Stressing myself out, please help

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

GaryA
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/9/2006 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm a 48 year old male and about a week ago when I was having a bowl movement it seemed like I had to go more but wasn't able to.  It immediately felt like constipation.  I have had constipation before but not for quite some time and not very often.  I would say I have not had a completely "normal" bowl movement since this happened a week ago.  Along with this I have had a feeling of pressure/bloating in my upper abdomen almost constantly...although it has subsided a few times for a period of time.  I have not eaten much solid food this week at all.  Monday I ate an apple, Tuesday and Wednesday it was all water and juice...until I decided to have a tuna sandwich Wednesday evening (on whole wheat bread).  Thursday I had a turkey breast sandwich on whole wheat for lunch.  Thursday afternoon I had a bowel movement that was not "normal" for me but close to "normal".  It was pretty soft and a normal coloring.  I attribute the softness to the fact that I had been overhydrating.  Thursday night I actually had a decent appetite but I ate only a couple of slices of whole wheat bread and a couple of slices of white bread.  I also ate some potato chips while watching the basketball game.  Around midnight I had an urge to move my bowels and when I did it was basically diarrhea.  Today I did not eat solid food until I got home and then I ate a bowl of Life cereal and a pear.  I pretty much have felt the pressure/bloated feeling most of the day.
 
I have seen my Dr when I originally had the constipation....that was this past Tuesday.  He sent me for an abdominal X-Ray on Wednesday which turned out normal and showed some stool in the colon but not much...which made sense since I was doing only fluids by that time.  He knows I worry about this and said he could send me for a CAT scan to look for things like diverticulitis.  But he said that since I had no pain it was unlikely it was that.  He said it could be an intestinal virus that will clear up on it's own.  So I decided to wait a couple of more days.  I did head to the bathroom today not because I felt like I needed a bowel movement but because I felt I needed to get rid of some gas.  A little bit of stool did evacuate but it was short and thin.  And of course when I see a thin stool it made me worry even more...even though I assume there wasn't much stool because I have not been eating a lot of solid food these past 5 days....does that sound reasonable ?
 
In any case I am worrying myself sick over this...especially over the feeling of pressure/bloating.  I just want to feel better.  I called my Dr's office this morning and told them what was happening over the past couple of days, with the soft "semi-normal" stool Thursday afternoon and then the diarrhea on Thursday night.  They said they would call me back but they never did today.  Now it's the weekend and I am not sure what to do.  I could call my Dr's cell phone and leave him a message but I called his cell several times on Wednesday (his day off) so I am sure he already thinks I am a paranoid pest.
 
I have toyed with the idea of going to the ER and being evaluated there, but then think I am probably being ridiculous since I am in no pain.  I don't know what to think but I just know that I am sick with worry thinking this could be something really serious.
 
If anyone can share their experiences with me I would appreciate it so much.  I am even willing to give someone my cell number and talk over the phone if anyone is willing.  It might help me to know that there is really someone else that has had symptoms like this and they are ok.
 
Thank you.

Post Edited (GaryA) : 6/9/2006 4:26:12 PM (GMT-6)


Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 6/9/2006 4:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Your doctor is right about the fact that this could be a bug or imbalance in your intestinal bacterias. According to the Rome II Criteria for diagnosing IBS, you have to have had abdominal pain at least 12 weeks in the past year (not consecutive). The reason why it takes 12 weeks to diagnose is because intestinal bugs can linger for a while. I picked one up myself on vacation that lasted about two weeks. The fact that you don't have any abdominal pain makes it unlikely that you have IBS (since IBS seems to be defined by having pain). It's perfectly normal for perfectly normal people to have constipation and gas occasionally, even if it lasts several days.

My advice to you would be to wait as your doctor advised and see what happens. If you begin to experience pain or a major change in your symptoms, then you need to call him. I would not advise going to the ER unless you 1) go without a bowel movement for three or more days and cannot get it to come out with OTC laxatives or enemas (because that's the first thing they'll give you at the hospital anyways) or 2) experience pain that is unbearable. Because at where you are now, they're not going to do a thing for you and they're going to charge you a lot of money to not do it. And you'll probably be treated pretty rudely, especially if they are busy with people who have cut off limbs or wrecked motorcycles. The E.R. staff is trained in trauma; they don't know squat about gut disorders. Ask some of the people on this board who have had been seriously (even dangerously) impacted and have gotten no help at the E.R.

Diarrhea: this can easily be caused by worrying and from excessive juice consumption. Apple juice in suffcient quantities or drunk when you already have diarrhea, will give you diarrhea/make it worse. If you are hitting it hard, I would suggest cutting back on it. If you are looking to have less constipation, try normal amounts of prune juice and otherwise stick to water to drink. You may also want to temporarily cut out the fruits since they tend to be acidic and can further upset your upset stomach/guts. You should eat solid food, but keep it sort of bland: grilled meats, cereals, breads, vegetables (not beans!). Like you said, if you don't put food in, there's none to come out. Also try taking a gas reliever like Gas-X with your meals if you are getting bloating and gas when you eat.

