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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been coping with IBS constipation for over 20 years. I've been on everything the GI docs could find to help me. I finally took it into my own hands and started all natural treatments. I have a big glass of prune juice with pulp every morning, along with a bowl of fiber one cereal, blueberries, nuts and raisins. Most of the time, I do indeed have a bowel movement, but ONLY if I stay home and relax for several hours. This has affected my life drastically. I can't make any social arrangements or appointments before noon because if I do, I can't have a BM and if I don't have a BM, I feel miserable. It is all taking a toll on me and I fear I have become bowel obsessed. I don't know how to stop this awful cycle. The truth is, I do indeed feel miserable and it affects my bladder as well if I can't go. This means no travel, no house guests (because my 'quiet' time is interupted and I have no results). Somehow, I have it in my head that I HAVE to have a BM every day. This isn't true is it? HOw do I get off of this crazy cycle? I have had a sitz marker test and it was very abnormal. That said, I do not want to do the drastic bowel surgery. I have proven that it is possible to manage without the surgery, but at the cost of life quality. Does anyone else feel this way? Can anyone offer a suggestion. I've also worked myself into a state of mind that if I don't have a BM in the morning, I panic. I have started to feel that I must be blocked for good or there is a disease process beginning....etc. I feel like I'm going insane. What should I do to stop these panic attacks. I truly fear for my sanity now.
 

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normal BM frequency is from 3 a day to 3 a week so lots of completely totally healthy people do not have a BM every single day. A lot of people only go every other day.Have you ever seen an counselor or doctor about the panic? There are lots of treatments for panic/anxiety but if you can't control it with something like a few breathing exercises or something from a self-help for anxiety book on your own you should see a professional about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the info re three times a week being within normal limits. I know that, but I guess I needed the reinforcement of hearing it from someone who understands this IBS/C. I need to try to let that be OK for me. I actually did start seeing someone and I am reading every self help, mind-body, breath relief book that I can get my hands on, to no avail. I also listen to relaxation tapes, mind/body tapes, etc. To be very honest, I can't bring myself to tell the counselor that my bowel habits have this extent of an effect on me. It's not only embarrassing, but the extent of the fixation would be unbelievable. He knows I suffer greatly from constipation and to that end I will not take any anti-anxiety meds because most of them have a side effect of constipation. The reason I started to see him was to help me cope with a recent string of losses in our family. The grief has been overwhelming. I realize that those issues have exacerbated my stress over the IBS, but I simply am too embarrassed to tell the counselor. Besides, what can he do? When I told him initially about the constipation, he made a little joke about it. I realize that normal people have a sense of humor about these things and I used to be 'normal', but the stress of this constipation issue has driven me absolutely crazy. It runs my life! We are going on a wonderful trip next year and instead of being excited about it, I am unbelievably worried. The last trip we took was miserable for me due to the constipation and I can't even get the GI doc to be of much use. After my sitz results (over a year ago), he actually said (very off-handedly), 'I don't know how you ever have a BM with those sitz results and the shape of your colon.' Well, I did get results for many years and I have since the sitz test (I wish I'd never done that test, I think the results have stuck in my head and made it harder for me to believe I can function without surgery), but he seems to only want to do drastic things (surgery). Beyond that, he tosses me samples of Benefiber and sends me on my way. I mean, if it is as 'impossible' for me to have a BM as he suggests, how have I managed to do so for over a year? I have reached a point where I am truly obsessing over this problem. I know that the stress I manifest over missing a BM is as harmful to my bladder/bowel as anything else and it is obsurd. Yet, I can't seem to stop worrying and focusing my entire doggoned day on missing a BM. If I have one, I'm fine, happy and productive all day. If I miss one.....it's ridiculous how stressed I get. I really appreciate this list. It is comforting to know that somewhere, people understand the strain of coping with this condition. It is life altering and I am fighting like crazy not to let it take over my life.
 

