I’ve had RRMS for 19yrs but since 2016 I’ve noticed a change in my bowel habits. I eventually ended up on Bisacodyl & Fybogel and everything seemed to tick along nicely up until the start of this year.
I started taking horrendous sore stomachs the day after taking the bisacodyl. Then I noticed that I was taking so much longer to pass a bowel movement - I could be in the loo for well over an hour!!.
So I just stopped taking them. The pain stopped but the constipation obviously didnt, so the doc prescribed Laxido. He wanted me to take it twice a day but as it was new I thought Id just try once a day & build it up. Well, the 1st 3 days seemed ok but every since then its been horrible!
Ive been soiling myself , I constantly feel like I need the loo , I look pregnant & my wind is horrendous (which my teenage son finds hysterical lol). I decided to take 1 every 2nd day but its just the same. The continence nurse suggested every 72hrs. So I tried that & its just the same.
I was out at the theatre last night seeing a stand up comedian & thank god it was loud with constant clapping & laughter as I passed wind about every 10mins. When I got home Id soiled myself (thank goodness I was wearing tena lady!).
Im just absolutely fed up & exhausted & need some urgent advice as Im scared to leave the bloomin house now!
I hope you can speak with your GP or MS nurse and get a referral to a continence nurse.
I use the Peristeen irrigation system which enables me to be more likely to be comfortable and confident that I wont have any problems when I go out.
2 satchets a day was what I started on. Was a bit too frequent and I’ve self adjusted myself. Settled on 1 satchet a day split in half. 1/2 satchet in the morning and other in the evening.
I’d say stick to it everyday just adjust the amounts to find what works for you. Start low and increase by a teaspoon a day till you find what works best for you. Every other day is like accelerating in a car then stamping on the brakes and repeating.
Oh goodness this is going to be indelicate so this post is not for the faint-hearted! I’m somewhat nervous about sharing this but here goes. On the topic of taking so much longer to pass a bowel movement I learnt something from having dogs. If you want them to defecate you rub their anus with a tissue…
So I’m sitting on the loo and after a considerable time straining and struggling and knowing that my bowel was anything but empty I had this brainwave. I folded over some toilet tissue 3 or four times and did the same. Now if you move the tissue over the skin it will become sore, so you press against your anus hard enough so the tissue doesn’t move over the skin. You then move your hand rapidly back and forth. Sometimes my bladder empties first (even when I thought it was empty) but then I’ll get a bowel movement.
Now everyone’s bowels are different and it could only be me, but I’ve found this trick a godsend. Good luck and just beware… if you don’t fold over the tissue enough… well you can guess
i use glcerin suppository they are easy to use. the doctors answer is always laxatives which give me bloat and awful pain and wind and fecal leakage. 1 suppository and about 25 minutes max the deed is done lol.
I eat fruit and fibre everyday. the neuro thinks i may have gastro paresis, but not sure i will be seeing him in a few weeks.
but a lot of laxatives can really make your bowel over stimulated.
20 pints of Coors tends to do the business, but not really recommended as quite expensive, and the scars from the numerous falls also can be off putting. Bonus is, if you do soil self…blame a bad pint.
Just kidding. I wish could give sensible advice here, but I would be interested what people suggest as my father has been suffering a lot recently from constipation, and he has had issues with over counter laxatives , and is too proud to go to the docs for help.
Which laxative to use depends on why you are constipated. Bisocodyl is a stimulant laxative, which could be why it gave you some stomach ache. Other types of laxities are ones that make your poo bulkier, so easier to pass and another type draws water into your poo to make it softer.
For a natural answer, some find prunes do the trick, others can be tomatoes, oranges, pears, flax seeds, kefir and rhubarb.
Bowel bladder team should be able to help. You probably need a bulking agent to add in. In the interim try 3 teaspoons linseeds in 150 ml water in morning - nhs dietician recommended it ( I’m on laxido and use Qufora irrigation ).
