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Old 05-04-2008, 08:53 PM   #1
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mel1977 HB User
Ultram and your gut

I am really NOT kidding with this post. I am very curious to find out if anyone else suffers from, well, flatulence since starting Ultram? I have been having horrid gas for about a year and a half or so. Sometimes it builds up so badly it feels like I need to have a bm, but it is just air-I read up on the side effects of Ultram and gas is on there. I was actually very surprised. I knew it could cause constipation, but gas? I will not get into detail, but it is actually quite bothersome. ANyone else find this a problem after starting Ultram? To anyone's knowledge, any otc meds out there that decrease gastric gas? I don't mean gas aide either, well, maybe that would work, I don't know and haven't tried it. And again, I am serious!

 
Old 05-04-2008, 09:21 PM   #2
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cmpgirl HB User
Re: Ultram and your gut

Hey Mel, I don't take Ultram, but I found, even with the Oxy that I am way more gassy than I was before I took pain meds. I use Gas-Ex, if it gets really painful and I can't "get rid" of it, but I haven't found anything to control when it's abundant, if you know what I mean. My grandmother used to say "wherever you be, let your wind blow free", but, that's not always an option in polite society. (My Mina didn't really care what anyone thought!)

Anyway, my PM doc said it's best to avoid gassy foods, etc., but I love all veggies (except peas) and food in general, so it's hard to avoid. I have never tried BeaNo (sp?) but I've thought about it. If anyone else has tried it, I'd love to know too.

Take care, cmpgirl

 
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:10 PM   #3
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Re: Ultram and your gut

I was on Ultram for over two years and have been off for a little over two weeks. When I wasn't on any other narcotic meds I had to take a stool softener to make sure that I was not constipated.

Now when I started on the fentanyl patch along with it, that is the point when i started to use Miralax. I have to use Miralax EVERY DAY or my digestive system will get messed up, have cramping, gas, and get constipated. It could be that you are constipated and need to use either a stool softener, Miralax, or both.

brian

 
Old 05-05-2008, 11:18 PM   #4
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mel1977 HB User
Re: Ultram and your gut

I know I am constipated. Since my fusion about three years ago so much has changed. I don't work out the same, I quit smoking which was a big boost for my bowels. after ten years they didn't know how to work as well. I am very ambulatory but alas, even though I quit the narcs, I still only go a good bm about every three days, when it used to be daily. I am trying to eat foods high in fiber and even eating activia which seems to help. Guess we'll see.

 
Old 05-05-2008, 11:33 PM   #5
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cmpgirl HB User
Re: Ultram and your gut

Mel, I tried the activia for a couple of days and had such a bad experience in the opposite direction, that I stopped immediately. I was on the toilet more than I was off. I don't know if it was the activia that did it to me, but I haven't wanted to risk it again.

I've heard that new juice, PlumSmart, is supposed to be good and it's not supposed to taste bad either. Have you tried it?

I know even though the Ultram is not classified as a narc, it has a lot of the same side effects. I took it for a week a few years ago, but had a bad reaction to it. So, I stopped immediately. Too bad too, because it did help with the pain.

Hang in there and if you find a solution that helps keep the gas down, I'd love to know. Take care, cmpgirl

 
Old 05-06-2008, 10:10 AM   #6
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forginon HB User
Re: Ultram and your gut

Mel,

I think this is normal, unfortunately.

All opioids, including Ultram, slow the passage of material through our intestines. Normal intestines, or rather those of folks not taking opioids see food and undigested material pass through rather quickly. Gas has little chance to build up excessively unless one eats extra-gassy foods or they catch an intestinal bug. But with those of us on opioids, our stools take forever to pass through. And all along the way, material intended to have exited much earlier is just sitting, fermenting, creating gas. It has to go somewhere, and that's why we have farts. Lots of 'em. There's boatloads of meds and supplements that claim to solve this problem, but only a handful really work well.

steve

 
Old 05-06-2008, 11:00 AM   #7
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forginon HB User
Re: Ultram and your gut

Quote:
Originally Posted by mel1977 View Post
I know I am constipated. Since my fusion about three years ago so much has changed. I don't work out the same, I quit smoking which was a big boost for my bowels. after ten years they didn't know how to work as well. I am very ambulatory but alas, even though I quit the narcs, I still only go a good bm about every three days, when it used to be daily. I am trying to eat foods high in fiber and even eating activia which seems to help. Guess we'll see.
I just learned something this week. It's probably something most of you already know, but for me it was new. I've been despairing over how large my stools are, and how hard they can be to pass. Even when I'm not constipated this still happens. Well, it turns out that with regular constipation the colon stretches to accommodate the increased mass. So, even when not constipated, the now stretched colon gets filled before the material passes and the stools are still large. I wish there was a way to re-train my colon because this gets uncomfortable after awhile.

Ideas for solutions?

steve

 
Old 05-06-2008, 12:36 PM   #8
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cmpgirl HB User
Re: Ultram and your gut

Steve, There are ways to strengthen your rectal muscles and colon. It involves an exercise similar to that used by many women to strengthen the pelvic floor. They are called Kegel exercises. It is a simple and painless method of flexing the muscles in your rectum and then letting go. This can be done sitting or standing.