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Well, it may be worth talking to the counselor (as if it isn't this issue there may be another one in the future that could cause a similar obsessing about it problem and if you can learn to handle one it makes it more likely you deal with other ones that may crop up later on.). I'd be honest and say I don't even want to talk about this as it is embarrassing and I'm afraid you will just make light of the problem, but it really is something that greatly impacts my life.If you start there it puts them on notice that this is something you are serious about getting help with and if they still joke about it then it might be a sign this isn't the best counselor for you. Now I'd let them have an initial reaction that may not be professional (they did giggle at me when I was really really purple from an allergic reaction once) but they should get down to work right away and not blow you off.Gah! about giving extra fiber to someone with seriously bad results on a sitz marker test. Usually with "close to needing surgery" the standard treatment should be less fiber but upping the osmotics to keep the stool wet enough to move. Too much fiber can be a bad thing. With mild cases sometimes adding fiber will help pull water in, but the slower the transit is, the less fiber you really should have. You'd think GI doctors would know that, but too many don't seem to.
 

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Nogo, You are not alone in obsessing about your bowels! just read the hundreds of posts here and maybe you'll not feel so alone. I am better after battling this since childhood and I'm now in my 50s. I have a pretty good routine with magneisum, vitamin C and zelnorm BUT if anything has to be done before noon then I pretty much know that I'm not going to feel as good as if I have the whole morning to relax, drink my coffee, read the paper, etc. I also take lexapro which I think has helped tremendously in helping me not get nearly as anxious as I used to about not pooping every day. I do travel altho I do experience discomfort at times but i've learned to not get so upset about it. I have been where you are where it felt like my life was being taken over by the worry of not pooping and all the discomfort that goes with that and it's not fun but maybe you can take ideas you learn on this BB and talk to your doctor about it.
 

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I've been coping with IBS constipation for over 20 years. I've been on everything the GI docs could find to help me. I finally took it into my own hands and started all natural treatments. I have a big glass of prune juice with pulp every morning, along with a bowl of fiber one cereal, blueberries, nuts and raisins. Most of the time, I do indeed have a bowel movement, but ONLY if I stay home and relax for several hours. This has affected my life drastically. I can't make any social arrangements or appointments before noon because if I do, I can't have a BM and if I don't have a BM, I feel miserable. It is all taking a toll on me and I fear I have become bowel obsessed. I don't know how to stop this awful cycle. The truth is, I do indeed feel miserable and it affects my bladder as well if I can't go. This means no travel, no house guests (because my 'quiet' time is interupted and I have no results). Somehow, I have it in my head that I HAVE to have a BM every day. This isn't true is it? HOw do I get off of this crazy cycle? I have had a sitz marker test and it was very abnormal. That said, I do not want to do the drastic bowel surgery. I have proven that it is possible to manage without the surgery, but at the cost of life quality. Does anyone else feel this way? Can anyone offer a suggestion. I've also worked myself into a state of mind that if I don't have a BM in the morning, I panic. I have started to feel that I must be blocked for good or there is a disease process beginning....etc. I feel like I'm going insane. What should I do to stop these panic attacks. I truly fear for my sanity now.
With regard to the mental side, sometimes certain smells or thoughts help while I am going. I am a little bit like you as well. If the kids are home and everyone is noisy I go upstairs. To block all the sound out I do several things: turn on the fan, put cotton in my ears and put on headphones (not with music). Blocks out everything. As far as I'm concerned nobody is home. My mornings are long as well (about 3 hrs.). That is, I have to give myself about 3 hours to have a couple of BMs in the morning.With regard to the physical, I am just like you. I have tried to avoid supplements and meds. If that works for others that's great, as long as they feel good after a BM that's the important thing. But for me, my entire diet revolves around fiber. I take in about 70 g per day. I've also noticed (at least for me) that if I change up my foods for dinner that works. I eat the same thing for lunch everyday, yes everyday. I'll do whatever it takes to have a good BM the next day. Hope I've helped a little.
 

