Constipation/Probiotics

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friendlygal
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Date Joined Dec 2006
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   Posted 8/29/2007 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Do you know of a good probiotic to help you pass more bowel movements?  Because I have a twisted,tortous,spastic colon.  And the only thing that helps me go are plums.  I can't have plums because I have terrible acid reflux. :(
 
I've tried probiotics, and they don't help me go either.  Maybe there is one that others out there know of that works wonders??

manyembers
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 8/29/2007 9:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi friendly gal,

I take DDS acidophilus with FOS and bifidus by Innovite in Canada. I believe it's also available in the U.S. but under a different name. Also probio-plus by the same company - this is a mega dose and is supposedly really good. I havn't found the DDS acidoph. product helped directly with constipation but seems more like a good support. However, the second may help.

I have some other suggestions though. Flax oil will help to soften stools. Also taking fiber - such as flax seed ground up in a coffee grinder, then mix it in a little warm water. And oat bran. Oat bran especially seems to help me if I eat it before bed in muffins, or cookies, or just heated up warm.

The best thing I have found for constipation is to take calcium and magnesium. When I was really constipated I would take the 250 mg. tablets by Natural Factors - one three times a day, adn that was what really did it for me. I still take one or two a day. Also large doses of ester C can help, but if you take too much it can give diarhea. "They say" you can take mega doses of it without it being toxic. I take about 1000-2000 mg. a day I think (I don't have the exact measurement).

Also if you have a juicer, you can juice beets and that may help - although it is quite sweet to drink beet juice, so you might want to mix it with other juices. I take the juices by the AIM company - I was taking all three for awhile and that also made a huge difference in helping me become regular again. Enzymes in the juices, or in raw foods also contribute to helping with regularity.

I'd start first by trying the flax oil - 1 Tbsp. a day, and you can increase to 2, and possibly 3 a day. You might want to do a google search on this. I think I read that too much is not a good thing, but that 3 Tbsp. a day was still okay. Also adding ground flax seed to your diet, you can also just put it in a smoothie (it will make it really thick so be forwarned LOL). These are two simple and fairly inexpensive things to try, and then you could build from there.

The acidophilus I recommended is more expensive than many, but I really think it's a good brand and worth the money. It needs to be refrigerated. Make sure you get one that is refrigerated, even if you go with another brand, as this ensures the acidophilus bacterias are still alive, and so will be potent and effective. The stuff sold on the shelves in conventional pharmacies are pretty useless in my opinion. Check your local health store for a good brand. Also, you'll want a brand that doesn't have a ton of different bacterias (I wouldn't get one that had more than 3 or 4 personally).

I find if I take the cal mag and barley green juice powder before bed, it helps me to 'go' in the morning.

Hope you feel better soon! all the best, manyembers

Post Edited (manyembers) : 8/29/2007 10:37:24 PM (GMT-6)


friendlygal
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Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 722
   Posted 8/30/2007 10:09 AM (GMT -7)   

manyembers, thanks for your suggestion.  I just called a colonics place and the person there said that I'm "very, very sick" (since I hadn't gone for an entire month at one point).

she said that i have to see if i can tolerate enemas before i can go to her.  Have you tried enemas???  If so, were you ok with it?  she said that it might make me throw up/pass out.  how scary!!

she said to get the one with a bag that i can use over and over again.


gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 8/30/2007 9:27 PM (GMT -7)   
friendlygal said...

manyembers, thanks for your suggestion.  I just called a colonics place and the person there said that I'm "very, very sick" (since I hadn't gone for an entire month at one point).

she said that i have to see if i can tolerate enemas before i can go to her.  Have you tried enemas???  If so, were you ok with it?  she said that it might make me throw up/pass out.  how scary!!

she said to get the one with a bag that i can use over and over again.

Did you ask her why you needed to give yourself an enema?  What did she mean by "tolerate"?  After all, if you do get sick and throw up or pass out, does that mean you can't tolerate enemas?  That makes no sense to me.

