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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last September after a trip to the mountains I began to have a complete change in bowel habits and had either diarrhea or soft, unformed stool. I was checked for parasites, bacteria, etc in late October and everything was normal. I made an appointment with the physician who had done my previous colonoscopy and asked him if it should be repeated. He said no because I had no real pain and no abnormal lab work.In the last two months I moved 1500 miles to begin a new job and I was very stressed-out by the change. I am not as stressed now, but my loose stool has become constipation and bloating...with narrow stools, small volumes, and straining to go. Also, I now have diffuse upper ab pain.The doctor here has checked everything...myriad blood work, ultrasound, barium CT with contrast dye and all is normal. Thus, she has suggested I have IBS.My question is this...so what do I do about the constipation? I used an enema the other night, which helped, and I am now on miralax and fiber. After two days on the laxative, however, nothing much is happening. Does anyone have any advice???Thanks!
 

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Last September after a trip to the mountains I began to have a complete change in bowel habits and had either diarrhea or soft, unformed stool. I was checked for parasites, bacteria, etc in late October and everything was normal. I made an appointment with the physician who had done my previous colonoscopy and asked him if it should be repeated. He said no because I had no real pain and no abnormal lab work.In the last two months I moved 1500 miles to begin a new job and I was very stressed-out by the change. I am not as stressed now, but my loose stool has become constipation and bloating...with narrow stools, small volumes, and straining to go. Also, I now have diffuse upper ab pain.The doctor here has checked everything...myriad blood work, ultrasound, barium CT with contrast dye and all is normal. Thus, she has suggested I have IBS.My question is this...so what do I do about the constipation? I used an enema the other night, which helped, and I am now on miralax and fiber. After two days on the laxative, however, nothing much is happening. Does anyone have any advice???Thanks!
Welcome Pinecone50!Just a few quick questions so we can see what's currently going on.1) How much fiber are you taking per day?2) What kind of fiber are you using (Supplements? Pills? Just eating lots of whole wheat bread?)3) Did your doctor test for Celiac Disease? You may want to Google/Wikipedia it in order to jog your memory.Be careful with taking the laxative. Prolonged usage of it (2-3 weeks or more?) is supposedly not good for you...My BMs were almost what you described. Long, soft, and without much, uhm... substance? Be sure not to strain too hard. I know that the abdominal cramping may be uncomfortable, but the damage you may do to your body in the long run will only make things worse.
 

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I feel similiar to the both of you. I eat fiber, however, it almost always feels that the more fiber I eat, the more bloated and ill I feel - and I still don't have any better success with a BM. I take 4-5 stool softeners a night, Align (probiotic), miralax, and I take magnesium and vitamin C supplements. How much fiber do you recommend in a day - and does any one know of fiber supplements that they have taken that doesn't increase bloating and gas? What tricks are left, I feel like I have tried everything from laxatives to Amitiza to enemas to microwaved prune juice even. What about peppermint oil? Does that really work?
 

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I feel similiar to the both of you. I eat fiber, however, it almost always feels that the more fiber I eat, the more bloated and ill I feel - and I still don't have any better success with a BM. I take 4-5 stool softeners a night, Align (probiotic), miralax, and I take magnesium and vitamin C supplements. How much fiber do you recommend in a day - and does any one know of fiber supplements that they have taken that doesn't increase bloating and gas? What tricks are left, I feel like I have tried everything from laxatives to Amitiza to enemas to microwaved prune juice even. What about peppermint oil? Does that really work?
I drink peppermint tea to reduce bloating when it is bad.How much fiber are you starting off with? You should start slowly and work your way up after about a month and a half. Too much fiber can cause abdominal pain and bloating. You also want to ensure that you drink plenty of fluids (preferably water) when taking fiber so that it absorbs from you stomach, not your body.I use Benefiber in addition to foods high in fiber at this point now. Sometimes I'm bloated and a little gassy, but I don't think it's ever going to go away, and I've come to terms with that. I just watch what I eat and not let it control my life. The fact that my BMs are now pretty much normal, I'm not in constant pain everyday, and that I have pretty good support from my relationship and family has helped me come to terms.
 

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What else does your diet consist of? I find out that if I eat a lot of Dairy Cheese, my symptoms get worse. Thus, I usually end up eating soy-based cheese. It also happens if I have a lot of fatty foods.
What about a gluten free diet? I have been reading that that helps a lot of people - does that help primarily IBS-D people? or those of us with IBS-C?
 

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Last September after a trip to the mountains I began to have a complete change in bowel habits and had either diarrhea or soft, unformed stool. I was checked for parasites, bacteria, etc in late October and everything was normal. I made an appointment with the physician who had done my previous colonoscopy and asked him if it should be repeated. He said no because I had no real pain and no abnormal lab work.In the last two months I moved 1500 miles to begin a new job and I was very stressed-out by the change. I am not as stressed now, but my loose stool has become constipation and bloating...with narrow stools, small volumes, and straining to go. Also, I now have diffuse upper ab pain.The doctor here has checked everything...myriad blood work, ultrasound, barium CT with contrast dye and all is normal. Thus, she has suggested I have IBS.My question is this...so what do I do about the constipation? I used an enema the other night, which helped, and I am now on miralax and fiber. After two days on the laxative, however, nothing much is happening. Does anyone have any advice???Thanks!
 

