06 February 2011

Probably TMI

For most of my young life I had what I thought were irritable bowels. I'd get diarrhea at the drop of a hat and became intimately familiar with which cramps were immediate warnings and which were merely setting the stage for later discomfort. And I'm realizing now that most of my life at that point was lived in a constant state of fear, which didn't really do anything to help the stress related runny poops.

Then my gall bladder was removed when I was 27 and the nastiness of my gastrointestinal tract magically disappeared. I was regular for the first time since pregnancy. No more sudden rushes to the loo, no more carrying Imodium wherever I went, no more aching cramps. And by regular I don't mean every day, no not me, I could go as long as four days without any discomfort at all. As a matter of fact, if it'd been four days I would simply think about how long it'd been since my last poop and that would get my colon reactivated. Within a few hours my colon would get the job done easily. No pushing, fussing, pain or mess. I simply sat down, did my business, and carried on with my day. Now I've reached another milestone.

You see, since sometime in the late summer or fall of last year I've felt all bunged up. I am not accustomed to having to work to empty my bowels so this was an unpleasant surprise. Thinking I wasn't getting enough water in my diet I drank much more. This didn't really help much. I thought I needed more roughage in my diet so I bought more fruits and veggies. This sort of helped, but not really. Then my mom died and I didn't have the energy to really examine why my large intestine was creating cement for me to pass. About the same time I started taking EMPowerplus which is a collection of vitamins and minerals. This concoction definitely did not help the blockage situation.

Just about this time my sister was also going through some difficulties with her waste elimination system and I panicked for both of us. She turned out to be just fine, thank goodness, but I started to think something could be seriously wrong with me. Then I remembered that I'm 40 and at any time could begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause. This is where the woman's body has symptoms of menopause but is still having her period and it could last for up to 13 or 14 years before menopause. Some research on the Internet told me that yes indeedy constipation is a symptom for some women.

My response was to start buying prune nectar. I remember from my baby boys that a little bit of this stuff helps ease the poop down the tunnel and out the door. Since I have three doses of EMPowerplus a day, two mixed with 8oz juice one with 8oz milk, I put a little prune nectar in with the juice doses. Yes, this really actually did help a little bit. I didn't feel like I was giving birth and push, push, push. It still took way too long to get the job done though. Things just weren't traveling down the path easily. So I decided to take one dose of EMPowerplus with just the prune juice and water, roughly half and half. This was not tasty. This was gag-inducing. However, if it works I will continue to turn my taste buds off and drink it down.

If the prune nectar doesn't work then I may have to actually visit a doctor. That part isn't too bad...but I'll have to give a stool sample. I'm quite certain I do not want to have to handle my poop in any manner. I'll do it, but only as a last resort. Until then, let's raise a glass of prune nectar and hope for the best. Gag.

1 comment:

The Hyperlexian Aspie said...

good you are keeping an eye on that. definitely something to look into. 2 things that made me pay attention was the diameter of the stool and a groove that was cut into the side of each one. these things indicated that something was physically blocking the passage.

stool samples are not so bad as they maye seem. you don't have to collect whole pieces - just a smear. the instructions say to collect smears from a plate, but it occurred to me... what's wrong with taking a smear from the toilet paper? so that's what i did.

something to consider... my doctor diagnosed me with irritable bowels way back, and it turned out i was actually lactose intolerant. lactose intolerance can develop at any time (i.e. from illness removing all the good enzymes). plus, lactose intolerance can run in families. just something to keep and eye on if things start moving too fast again. i wondered about mom because she always had bowel complaints too, and she ate soooo much dairy.

WAIT! i just remembered that one diagnostic criteria for IBS is constipation. most people actually alternate between constipation and diarrhea. so that is a possibility too.

anyway i hope the natural methods help you.