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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is sorta of an odd question, but I'm totally serious. I've had IBS for so many years I've forgotten what a "normal" BM is. When someone without IBS has the urge to have a BM, do they just sit on the toilet and relax, and everything takes care of itself... or do they push just a little to get things going? If I just sit there nothing would ever happen. Even if I have the urge, I have to start things going by straining/pushing. Do normal people push at all? Should I stop any straining and just try to relax when I'm on the toilet?Never thought I'd be asking a question like this lol.Thanks in for any info.[This message has been edited by TheSeeker (edited 01-15-2001).]
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Seeker....no one is laughing...believe me. I also have had IBS-D for MANY years, and when I was put on lotronex and became "normal", I was continually afraid that I was becoming constipated, and all that was happening was I was starting to have normal stools!!! I had forgotten what it was like! I also had problems having my bm, because it had been so long since I had anything but urgency, pain, and watery stools, and had to do nothing to initiate the movement, that it was like my muscles were too weak to push at first (also was afraid of triggering the spasms, again), even the slight amount that it took to get things started. My husband told me that sometimes he just has to sit and let nature take it's course, and sometimes he has to give nature a little help. Hope that answers your question.....and now we can snicker at ourselves... (hehehe)....~Pat~
 

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After 3 years of taking milk of magnesia every day, I wouldn't even know what an urge felt like anymore. When I first started, I felt urges at specific times. The urge went away, but I still sit, push and squeeze at the same time every day. Usually, I end up going as a result of pushing but don't feel much. I cannot go without squeezing my entire abdomen with my fist. It never feels complete. I'm always bloated and just want whatever is causing the distention (solid, liquid or gas?) to burst out and never return.
 

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I think that in a normal bowel movement you basically let go and the colon takes care of the rest. I also think it is normal to have to push, just a little, but straining isn't.I don't know if biofeedback techniques would help to retrain things so you can go without excessive straining and pushing, but it might be something to investigate.It may also be possible to retrain yourself to go. Part of that may mean living with the feeling of incomplete evacuation. In IBS your gut nerves may be lieing to you, and what they are reporting is not really occuring. Most things I read say you should not stay on the toilet for more than 15 minutes at a time. What you want to do is get your body and it's nerves to associate the toilet with peeing and pooping. Do not do other things on the toilet (this is like when you are retraining your body to sleep in the bed, you only used the bed for sleeping (well sex is OK) so that you train your body to associate the bed with sleep).After 15 minutes, get up, walk around do other things for awhile before trying again.Walking and some yoga and Tai Chi exercises seem to be good at moving things along, and you might try some abdominal massage prior to trying again (up the right across and down the left). When I am having difficulties I will do a thing I learned in Tai Chi which is to squat. Feet on the floor, and butt against the calfs. Feet spread at shoulder width (some people have to put something under their heels if the calf muscles are too tight). You can rock back and forth, front and back, and it seems to move things along. I've also been known to perch in that position on the toilet. The sitting position we use is not the best for helping the colon do its thing. If you are not graceful enough to do this on the toilet, you can get a shallow pan and then dump it out.K.
 

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My Dr. told me to elevate my feet a little bit. So I have a stepstool I keep in my bathroom, and it seems to help. I've done this for years. Maybe it positions my body just slightly differently, dont'know?
 

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Good question. The concept of normal totally eludes me. I think what I've experienced with Lotronex may be normal - basically I feel a need to go, I sit, it comes out. Who knew?
I've been so used to either D or having to push on a regular basis. By the way, does anyone know why blowing your nose helps when things are a little, uh, backed up? It works better for me than "pushing." (This from a D person who periodically has to work to go.)
 

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Blowing your nose and sneezing puts pressure on the abdomen from the action of the diaphram. Coughing can do the same thing.The downward pressure from the diaphram from sneezing, coughing, etc can be enough to push urine out of the bladder in people who have stress incontinance, so I wouldn't be suprised that it is enough to help with a bowel movement.K.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all your comments. I agree with you kmottus, although it's tough to remember when things were normal, this sounds right; "a normal bowel movement you basically let go and the colon takes care of the rest." The biofeedback is something I'm looking into. I understand that there's a test called anorectal manometry that you take to see if your muscles really aren't working properly. Like you mentioned, that feeling of incomplete evacuation could be just be a miscommunication between the gut and the brain that makes it feel that way, or I may really have incomplete evacuation. I guess that test helps determine that. Unfortunately it doesn't sound like a common test, and the biofeedback treatment sounds like it is even rarer.On a side note, the only thing I've found that consistently brings on a bowel movement is smoking a cigarette. I smoke one a day, just for the IBS, at night. If I don't, I have the urge to go at night but can't. And the next morning would be hell without that cig. I don't like the idea of smoking cigs, but that Nicotine at night really helps. Too bad they don't sell those nicotine inhalers over the counter. I've tried the nicotine gum, but it doesn't work, I guess it doesn't deliver as much nicotine.
 

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Good question!I am not sure what "normal" is either, though I feel more normal than I used to! I sometimes have to strain but not too often. Previously, I've had the opposite problem (you know, run as fast as you can to the toilet).
 

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Sneezing and coughing you say?Bonus, i have had about a million colds in the last couple months. i still have one now! bummer.
 

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HeySomeone here mentioned anal manometry. i tried it and it did not work for me. I did about 8 weeks worth of sessions. Basically they put a probe that has sensors on it up ou but and tell you to try and push it out and then they will tell you to relax and try o hold it it. All the while it is monitoring if your muscles relax and contract properly in order to function properly to have aBM. In the first two sessions they told me that all the numbers were good but I should keep trying it anyway and it never did anything for me except tell me that I was yes you guessed it normal!!!Just thought I would share this piece of info with who ever was going to check it out.Alison
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Alihawk,I thought anorectal manometry was just the test. Sounds like you had the biofeedback too. Did you have the test first to determine if you needed the biofeedback?
 
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