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The ABC's of Chronic Constipation (aka IBS-C)


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#1 flossy

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:44 AM

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- Updated on 8/22/2018 -

 

Observations and suggestions to my fellow chronically constipated friends:

 

Hello everyone! I have been an active member here for a few years now and just wanted to pass along some pertinent information that I've learned about IBC-C, aka chronic constipation (or CC for short). I will be going over everything from the “just eat more fiber” theory to surgical procedures, and covering everything in-between that comes to mind. Keep in mind I'm gonna be honest here and not sugarcoat stuff.

 

For those who are new here:

 

Fiber: Most doctors will suggest to eat more fiber to help with your constipation. I grudgingly agree that this should be tried first and foremost, and if it works consider yourselves off the hook. Honestly? You people are REALLY lucky..... But if that doesn't work? This is very common with the CC crowd. I'd say about 80 to 90% of us here find more fiber, both soluble and insoluble, just makes us more constipated. Extra fiber is out of the question for me. I took a doctor-recommended fiber supplement for awhile and it was like trying to pass tree branches, in slow motion. Screw that. So if after a few days extra fiber doesn't work, try no extra fiber at all. Zilch. (Easy enough.)

 

Water: You can also try drinking more water, but for me? Drinking more water did nothing for my constipation and just made me pee more. Not good when you're at work all day. In theory lots of water should probably help, but for a lot of us it doesn't do squat.

 

Colonoscopy: If you have been chronically constipated for some time now I think it's important to get a colonoscopy, to check for things like blockage, diverticulitis, certain types of cancer(s), whatnot. If you get put to sleep for the procedure your colonoscopy should be a breeze, and I'm not exaggerating. Always ask BEFORE making an appointment if they put you to sleep or just put you on twilight drugs. If they use just twilight drugs? Call someone else, as it's much better to be out for the procedure. 

 

Now to the actual bowel moving process:

 

I suggest waiting until the very last minute (if not second!) to go. Sitting on the toilet and trying to go is not a good idea at all. Good way to get hemorrhoids, or to make them even worse. I also think waiting until you can't wait any longer to go is a good idea because one gets better evacuation that way.

 

Very important:

 

Supplements: If you're currently not taking a supplement every day to help you go to the bathroom, you really, really should. Sad to say but chronic constipation rarely goes away on its own. Don't be stupid, find something that works and take it every day. I tried to tough it out for a long time – probably a year or two - and got horrible hemorrhoids (grade 4, the worst you can get) from trying to go, as nothing much would move inside me. (Note: You can also get rectal prolapse from CC.) I've had two hemorrhoidectomies because of this and recovery afterwards is quite painful. I've tried just about everything and normally take & recommend Dr. Schulze's Intestinal Formula # 1 (I take 2 or 3 regular strength pills daily).

 

http://www.ibsgroup....-can-recommend/

 

Note: The ^above^ link has just about everything I've ever tried to stop my CC.

 

BTW, I'm not paid to plug I.F. # 1. I'm coming up on three years of using it now. It's all herbal and the formula is made by a real doctor. Also, I can eat just about anything I want, as long as I take I.F. # 1 daily.

 

Now you might be thinking, “'Fluffy,' don't you worry that by taking laxatives every day your intestines won't work right after awhile, or you'll get addicted to the laxatives?” ...Something of that nature? Honestly? NO.

 

'Is chronic use of stimulant laxatives harmful to the colon?'

 
Click on below link to read (it's short):
 

 

My intestines already don't work right and barring a miracle, probably never will again. It's the ugly truth. I don't mean to be a bummer but I've read very few success stories about CC. Usually? With the “I'm cured!” stories? They are still taking a supplement, something to help them go. If you still are taking a supplement and say that you're cured, you're really not cured. What you are is successfully treating your condition. Big difference. Cured in my book means you eat & drink what you want. You're not constipated anymore. You have at least one regular BM per day. You don't take ANY supplements, pharmaceuticals, special drinks/whatnot at all to help you go. You poop like a normal person. You had IBS-C for a long time and now, for whatever reason, it's gone. That's cured.

 

I think the best hope of an actual cure for most of us is either a series of fecal transplants and/or fasting for at least a week on nothing but water. Or both.

 

What else?

 

Chronic fatigue: Don't be surprised if you get really tired after your BM's, and thirsty as all hell. And cold. I always do. “Turn up the heat!” Chronic fatigue is a very common side-effect of CC (as is depression). I usually chew nicotine gum, take super B complex vitamins and half a Sudafed a day for energy. I'd take ephedrine if I could, but it's banned here in the U.S. Go figure. Ban something that is natural and push pharmaceuticals on us. It's all big business. There isn't exactly any ephedrine lobbyists out there now, is there? 

