Cycle of constipation

Cycle of constipation

Posted by Jennifer_1753725 on Apr 11, 2011 2:37 pm

I have been experiencing a cycle of severe constipation, followed by extreme emptying of the bowel. For first 4 weeks, I had absolutely no BM during week. Was trying Miralax, Senna, stool softener with no effect. On weekend, used cleansing tabs and would spend hours of the weekend with massive amounts of very loose stool. Additionally, continued to eat my FiberOne cereal with Chia seeds on top, prunes, prune juice, fiber supplements, whole wheat products, beans, cut out dairy, no fried foods, lots of fruits and veges (I like them raw). On 5th week, I upped the Miralax to 2 scoops per day. Again, nothing during the week - total blow out on weekend (without the cleansing tab). The next week I added Metamucil, desperately trying to add some bulk to the stool. This past week I had a little bit of soft stool each day. No blow out on weekend. Just small amounts of mushy stuff. I have been a T8 complete para for almost 30 years. My usual for the past 30 years has been the occasional Senna when needed, maybe a stool softener. With manual extraction. Nothing comes out on its own unless its bad news. My body does not care for any 'magic bullet' type med.  I've totally lost my Spring, having to stick close to the bathroom, and am feeling horrid. Any advise greatly appreciated.

RE: Cycle of constipation

Posted by drxcski on Apr 14, 2011 2:56 pm

have had a few similar events and am interested in anybodies ideas. There is great bowel nurse at Craig hospital by the name of Xio. Maybe there nurse hotline could help??

RE: Cycle of constipation

Posted by Kezza33 on Apr 14, 2011 5:20 pm

One of my fav. topics! I recently started taking probiotics--I just use align and have moved to a mostly gluten-free diet (I cheat sometimes). Both of these things have made me more regular (and healthy consistency of my BMs), and also less cramping and stomach pains that I used to always experience after eating anything. For me, increasing my fiber doesn't always help when I'm clogged up--lots of times I end up feeling more bloated and then will experience what you have....also, physical activity (regularly) helps avoid constipation--for me, anyways. I know we are all very different in our response to things, but I hope this helps.

RE: Cycle of constipation

Posted by dwn826 on Apr 14, 2011 6:55 pm

I am a t-5 t-6 and have been having the same proplem. Nothing i did saw helping. I just started using a product called ENEMEEZ i went to there site then talked to them and they sent me a 10 day sample. After about the third day it has been working great. I do my program at night and it only takes about 15 minunts. You can look them up at I hope this helps you because i hated the explosions.

RE: Cycle of constipation

Posted by Peter on Apr 14, 2011 7:47 pm

Many of the prior and subsequent descriptions of how others have managed a similar challenge are valuable. 
What interests me is what is absent from your narrative. These questions need not be answered online and are meant to provide personal insight:
-- Have you consulted with a physician or nurse with a specialty in bowel management?
-- When was your last colonoscopy? 
-- Are there other significant changes in your health or in your family?
-- What prescription medications are you taking? Do they reference constipation or slow motility?
-- How much water do you consume throughout the day? This excludes soda, alcoholic beverages, coffee and fruit juices. 
-- Have you trained your body for a more or less standard time and day to accomplish your regimen?
Miralax takes a short week or a bit more time to work into your system.
The changes you describe merit a consultation with a physician, especially if they increase the risk for autonomic dysreflexia.

RE: Cycle of constipation

Posted by Ramon on Apr 16, 2011 12:23 pm

Do you take Ditropan, Ditropan LX or Detrol. They had a bad effect on me. Other meds like Zanaflex, do cause constipation in a different way .  I´m T´6, 25 years post injury and do manual extraction as well. In the begining of my condition, I was told that any laxative by mouth will cause dependence on the long run. Good luck. Keep us posted.

