Constipation

Well let’s swap. Mods and members,This is not meant to offend, no one wants to talk about this but a member bought this up and said it’s the great unspoken so I have decided to put it out there.

I find it a dreadful side effect of Tegretol. it’s a Bain for me and I feel anyone’s hints and tips would be welcomed by many members.

What can you offer up to help possibly hinders of members apart from the obvious lots of fruit and vegatables

I take a soluble prebiotic fruit fibre but it’s not the total solution, I am looking for something better.

No offence is meant, I am trying to help, if you offended I apologise.

Good subject to discuss, Jackie.

I haven't seen this brought up before, but it's rather a fact of life with all the medications we're on. Vicodin does it to me and possibly other meds as well. I haven't found a solution so it's just something I live with and deal with. Not taking the meds is not an option, so I would also like to hear about anyone who has found a solution for some relief.

Thanks for bringing this up J-Force!

Gloria

Jackie-

Not offended at all ..lol I have the same problem. I am on vicodin for other problems and have had a very hard time over the years. I started going to a naturopath and he had me first start drinking water (I hate it..but have been drinking more) and putting finely ground flax seed on my food. I put it in my cereal - about 2 heaping teaspoons. It has been helping me a lot. Hope that could help you. It is a horrible feeling I know.

Deborah

You are welcome Jackie - You are not lowering the tone. We all have enough to deal with- if we can help each other with any part of this I think that is a good thing. :)

Thank you for your kindness and positive comments!

Deborah

For pity sake, Hon... there's nothing offensive in an effort to help. Ever... So not to worry... {:-)

For people who react to the anti-convulsant drugs with constipation, most general practitioners would recommend the obvious fruits and vegetables, supplemented if necessary by a mild stool softener. For those who are NOT allergic to them, two other alternatives are bran muffins in the morning (unless you happen to have a gluten allergy), and/or an over-the-counter fiber agent like Psillosybin (which I cannot spell properly to save my soul!).

'Nuf said?

Regards and best -- and keep on swapping. Anybody else have some pet solutions?

Red

Magnesium tablets at bedtime are helpful:) Constipation sucks! lol.

Wow Jackie … I never realised anyone would be offended by the words ‘constipation’ or ‘bowels’ … lol

You see, I’m a nurse, and I work in an oncology/palliative care unit. It seems the ongoing everyday problem that is common to all my patients is constipation. So it’s a daily part of my routine to check their bowel habits, encourage vigilance with diet and supplements, and problem solve when necessary. There’s not one simple answer, the cure always varies. Many people swear by drinking pear juice at bedtime, or eating a fresh piece of fruit. Others will use granules or tablets. These people are all suffering drug-induced bowel problems. Many of them are on high doses of opiate analgesics … murder to a routine bowel habit.

I personally don’t take opiates such as codeine, but I have recently noticed the dreaded ‘c’ word happening in my abdomen. Being a vegetarian, I blamed the fact I couldn’t eat fresh fruit and vegetables due to the inability to chew anything. I was eating yoghurt, steamed rice and soups only. Now that my pain has been somewhat relieved by the Lyrica, I only have a post-prandial ache, which is bearable, given the joy I feel about eating a fresh salad. Hopefully the problem will resolve now.

I know lots of people hate drinking water, but dehydration is a major cause of the big ‘c’. I always advise my patients that you don’t have to drink it plain, flavour it to suit (not with vodka), bearing in mind weight gain if large amounts of sugary cordial are consumed.

I’ll have to try some magnesium, thanks Jamie.

I’d love to hear other peoples’ success stories.

Cheers

Robyn

Like Red said, take a fiber supplement. I drink Metamucil - it even tastes good, regular flavor tastes like Tang. I now get the Berry Blast flavor. It really helps a lot.

Something else that works for the dreaded constipation is to squeeze a lemon in warm water first thing in the morning. Drink it on an empty stomach. Do this for several days and hopefully things will start moving on out!!:)

Gosh, it's a lot easier giving advice on constipation than it is on TN/ATN. Maybe someday there will be easier answers for that too...we can hope and pray.

As of yet I have not had to deal with this problem, however, I have packed on 12 pounds and no matter what I do I keep going UP. Anyone else have this problem and what are you doing to control it. On the topic at hand I do eat a lot of fiber and that may be what is helping me. Or it could be that I am a guy and the ladies seem to be hit with constipation the worse so it could be a gender thing.

Jackie, thank you for being brave and putting this out there. Clearly, everyone wants to talk about it!

I've had my own share of abdominal discomfort given that I inherited my Father's "dodgy tummy". One of my brothers can eat rocks sauteed with Scotch Bonnet peppers and wash it down with a gallon of black coffee and be totally fine, but the rest of us kids all get to deal with IBS that runs the gamut from diarrhea to constipation. Not good times.

Everyone here has offered such excellent advice! To that I would add that getting more exercise has really helped me. It just seems to help everything move along the way it is supposed to. I also eat prunes and apricots regularly, either fresh or dried. When chewing is an issue, I make stewed fruit and puree it as well if need be. It also seems to help to eat fruit at the start of a meal or inbetween meals.

I'm really excited to see what other remedies people have come up with. Keep 'em coming!

