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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Embarrassing problem :(


 ukpatient - Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:34 pm

Hi there - I hope someone can offer some advice to me. I haven't really been able to empty my bowels for about 3 months despite always drinking plenty of water, eating lots of vegetables, exercising and so on. I now have to take a laxative once or twice per week in order to relieve myself otherwise I feel very very uncomfortable. I am so embarrassed. I am not taking any medication, I'm not stressed (only a bit because of this problem!), I can't see any cause at all. Does anyone have any idea what the problem could be? Please, please help :oops:
 Rhonda P, CEP - Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:47 pm

User avatar Hello,
I know you are doing a lot of the things I’m going to mention but I’m going to put them for consistency.

Constipation is a common disorder, either chronic (long term) or sporadic. First off, test yourself to see how long it takes for food to actually move through, eat something like corn or beets (only one time) and watch for it, see how long it takes to show up in the toilet, this will be important information for a Physician if you need to see one. Constipation can be brought on by (to name just a few) inactivity, habit (holding stool at work or school), low caloric intake, medications, low fluid intake, gastrointestinal disease, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, pregnancy, thyroid problems, cancer and hereditary causes. People think that if they increase their fiber this will fix the constipation problem but without the increase of water all they have is a very serious clog.

It isn’t a good idea to take chemical laxatives; your body becomes very dependant upon them in a short period of time. You can try Epsom salts in water (gross, nasty tasting but it works) to loosen yourself up but if this seems to be a chronic problem you should not ignore your bodies symptoms. Make sure you are consciously drinking enough water, 8 glasses per day, try to have your movement at the same time each day and allow yourself enough time to just sit and relax, don’t rush anything. Cut down on refined foods (white flour, white rice, potatoes, carbohydrates), increase your fiber with flax, psyllium and pectin, they hold water and form a gelatin mass so the stool is softer, increase your activity that will involve abdominal movement and don’t ignore the urge to move your bowels.

You may want to see an Allergy Specialist to see if you have a food allergy that is causing the peristalsis in your intestine to slow down and make an appointment with your Physician if this becomes persistent because you don’t want to damage, stretch or tear your intestines.

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