Alternating between constipation and diarrhea

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mbw1103
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 8/9/2010 3:55 PM (GMT -7)   

My usual tendency is towards diarrhea, but over the few weeks I've been tending towards constipation.  The constipation episodes have not been full blown until this past weekend.  I've been having another stomach issue lately (most likely not related to crohn's) and have been taking more librax as a result, as well as zofran several times a day -- both of these meds can cause constipation.  In addition, I haven't been drinking as much water as I should because I just can't hold a big enough volume in my stomach right now to fit in the recommended 64oz per day; I'm not dehydrated, but I'm sure the lower volume of water is also contributing.  Even with the constipation I'm still getting bouts of diarrhea a few times a week.  Most of the time the diarrhea episodes are on par with what I typically experience, but I've had 3 worse than normal episodes during this time frame.

 

This weekend's constipation episode was pretty awful and I don't want to go through that again, but I don't see any of the above changing anytime soon.  I did try increasing my fiber intake this weekend, but that seemed to have minimal impact if any.  I was thinking about taking some type of stool softener, but I don't want to overdo it and set off a diarrhea flare.  I know for some the alternation pattern is common and I'm hoping that one of you might have suggestions on a more gentle stool softener/laxative I can try or some other tip.

 

As an FYI, I have seen my GI throughout this -- she even warned me of constipation as a possible side effect from the zofran, but since it seemed like such a remote possibility in my case, we didn't talk about what to do if it happened.  Unless something gets drastically worse, I'll see her again at the end of the month, at which point I'll have some more tests done, unless things improve.

 

TIA for any input.

 

Melissa


34 - Diagnosed with Crohn's in Nov. '05
Current Meds: Apriso, Canasa, Methotrexate, Pamine Forte, Aciphex, Domperidone, Folic Acid, Restasis, Zofran, Zyrtec, Zantac, Align, Calcium, Vitamin D, Centrum, Digestive Enzymes, Thera-tears Omega 3 Supplement
Gluten free since Aug. '03

tes82
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/9/2010 4:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I have this same issue all the time. I find I have to keep a very close eye on my diet because I shift back and forth very quickly.
When constipated I make sure to drink a glass of prune juice in the morning and one at night until I return to normal, plus 1 salad every day. The prune juice is a natural stool softener and I have found it works better then anything I've been prescribed. It tastes really bad at first but you get used to it.
Good Luck!
- t

Diagnosed with Crohn's in April 2010.
Currently on 3 grams of Pentasa 2x a day, trying to find diet and stress relief that works for me.

mkl11
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 494
   Posted 8/9/2010 4:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Over the past couple months I've developed alternating constipation/diarrhea, though mine is more characterized as bouts of passing only bloody mucous and then diarrhea. My GI commented that such a pattern (well minus the bleeding) is indicative of IBS and that in fact, Crohn's patients can also suffer from IBS (I thought they were mutually exclusive). Though we didn't talk too much about it, he mentioned that such IBS issues can be effectively handled with fiber, so perhaps stay on that track. I've been able to identify a few things that act as laxatives for me--prune juice has done the trick, but for some reason chai tea lattes (with regular or soy milk) REALLY get me going.

Good luck!
21 y/o, diagnosed 6/2007

Symptoms currently under control with Humira and a wheat-free, processed food-free diet. Beginning to have symptoms of GERD...

artist guy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 8/9/2010 5:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I use to drink prune juice as well, until i would go so much that i had a siezure from lack of potassium. now I just make sure i eat papyas everyday and i can stay reg. but then I have bile and mucos that seems like I have to get rid of it every morning or I will have hell to pay. only on a cd forum can we talk like this, but it is really important part of our lives, unfortunatly, 40 years of cd so lots of bowel experiences

artist guy

mbw1103
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 8/9/2010 5:26 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for the suggestions -- I actually just picked up some prunes, so I'll give those a try.  Given my other issues I think the prunes might be better for me right now than juice, but if they don't do the trick I'll get some prune juice.  I'm one of those odd people that actually like the taste of prunes, so hopefully the juice won't take too much adjustment.

 

Tes - unfortunately me and fiber don't get along too well normally and salads are a particular trigger food for me.  My diet hasn't been too well balanced lately and I'm sure that's contributing -- I'm trying to be more mindful and eat balanced plus sneak in fiber where I can.

 

mkl -- I'm one of those lucky crohnies that also has IBS.  Pamine forte typically keeps my IBS in check.  It could be that my current issue has set something off, but I really think that it's a combination of med side effects and some mitigating factors rather than a bout of ibs.  Even when my IBS was active, I still had diarrhea pre-dominant symptoms.

 

artist guy -- I think I have some papaya supplements, I'll try taking those.  I bought them by mistake when looking for a digestive enzyme...like you said here we can talk about anything...that's not so true in the health food store, so when I said i was looking for a new brand of digestive enzymes, the employee who helped me recommended the papaya ones.   The openness on this forum is great, as well as the fact that it seems no matter what I post about, there are always a handful of people going through the same thing that can always offer great advice.

 

Melissa


34 - Diagnosed with Crohn's in Nov. '05
Current Meds: Apriso, Canasa, Methotrexate, Pamine Forte, Aciphex, Domperidone, Folic Acid, Restasis, Zofran, Zyrtec, Zantac, Align, Calcium, Vitamin D, Centrum, Digestive Enzymes, Thera-tears Omega 3 Supplement
Gluten free since Aug. '03
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