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Can anything be ruled out from these symptoms?

constipation GERD heartburn SIBO

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#1 whatyes


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Posted 23 September 2017 - 09:25 AM


Hi everyone,


I've been reading these forums for a little while now but this is my first time posting. I'm a 33 year old female who has been struggling with chronic constipation for some time now and I'm wondering if anything can be inferred or ruled out based on my symptoms and what has worked for me and what hasn't.



  • chronic constipation for most of my life (my earliest memory is 7th grade), hard dry stools with bowel movements maybe every 5 days
  • within the past 5 years constipation worsened and caused lack of hunger and GERD, bloating and flatulence
  • anxiety
  • depression

What has helped:

  • increasing fluids
  • magnesium citrate (this caused me to be very regular but also caused anxiety so I had to stop taking it, I'm thinking of trying oxide to see if this is better tolerated)
  • Colace (softens the stools but does not help to keep things moving so I end up with many small bowel movements in a day)
  • black cherry juice (taken along with Colace this keeps things moving)
  • senna tea (usually produces a bowel movement the next day)

What has not helped:

  • low-FODMAP diet (this helps with bloating and heartburn symptoms but not with constipation)
  • increased fiber
  • low-carb diet (this helped my lack of hunger, but not my constipation)
  • prunes and prune juice (help somewhat but cause a lot of bloating and gas)

In general, I seem to find grains and starchy foods more difficult to digest. Wheat in particular seems to make things worse. Meat and vegetables are much easier to digest. I'm not yet sure about nut or legumes. I've been tested for celiac and the test came back negative.


Last year I had a pretty intense breakup with my boyfriend that cause me to have diarrhea for almost a month straight. Suddenly I could eat anything I wanted with no issues at all and my depression went away almost entirely. However, after the diarrhea stopped all my symptoms returned again.


I'm pretty sure I can manage my symptoms with various kinds of laxatives and/or stool softeners, but I'm worried about becoming dependent on them and having them stop working. I'm trying to figure out what the underlying cause of my condition might be, the main issue seeming to be hard dry stools.


My question is, is there anything that can be ruled out based on the symptoms and treatments I've mentioned? Is there anything I should look into further? I'm wondering specifically if I should get a test for SIBO as that is a possibility I haven't explored yet.

#2 annie7


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Posted 23 September 2017 - 11:48 AM

so sorry for your problems.


i do hope magnesium oxide will work for you.


do you have a good gastroenterologist to help you manage your constipation?  there are medications available that can help with chronic C--amitiza, linzess and trulance.  they all add fluid to the stool.


all my doctors told me (and i've read this, too) that stool softeners are safe to take indefinitely.  you will not become dependent on them. 


all the laxatives--both stimulant and osmotic-- that were considered to be unsafe were removed from the market years ago. i remembered when this happened. the laxatives available now are safe to take.  my gastro docs also told me that and i've researched it.  because i was dx'd with colonic inertia and other problems, my gastros had me taking both stimulant and osmotic laxatives daily so that i could go and avoid developing an imapction.




have you tried miralax? that is also safe to take and does not cause dependency.  i know people who have been on it for years because it softens the stool and helps them go.  it helps to play around with the dosage.  start with a low dose and go from there.


yes, getting tested for SIBO is a good idea.


good luck with everything. hope you can find some relief.

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

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: constipation, GERD, heartburn, SIBO


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