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Thread: Severe constipation

  1. #1
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    Severe constipation

    For close to 40 years I have almost never had issues with my bowel program. Last 15 plus years I do program every other day. Use enema and a suppository and it takes 90 minutes. About 3 weeks ago I did not evacuate anything and sat for over 2 hrs. First time that ever happened. In the past 3 weeks I have had issues most times. I don't go then go next time but then find myself racing to the bathroom 4-6 hrs later because I wasn't done. In the past 8 days I went once this past Friday and that seemed maybe half as much as normal. Tried Sunday and Monday nights and nothing. It feels like my stomach is bloated and I'm getting these little spasms / cramps in my gut. I wrote to my new doctor online and will see what he says in the am.

    My wife and I moved to NC from western burbs of Chicago for my job 5 weeks ago. Haven't worked out anywhere like I used to, was eating 5 regular meals a day, two were protein powder. Now I've been skipping breakfast and lunch. Busy. So I was a patient at RIC since 1978 but recently asked to transfer materials to NC Doctor. My company has a great onsite facility and I was going to try find a sci dr soon.

    I'll see what my new doctor says but looking for community help. I know I need to change diet drink more water less caffeine and get a local sci doc. But now I have this major blockage. Should I drink something / take something and try to work from home? Go to an emergency room? Read a few things here and we are all different in ways. But starting to get a bit scared.
    Thanks
    Steve
    Last edited by steveg; 06-14-2016 at 12:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Right now, you should probably take a laxative such as Lactulose, magnesium citrate, or Miralax to try to get cleaned out. You most likely will have an accident, but that is better than being impacted with stool. If that does not work, then you will have to go to the ER. You could have something going on medically with your intestines, so an ultrasound or CT may be needed. Have you had a colonoscopy recently?

    Then you need to start eating right...30 gm. of dietary fiber daily, and at least 2.5 quarts of water. Get back to exercising. Standing can help a lot to, if you do that. Have your meds changed recently? Are you taking opioids? Do you normally take a stool softener, stimulant (such as Senakot), or use laxatives regularly? What kind of suppository do you use?

    (KLD)

  3. #3
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    Thanks KLD. Plan to stay home from work and take the laxative. If that doesn't work at I'll go to ER. No colonoscopy. I've done the stool sample 5 months ago and blood test a few weeks ago for prostate but my guess you are suggesting for other reasons. No change in meds for many years. 5 mg Ditropan ( Oxybutin) and 80mg Baclofen daily. Never took a stool softener. Suppository is off the shelf from CVS or Walgreens. Your advice is much appreciated.
    Steve

  4. #4
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    How many days should I give the laxative before going to the ER?

  5. #5
    Take the laxative as soon as you can. If you use the mag citrate, take the entire bottle. It should work within 4 hours. If the pain and bloating get worse, or you don't have any results, you have to go to the ER.

    (KLD)

  6. #6
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    KLD - I took the mag citrate and after about 3 hours did my normal bowel program. I had a very large bowel movement and I feel much better (maybe its mental). Stool was pretty normal (not hard nor liquidly) but at the end seemed to be a bit darker color. I'm still having a bit of cramping in my mid section but nothing bad. It wasn't bad before either. I plan to follow your suggestions above with 30 grams of dietary fiber, 2.5 L water and exercising. Hopefully my next BP will go back to normal without the need for the mag citrate. If I do have issues should I take the mag citrate? I do not want to get defendant on it.

    Thank you so much for your help! You answered my post at 3:30 in the morning and I felt like I had a plan and had some peace of mind one way or another.
    Steve

  7. #7
    You should not use mag citrate on a regular basis. It should be reserved for severe constipation/impaction emergencies. You may want to consider adding an oral stimulant to your meds, such as bisacodyl tablets or Senakot. If your stool is hard, you may need to add a stool softener such as Colace.

    If you are over 50 (which I suspect is the case) you should be having a colonoscopy. It is still important, and for people with SCI the signs and symptoms that may be seen for cancer or pre-cancerous bowel problems in AB may not be apparent. If you have a family history of bowel cancer, you should have this done every 5 years, otherwise at age 50 and every 10 years thereafter.

    (KLD)

  8. #8
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    Thanks again KLD. Stool is almost never hard. I'll see how things go next time and add the Senakot or tablets if needed. No family history of bowel cancer but I am over 50 so will work with my doctor to schedule a colonoscopy. I was so regular before this incident I've been afraid to drink the laxative and get me out of whack.

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