dear all. Recently diagnosed with MS. And for months now I have been constipated. I drink tonnes and eat well. Is it really a symptom of MS and do others suffer?
I certainly do. Mostly I take Movicol as often as needed - sometimes every day, sometimes not so often. Don’t suffer in silence, there is a way to deal with it
Yes, it is a very common problem hereabouts!
I do ok for so long and then have to up the movicols, prunes, bran etc…BUT always drink lots of plain tap water to get things going.
Oh, I find a crossword book helps with the proceedings.!
I had horrific issues with this up until recently when my Dr gave me Movicol, this was at the recommendation of my MS Nurse.
After about a week I was able to get back to something like regular again. I take two a day at present one in a bottle of water through the morning and one in a pint of water with evening meal. I drink plenty of water alongside this as well.
There is always the option to take more in one go for problem times (up to 10 if it really really bad) and maybe miss one or two here and there if not necessary but they really have helped me get some normalcy back into my life.
You can buy them at most chemists but they aren’t cheap so a prescription is the better option if you can.
Good luck, I know your pain.
It tends to be caused by a combination of things, often people have different causes for constipation, but most definitely it’s a feature of MS.
Slow transit of food is a problem. It’s problematic because the longer food takes to travel through the bowel, the more water is removed form the waste matter, which then causes hard stools which are consequently harder to pass.
Then there’s nerve damage, which makes it more difficult to actually make the mechanism work. Either the nerve signals aren’t getting through, or the ‘push’ is affected, or the sphincters don’t work because of nerve damage. And other problems associated with MS.
Then you end up with haemorrhoids which add to the difficulty.
Plus, you could have trouble exacerbated by other non MS issues. I recently had 18" of my intestine surgically removed because of a twisted section.
People take a variety of things to help, Movicol (also known as Laxido), lactulose, castor oil, Senna, glycerol suppositories, among others.
If things get really bad there are other options. But the number one (!) thing to get right is diet and water. Eating lots of vegetables (and some fruit), keeping up the fibre intake and drinking plenty of water are all essential.
The other thing people usually recommend is a routine, making sure you take the time to try and follow a good pattern.
the bowel and bladder nurse has been really helpful.
it started with me retaining urine which was helped by catheterising myself.
then i found that i was unable to pee.
the nurse told me it was because i was constipated.
the bowel and bladder affect each other.
strange but true!