Lupus and Constipation

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Mountain Medic
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/12/2008 8:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Let me introduce myself. I am a paramedic that works on disasters and we set up a medical clinic mostly for the rescue workers and the support (ie. Catering Crews, Shower units, FEMA, etc.). There is a girl here that has Systemic Lupus and she has been dealing with Lupus and more recently constipation. She approached the medical unit here asking what we have for her constipation and what we carry is Senokot~S and Ex Lax which are essentially the same, as well as Metamuicil. She said that she normally takes Ex-Lax but recently it hasn't been working for her.
Some background information on her: She is in a program that goes to incidents like disasters and works preparing food. This particular catering crew is composed of people that want to get their life back on track, for example drug users, people that have been in abusive relationships, poor work habits. Well these workers have no touch with the outside world and she cannot research this herself. (NO TV, Radio, Internet, Phone, etc.) And I am interested as well. Her knowledge about Lupus is very limited, an example is I informed her that one of the symptoms or complications of Lupus is constipation. And she had no idea. Some people just don't know to research thing themselves and only rely on their Dr. to tell them. We are currently in Texas and her normal Dr. is in California.
I have read a lot of internet information and printed some stuff out so she can read it but I was thinking who better to ask, but a community that lives with and around Lupus. So I am asking for help and suggestions from everyone here that has knowledge on what helps with their constipation. Any other web sites, books, whatever you have so I can relay this information to her. Overall it is her responsibility I am just trying to facilitate and put a spark under her to be more proactive about her health.
Thank You all so much for the information you have provided me so far reading the blog.
Sincerely,
Medic

Melissa D.
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 255
   Posted 12/12/2008 9:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Medic,

I want to start by thanking you for being proactive and caring enough to research the disease so you can not only educate yourself but this young girl as well. Lupus is a very complicated disease, I'm sure you've realized that by now. There are many resources on the web that can help, also Dr. Daniel Wallace has some great books, as a matter of fact he just put a new book out this month "The Lupus Book, 4th Edition" it is a great resource for anyone with Lupus. Most of the time constipation is brought on by medication we take to control our disease. Also, the GI tract is one of the things that is commonly affected by inflammation that plaques our bodies.

It is not uncommon for individuals with lupus to have overlapping autoimmune diseases as well. So, the girl could be experiencing IBS or something of the sort that is unassociated from her lupus altoghter. I suffer from have major GI issues, IBS and possible chrohns. With this I have alternating diarhea and consipation, over the counter meds have never worked for me either.

What part of TX are you in? Just curious, I live in TX and wondered if perhaps we are close by. Here are a few links that might help you to research lupus.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lupus/DS00115

http://lupus.2itb.com/

http://www.lupusstx.org/lupus%20information.htm

http://www.lupus.org/newsite/index.html

Melissa
Lupus - 1997   Fibro - 2001    Sjorens  -  2007   Raynauds  -  2008
Plaquenil, Imuran, Prednisone, Synthroid, Topomax, Effexor, Norco, Prilsec, Xanex, Elidel, Restasis


Mountain Medic
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/12/2008 9:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Melissa~
I can't express to you how valuable of a resource that this forum is. I have just read the reply that you sent and I will start my research tonight.
By the way we are in Galvestion, still cleaning up from Hurricane Ike.
Once again thank you very much,
Chad

Ginny
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5511
   Posted 12/12/2008 10:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Chad,
 
I also have to commend you for being so proactive in helping this young woman get the right care.  Good on you!!!
 
Over the counter meds don't work for me either.  Some of them can have serious adverse reactions to our medications.  Do you know what meds she's taking?
 
I would recommend the good old fashioned prune juice!  Also, coffee (caffeinated or decaf) can be an excellent laxative - my personal fave:), lots of fluids, water, tea, whatever!  I tried Lactalose which can be picked up at any drug store.  It's not to be taken by anyone with diabetes, due to the high sugar content.  But it works great as a stool softener.  My last bout of constipation was relieved greatly by this stuff.  Even simple glycerin suppositories can be enough to get things moving.  
 