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I think I'm sliding down that same slippery slope into obsession! I have a month-long car trip coming up this fall that I WISH I could get excited about. Instead, I'm obsessing about how to prevent constipation. I'm not near the panic stage yet. And I can go for a day, maybe 2, without becoming too worried about not pooping, but I certainly don't feel "well" unless I go every day. And I'm totally tied to my morning ritual of sitting quietly and drinking coffee for several hours, until I go.I think I'll take your advice and not get tested to find out exactly how constipated I am. If there's no remedy for it, then there's really no logic to putting a description such as "impossibly constipated" to my condition. Something you could try asking your doctor for is a low dose of beta blockers (propranolol). I used to take them for performance anxiety when I was a musician, and I never noticed that they caused any side effects. But I only took 10mg a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to all of you who understand and I sympathize deeply with your suffering. You seem to have a good attitude about this and I'm realizing that I absolutely have to take a step back and get a grip. It helps a great deal to hear this advice from those of you who truly get it, since you are suffering with the same condition. Re the fiber: Kathleen, is that true? I need LESS fiber. I have been loading up on it thinking that is what I need to move things along. Should I continue with the Benefiber, Fiber One and big glass of Prune juice with pulp every morning or am I sabotaging myself? Also, has anyone ever used, "The Eliminator" by a Dr. Brantley? I use it a couple of times a week and find it helpful. I would love your opinion on the fiber because I wonder if I am making matters worse for myself. I really didn't know that about the less fiber with a slow colon.
 

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Thank you for the info re three times a week being within normal limits. I know that, but I guess I needed the reinforcement of hearing it from someone who understands this IBS/C. I need to try to let that be OK for me. I actually did start seeing someone and I am reading every self help, mind-body, breath relief book that I can get my hands on, to no avail. I also listen to relaxation tapes, mind/body tapes, etc. To be very honest, I can't bring myself to tell the counselor that my bowel habits have this extent of an effect on me. It's not only embarrassing, but the extent of the fixation would be unbelievable. He knows I suffer greatly from constipation and to that end I will not take any anti-anxiety meds because most of them have a side effect of constipation. The reason I started to see him was to help me cope with a recent string of losses in our family. The grief has been overwhelming. I realize that those issues have exacerbated my stress over the IBS, but I simply am too embarrassed to tell the counselor. Besides, what can he do? When I told him initially about the constipation, he made a little joke about it. I realize that normal people have a sense of humor about these things and I used to be 'normal', but the stress of this constipation issue has driven me absolutely crazy. It runs my life! We are going on a wonderful trip next year and instead of being excited about it, I am unbelievably worried. The last trip we took was miserable for me due to the constipation and I can't even get the GI doc to be of much use. After my sitz results (over a year ago), he actually said (very off-handedly), 'I don't know how you ever have a BM with those sitz results and the shape of your colon.' Well, I did get results for many years and I have since the sitz test (I wish I'd never done that test, I think the results have stuck in my head and made it harder for me to believe I can function without surgery), but he seems to only want to do drastic things (surgery). Beyond that, he tosses me samples of Benefiber and sends me on my way. I mean, if it is as 'impossible' for me to have a BM as he suggests, how have I managed to do so for over a year? I have reached a point where I am truly obsessing over this problem. I know that the stress I manifest over missing a BM is as harmful to my bladder/bowel as anything else and it is obsurd. Yet, I can't seem to stop worrying and focusing my entire doggoned day on missing a BM. If I have one, I'm fine, happy and productive all day. If I miss one.....it's ridiculous how stressed I get. I really appreciate this list. It is comforting to know that somewhere, people understand the strain of coping with this condition. It is life altering and I am fighting like crazy not to let it take over my life.
 