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Your problem sounds similar to what I have been experiencing for the past two years, and I am convinced that it is exacerbated by stress. Enemas were getting to be necessary more often, eventually they didn't work. I did not want to go through another colonoscopy, when I knew it wasn't necessary. I searched the internet for a gastrolenterologist on the west coast who had some connection with the UNC Center in Chapel Hill. I finally got a name and found a doctor who helped me. On my first visit to him, I took with me; a complete history of my bowel disorders, also took copies of all my recent tests, so that nothing had to be repeated. He read everything, and asked a lot of questions. After a very brief minimally invasive examination he told me that my colon was not emptying, I had to increase my fiber intake. Instead of taking Metamucil, which I had been doing for thirty years, I should take 5 heaping tbsp. of Benefibre daily, and a laxative every night (he suggested Senna). I took months to get the laxative doses adjusted. I am not cured, but I am once again able to function. I hope this helps you.
 

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lindielou, thanks for posting this. I may try the Benefibre, but I'm notsure how it differs from the Metamucil (psyllium). I've been taking the Psyllium for 22 years and only recently discovered that taking so much of it(2-3 tablespoons per day) was actually hurting me instead of helping me.When I cut back to 3/4 tsp per day of psyllium, I found that I was able tocut back on my senna.My gastro doctor told me not to take the senna without some fiber, so I maytry the benefiber. Five heaping tablespoons per day sounds like a lot to take,but if it helps....
 

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I have also been reading a lot on soluble fiber vs. insoluble fiber. Some sources say that too much insoluble fiber in comparison to soluble fiber can actually CAUSE the constipation? Does anyone know anything about this or have any resources/experiences with it? What about the soluble fiber supplement acacia?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Things have been improving for me recently. I've added chopped prunes and ground flax to my morning oatmeal as well as a lot of fresh pineapple and papaya to my diet. I'm trying to just eat whole grain products, have limited animal protiens, drink a ton of water, and am eating cooked veggies as often as I can.I have now stopped using the MiraLax (don't want to become dependent) and am hopeful that things will continue to "flow through" without laxative assistance.It is amazing how something like regular bowel function is so often taken for granted. For those of us who struggle with this issue, it is quite a wake-up call.My thoughts and prayers are with each of you as we face this challenge together. Blessings....
 
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If I go without fiber for two or three days, I'm in agony, which is where I am now. I was on MiraLax for 3 months and the stool got soft and I started wearing diapers as a caution. The MiraLax started to wear off and I increased it gradually per the doctor's advice. Then diarrhea set in. I was able to get an appt soon enough after the diarrhea kicked in. I stopped the MiraLax for a couple of days before that because of those runs and everything locked up. I resumed the MiraLax, 17 grams, every morning on Saturday, the day after I saw the doctor.I'm on a ton of drugs two which harden stool and I've had constipation problems my entire life. 60 oz of fluid, 2 fruit servings and plenty of fiber help, but maybe someone has some other ideas?Nuts, not dry-roasted, and animal fat, i.e., from steak or roast beef have lubed things up.Citrucel supposedly doesn't cause gas. The doctor put me on that, as well.Good luck and help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If I go without fiber for two or three days, I'm in agony, which is where I am now. I was on MiraLax for 3 months and the stool got soft and I started wearing diapers as a caution. The MiraLax started to wear off and I increased it gradually per the doctor's advice. Then diarrhea set in. I was able to get an appt soon enough after the diarrhea kicked in. I stopped the MiraLax for a couple of days before that because of those runs and everything locked up. I resumed the MiraLax, 17 grams, every morning on Saturday, the day after I saw the doctor.I'm on a ton of drugs two which harden stool and I've had constipation problems my entire life. 60 oz of fluid, 2 fruit servings and plenty of fiber help, but maybe someone has some other ideas?Nuts, not dry-roasted, and animal fat, i.e., from steak or roast beef have lubed things up.Citrucel supposedly doesn't cause gas. The doctor put me on that, as well.Good luck and help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sweetness,I understand the frustration. I have not used Citrucil, but I have used Benefiber and found it helpful. You might also try papaya and pineapple. Both have important digestive enzymes that you may find helps your regularity.Also, when I feel bloated I drink a tea called Eater's Digest made by Traditional Medicinals. It is an organic blend that includes peppermint, fennel, ginger, and several other important herbs. Finally, I use olive oil drizzled on many hot foods to keep a balance of good oil in my digestive system. So far, it seems to help.Hang in there. Being on this site reminds me that I am not alone and that reality is a great support!
 
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