Why am I constipated? :(

Options
I consume AT LEAST 30mg of fiber daily (too much according to MFP), I drink about 100 oz of water a day, eat at least 3 veggie servings and 2 fruits a day, and I exercise 5-6 days a week. So I have no idea why I'm constipated!

I emailed my doctor and he said it's not worrisome at this point, and suggested I take up to 400mg of a stool softener (not laxative). I've been taking 400mg for 3 evenings in a row and I'm still waiting.

About a month ago I started taking Evening Primrose Oil supplements and I think that's when this problem started. I mentioned it to my doc and he suggested I stop it to see if something changed, but I'm reluctant to stop taking it because it helps me a lot with PMS symptoms--and this week is my PMS time.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
«1

Replies

  • Rae6503
    Rae6503 Posts: 6,294 Member
    Options
    Are you getting enough fats? I've heard adding olive oil helps things.

    I had issues post pregnancy, and the stool softeners did take a while (like several days) to actually work.
  • misscfe
    misscfe Posts: 295 Member
    Options
    Have you ever tried Midol complete for PMS? I hear a lot of women swear by it. I take it on occasion but I have very few symptoms with my period.
  • Just1forMe
    Just1forMe Posts: 624 Member
    Options
    Try buying the Ones individually wrapped prunes and eating 2-3 of them per nite before bedtime. Works like a charm.
  • Forensic
    Forensic Posts: 468 Member
    Options
    For me, PMS includes constipation. Not sure if it's just because of fluids being redirected elsewhere, but it happens.
  • beckyann858
    beckyann858 Posts: 48 Member
    Options
    I can totally sympathize with you because I am a chronic constipation sufferer, but if your Dr has made a suggestion for you, I think I would follow that before I listen to any advice I get off an internet site. It may not be the suggestion you want to hear, but he's the one with the medical degree and access to your medical history.....
  • SCC88
    SCC88 Posts: 215 Member
    Options
    I think too much fibre has an adverse affect and causes constipation eventually - I know this from experience! xx
  • harlanJEN
    harlanJEN Posts: 1,089 Member
    Options
    My first two thoughts: Oil. Are you getting enough good fat such as olive oil in your diet? Toast some bread, drizzle some on. And Fruit. Oranges and grapes are especially good for the issue you describe. I"m overall an anti-medicine person - use nutrition first if possible.
  • slimmerme2012
    Options
    omg I have the exact same problem! Its like when I eat better and healthier I get like that..but when I eat junk Im going all the time. I don't get it!
  • 1234lbsgone
    1234lbsgone Posts: 296 Member
    Options
    Where does majority of your fiber come from? I have found that processed fiber foods can be constipating.

    Instead of stool softeners try plums, prune juice, apples, bananas, lots of water, a little more oily fat, and a nice run. Sometimes just a walk will do as well.
  • MightyMae1
    MightyMae1 Posts: 208
    Options
    I hate that. Here are some things that work either for me or for one of my friends: strong coffee or black tea, Mott's apple juice, or apples, or Activia yogurt.

    Also, this is just opinion, but I think the MFP fiber is more of a goal than a maximum allottment. So, it's probably okay (maybe even good for you) if you go over.
  • SCC88
    SCC88 Posts: 215 Member
    Options
    For me, PMS includes constipation. Not sure if it's just because of fluids being redirected elsewhere, but it happens.

    The exact OPPOSITE happens to me ... and I can usually use it as a sign to know when TOM is coming lol xx
  • mssweetjay
    mssweetjay Posts: 142
    Options
    I go through the same issues when I change my diet behavior. So I do the epsom salt with 8oz of warm water (nasty) but it works awesome within 30 mins to a hour for me!!!! You can also add lemon juice to break the bad taste. Don't sip just drink it all!!
  • PJilly
    PJilly Posts: 21,712 Member
    Options
    I have the same situation. I average 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day and drink 10 to 12 glasses of water. I used to rely on stool softeners regularly, but I've finally gotten to where I rarely need to do that since I started taking probiotics daily. I've been using Phillips Colon Health because, frankly, it was most the most affordable one (I get it at Costco). I was hoping it would help, but I didn't really expect it to. It took a few weeks, but it made a huge difference. My 19-year-old daughter has the same problems, so she started taking it too, and it works for her as well. I can't guarantee it will help, but I'm still amazed at how much better I feel most of the time.
  • brittanybee07
    Options
    I would recommend consuming a little less fiber, maybe 25 grams and make sure that you are taking in adequate amounts of fat. Most people assume that constipation has to do with too little fiber, but in some cases it is because you are not consuming enough fat which means less bile is released into your intestine. (The bile is used to emulsify the fat for digestion).. Most of the bile is reabsorbed with the fat but some moves along with the "waste".

    Hope this helps!
  • pinkita
    pinkita Posts: 779 Member
    Options
    Hi all, thanks for the suggestions! As for fats, I do Weight Watchers and one of their guidelines is to get at least 2 tsp of a healthy fat (olive oil, safflower, flaxseed, etc) a day, so I've been doing that. Maybe I just need more?

