a week, and eat a couple handfuls of blueberries also a few times a week.  I imagine the swelling you have is of course because your guts are full, and as the waste breaks down, it'll give off gas.  An alka seltzer will help get the gas out of your stomach, and it'll also make you feel more comfortable.

The only other thing I can think of about shingles is it does cause a paralysis of some kind... could be if it's near your abdomen, and once the shingles goes away, your digestion will improve, but I am not an expert on all that stuff.  I just remember vaguely that nerves are where the shingles are, and it can goof them up.  If your shingles goes away and you've tried various means of getting your digestion going, but it's still a problem, I agree with the poster Mammo about going to the ER, or go to a Gastoenterologist, or possibly even a Neurologist if it comes down to nobody having any answers, in case that paralysis thing with the shingles would affect your digestion.
Avatar universal
Are you over the shingles?  Even if this is causing your constipation, you need to have a bowel movement!  I would see a GI doctor just to be on the safe side, and maybe get some relief.  Have you tried giving yourself a Fleet enema?  This should get things moving, or at least some relief until you see the GI doctor.
Avatar universal
What you described sounds exactly like an intestinal blockage.  I had the exact same symptoms before I had an emergency bowel resection last year.  Although, the pain was very constant in the upper abdomen.  If you get to that point, go to the ER!  Maybe they missed something on the CT Scan.  Also, the suggestion to see a GI is a good one.  You may have something like Crohn's.  That is what they have diagnosed me with.  I have strictures which are narrowings in the intestine that cause partial blockages.  Also, my father-in-law had intestinal surgery and while recovering, he got shingles.  Hope this helps.  Also, Miralax is great to help you have a bowel movement.  It has not taste and you just add it to your favorite drink.
Avatar universal
Thanks for you help and interest. Two days ago I took Citroma (citrate of magnesia) and I got diarhea. If you take it, you better stay at home near bathroom. However no my digestion is still not normal so I shall wait till my shigles are sured. They are very painful and even Vicoden does not relieve the pain completely. And I am getiing used to live with the pain. At least, I am alive.
     By the way to any of you who are just about to get shigles, please, take the medecine FAMVIR immediately. Every minute ounts. The doctors did not tell me that and I missed the pharmacy open hours for the weekend and did not start taking the medecine 3 days late. My shingles got very very bad. The doctors were very cavalier about my shingles and did not warn me about the severe pain and the urgency.
Avatar universal
At what point did you start the Vicoden or any other pain reliever as these and others with immediately cause constipation as you must know. I got constipated and no pain relievers with apparent shingles on my side but not very painful only itch and burning. I am hoping the constipation is a result of the shingles and having IBS too makes things sensitive on the nerves. Continuing even one tablet of the pain relievers will constipate you 100%.
Avatar universal
I also experienced constipation with my bout of shingles.  Not fun. I tried eating prunes for a few days but no success.  Finally made the mistake of resorting  to two rounds of Ex Lax and then could not stop going.  Wish I had waited the first dose out.  I also need to add that my chiropractor gave me immense relief during this virus and really sped up my healing.  Rash progressed to final stage In just one week.  
Avatar universal
I am new to Shingles.  In fact I am just developing the rash.  I have had severe pain for 5 days and was convinced I have kidney stones.  After a trip to the ER and a CAT scan I do have a kidney stone but not large enough to cause this much pain.  I now have severe abdominal bloating.  My skin on the belt line on the right side burns and itches and the pain is so severe that I want to just double over and not move.

Thanks for your posts, I am not happy you are feeling bad but it does help me understand what to expect.
Avatar universal
I got shingles on May 1 and the constipation began immediately, although I didn't get the sores around the abdomen and back until a week later. I had pain in my side which the Dr. thought was  kidney stones, and sent me for a scan. Nothing, then the sores started coming out, after about a week. I had  bloating and occasional sharp pain in the stomach. I developed a lump on my side, which seems to be my intestine bulging out, probably from the constipation. I had real problems with the constipation, ene thought I might have to go to the hospital. Tried all kinds of things, and only milk of magnesia worked. The pain killer I was taking for the sores - Tylenol with codeine made the pain somewhat bearable at times but made the constipation worse. I also took gabapentin, which caused vertigo but enabled me to sleep. Regulare ibuprofen Advil, and other OTC did not help the pain much, even though I don't think my case was very severe. Even without any medications, i seem to be dehydrating naturally and need to try to drink more water. Milk of magnesia is helping to make me regular now. I developed a rash in the area where the sores were, but don't know if it was related to the shingles. Triamcinolone worked wonders on the itch, and the rash and its gone now. latest issue is that the bulge on the side is very sensitive, and hurts when i walk or hit a bump while driving. My pain has subsided significantly so my main problem is now the sensitive side, the bloating and the inability to get a good night's sleep. Things are getting better slowly.
Regarding the stomach discomfort, i realized that i had to keep food in my stomach and that helped. i was also feeling week and dehydrated sometimes, so paying attention to intake has helped a little. I also take liquid antacid which seems to help a little. I have also been going for acupuncture treatments, but can't say that  they are a big help. Sporadic symptomatic relief here and there.
Glad I found this site, and that i am not alone with these symptoms.

Avatar universal
I have had shingles for three years and became very ill. I've experienced vertigo, gastrointestinal issues, nausea, low grade fever, severe abdominal and chest pain, GERD, and at times my stomach stops working. I too have had CT of abdomen, pancreas, liver, and gall bladder. Also had an endoscopy and colonoscopy. All my labs and more invasive tests have only shown a hiatal hernia and that after doing a swallowing study under four hour radiology table after eating a radioactive egg is that my stomach indeed doesn't work very well. I never had any of these issues until I had numerous outbreaks (about every four months) of shingles. The one time I was able to reach the six month shingles free stage, I quickly received the vaccine. That has not worked. I'm a young and active 55. Stress brings on the worst shingles cases for me. Get good rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat small healthy meals, and exercise!
You need to stop weakening your system by taking meds - especially vaccines. Do your research.
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