I wasn't asked this question before I went for colon hydrotherapy.  At least, I don't remember it being asked in that way.  I suppose they want to know if you can tolerate having something inserted into the rectum and water being introduced but there is a big difference between an enema and a colonic.  I have taken enemas that did make me very sick but I NEVER had that experience with the colonics.  And I went over 25 times! 

If I were you, I would call back and ask for further clarification.  If there is another clinic in your area, I would call them as well.

Good luck!


Canyonbabe711
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 8/30/2007 9:33 PM (GMT -7)   
How can they tell on the phone that your are very, very sick. I hate to be stupid but why is this safer than an occassional laxative. I know you can become dependent on laxatives but it sounds like you can become dependent on the colonics.

Also, I am wondering about the calcium as usually people are told to take calcium to help with diahrea.

manyembers
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 8/31/2007 8:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Friendlygal,

Hope you're feeling a bit better today. I havn't tried enemas, no. I found changing my diet (I eat a basically no sugar, high fibre, low in processed foods)type of diet, and taking cal-mag etc. has revolutionized things for me.

To answer the question about calcium and magnesium, basically calcium relaxes the bowel, which apparently helps it to 'go.'. If one is constipated that's good, but if one has diarrhea then it's not the way to go. Of course, every body is different, and it might just have the opposite effect in someone else . For me though, it's been the miracle cure for constipation.

Hope everyone is doing alright tonight,

manyembers

Canyonbabe711
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 8/31/2007 9:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I am surprised some of the regulars and moderators have not jumped in here as increasing the calcium is usually the first thing people are told for diahrea. After I heard that when I joined the forum I passed it along to 2 people that were constipated and they cut down on their calcium and it got rid of the constipation. Just shows how we are all different. I guess it depends on the type you are taking.

Post Edited (Canyonbabe711) : 8/31/2007 10:23:48 PM (GMT-6)


manyembers
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 9/1/2007 6:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I think it's important to have a combo. of calcium with magnesium. Probably it's something to ask one's dr. about if in doubt.

take care, mb

friendlygal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 722
   Posted 9/1/2007 7:35 PM (GMT -7)   
gutastrophe said...
Did you ask her why you needed to give yourself an enema?  What did she mean by "tolerate"?  After all, if you do get sick and throw up or pass out, does that mean you can't tolerate enemas?  That makes no sense to me.

I wasn't asked this question before I went for colon hydrotherapy.  At least, I don't remember it being asked in that way.  I suppose they want to know if you can tolerate having something inserted into the rectum and water being introduced but there is a big difference between an enema and a colonic.  I have taken enemas that did make me very sick but I NEVER had that experience with the colonics.  And I went over 25 times! 

If I were you, I would call back and ask for further clarification.  If there is another clinic in your area, I would call them as well.

Good luck!

gutastrophe, she said that I'm very sick because I told her that there was an entire month that I couldn't go bowel.  Plus, I told her that I have vigorous GERD and motility problems in my esophagus as well.  My colon is extremely tortuous with spasms all over it.  How did the enemas make you sick??  She told me to give myself enemas every day for two weeks to see if I can take them.  I am scared to do that.  wouldn't that take nutrients out of my body??

Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 9/1/2007 8:44 PM (GMT -7)   

This is a naturopathic doctor?  What are her credentials (i.e., where did she study?  Does she have an N.D. degree)?

I am just getting up-to-date with these posts so I'm sorry I didn't see this before...but I'd agree with canyonbabe about the calcium confusion.  Calcium has been studied a lot recently as an antidote to diarrhea and has been found to improve abdominal pain and bowel movement frequency in people with IBS-D.  It can be constipating in some people.  Manyembers, out of curiosity, where did you hear that calcium helps you "go?"

Magnesium, on the other hand, has the effect of increasing stool transit time and causes diarrhea in some people. 

I just read one study that showed that polycarbophil can help relieve symptoms of IBS-C.  Polycarbophil is the generic name for Fibercon or Equalactin (cheap stuff you can find OTC at the drugstore).  You might want to give this a whirl.