    I haven't tried Midol Complete--do you know if it causes drowsiness? I had purchased Premsyn because it had good reviews, but never took it because it causes drowsiness, and that's not going to help me when I'm at work! :) I'll look for the Midol though, as well as the Colon Health and probiotics people have suggested.

    I do eat bananas almost daily, and I saw another thread on here about them causing constipation for some (if the bananas are ripe). But who wants to eat unripe bananas? :P

    The Epsom Salt thing sounds nasty, but I'll be willing to do it if this problem continues! It's bugging me, and making me feel fat! Ironically I never had any problems like this when I used to eat junk all the time.
  • NancyAnne1960
    NancyAnne1960 Posts: 500 Member
    Options
    I have found, in my diet, that bananas, rice and too much cheese (for others, too little cheese) can constipate. Just a thought. Sunflower seeds and apples have worked for me in the past. I think it's a personal thing as to what works for each individual. We are all so different. Good Luck!!!
  • Rae6503
    Rae6503 Posts: 6,294 Member
    Options
    Yeah, bananas and apples are "binding"! Stay way from those.

    I've heard eating an entire bag of cherries could give you the results you desire....
  • susanswan
    susanswan Posts: 1,194 Member
    Options
    If we couild see your actual food diary that might be helpful. Also not sure if you are new here or been at these dietary changes for a while.

    In my case when I started here in earnest, It actually took quite a while (a few weeks) to get my constipation gone. I remember when I had my colonoscopy the doc said I had a "loopy bowel". I asked her what that meant and she said that I either have a loopy bowel because caused from chronic constipation, OR because I Have a loopy bowel, that MAKES me constipated! It's the chicken or the egg. Regardless, I have a slow bowel and it takes at least 48 hours from start to finish to get things through. For me, I MUST eat as much fiber as I can so I can be regular which means going easily once a day. SOmetimes I still skip a day and once in a while still fight the battle.

    The doc told me the new guideline (3 years ago) for a "healthy colon" is to eat 35 grams of fiber a day. That is my goal and if I can get more in, i do. I rely oNLY on food for fiber. Whole grains, veggies, fruits, and such. I keep sugar, and simple flours, white rice, white pasta, white tortillas out of my diet as a rule. I also don't eat much beef or pork or saturated fats. I get most of my fat as olive oil and avocados. Little cheese in my diet, too.

    Apparently there are a number of people here who have a problem with TOO much fiber. Fiber is undigestible for the most part and should pass right through. Drinking enough liquids is also beneficial as is exercise to get your innards moving. I guess you need to experiment and ask your doctor if all else fails. As a hospital Medical Floor nurse, I saw almost everyone on Dulcolax pills, DSS pills, and such. I think these are "junk" and expensive when you can easily get fiber you need from real food. Just my opinion. It's surprising how if you add fiber to one of the things on your diet "watch" you can see that most things do have some fiber in them. Stick with it. Iknow it took me weeks of upping my fiber count into the 30's and 40's to get any results and it was very frustrating! Give it a try and good luck!
  • Jennyzfit
    Jennyzfit Posts: 175 Member
    Options
    If we couild see your actual food diary that might be helpful. Also not sure if you are new here or been at these dietary changes for a while.

    In my case when I started here in earnest, It actually took quite a while (a few weeks) to get my constipation gone. I remember when I had my colonoscopy the doc said I had a "loopy bowel". I asked her what that meant and she said that I either have a loopy bowel because caused from chronic constipation, OR because I Have a loopy bowel, that MAKES me constipated! It's the chicken or the egg. Regardless, I have a slow bowel and it takes at least 48 hours from start to finish to get things through. For me, I MUST eat as much fiber as I can so I can be regular which means going easily once a day. SOmetimes I still skip a day and once in a while still fight the battle.

    The doc told me the new guideline (3 years ago) for a "healthy colon" is to eat 35 grams of fiber a day. That is my goal and if I can get more in, i do. I rely oNLY on food for fiber. Whole grains, veggies, fruits, and such. I keep sugar, and simple flours, white rice, white pasta, white tortillas out of my diet as a rule. I also don't eat much beef or pork or saturated fats. I get most of my fat as olive oil and avocados. Little cheese in my diet, too.

    Apparently there are a number of people here who have a problem with TOO much fiber. Fiber is undigestible for the most part and should pass right through. Drinking enough liquids is also beneficial as is exercise to get your innards moving. I guess you need to experiment and ask your doctor if all else fails. As a hospital Medical Floor nurse, I saw almost everyone on Dulcolax pills, DSS pills, and such. I think these are "junk" and expensive when you can easily get fiber you need from real food. Just my opinion. It's surprising how if you add fiber to one of the things on your diet "watch" you can see that most things do have some fiber in them. Stick with it. Iknow it took me weeks of upping my fiber count into the 30's and 40's to get any results and it was very frustrating! Give it a try and good luck!
  • Jennyzfit
    Jennyzfit Posts: 175 Member
    Options
    This makes sense and I totally agree with you.

    :D