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Constipation and Laxatives

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Old 01-08-2007, 05:22 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 73
mitchiesmom HB User
Constipation and Laxatives

I have been suffering from sporatic constipation for a year now ever since I quit smoking. The past two weeks it has suddenly gotten worse. I have experienced mild cramping on the right side of my abdomen, but it's next to impossible to produce a substantial bowel movement. I finally took 1 Dulcolax tablet, but I experienced cramping and diarrhea with that. Is that how a laxative is supposed to work? It was not pleasant and I'm undecided which is worse, being constipated or having diarrhea.

Also, I've been working hard to increase my daily fiber intake, but how in the world are you supposed to get 25-30 mg daily when most food items only have 2-3 mg in them? I'll be a whale if I eat that much!

Thanks for any advice you may have.

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Old 01-08-2007, 10:08 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Charleston
Posts: 5,526
Harry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB User
Re: Constipation and Laxatives

Hi mitchiesmom,

You may know all this but I'll outline my thoughts again!! Maybe you missed something?

Laxatives are not healthy to take long term because they make your intestines lazy and then they won't work properly. But, are OK now and then!!

As you may know you need both soluble and insoluble fiber to have normal firm BMs.

Insoluble fiber makes the intestinal muscles contract moving digested food through the intestines and out.

Soluble fiber absorbs fluid and bulks up your stools with water mostly.

Insoluble fiber is in all fruits and all veggies, nuts & seeds and the bran that is outer part of grains and in cereals (bran), and also the outer part of beans & peas.

Soluble fiber is the inner part of grains like rice, corn, oats, wheat and barley. Also, the inner part of all beans & peas. Except Green beans that are insoluble.
Root veggies also absorb fluids -- potatoes, carrots, beets and turnips.
And of course water soluble Fiber supplements like Metamucil- Konsyl- Equate from Wal Mart and others that contain psyllium seed husk, Citrucel (methylcellulose), Benefiber (guar gum) and FiberChoice (chicory root also known as Inulin that is added to alot of processed foods that contain no fiber.

All meats, seafoods and all dairy products contain No Fiber.

There are several cereals that are good sources of fiber and are low in calories-- Kellogg's Complete Oat Bran Flakes, raisin bran, bran, oatmeal. I know several people that just eat the Oat Bran Flakes for constipation.

I take psyllium from Wal Mart-- the Equate brand-- a rounded teaspoon twice daily -- the plain type but it does contain a little sugar but there is Orange flavored sugar free that I took for years.

I found that I need 7 to 8 grams of psyllium daily with my normal food to have regular BMs. The Container from Wal Mart has 114 doses.

I wish You well with This problem---Harry

PS-- I know this is sort of a short outline but if you have any questions -- Please write. I have been writing on this board for awhile.

Last edited by Harry; 01-08-2007 at 10:15 PM.

Old 01-09-2007, 05:37 AM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 88
simplycurious HB User
Re: Constipation and Laxatives

I was diagnosed with mild colitis last year. The first thing the doctor asked me was "did you recently quit smoking cigarettes?" and I had. After doing research on this, I found out there's a link between SOME peopole who recently quite smoking cigaretts and developing colitis. This may be something you can bring up with your doctor since you stated you recently quit smoking.

Old 01-09-2007, 03:32 PM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 73
mitchiesmom HB User
Re: Constipation and Laxatives

Thanks for the information Harry. I bought your recommended product today and started drinking it right away. Hopefully, I will get some relief soon and I will let you know if it works.

To simplycurious.....I stopped smoking almost one year ago and yes, this is when all of the trouble started. However, it has suddenly worsened in the past two weeks and this has been when I have been the most miserable. I do have a physical scheduled in March and I will discuss it with my doctor if I can wait until then. Hopefully, this drink stuff will help my problem.

Old 01-10-2007, 02:56 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: TX
Posts: 1,356
livinTX HB User
Re: Constipation and Laxatives

If you must take a laxative, try using Philips milk of magnesia instead. You may need to take it more than one day but it is much less painful that stimulant laxatives. The active ingredient in this is magnesium.

Last edited by livinTX; 01-10-2007 at 02:57 PM.

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