 

Using the bathroom at work: I have read many stories here of people who do not want to use the restroom at work for their bowel movements. I used to be like this too, so much so I was giving myself enemas every morning before work to try to get as much ick out as possible. I almost always have incomplete evacuation (which is normal for those of us who have CC) and would have to go again sometimes at work. You know what? You gotta try to get over it. GO AT WORK. Bring in something to read every time you go like a cell phone or magazine to get your mind off of it. Listen to music if it helps you relax while you're going at work. Giving yourself enemas before work and/or trying to force yourself to go at home before work so you don't have to go while you're at work can get crazy - it's not good. It would also probably be a good idea to sit down and have a brief but serious discussion with your employer and tell them you have IBS and will need to use the bathroom more often than most. I've brought a note in from my doctor at every place I've worked at since I've had CC.

 

Gut flora imbalance: I probably should have added this earlier, but I have never been formerly diagnosed with IBS-C. Regardless, I believe the root cause of my problem (and many others of us here) is an imbalance in our gut flora. Either an overgrowth or undergrowth of one of the many bacterium inside us. You'd think our brains would just say, “Hey... Wait a minute.... somethings not working right in there” and adjust itself/send signals down to our intestines so they'd fix themselves and run smoothly again, but sadly, no - this is just not the case. CC sometimes seems like a generational curse to me. But in reality for me it is simply a case of bad genetics/hereditary and the result of eating (or drinking) so-called health food: I got my CC from changing my diet from regular American food to about two or three months of raw fruit and vegetable smoothies, made in a blender. Yes, health food ruined my intestines... It's rare, but it happens. 

 

Overeating: I really hope if you have IBS that you are not overeating, as it just compounds your digestive problems. Think. Be smart. Eat to live, don't live to eat. 

 

Surgery: Lastly, I have read a few stories here of people who have had major problems with their intestines and/or rectal area. Supplements may work for the short-term, but after awhile? Nothing works. Some people get rectal prolapse, get surgery, then get rectal prolapse again. Some people are told they have twisted or narrow intestines.... Stuff like that. If it gets THAT bad, and for some it does, when nothing much wants to come out anymore no matter what, then one must consider surgical options. (Important note: Even having part of your colon removed doesn't always help.) I know most of us don't like to think about getting a stoma/colostomy, but when you've tried everything, nothing seems to work anymore, you can barely function and your doctor says that is your best option, then you gotta do what you gotta do. There are also other surgical options that I'm not too familiar with, so that's all I'll say about that.

 

Thankfully, most of us with CC won't need to get surgery if we take a supplement every day to help us go.

 

If you have any questions/comments you can post 'em here, on someone else's thread - or - you can always start your own thread if you want to. Don't be shy.

 

“We are all searching for that magic pill.” - Nuffa

 

Good luck to all!

From your IBS-C cyber pal,

Flossy


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#2 CrazyBiscuit

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 11:13 AM

Can Intestinal Formula #1 do anything to help slow transit constipation?

 

Right now I'm not taking anything for my constipation. I go twice a week. I used to use MOM but I found I didn't need it to help me go. If I waited long enough I could go twice a week without it and avoid the explosive D and cramping.

 

I don't think I want to go everyday because I think I have internal hemmies and the pain I experience after taking a bowel movement is so bad I have to take opioids to relieve it.


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#3 flossy

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 12:17 PM

Can Intestinal Formula #1 do anything to help slow transit constipation?

 

Right now I'm not taking anything for my constipation. I go twice a week. I used to use MOM but I found I didn't need it to help me go. If I waited long enough I could go twice a week without it and avoid the explosive D and cramping.

 

I don't think I want to go everyday because I think I have internal hemmies and the pain I experience after taking a bowel movement is so bad I have to take opioids to relieve it.

 

I would say yes, I.F. # 1 would help with slow transit, I think it has stimulant laxatives in it. (I'm thinking I have slow transit too, when I don't take anything to help me go.)

 

You know opioids also cause (WHAT ELSE) constipation, yes? You might want to consider surgery to "make that runway clear" down there! They might be able to fix it with just rubber band ligation. I know when I had hemorrhoids it made going to the bathroom harder than usual.



#4 annie7

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 01:44 PM

thanks, Flossy.  very helpful post. smile.png


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these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#5 flossy

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 02:35 PM

thanks, Flossy.  very helpful post. smile.png

 

Thanks Annie, I wanted to get a long and hopefully helpful post posted before I start working again and have less time to be here.



