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Constipation

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

Does anyone have BAD constipation. I have an urge to have a bowel movement about every 5 days. I take stool softners but they don't help. Now if you don't like ukky stuff, don't read anymore. I have to "help" the first three of four pushes by wearing a rubber glove and actually pulling out the stool. Sometimes that works right away, sometimes I have to do it several times during the day. I am on 5FU and Avastin as a "maintenance dose". My doctor has also prescribed Amitiza two times a day starting on my third day with no bowel movement.

What does anyone else use? Does it work?

Thanks,
bdee

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

I used a powder form of Miralax ...You can actually buy it over the counter now although I got mine from my Onc. He prescribed it to be taken a cupful at a time mixed with 12-16 oz of water or juice..(I mean the cup that is on the miralax bottle, not a real cup). It does not taste hardly at all and is not a bad taste anyway. I took it 2 days prior to chemo and 4 days after...It worked fine for me.....and it wasn't fast acting...you'll have time to get where you need to go....... :)

Also my mom takes a small sip of mineral oil...each day...That helps her go...She gives it to her cats too...helps them go as well....Ya just gotta know my mom to appreciate that.....

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

I suffer from severe constipation also, and the only thing that works is Miralax. I sprinkle it on my cereal, or in my tea each morning. It takes 3-5 days to really star working, but once it does, it keeps me moving.

Vicki

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

The doctor gave me three packets of Miralax. I drank all three (one a day) and it didn't do anything for me. Now after three days of stool softners, I have to take a prescription drug called Amitiza. Well it makes me want to go, but if the stool is too hard to come out, I'm hurting even worse.

The doctor told me to stop taking laxatives and take flax seed oil.

Thanks for your help,
Debbie

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4888
Joined: May 2005

I used Senocot (sp?) but it sounds like the Miralax works well.
I would also start a day or so before I "needed" it.

I am reminded of a joke...
Q: What does a mathematician do when they are constipated?
A; They work it out with a pencil...

Buzzard, I had to give my parents cat a baby suppository once.
Let's just say neither of us enjoyed it. Talk about putting a square peg in a round hole...

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

Good Joke LOL

Yes, I take Miralax as well to keep me regular, and the stool softeners as well, dolcolax I think, but also ex-lax laxatives. It worked like a charm for me as well :)

Usually I get diarrhea during this time of chemo, and haven't had it since I started even taking Immodium AD before I start the chemo, so maybe trying to take the laxatives and Miralax the day before chemo, may help as well.

Hugsss!
~Donna

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Has anyone tried Prune Juice?

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Prune juice to me is like a "Zip Drive"....whew....I like to have a head start when I go, or at least I did..It doesn't matter anymore now..with an ostomy I stay ready... :)

lmliess's picture
lmliess
Posts: 331
Joined: Dec 2008

Drink a glass of prune juice, then have a bowel of high fiber cereal, then drink a warm glass of tea or coffee. Something about that order is supposed to make your bowels work.

LOT and LOTS of water too.

snommintj's picture
snommintj
Posts: 602
Joined: Mar 2009

I wrote a post some time back called getting things movings which helped me with my severe constipation due to a blockage then because of my reaction to chemo. I'll look for it and post to it so it should be available.

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

I used children suppositories when it was real bad, my culprit was the Vicodin that was prescribed to me for pain. Now i just take a Decolax whenever I go longer then two days without going and it all comes out okay... just makes you want to go, as the commercial informs.

Joy1216's picture
Joy1216
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

Have you tried ground flaxseed? The nutritionist at the cancer center recommended eating three tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseed daily as part of a high fiber diet. I eat it on cereal, along with strawberries or blueberries. The GI doc recommends 25 - 30 grams of fiber daily. The flaxseed, plus the high fiber diet, really keeps things moving along.
Joy

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

My doctor prescribed two flax seed oils before lunch and dinner. I just forget to take them. I'm also supposed to take Regland 1 hour before lunch and dinner, I forget that too. The Regland has a side affect of diarrhea. So far, when I do remember to take it, no diarrhea, just bad bad constipation and hard hard stools.

Thanks,
Debbie

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi bdee,

where I don't have experience with chemo, I do have experience with constipation. Here is what I have learned over the past almost 8 years of colon cancer survival about the importance of digestive health:

1) Probiotics
2) Fiber
3) Digestive enzymes

PROBIOTICS help the intestinal flora stay balanced. You need the good bacteria in your gut, and chemo/drugs/antibiotics are going to throw your digestive system into an imbalanced environment...ergo constipation and/or diarrhea. UDO'S CHOICE is an excellent probiotic and his is called Super Bifido Plus Probiotic. His is 70 Billion Cells. So if you want to bring out the big guns use his product which you can find at vitamin/health food shops or they can order it for you. His helps constipation. It needs to be refrigerated.

FIBER is missing in the overly processed white bread world of the Standard American Diet (I am assuming you are American). I put ground flax seed (Barleans) in something every day whether it's my smoothies or veggie juice or sprinkled into oatmeal or cold cereal. Not only is it excellent fiber, but it has omega-3 oil AND is a super cancer fighter.

DIGESTIVE ENZYMES really help colon health and give our bodies a break. Obviously, if we're dealing with some kind of colon cancer (or rectal) there is a problem with our digestion. It's not always what we eat, it's what we digest (and how). I take a Super Enzyme made by NOW after every meal to help me digest. This really helps my "output" to be nicely formed and easy to evacuate. Rubber gloves need not apply. :-)

NOW also makes an excellent protein powder called Tru-Food Vegan that is FULL of fiber (18 g per serving!!!!) that is delicious in either juice or smoothie or plain water. Not only does it keep me REGULAR but it's full of other great stuff--protein, vitamins and minerals, EFA's and Antioxidants. I swear by it. And I promise, I don't sell any of this stuff. I have just continued to maintain my 7.10 year Stage III colon cancer-free survival (no chemo) by staying vigilant about my diet (I am NOT perfect believe me). So I have tried a lot on the market. This is food and not some fake fiber chemical product. I am allergic to psyillium (sp?) so I have to search for alternatives. This product ROCKS!

If you try any of this please let me know how it works for you cuz it sure works for me! I didn't know what a "normal" bowel movement was like until after colon cancer. When a nicely formed BM slid out with no effort I was amazed that THAT was how a properly working colon worked!!! I was 39 years old! How sad is that?? And I go more than once a day. A healthy digestive system voids the bowels for every meal so technically, we should be having three/day not three a week or month! HA! And notice I use the term healthy not normal because the two are not always the same. It may be normal for Americans to poop once a day but that doesn't make it healthy!

I hope this helps.

peace, emily the juice chick who poops

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