I’m often in bowel misery but the linseeds have helped.
When MS is involved, it becomes very important to know the difference between standard constipation and Faecal Impaction. With MS, if affecting our bowels, our muscles don’t work as well and we can’t push our poo out as well as we used to. That can lead to build up of solid material and unpleasant runny stuff (referred to as overflow…) which is able to get past. It is possible to clear the obstruction but necessary to take a different approach in the administration of laxatives. Generally, instead of a laxative like senna which just purges through violent & cramping bowel spasms, use one or more stool softeners like macrogel (e.g. movicol, laxidoo) or docusate sodium (e.g. Dulcoease)
You make a great point. I certainly notice that my bowels re not very effective at moving stools through my bowel and this means I end up going for lots of ‘instalments’ - hence my development of my rather gross technique described above. Doubt it would help with impacted stools though.
Like you, a little massage can wake things up a bit down there. However, faecal impaction is a counter-intuitive thing. You may be reluctant to take laxatives because you already have something that seems to be diarrhoea - except that it’s not… The runny stuff is there because it can find its way past the blockage, but actually it needs treating like constipation.
An impaction needs to be swelled (to plug the leaks of overflow) and softened to get it to move. I use a combination of docusate and macrogel. A couple of docusate tablets washed down with a LARGE dose of macrogel. Whereas conventional treatment of constipation suggests administration of 1-3 sachets of macrogel, faecal impaction recommends up to 8 sachets within a 6 hour period as a one-off. Then stand well back and wait…
Trust me, it works! Sadly, it’s something I have to deploy every few weeks, or in response to a specific situation, such as a course of antibiotics.
Sorry to read your earlier routine has reduced the efficiency you created. The length of time spent on the loo can be normal for a lot of us, until we get the daily routine back. I’ve read many books in the loo & solved magazine puzzles lol.
If you contact your ms nurse, they should refer you to a continence nurse, who can explain & show you various options.
There are cleaning systems like Peresteen or Quofura that you can try. There’s even a ‘plug’ to prevent leaks. They’re spongy things that you insert into the rectum & the sponge changes shape to fit snugly. You will know when it needs changing when you feel the need to push it out.
I’m glad you can see the funny side that wind brings to family humour. The more you discuss this, the more immune to embarrassment you’ll be.
I’ve had ppms since 2004. A Neuro advised the ms. damage in my spine is a big part of not being able to “expel”, (that’s his words! ).
I had a build up of faeces that became too hard and/or large to pass, and because of the time it was blocked, it was black. After manual manipulation by a nurse, the next day I had 1 sachet of Laxido every 4 hours and 1 bisocodyl tablet at bedtime.
The next day was stomach cramps, I drank lots of water too and after some liquid overflow, the blockage still didn’t fully go until the next day after I ate beans on toast plus lots of fresh fruit, a jacket potato with more beans and 1 sachet of Laxido.
Thankfully, the next day, my bowel successfully emptied.
I still have problems but control them better with milled linseed. Just a tablespoon, or less, of the very fine powder sprinkled on breakfast cereal every day. Milled Linseed is easier than actual seeds which might build up. They’re available at Al di.
Good luck, I hope this clears for you and your confidence to go outdoors will return soon. A Continence Nurse will be helpful, informed and reassuring.
I had really bad constipation and tried everything - bowel irrigation etc. None of it worked. Now I have half a sachet of Cosmocol (prescription laxative, a powder you dissolve in water) each day and eat plenty of vegetables and I go every other day. I use Lecicarbon A suppositories, also from the doctor, if I can’t pass it. The other tip from my bladder and bowel nurse is, if there’s a stool there and you can’t pass it, insert a gloved finger up your bum (easier if you use lube!) and feel round inside the sphincter muscles which stimulates it to come out.
Ask your MS nurse for a referral to the bladder and bowel service. They will give you advice.