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happy tales: women with ibs-c page seven

The tale of...Anny (26 January 2009)

I've suffered from constipation basically my entire life. My mom used to use rectal suppositories on me as a baby and had to make me drink diluted prune juice to help me go. As I got older the problem got worse. No matter how healthily I ate I could not go for days. In retrospect, I think it's because I wasn't drinking enough water or eating enough fiber.

Even up to a month ago I'd struggle on the toilet, straining until I felt like throwing up. I even tried a gluten-free diet in the summer which helped a lot but I ended up losing weight and nutrients because I wasn't actually gluten intolerant.

I finally found a few methods that work for me. I no longer take laxatives or stool softeners as they don't do anything for me. Basically, every day I have one or two cups of black coffee (and I hate coffee!). I eat a bowl of Fiber One cereal which really does work. I drink lots of water, both warm and cold. I've also noticed that spicy food and drinking warm water with lemon has helped a lot. I also eat as many fruits and vegetables as I can and limit myself to one or two cups of tea a day.

Every day I've been having massive soft BMs. It does not hurt anymore to go to the bathroom. My clothes fit a lot better. I am starting to conquer this.

E-mail Anny: [email protected]

The tale of...Myra (17 February 2009)

My bad constipation began due to stress about eight years ago when I was made redundant from work and I split up with my boyfriend - all at the same time. I spent all my time at home sitting at the computer, worrying and searching the net for a cure, but at that time there were no blogs and not much useful info online.

I have not been lucky with any GP. One told me that constipation was only 'hard stools' and that was nothing to worry about. No comment! I would sometimes go for eight days without visiting the toilet for number two, and I was very bloated and in a lot of pain. On a very few occasions I would have a mildly loose stomach, but I would mainly be horribly constipated, pained and confused. A colleague of mine seriously asked me if I was pregnant once, as my waistline was getting visibly bigger. I was becoming apple-shaped and really embarrassed.

Knowing that I could get dependent on laxatives made me not want to use any for some time, but eventually I started using them. I would usually take them Friday evening and be able to empty my stomach on the weekend after a whole week of constipation. Eventually I had to take more of them and become dependent.

I have been prescribed many different cures in turn - Lactulose, a high fiber diet, mebeverine, various stool softeners, and possibly other things that I cannot now remember. The fibers only made me bloat up more than I was already, and gave me much embarrassing wind. I once came to this website, a long time ago, and read the happy stories and kept searching for a cure. I had a rectoscopy and colonoscopy done - these were unpleasant but happily did not reveal any bad problems.

I spent lots of time researching, tried yoga exercises for constipation - just search on google for these. Tried aloe vera juice. All these worked to a certain extent...until I started organizing my wedding. I was worried that I had lost my slim waistline and decided to exercise at least three times a week. This worked wonders! Please everyone, listen to me and have the will to try it.

I hired a personal trainer to put me into shape for my wedding, and the incredible side effect was that after about 10 to 14 days of regular exercise I started going to the toilet regularly. This was accompanied by other little things that I did, which helped, but had not worked 100% by themselves until exercise came into the picture.

Here is what I did:

  • exercised at least three times a week (yes, not easy to fit in a busy schedule, I was often tired when arriving at the gym at 8pm). Thirty minutes cardio and 30 minutes weight training - ask a gym instructor to start with
  • got up very early to have time for a hot coffee
  • did a yoga exercise for constipation (breathing is important) before I went to bed and in the morning first thing
  • repeatedly told myself that 'I will definitely go in the morning after I have had my coffee'
  • every morning I ate three tablespoons of oat-bran mixed with one tablespoon of linseed, added low fat milk and cooked in the microwave for two minutes. Some organic honey can be added to make it sweet
  • drank as much herbal tea and water during the day as I could (for me this is not more than three cups). Drinking six cups of warm water a day did not help much by itself (and I had to run for a pee every 30 minutes at work, not nice). I cannot drink three liters of water in the morning because I drive 40 miles to work and often get stuck in traffic, so I don't like the stress of not being able to pee when I need it.

In six weeks I lost about 3 or 4 kilos, mainly off my waist, and thought I looked great on the wedding day. My dress had to be taken in twice - at the hips and mainly at the waist. After the wedding we traveled for 10 days and I managed it without bad constipation although I could not exercise regularly.

I have not exercised much this winter, but will start in the spring. Currently I miss a day occasionally. If I miss two days in a row I take an aloe vera tablet at night (colon cleanse - the pink-purple ones). Even if I do not go to the gym regularly now, I still never constipate as badly as before. I remembered about this site the other day and thought I should come back here to write.

Please try cardio exercise, make it a part of your lifestyle. It's the best thing for your body. Provided you are not allergic and cannot determine what's causing your constipation, I am pretty sure that exercise is the best thing you can do for yourself and combined with natural remedies, it just works! Good luck!

E-mail Myra: [email protected]

The tale of...Kristi (23 August 2009)

I recently saw an ear, nose and throat specialist for chronic sinus issues, and he declared it was allergies. So I went for all of the tests and lo and behold, I am allergic to wheat. My first thought was, no way can I cut that out. But I decided to truly try it after my last sinus infection, and I was amazed. I have suffered from acne my whole life, and my skin cleared, my sinuses were the best they have ever been, and my bowel movements were back to normal after being constipated for years...I truly felt good.

Deciding one night I didn't care, I wanted a cheeseburger no matter the costs (and it came on a whole wheat bun!) I ate it, enjoyed every bite, couldn't breath by the time I got home, had skin like a teenager again within 24 hours, and a stomach ache that lasted a day. Wheat affects so many things for me that it is well worth not touching!

E-mail Kristi: [email protected]

The tale of...Maria (February 2010)

Hi everyone! This is an update for my story in the sad tales section, and although I cannot say that I'm a happier person I definitely am more enlightened about what is going on with my body. After taking several tests, undergoing a colonoscopy and doing more research on my symptoms I discovered that I am very lactose intolerant (hence the gas resulting after eating any kind of dairy) and also fructose intolerant.

Apparently my body doesn't produce the enzymes needed to break down these sugars, which also contributes to my constipation. I only drink Lactaid milk now, but the least amount of cheese makes me gassy still. I also cannot eat sweets high in corn syrup or anything containing fructose. I will soon see a nutritionist who will hopefully help me with a risk-free diet.

Remember, we cannot fight what we don't know, that's why I encourage you all to try everything you can (even if it's sometimes expensive to undergo all these tests); it will help you for sure find out more about your illness. Good luck to you all and God bless you!

E-mail Maria: [email protected]

The tale of...Sue (April 2010)

I started having IBS cramps from constipation) at the age of eight. It got worse with time and I spent many hours in the hospital with what everyone referred to as 'the pain'. I am 32 now. Over the years I have taken many different drugs, but the most useful treatment for me is actually fish oils. I take them in capsule form. I am even able to drink alcohol and coffee and eat cheesecake. I ran out recently and didn't buy more...biggest mistake ever...I bought more today! With time they helped me greatly. Good luck! Be patient. Eventually you will find something that works for you.

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