IBS constipation

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talkhealth
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by talkhealth on Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:58 pm

IBS constipation

I have had bowel problems for over thirty years constipation and inflammation. I am 71 now and find it harder to cope with, have had all the tests and treatments and am now on the fodmap diet, it has helped a little but I am just starting to eat wheat again but still have problems with constipation, it's still ruining my life. Is there anything else I can try? Kathleen
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Julie Thompson
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by Julie Thompson on Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:18 pm

Re: IBS constipation

Hi Kathleen
It is a little difficult to give information without appearing to go over what you may have tried previously, as you have not given much detail in your question and you have had symptoms for a considerable time, unfortunately. I apologise if I appear to be going over old ground.

You say that you have constipation and inflammation - I am not clear what you mean by inflammation? The low fodmap diet really developed for people who have been diagnosed with Irritable bowel syndrome with either diarrhoea, constipation or a mix of both. Although you appear to have had some resolution using this diet, which is good, the diet does not always resolve constipation, it can still help with other symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating though.

If you have inflammation such as inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's or ulcerative colitis) this diet might not be the best option for you and you should request a referral to a dietitian for specific advice.

If your symptoms are visceral hypersensitivity or due to a functional bowel problem (like IBS) the important thing is that you have adequate fibre and fluid when following the low fodmap diet. You would still benefit from at least five a day low fibre fruit and vegetables and certainly, choose wholegrain low fodmap starchy carbohydrates if you are not already doing so. Plenty of low fodmap fluids too - at least 2 litres or 8 cups - up to 3 litres or 12 cups can sometimes be beneficial.

If you want to try and see if diet can help then you could try golden linseeds or flaxseeds, try one tablespoon initially and you can increase to 2-3 tablespoons if needed. They can be added to breakfast cereals, soups and salads and can help with bloating and constipation. They can take some time to be effective so you might have to persevere with it. Do have a cup of fluid with them.

It sounds like you are re-introducing, which is great, as most low fodmap foods are prebiotic (food for gut bacteria) and it is important that you include what foods you can in your diet. It is also important that you have the correct information about the diet and you don't state how you are following the diet. Most online information is out of date or just plain incorrect so you might not have the most up to date information available. A dietitian could help you to tailor your diet specifically to your symptoms if your doctor would refer you to one. The other point to note is to ensure that you have been tested for coeliac disease in the past, whilst eating sources of wheat, as constipation can occur before this diagnosis.

I hope this helps

Kind regards
Julie Thompson
Gastroenterology Specialist Dietitian - BSc (Hons) Dietetics

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Dr Claire Mansfield
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by Dr Claire Mansfield on Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:31 pm

Re: IBS constipation

Hi Kathleen

Your post sounds like you are really struggling. I can appreciate that you are desperate for some advice which is going to change your physical health. I just wanted to add that while talking therapy may not be able to reduce your inflammation, it may still help to be able to talk to someone about how difficult things are. You say that your condition is ruining your life, so if you are not already talking to close friends or family, then I would really encourage you to find someone that you can trust, whether someone you already know, or a healthcare professional, to talk about what is going on for you. There may be small changes that you can make that give you some improvement in the quality of your life, or it may just be important to have people around you that understand how difficult it can be.

Good luck,

Claire
Dr Claire Mansfield
Chartered Counselling Psychologist - CPsychol, PsychD, MA, BSc

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Debbie Gordon
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by Debbie Gordon on Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:25 am

Re: IBS constipation

Hi Kathleen, Constipation can be effectively relieved and managed by trans anal irrigation. It may be worth you speaking to your GP or local continence service about this treatment that you can be taught to do at home.
Debbie Gordon
Independent Specialist Physiotherapist in Bladder & Bowel Health

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