Constipation

smiley-face-maybe-next-time

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.

 

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7 Comments

Filed under MS and Exercise, MS and Nutrition, MS Symptoms, Uncategorized

7 responses to “Constipation

  1. Wow, what a timely post for you to be writing! I’ve had a huge struggle with constipation over the past year, and I am a vegetarian who eats an abundance of fiber (we’re talking, throw-raw-oats-on-top-of-a-bowl-of-fruit kind of fiber). I’m not sure that my “possible MS” is the explanation, but I really wish there were an obvious solution to this perpetual problem, short of daily snacking on Dulcolax!

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  2. Very seldom obvious:( How’s your water intake? I actually COUNT the glasses now, and how about your exercise?That’s been my struggle with this recent relapse. I’m back at it now though…feeling MUCH more stable.
    ps. Metamucil Fiber Wafers make a better snack.

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  3. I can totally relate to all that you wrote in your post, thanks for being brave enough to talk about something that is important, albeit not PC according to some people! I write a lot about my bladder dysfunction on my blog, check it out. Also, I’ll soon be writing about the issues I’ve had with consitpation – actually had to have anal fissures surgically removed – ouch! Look forward to your next post! Blessings!

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  4. You have no idea how excited I am to check out your posts! We’re funny. A weird bunch, to write about this stuff and feel good about it! (LOL)

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  5. First time I’ve heard urine flow compared to animal size – creative! Wish the bladder’s sphincter muscle wasn’t such an ms casualty and sorry you’re having to deal with it. Your flow sounds like “retention”/inability to empty completely. See “B” at http://www.mymsaa.org/about-ms/symptoms/bladder-dysfunction/
    I have 30 years of ms bladder experience and have had good, bad and ugly experiences with urologists. I’d welcome a private discussion if it might help you.

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  6. Well Hello, and thanks for your comment. I actually went to a Gynocologist/Urologist who told me my bladder was working just fine and I had no U.T.I. I waited a few months to go talk to her again to say, “look! I know my body and regardless of whether or not it’s working okay, it’s VERY different than it was 12 months ago:/” Her only offer was what sounded like an extremely unpleasant procedure where the bladder is filled to see how much it will hold, or SOMETHING like that. I stopped listening early on when I concluded that
    A)it does work, right now. I’m a little concerned about my kidneys being stressed if there IS a subtle problem (hmmm, I’m gonna call her with the kidney question)
    B)if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it
    C)when you’ve got a hammer, everything is a nail! I have to remember that EVERYthing that goes wrong IS NOT my MS.
    Or I ‘ll think it’s not until (as it’s done) it slaps me in the face and say’s it is (hahaha)
    and last but not least
    D) lot’s of little things ARE my MS and they just can’t BE fixed. If it’s not having a huge effect on my life, I’ve gotten used to just dealing with it.

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  7. And THANKS! Your suggested link is very informative. I will definitely put it in my blog. I had NO idea there were so many treatment options. Knowing that, takes a little of that “what it” stress away.

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