Chris

One point of emphasis, if I may. There have been documented case reports of people who react allergically to Metamucil. So it is wise to monitor for signs of irritable bowel syndrome, particularly in the first month or two. If you take this supplement and experience serious gastric distress, bloating, or cramping, then STOP and consult your doctor about finding another alternative.

Go in Peace and Power,

Red

Jackie, my life motto should probably be "kick tail and take names". If you're a trouble maker, then welcome to blood alley. (gentle humor intended)

Regards, Red

Hi, Jackie!

Good point! I have had a horrid time with constipation as a side effect of Morphine. I've tried almost everything. The most effective thing for me has been an Organic Tea that I found at Food Lion, our local grocery store. It's called "Smooth Move", appropriate name! Well, it delivers what it promises in the morning, and gently, for me.

If it isn't in your local grocery store, I'm sure you may be able to order it online, if you are interested.

Just sayin' . . . .and for all of you out there suffering from this problem which just makes one feel bloated, and overall crappy, I know where you're at!

Good luck!

Your friend,

Stef

I had a few years ago gastritis, IBS , and ulcers, all from a doctor who put me on 800 mg daily of an anti-inflammatory that caused excruciating pain and damage. It is much better due to eating a bland diet and stopping the medicine. What has helped with everything is the probiotic Sustenex. I actually hardly have any pain there anymore. I don’t know if it would help with constipation but its worth a try.

Since I started at 900 mg Gabapentin, I want to do NOTHING. Can you please explain CNS depressants and how they affect the body? Thanks!

Donna M. Freeman said:

Thank you for being so bold to post..It is a major problem with these meds for sure. I doubled my Tramedol and got impacted twice...so had to find something else for pain..."Align", an over the counter med is supposed to balance your GI tract so that may be my next move..Another post may be fatigue...and what to do...Increasing doses impairs judgement and coordination..and you feel like doing nothing because they are CNS depressants..

They are to chill the nerve and your body says..Nope..can't do that..kind of like your bowels too ...they just want to sleep ..and say Nope..not doing that ..LOL..

! D



Jackie said:

Thank you for the excellent advice J

Donna M. Freeman said:

According to a study years ago I have a large, almost mega colon, extra footage and is sluggish already so constipation has been a 20 year struggle on pain meds. ( Gosh is there any normal, fully functioning part of my anatomy..??? lol). Then with a back injury the nerves below are effected so that does not help either. The very best is WATER, Magnesium (Just took some CALM.... helps pain as well), Mirolax, stool softeners nightly, fiber in the diet, less carbs like crackers, chips and pretzels that clump in the bowel, Activia yogurt is great and of course the next best thing to water is exercise...to increase motility of the bowel. Making a regular bathroom appointment helps to train your bowels even if you just sit and encourage...LOL...Happy moving y'all...LOL ..D

Gabapentin isn't really a "CNS suppressant"as such, though it has effects upon the central nervous system by moderating activity levels in one or more chemical channels in the nerve distribution throughout the body. In some patients this medication can cause sleepiness and a general feeling of malaise and lack of energy.

Based on your inputs and those of other members, I think I'm going to sit down with Stef and Gloria E and write another sub-section for the Help With Research tab, addressing medication side effects. It's clear that such effects are a significant issue for many pain patients, and that doctors don't always do a good job of explaining the side effects when meds are initially presecribed.

Go in Peace and Power

Red

OK - today I have decided (or my body decided) to go back to 600 mg. I had my 125 mg at 9 a.m. and my blood pressure medicine at 10:30 a.m. and about 1/2 hour after that I started feeling AWFUL. I feel unsteady (same as it has been since I increased from 600 to 750 to 900), I feel like my whole body is in a vice grip, and generally I feel as if I have way too much medicine in my body. I know there is nothing I can do for this except wait for it to go through my system. At 1 p.m. I wll take another Gabapentin as I am cutting down to 600 from 900. At 600 I didn’t have these effects, I wanted to increase it slowly to see if it would help even more. It doesn’t seem to help too much more, its not worth what it is doing to my body. I feel really awful!!!

Fantastic idea Red ... I think we all need lots of information about medications and their effects, and particularly side effects. I myself would love to learn how each med works, and therefore why I'm prescribed something different to someone else with the same symptoms ...

Cheers, Robyn



Richard A. "Red" Lawhern said:

Gabapentin isn't really a "CNS suppressant"as such, though it has effects upon the central nervous system by moderating activity levels in one or more chemical channels in the nerve distribution throughout the body. In some patients this medication can cause sleepiness and a general feeling of malaise and lack of energy.

Based on your inputs and those of other members, I think I'm going to sit down with Stef and Gloria E and write another sub-section for the Help With Research tab, addressing medication side effects. It's clear that such effects are a significant issue for many pain patients, and that doctors don't always do a good job of explaining the side effects when meds are initially presecribed.

Go in Peace and Power

Red

Robyn, to adequately cover all of the chemistry, primary effects and individual side effects of the drugs most commonly used in treating neuropathic face pain, I would be into an article at least three times the size of the existing "Help With Research" tab in the menu at the top of this page. That's why I refer people to http://www.rxlist.com. I have, however, incorporated a summary review of common side effects of the main classes of drugs used, and of the surgeries. Feel free to visit and critique the completeness or accuracy of anything on that page.

Regards and best,

Red