#6 annie7

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 02:43 PM

oh good--did you get a new job? still looking?  either way, good luck!


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these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#7 flossy

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 03:11 PM

I will officially start looking next week. I HATE the whole process, filing out applications and the such. But I need money so I gotta do it.


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#8 annie7

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 03:14 PM

oh yes--not a fun process at all.  but yes, you're right--gotta do it...  good luck.  keep us posted..


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#9 Fromthegut

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 03:05 AM

Thanks "flossy" for bringing "IBS in a nutshell" to the fore again .Very very useful,helpful information interlaced with personal experience.

Great summary !


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#10 flossy

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 09:07 AM

You're very welcome fromthegut! 


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#11 braeseven

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 12:24 AM

I have to go first thing in the morning with coffee or i'm screwed. Wish I could find something that works as well as good 'ol java.


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#12 annie7

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 08:31 AM

braeseven--are you able to drink caffeinated tea?  there are some caffeinated teas available--such as the aptly named "morning thunder" tea-- that are very effective for promoting a BM.


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#13 flossy

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 09:52 AM

I have to go first thing in the morning with coffee or i'm screwed. Wish I could find something that works as well as good 'ol java.

 

Why are you looking for an alternative to coffee? (Hmmmmmm, I wonder.........)



#14 braeseven

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 12:08 AM

 

 

braeseven--are you able to drink caffeinated tea?  there are some caffeinated teas available--such as the aptly named "morning thunder" tea-- that are very effective for promoting a BM.

 

Thanks for the suggestion annie, i will try to find that and see how it works. I would eventually like to phase out caffeine to try and reduce the reflux as much as possible, but I have a very narrow window in the morning to go and so far nothing i've tried works as good as coffee. It's my first time experiencing this level of digestive dysfunction so I'm still kinda fumbling around trying to get it under control. I picked up some magnesium citrate and will be trying that soon as well. 

 



#15 braeseven

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 12:33 AM

I probably should add that I have never been formerly diagnosed with IBS-C, but I believe the root cause of my problem (and many others of us here) is an imbalance in our gut flora. Either an overgrowth or undergrowth of one of the many bacterium inside us.

 

Have you tried an intro diet like scd or sibo to starve the little buggers out then introduce foods one at a time to see what works? Thinking of taking a run at that myself if I can get things moving often enough.



#16 flossy

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 05:17 AM

 

Have you tried an intro diet like scd or sibo to starve the little buggers out then introduce foods one at a time to see what works? Thinking of taking a run at that myself if I can get things moving often enough.

 

No, I never tried that. If you try it let us know how it goes.



#17 annie7

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 08:24 AM

 

Thanks for the suggestion annie, i will try to find that and see how it works. I would eventually like to phase out caffeine to try and reduce the reflux as much as possible, but I have a very narrow window in the morning to go and so far nothing i've tried works as good as coffee. It's my first time experiencing this level of digestive dysfunction so I'm still kinda fumbling around trying to get it under control. I picked up some magnesium citrate and will be trying that soon as well. 

 

 

morning thunder tea is made by celestial seasonings and shouldn't be too hard to find.  my local grocery store carries it and i live out in the country.  i never tried it myself but i've heard a lot of people say that it works.  black coffee always helped me go and fortunately it didn't bother my reflux.  like you, i had a very narrow window in the morning...

 

good luck with that and the mag citrate smile.png


these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#18 flossy

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 09:32 AM

The last few months I have been taking aloe pills, they definitely help sooth my intestines (but don't help much with the bowel moving process). I'm almost out, so I wanted to see what it was like without them before I order more and I don't like it at all! I feel all clumpy inside again after a BM.... I think I'm gonna have to order more.

 

Best price I've found (for those in the U.S.A.):

 

https://www.pureform...els-by-now.html

 

P.S. I just ordered more. (Yea!)



#19 PixelCat

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 11:02 PM

Excellent post!

I love my current gastroenterologist. She said 'I bet you've been told to eat more fibre 100 times!' Yep, indeed. And water? I can't drink much without feeling full.

As for genetics, my poor Mum has a severe case of IBS-D, it's horrible.
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#20 flossy

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 08:30 AM

Excellent post!

I love my current gastroenterologist. She said 'I bet you've been told to eat more fibre 100 times!' Yep, indeed. And water? I can't drink much without feeling full.

As for genetics, my poor Mum has a severe case of IBS-D, it's horrible.

 

Thanks!

 

Yep, our genetics gets a lot of us, sooner or later! wink.png tongue.png







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