Laxative reaction and fiber supplement question.

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 4/1/2008 7:20 PM (GMT -6)   
So here's the deal. A little over a month ago I went to my PCP for a UTI. As he was feeling around on my abdomen he pressed down on the left side and I felt a sharp pain. He told me that it felt as if my colon was full and asked if I was constipated. I explained to him about my IBS (which is in my charts, and my PCP is the one who referred me to the gastro a couple of years ago). Ever since that day I have had a feeling of fullness/heaviness/pain on the left side of my abdomen. I have also been able to feel a lump in that area. I went back to the doctor and had to see another PCP in the practice (mine was on vaca); she felt the lump and freaked because she thought it was a grossly enlarged ovary. I was rushed through a pelvic ultrasound only to find out there was nothing abnormal about my ovaries. So I had to go BACK to that PCP and and I asked her if the lump could be something to do with my sigmoid colon - she said no it definitely wasn't my colon and ordered a CT scan because she thought it might be a swollen lymph node. I still have not gotten the results from that.

Last night the pain/heaviness feeling was so bad and the lump was so prominent that I decided to do my own experiment and take 2 Dulcolax to see if that cleared anything up. Now, it's important to note that I have been constipated, but not horribly so. I have been going to the bathroom (w/o laxatives or anything) every 2-3 days and a decent amount without much struggle. Well after taking the Dulcolax I woke up at 4 a.m. and had to run to the bathroom to avoid having an accident. Not to be crude, but I never thought so much crap could come out of one person! I literally was pooping for about 10 minutes straight, some solid and some very liquid. The absolute worst part was that it seemed like I could feel the poop moving through my colon where I've been feeling the pain for the past couple of weeks. It seemed like my body was in shock from getting all of that out of my body; by the time I was finished I was having hot and cold flashes, felt nauseas, was shaking uncontrollably and when I looked in the mirror my face and lips were completely white.

So I guess I'm wondering if anyone else has been through a similar experience as far as constipation goes? I am fairly new to constipation -- up to now I have been primarily IBS-D. I'm nervous about the fact that I could feel that hard lump in my abdomen, which by the way disappeared after my explosive bathroom experience, haha. Should I be concerned and go back to the gastro? I am supposed to see the PCP again for a follow up of the CT scan so I will mention to her that I really obviously do think it had something to do with my colon! I'm just curious to hear about what other people's experiences of constipation are like.

Also, can anyone recommend a good fiber supplement or good foods to eat to help ease constipation?

Sorry this was so long...just a little confused...thanks for any help!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 4/2/2008 1:07 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi there!  Yes, I can absolutely relate to your story.  As a 30+ years sufferer with IBS, mostly C, I have had many experiences like yours.

Three years ago I was dx was a fully impacted colon.  Bear in mind that I was "going" at least once a day, albeit ridiculously small amounts (my kitty yields more waste) so I was shocked to learn that I was constipated.  The GI doc told me that often, when one is so completely backed up, the small amounts that eek out here and there are actually squeezing around the more impacted matter.  Even before he did the X-ray, he concluded just from the description of my symptoms that I was obviously impacted.  He recommended a colon hydrotherapy clinic for a more "natural" clean out.  Since I had been using laxatives all my life, he thought I might benefit from this alternative treatment. 

Colon hydrotherapy is an intense and deep "enema" which reaches far into the intestines for maximum effect.  When you begin to release the waste, it travels through a long hose and into a machine that has a window.  You can see everything that is being eliminated.  I can't tell how absolutely HORRIFIED I was by the massive amounts of "crap" that came out.  I continued this treatment for four months, at least once a week.  I never felt better in my life than during that time.

In my experience, those of us with chronic IBS C have a very hard time with fiber supplements.  For me, they simply compound the problem.  I do much better if I get my fiber through foods like winter squash, cooked greens, yams, lentils, moderate amounts of beans, fennel, and multi-grain pastas, among other things.  I also make sure to use appropriate amounts of olive and flax oils in cooking and on my food.  I find it helps get things moving.  And, of course, WATER, WATER, WATER.

As for laxatives, I refuse to take Dulcolax or any of those other pill type stimulants.  What you described, the nausea, the shaking, the color draining from your face, was my typical experience with these meds.  Now, when I need to do a thorough clean out, I use Magnesium Citrate.  It's really a wonder laxative.  It does the trick quickly with absolutely no cramping or nausea or anything other than just the result I want.

Good luck!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 4/2/2008 1:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh man, sounds like a 10-minute prep party you had, shortnsweet! My recommendation would be: if you're constipated, take the smallest possible amount of laxative possible (i.e. 1 instead of 2) and then if that doesn't work, bump it up little by little. I've heard Miralax works really well, though I'd be dead meat if I ever tried it myself.

If the lump went away - hey, right on, it's gone!
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Please always remember to consult your medical professional regarding your questions; this forum is intended to provide patient-to-patient support and not medical advice!

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