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Since I developed constipation 25 years ago, my life revolves around it and the treatment i have chosen for it; Constipation rules my life. when it first started I went to the heavy hitter laxatives (Senakot and others and enemas); that about did my colon in; after about 6 years it stopped working. In 1988 a GI doc had me try milk of magnesia and it worked great; i took it for 12 years but it made me sick and weak; On my way to work i would have to find a bathroom because that stuff works when it works; I can't tell you how many scary moments i had in bad neighborhood restaurant bathrooms; i then decided to stop taking MOM and for the past ten years I take Solgar mag. citrate pills, 1500 mg. Now this is the ritualistic part; the stuff takes two hours work and to stop working so if I get up to go to work at 6:30 i have to wait until 8:30 or 9:00 am before i can get ready to go to work; i have to sit kinda still at the computer or watch TV for that period of time. I know it drives my husband nuts because i cannot do anything in the mornings; ever. I decided to not take it every day so I take a day off a few days a month. Of course I don't go very much on those days; (just a little squeezes out) but honestly on those days I am still stuck around the bathroom getting rid of noxious gas, before i am ready for the public if you know what I mean. When I have guests stay overnight in the house, which isn't often, I freak out because this stuff works several times during the night and my sleep gets broken up and it is noisy; i can never stay at someone's house because I am bathroom shy; i can't go at all at work or in any strange bathroom. I can't believe I was totally normal before I developed this problem; never had one bad day; now my life revolves around this problem and I hate it. Also, magnesium makes me feel weak but so far there is nothing on the horizon to replace it cause I asked my GI if he had any other suggestions; he didn't; I get kidney function tests every year along with mag. level to make sure all is ok. This problem rules my life and will for the rest of my life. I am however grateful that something works or i would have to have my colon removed since it really is dead.
 

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Finally, someone who understands what I go through. I've had IBS with severe C for 13 years. I am on Amitiza but it doesn't always work, and then I am guaranteed to be miserable all day. The pain and bloating, plus inevitable fluid retention are awful. I have to leave for work by 6:45 a.m. so I have no time to sit and wait for a BM. It is non stop rush rush and if I don't go by 8 am then there is no hope. I've been on Prozac for my anxiety problems but that just made me spacey and fat. I think I recall Zelnorm being more helpful but I can't get that anymore as it was pulled off the market. Still, I hate having to take laxatives almost every day. Every now and then I can poop and it is a great day for me - but then the next day - who knows. I try to drink a ton of water and eat healthy food. I know that sugar is a trigger for more C. But I am also getting to be afraid to eat too much. I dread a "full" feeling so I am eating less and less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, I understand the dreaded 'full' feeling, so I, too have eaten less and less. I'm down to a size 2 (I'm 5/8" tall) and I worry about losing weight. But, I'd rather be too thin than have that awful bloated tummy that inevitably occurs if I eat a normal amount and don't go to the bathroom. There must be a med on the horizon for those of us with constipation. Along with my weight, I've lost my sense of humor. Constipation jokes aren't funny to me and that is just silly. I want the old me back.
 

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With regard to the mental side, sometimes certain smells or thoughts help while I am going. I am a little bit like you as well. If the kids are home and everyone is noisy I go upstairs. To block all the sound out I do several things: turn on the fan, put cotton in my ears and put on headphones (not with music). Blocks out everything. As far as I'm concerned nobody is home. My mornings are long as well (about 3 hrs.). That is, I have to give myself about 3 hours to have a couple of BMs in the morning.With regard to the physical, I am just like you. I have tried to avoid supplements and meds. If that works for others that's great, as long as they feel good after a BM that's the important thing. But for me, my entire diet revolves around fiber. I take in about 70 g per day. I've also noticed (at least for me) that if I change up my foods for dinner that works. I eat the same thing for lunch everyday, yes everyday. I'll do whatever it takes to have a good BM the next day. Hope I've helped a little.
I can relate to the smell/thought stimuli somewhat Tiss. I'm a guy and when I am sitting on the toilet trying everything I can think of to be able to go without yet another laxative, enema, or suppository, there are certain male biological things that happen. Sometimes using those natural male urges and letting my thoughts go to complete the process actually helps to bring out a stubborn BM.
 
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