But make sure you know what meds she's on.  Over the counter laxatives can be very harmful to us.  Going the natural approach might be her best bet.
 
All my best to you both!
 
Ginny
 
 
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

34 years old. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, Anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke, 2002), Sjogren's, Raynaud's, Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck), anxiety. Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, Didrocal, Cozaar, Zoloft, Neurontin, calcium, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus


omega
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 603
   Posted 12/13/2008 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
When I was constipated, I ate prunes. Bran flakes and raisains are good sources also. I do not use any laxative because it made a mess for me. I also tried ate lots of oranges/fruits and vegi. These all help my constipation. Yes. Drinking lots of fluids help also.
DX SLE 1988; Pred 10mg, Verapmil 40 mg bd (for migraine headaches), Omerprazole 40 mg,  Calcium + Vitamin D 1200mg, Folic Acid 5 mg


redrose77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 12/13/2008 5:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I am lactose intolerant so if constipated I just have some dairy. Sorry I can't be more help. Definately find out what she is taking regularly she needs to have that kind of information with someone in your group just in case she gets seriously ill and can't tell others herself. Also if she is on immune supressing medication she needs to avoid being exposed to illnesses and contaminated water. I know that some areas after a disaster have highly infectious stuff around. Melissa gave you excellent resources for learning about lupus. I wish I could offer more advice.
Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005- definate CNS involvement dxed late 2005, psoriasis 2006, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sjögren's, damaged periphrial nerves 2007, exema
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Tramadol, Singulair, Skelaxin, Baby Asprin, Imuran, Prilosec, lasix, Evoxac, Celebrex, Darvocet when things get too bad, prednisone again, various vitamin/mineral supplements, now cellcept


Melissa D.
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 255
   Posted 12/13/2008 5:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Medic,

One other thought that just came to mind for me, while it may not taste all that good it has worked well for me in the past, that's Castor Oil. Like the others have stated it really does make a huge difference what meds the girl is on, but I think something like Castor Oil would be pretty safe. I too have a prune a day with breakfast, I get the ones that are individually wrapped, they actually are pretty good.

I figured you all were most likely on the coast cleaning up from the hurricane, but thought I'd ask anyhow. I am in San Angelo, which is quite ways from there, about 6 hours or so.

Melissa
Lupus - 1997   Fibro - 2001    Sjorens  -  2007   Raynauds  -  2008
Plaquenil, Imuran, Prednisone, Synthroid, Topomax, Effexor, Norco, Prilsec, Xanex, Elidel, Restasis


Mountain Medic
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/14/2008 3:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I want to Thank Everyone for all the valuable information. The girl that I am helping is so excited that there is a community of knowledge and support out there. And each time I shared one of the new replies with her she got a huge grin and was amazed that people are so willing to share their experiences. I wish you all a happy holiday season and once again Thank You all.
God Bless,
Chad

Ginny
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5511
   Posted 12/14/2008 9:21 PM (GMT 0)   
Hey Chad!
 
That's great!  You know, it gives all of us a big smile when we can offer help too.  I'm so glad she's accepting to all of our ideas!
 
Keep the questions coming if you need us!!  We're always here,
 
Ginny
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

34 years old. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, Anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke, 2002), Sjogren's, Raynaud's, Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck), anxiety. Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, Didrocal, Cozaar, Zoloft, Neurontin, calcium, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus


AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 12/15/2008 2:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Medic,

Welcome to the forum . . . I didn't have time to read the other responses. But the first thing I would check is here TSH level. Simple blood work. If she is hypothyroid, this will cause constipation. Other symptoms are similar to some of the lupus ills. . . like joint pain and fatigue, but it will also cause skin issues, feeling cold and thinning eyebrows. This would be a super simple fix . . . so it would be well worth some blood work.

Blessings!

In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator

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