Posted by: Susan | 2011-07-13


I''m a 31 year old female and since I can remember I have been struggling with constipation. I have tried everything - from drinking glasses full of fiber, eating high fiber breads/cereals, dried fruit, fresh fruit, prune juice, etc. and NOTHING seems to make a difference to my constipation. I live a fairly healthy lifestyle and try to eat as healthy as possible most of the time. I don''t drink any fruit juices and gas drinks - only water and coffee. I also exercise at least 3 to 4 times a week (running, cycling, etc.) My problem has been going on for years and there is no definite pattern to my bowel movements. Unfortunately, sometimes I can even go for a week or two without one bowel movement - imagine how terrible that feels! I have been to a specialist once that did a test where you swallow copper pills and then five days later they take xrays to see where the pills are in your colon. Well, mine was still at the beginning which just shows that I have a very slow moving/digesting colon. He wanted to prescribe laxatives on a permanent basis and I almost cried leaving because that is exactly what I did not want to do - get dependent on laxatives. I have even tried drinking probiotics for months on end. As soon as I think there is a change, then it all goes back to constipation an no bowel movement. It is getting even worse now - I need to use Dulcolax (suppository) to get a bowel movement going - once a week. I do not take any medicines or any vitamins that can cause constipation. I''m on Jasmin as a contraceptive. PLEASE can you help me with advice and if I need to see a doctor, which do you recommend. As I''ve mentioned I have been to a Gastroenterologist and he didn''t help me much! Do you think there is a chance that I might have a irritable bowel syndrome and that I might be wheat or gluten intolerant? If so, where can I go for blood tests to confirm this and make a dietary lifestyle change. I''m desperate - I''ll do anything to sort this out once and for all.

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Our expert says:
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I suggest that you get a second opinion from a gastroenterologist, as it is very important to find the cause for your chronic constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome is a diagnosis made, once all other possibilities have been ruled out. You can not get dependant on laxative and in the interim, I suggest that you use Laxette syrup, 20 ml, twice daily in combination with Softlax tablets, two to four tablets at night. You should also supplement with fibre capsules. A good product is Solgar Multiple fibre capsules available at health shops.


Dr Anrich

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