Co-moderator - IBS Forum


Canyonbabe711
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 9/1/2007 10:00 PM (GMT -7)   
If you cannot have a BM for a month you really need another gastroenterologist if one has not helped you up to now. I have heard of motility problems but not in the esophagous. Doesn't mean they aren't there just have heard of them from the stomach on down. I think you are looking into some risky things in light of having a spastic, twisted colon. Have you had all the tests that need to be done. I am sorry if you posted this before and I don't remember but I assume that you have had some testing done since you seem to know about the spastic colon, etc. As far as the GERD what meds are you on. I have very bad GERD and at times it is unbearable so I have to double up meds which I dont like to do but have no choice. GERD is dangerous to let go.

gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 9/1/2007 11:55 PM (GMT -7)   
friendlygal said...
gutastrophe, she said that I'm very sick because I told her that there was an entire month that I couldn't go bowel.  Plus, I told her that I have vigorous GERD and motility problems in my esophagus as well.  My colon is extremely tortuous with spasms all over it.  How did the enemas make you sick??  She told me to give myself enemas every day for two weeks to see if I can take them.  I am scared to do that.  wouldn't that take nutrients out of my body??
Does you doc know that you didn't have a bowel movement for one month?  Was it your doctor who dx you with a "twisted and tortuous" bowel?  I guess I am a bit confused as to what exactly your dx is.  If you actually have a colon that is twisted then you should be talking with a doctor before you embark on this treatment.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I originally suggested you get a recommendation from your doc to a licenced colon hydrotherpy clinic so that you can be assured he is on board with the treatment and is sending you to a reputable place. 
 
I would not take the advice of the clinic before talking to the doctor.  He should be the one directing your treatment.  I would not be giving myself enemas to prepare either.  I did not have to do this BUT I did not have the same crisis situation that you seem to have.  I was still having eliminations when I went for this treatment and since I had some experience with enemas from long ago, I was not worried about being able to take the colonics.  I did take stool softeners for a few weeks before my first appointment but that is it for prep.  And, my doctor was completely aware of all my progress.
 
Please consult the doc before doing anything further. 

manyembers
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 9/2/2007 1:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,

It wasn't calcium alone, but calcium and magnesium that I was recommended to take. My assumption is that I was told to take the calcium with the magnesium in order to balance it out, as apparently it's not good to take only one without the other due to possible imbalances occuring. I'm not saying that's a fact, but I'm just going by what I can vaguely remember the nutritionist recommending. Mainly what I know for sure is it worked for me! LOL. :0)

thanks for the further information on this. I found it helpful to learn the difference between the benefits and cautions of calcium and magnesium.

-mb

friendlygal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 722
   Posted 9/2/2007 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   

A GI doctor who did a colonoscopy told me that I have a "tortuous colon with spasms and twists all over the place."  She also said that many times she didn't even think she'd be able to perform the colonoscopy as the colon was also very tight.  But no polyps were found...

As for the motility in the esophagus, this problems was found doing a manometry study.


gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 9/2/2007 1:32 PM (GMT -7)   
friendlygal said...

A GI doctor who did a colonoscopy told me that I have a "tortuous colon with spasms and twists all over the place."  She also said that many times she didn't even think she'd be able to perform the colonoscopy as the colon was also very tight.  But no polyps were found...

As for the motility in the esophagus, this problems was found doing a manometry study.

Friendly, do you currently have a GI doc?  If so, does he know that you did not have a BM for a whole month?

friendlygal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 722
   Posted 9/2/2007 1:43 PM (GMT -7)   

I had a colonoscopy done a few months ago from a GI because I hadn't gone for a whole month.  There she found that the colon was tortuous and twisted, with spasms from all the straining.  I ended up with IBS because I wasn't eating, that's why I had the constipation. Now my whole digestive system is a mess.

I'm going to go to the pool now.  Enjoy the weekend, friendly

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