Finally, I would recommend probiotics for you. They're good for everybody, not to mention that some people with IBS symptoms have gotten good results from them. They are basically good bacteria. You need them in your intestinal tract to break down your food. When you don't have enough you can experience constipation or diarrhea and even gas. You can lose them by taking antibiotics or by picking up some intestinal bug. The brand of choice on the board seems to be Digestive Advantage because it has so many strains of bacteria. Aciophilus pills are much cheaper, but only have the one strain. Yogurt has multiple strains, but in far fewer numbers than the Digestive Advantage. But try one of them and give yourself a couple more weeks to see if you don't clear up. Just start yourself out on a small dose and work up because they can give you gas initially. If your problem isn't caused by a lack of good bacteria, they won't hurt you none; if you don't have room for them in your intestines, they will just pass on through with your food.

Oh, and don't stress; that makes your guts a good 10 times worse. I know, easier said than done, but you really should look into something to help you relax. Now might be a good time for a weekend retreat away from the computer, cell phone, and everything else that makes you stressed in your life. Get some good books, go off to a cabin somewhere and just sit and read. Books even travel well to the bathroom with you, lol.

GaryA
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/9/2006 8:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Keriamon....thank you for taking the time to write such a common sense post.  It helped me relax just to read it.  I've had constipation in the past but I think when I was younger I never gave it a 2nd thought.  As I get older I begin to think that every physical ailment could be the sign of something more serious.  When in my 20's and 30's I tended to think I was bulletproof...lol.  My diet has not been very good in the past years and maybe this is a wake up call to change my ways and eat healthier.  I have been taking the Gas-X and it does seem to work a bit.  I chewed 2 tablets earlier today and feel a bit better now.  I did drink a few glasses of apple juice tonight however so I might be in for another round of diarrhea.  I seem to remember that if I ever got constipated or had diarrhea when I was younger it only took 4-5 days to clear up completely...sometimes less.  I think that I have to realize that as I get older, physical ailments will take longer to get better.
 
Again...thank you for taking the time to write a reply....you really helped me feel a bit better :-)

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 6/12/2006 7:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, now you know why old people are all the time hitting the prune juice and fiber mixes; the colon seems to slow down as we age and old people tend to be prone to constipation. That you have been prone to constipation in the past would make it seem only normal for you to start getting old-person constipation syndrome early.

I have been trying to lose a little weight and have done the typical rebound weight plus some with the traditional "diet", so I have switched to the French method of eating. If you are interested in trying to eat better, you might want to look into it. Most of the books are aimed at women (such as "French Women Don't Get Fat"), but there's nothing to say that a man can't do well by the philosophy. The basic tenants are: chew slowly; eat slowly; satisfy your palate by having many different courses, but only in very small servings; drink only water during the day (except coffee with breakfast), wine or more water with meals and the occasional non-sweetened herbal tea for tea time or as a night cap; eat only tiny amounts of sugar; do not eat anything fake.

If you cut out fake foods, that naturally leads you to eating more vegetables and fruits. One book that really preaches ditching the fake foods is "The Fat Fallacy". It's by a neuroscientist who did some of his studies in France and he, his wife, his mother and his oldest daughter all lost weight while they were over there, despite the fact that nothing was low- or no-fat. So he got to digging into French cuisine and found that since fat makes us feel full, eating fat makes us fill up and quit eating, whereas sugar-filled low-fat products are not satisfying and make us eat more calories in the long run, not to mention mess up our blood sugar with the excess sugar. I have already greatly increased my vegetable consumption, although I'm still low on fruits (but I have to be a bit more careful of them too, since they can upset my stomach); I've found that I like zucchini and have been eating it pretty regularly. I've also gone back to eating potatoes because the French cook a lot with them. I've finally thrown off the brain-washing that "potatoes are bad"; it's a vegetable, isn't it? It's better than pizza, isn't it? I don't ever deep fry mine; if I fry them, I use olive oil. So show me where they're bad. They have more fiber than most factory-produced white breads. Dr. Clowers is very big on if you can't pronounce the ingredient, it's a fake food. If you can't trace it back to an animal or plant, it's a fake food. If it's partially-hydrogenated (most pastries and fast foods) or high fructose corn syrup, it's a fake food. And boy, let me tell you, getting the corn syrup out of your life is TOUGH. I'm happy to settle for salad dressing which has regular sugar in it, so many of them have high fructose corn syrup (and God only knows why we have to sweeten salad dressing in the first place). I'm working up to making my own salad dressing, mayonaise and bread in order to get rid of the excess sugar, but I'm not quite there yet.

http://www.letscookfrench.com/recettes/recette.cfm?num_recette=636 This place has some great recipes. They make eating vegetables much better! Of course, as one of my co-workers said, after I described my meal the other night, "5 tablespoons of butter will make ANYTHING taste better." I don't know about beans, because I loathe them, but it sure did make a tasty vegetable medley; I gobbled those vegetables right up.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 6/12/2006 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh, I forgot to mention that the French apparently believe in mineral water, which is supposed to help keep you regular. Someone here on the forum said it didn't taste very good, but that may depend on the brand (as in what minerals it has in it), and, of course, personal preference. If you want to give it a go, and you don't care for the taste at first, you may try mixing it with plain water and getting used to it that way.
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Friday, December 02, 2016 11:47 PM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,731,976 posts in 300,977 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151141 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, LydiaLoftis.
200 Guest(s), 4 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
desert bound, LydiaLoftis, celebrate life, Oranged


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer