Let’s face it, we all have problems going (or not) from time to time, and it’s not especially sexy to talk about, but WTH. In normal people constipation is when, occasionally, the stool does not move through the intestine as it should and/ or, there is not enough water in the colon. MS patients deal with constipation more than most. If you’re slow like me, you don’t even realize it’s the MS.
As I said, stool must keep moving. In people with MS, like me, lesions may prevent the brain from accurately receiving or transmitting signals that control peristalsis. I remember learning about that (peristalsis) when I taught Anatomy and Physiology. In other words, my colon may not be receiving the signal for involuntary movement that would keep the stool moving through the digestive tract.
Lack of physical activity is also a downer. It’s critical in moving digested food through the digestive system. Things like walking, which seem so simple, actually do more than just get you from one place to another. Many of us are unable to move around and walk much, due to weakness or spasticity.
Other causes could be a diet that does not promote good digestive health. Not enough FIBER! But hell…I’m a Vegan! Maybe there’s not enough water to help all that fiber through. I drink so much water I might as well be a fish. Let’s not forget that the side effect of some medications is constipation! That’s it! That’s it! My anti-depressant, Wellbutrin is the cause! (happy dance here) But wait…the side effect of NOT TAKING my Wellbutrin, is…depression! Ugh, I don’t THINK SO!
Pause here! Insert huge red flag. Remember I’m slow. I used to pee like a lion. My coworker would come into the 3 stall ladies room, LOL and say,”Estizer, is that YOU?” It was identifiable. Now, I pee like a kitty, you don’t even know I’m there. L I’ve seen a Urologist/Gynecologist and she says, “Your bladder is fine and you have no urinary tract infection” (she also looks 12). How is this? I KNOW my body and something is drastically different. Because of my MS, I’ve discovered that there are time’s I can’t put my finger on what’s wrong, and they can’t SEE it. If it ain’t broke…don’t fix it. I know now to “let it go “and just let my body handle it.
I begin to see a connection here. Things down there are sluggish. It could be that my urinary system is not receiving the signals properly for involuntary movement (I pee like a kitty). If my MS is causing THAT problem, it might also be affecting my digestive system causing chronic constipation. BOY, do I like connecting the dots!
We can’t control which nerve signals in our body will be disrupted, or for how long. We can, however, give our body a head start by maintaining healthy habits all of the time.
Eat LOTS of fruits and vegetables (fiber), drink LOTS of water, and exercise daily.