It is used primarily by women, but it can also help men. You just have to determine where the target muscles are. You can start by flexing where you think these muscles are. You will feel it when you've got it. The method is to breathe normally, have an empty bladder/colon, if possible, and do not ever try to stop a bowel movement in progress. You just flex and release. Over and over. If you are sitting, you don't want to flex the entire buttocks. Just the rectum. (I can't believe I am typing this to a distinguished gentleman, such as yourself) Fabby's going to have a field day with this one!

This can be done at home, work, wherever. Just try not to get a silly look on your face in the office. People will wonder. More.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please just ask. I obviously have no shame! I wish you luck. cmpgirl

 
Old 05-06-2008, 11:32 PM   #9
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mel1977 HB User
Re: Ultram and your gut

bowels are a very very serious organ, and the issues that can happen can be no big deal to life threatening, but I still can't help but chuckle every now and again with our bowel discussions. I can't disclose my profession, but I deal with bowels day in and day out-I am happy and sad to know that the gas is normal and a normal side effect of my opioid non-narcotic pain med. Poor hubby though-I used to hold it in before it got bad and an all the time thing-and now I just about make myself pass out, not to mention my hubby. That is the worst part of it. So, to maybe get another laugh out of this board, to think of something other than our regular and bowel discomforts, my husband so lovingly calls my "gas pass" a "sulfur dioxide bomb that just melted the chihuahua".

 
Old 05-07-2008, 06:27 AM   #10
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Re: Ultram and your gut

Hey Mel!! I haven't seen you around in a couple of years. You may not remember me, (I had a name change), but I used to post with you over on the back boards. The last I remember you were getting ready to go through a fusion. I see that you've had the fusion.

Did the fusion work? Did you fuse?? I ended up with an emergency 2 Level PLIF just over a year ago, due to re-injuring my back during clean up after Hurricane Katrina. I was limping along in PM waiting to get my classes finished, and had finally decided to have the fusion b/c I just couldn't take it anymore. Then my spine decided otherwise. The original surgury collapsed inward and trapped the CES nerves, and I lost bladder function. A little over three days later I was in surgury on a Friday night at 7:30 pm. I am fused, but oh my, I hurt like hell. Scar tissue, and residual nerve pain can make a person nuts ya know??

Anyhoo, just wanted to say good to see you.

My mom takes ultram, and she doesn't seem to have any problems with it. She's almost 82. Just trying to stay on topic here. Good to see you, sorry it's on the pain boards though!

~!~ Becky ~!~
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:02 PM   #11
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forginon HB User
Re: Ultram and your gut

cmpgirl,

thanks for the info on exercises. They seem similar to those my wife worked after bringing out two little ones into the world.

However, it's not a rectal thing that I'm talking about. I'm talking about the intestines themselves. I'm sure you've seen images of them, how they loop and have folds and such. In fact, our stools are sometimes formed looking just like the intestines. Anyway, what I've run into is that because of chronic constipation, the shape of my lower intestines has changed to accommodate much larger stools. It's because the motility has slowed and the material just builds up and builds up until what's left becomes very hard to pass. It seems this change in shape remains and even when not constipated, very large stools still form. Causes lots of discomfort and bleeding too. I really don't think there are exercises that can re-shape the intestines themselves. I could be wrong, and, if so, please tell me so. I think your exercises would help to strengthen the rectal muscle walls, muscles controlling the bladder and such, but not up past the rectum and sigmoid.

I hope you get what I'm trying to communicate, because I'm having a hard time explaining it.

steve

 
Old 05-07-2008, 02:28 PM   #12
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cmpgirl HB User
Re: Ultram and your gut

Steve......I fully understand now, what you are saying and I also unfortunately experience the same thing. So, I wouldn't mind knowing of such an exercise myself. I would think it might have something to do with strengthening your core muscles, but I'm not sure how, exactly. There also may be some way through dietary habits, to retrain the bowel. It's worth looking into.

Maybe Dr. Oz, who appears regularly on Oprah, would have some useful information in one of his books. He seems to discuss the bowels and their function, quite often on her show.Let me know if you find something, and I will do the same. With the amount of constipation and bowel issues here on the boards, I'm sure many of us could benefit.Blessings to all, cmpgirl

 
Old 05-07-2008, 11:05 PM   #13
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mel1977 HB User
Re: Ultram and your gut

Well, sure has been a few years! I like to think my fusion was a success-So sorry to hear about your back. Sounds horrible. I actually have more issues with my feet, neck and upper back, and now a arthritic flare up of my right ankle and foot from a break ten years ago. I feel good that I don't need narcotics. I get by with my ultram, motrin, heating pads, tennis ball and hubby's hands
And, of course now I suffer from the worst gas on the planet-at least, to me it is! Anyway, I am back in school again and getting closer to my goal. It was so nice to hear from you!
Mel

 
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