RE: Cycle of constipation

Posted by Susan_1939822 on Apr 16, 2011 11:05 pm

Well I am a 30 year para and I just get on the pot every morning and take out what I can get, I don't try to "make" anything come down, just what I can reach.  I developed this probably after about 10 years.  Now I never worry about having an accident.  don't remember when I had the last one 

RE: Cycle of constipation

Posted by Gerald_1940235 on Apr 18, 2011 1:11 am

As a forty year paraplegic, I can recommend Miralax regularly (daily), drink plenty of water, and have Activia yogurt each day. See if this helps. If you are going as long as you describe without a BM, you should seek medical attention. Do not use stimulative laxatives with regularity, as this will ultimately impair bowel function.

RE: Cycle of constipation

Posted by Jennifer_1753725 on Apr 18, 2011 7:48 pm

Ramon - I did take Vesicare, up until about 6 months ago, when I became constipated and shut it down and life returned to normal.  I do continue to take anti-spasm meds (Soma and Robaxin), or my shoulders twitch until I've got a knife blade in my back.

Also, I did go to see my doctor, who said it was likely I had an allergy (I didn't think my symptoms of hive like condition on skin, dry/cracked lips and tender sinuses were related, so didn't add).  However, the blood test results just came back today, and those say I may have some mild tree allergy, but that's about it.  I'd been thinking for the past week that maybe it was a gluten allergy.  The doc hasn't replied yet as to whether he tested specifically for that.  Gluten blogs say it is a difficult thing to diagnose.  With the digestive system just roiling around and the skin issues continuing, I just can't think it is only some mild tree thing. 

The doc doesn't really seem interested in pursuing the solution.  I think it might be time to pursue a new doc.  He didn't recognize a staph infection I had on my skin about 6 months ago and doesn't really seem to care about that either.  It's tough to find a doc in a suburban area that is acquainted with issues for a person aging with an SCI.

I can feel depression creeping in around the corners.  It's frustrating to have to self-diagnose.

Re: Cycle of constipation

Posted by victor_dan on Oct 15, 2018 9:51 am

I`m so sorry for your situation. Constipation is a very unpleasant symptom. There are many causes but I'm not here to talk about that.

Because I deal with constipation for almost 10 years now, my advice would be:

- Eat fruit only on an empty stomach (so vitamins and nutrients will assimilate and you stay hydrated)
- Avoid eating Flour, Bread, Sugary Foods, Pasta, Pizza, or Anything that contains flour.
- Start eating liquid foods like soup (vegetable soup);
- Drink milk only on an empty stomach (it has a laxative effects and Calcium will assimilate better)
- Avoid cheese products (or eat the with lots of vegetables)
- Do not eat large quantities of fiber all of a sudden (introduce them gradually after you eat liquid foods)

These are only a few ways to relieve constipation.
I would like to point out that, it is necessary to take some medical examination (urine, stool, blood). Stool examination can probably tell if you suffer from chronic or a severe type of constipation. Usually, your symptoms are caused by viruses / bacteria found in the intestines (Helyobacter Pilory or Gyardia).
Have you made any examinations until now?

Re: Cycle of constipation

Posted by Virginia girl on Oct 29, 2018 2:11 pm

Boy can I relate! I spent the summer months dealing with cycling between constipation and diarrhea. I definitely agree with the suggestions mentioned especially:
~ eating fruits & vegies, avoiding cheese 
~ staying hydrated, especially water
~ working to establish a consistent regular bowel routine
~ I've found a daily use of Benefiber  has been very helpful BUT results TAKE TIME. I was amazed how long it took my body to get back in synch. It's so easy to get frustrated, impatient, and depressed. Been there, I'm a patient person but I was at the end of my rope! Hang in there!
~ Make changes one at a time so you know what makes a difference.
~ medicines can definitely impact your bowels.
~ I worked with a gastroenterologist & had a colonoscopy to rule out any colon cancer- the prep was hell! Also had several stool tests. Would recommend an xray to make sure you don't have a higher up impaction in the digestive tract.
~ My GI doctor also prescribed Linzess 72 mcg medication which helps with motility and it has been VERY helpful. It's expensive but I think assistance is available. There is no research that it has been recommended for with folks with SCI but that's true for many medications.

Best wishes!

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