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Thread: Prunes to help bowels

  1. #1
    Senior Member Niese's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    Price, UT, USA

    Prunes to help bowels

    I have heard that prunes are very good for helping keep your bowels regular. I was wondering if this was true. I do my care in the morning so would it be best for me to take them at night tine? And how many should I eat? I don't want to take to many and make my bowels extreme the other direction. The reason I'm wanting to try this is because on top of my uti problems my bowels aren't working very well. I was pretty well regulated then my bowel started to become pellety but still soft then tthe other day it started to become harder. And suggestions would be wonderful

  2. #2
    I don't recommend taking prunes/prune juice on a regular basis. They should be considered fairly strong stimulants, similar to senna or cascera. Occasional use if you are constipated is OK, but avoid daily use.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Tim C.'s Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    New Jersey
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    Lightbulb Prunes/ prune juice .. (don't recommend) "on a daily basis"?

    As an SCI relegated to quite strong perscription analgesics in order to face each day, wrought with otherwise insufferable neuropathic pain, I must intake any 'cocktail' consisting of counter-constipating' supplements to my diet. These include, prunes, doses of Ducolax, Amitiza, and even a few oz of mag citrate nightly, in order to achieve a successful daily bowel program.
    (It must be also noted that because of my uncooperative sphincter, I cannot pass formed stool w/o eperiencing AD)
    The aforementioned is also at the behest, and supervision of at least a handful of GI, colorectal, and internist specialists, (plus, not to exclude the help of three prominent physiatrists I sought out).
    I guess my point, although it's best to follow the "least is best" program when it comes to chemicals and supplements, I would think that going natural is the 'best first', since there are certain commonalities to the way the anatomy responds to SCI.
    Ultimately however, every SCI is also very different, so the end justifies the means?

  4. #4
    Just because a product is "natural" does not mean it is good for you. Arsenic and lead are "natural" too. Are you recommending them?

    Of course if you are taking lots of anticholenergics and narcotics, and cannot take enough fluid or fiber (which is the best solution), you may need to take a regular stimulant (senna and cascera are just as "natural" as prunes), but you need to do so knowing that this does, over time, increase your long-term risk for developing a megacolon.


  5. #5
    Senior Member keps's Avatar
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    May 2005
    United Kingdom
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse
    I don't recommend taking prunes/prune juice on a regular basis. They should be considered fairly strong stimulants, similar to senna or cascera. Occasional use if you are constipated is OK, but avoid daily use.

    Ohhh, I didn't know about this. I used to drink prune juice regularly, as well as taking senna, and I still got constipated.
    I had to stop when I could no longer bear gulping down the foulness that is prune juice.

    KLD, what about other fruit juices? Is it a bad idea to drink those regularly?

    Niese, I wonder if you have tasted prunes before? They are revolting. *shudders*

  6. #6
    I used to drink 2 cans of prune juice 30 minutes before doing my BP, in leau of using a suppository. After 3 weeks I realized that it was just creating excess fluid in my intestines and I wasnt really getting complete results. I switched back to the bullet and it has worked well for 13 years. I do find that I will have to order a new pack pretty often though. They seem to loose their punch after a few months. Focusing on 5 things has msay my BP pretty regular...and believe me I do eat:

    1. 15 - 20 grams of fiber a day
    2. 64 ounces of water minimum per day
    3. manual chair for exercise daily
    4. constant BP routine (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday)
    5. Paying attention to my body, it will tell me if I need to go sooner.
    C5-6 - 22 years

  7. #7
    No, most other juices do not have the laxative/stimulant properties of plum/prune juice. Just be careful with juices as you can pile on a lot of extra calories with these vs. water or tea.


  8. #8
    Prunes are not revolting! They just aren't brilliantly colored artificially flavored Japanese candy, keps!

    KLD, what is so laxative about prunes? I always assumed it was simply the fiber but it sounds like there is more to it than that.

    In the book "French Women Don't Get Fat" (which I recommend highly) the author said she eats prunes 3 or so times a week. She also eats natural food and much water. It all made sense to me.

  9. #9
    No, it is not just the fiber in prunes. They have a sustance that is fairly unique to prunes (not senna or cascera) that causes the stimulant effect. It is interesting reading about the research on prunes, since no one is quite sure how this laxative chemical actually works. Regardless, it is still considered a stimulant laxative.


  10. #10
    So you dont recommend taking senna everyday?
    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

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