Constipation – I Can’t Poop! My Story

Constipation – I can’t poop today! When I was young I use to never be constipated.

Constipation

Now that I am an old woman it gets to be almost a weekly problem. Don’t we old people have enough to go through without having a problem with our poop?

Why is it that women are more constipated than men. My thought is because men will not hold in their farts. Thus making their system run smoother. My husband is a farter and he is never constipated.

I do fart more than I use to. Usually at the most un appropriate time. The grocery store near the freezer section is my most vulnerable place. My husband just says “just let her rip”.  No thank you,  I am a lady and so I just run to the next isle and hope no one noticed it was me.

Being an RN with Hospice I use to dis impact the elderly with a gloved finger. Ouch! I don’t think I will stoop to that yet.

Do I sit on the toilet for a half an hour and grunt and groan?  Only to pop my hemorrhoids.

Constipation occurs when bowel movements become difficult or less frequent. The normal length of time between bowel movements ranges widely from person to person. Some people have bowel movements three times a day; others, only one or two times a week. Going longer than three days without a bowel movement is too long. After three days, the stool or feces become harder and more difficult to pass.

What Causes Constipation?

Constipation is usually caused by a disorder of bowel function rather than a structural problem. Common causes of constipation include:

  • Inadequate water intake
  • Inadequate fiber in the diet
  • A disruption of regular diet or routine; traveling
  • Inadequate activity or exercise or immobility
  • Eating large amounts of dairy products
  • Stress
  • Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement, which is sometimes the result of pain from hemorrhoids
  • Overuse of laxatives (stool softeners) which, over time, weaken the bowel muscles
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis
  • Antacid medicines containing calcium or aluminum
  • Medicines (especially strong pain medicines, such as narcotics, antidepressants, or iron pills)
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Pregnancy

In some cases, lack of good nerve and muscle function in the bowel may also be a cause of constipation.

Symptoms of constipation can include:

  • Infrequent bowel movements and/or difficulty having bowel movements
  • Swollen abdomen or abdominal pain
  • Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Colon cancer

There are several things you can do to prevent constipation. Among them:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain bread and cereal (especially bran). Fiber and water help the colon pass stool.
  • Drink 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of water and other fluids a day (unless fluid restricted for another medical condition). Liquids that contain caffeine, such as coffee and soft drinks, seem to have a dehydrating effect and may need to be avoided until your bowel habits return to normal. Some people may need to avoid milk, as dairy products may be constipating for them.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Move your bowels when you feel the urge.

If you are constipated, try the following:

  • Drink two to four extra glasses of water a day (unless fluid restricted).
  • Try warm liquids, especially in the morning.
  • Add fruits and vegetables to your diet.
  • Eat prunes and/or bran cereal.
  • If needed, use a very mild stool softener or laxative (such as Peri-Colace or Milk of Magnesia). Do not use laxatives for more than two weeks without calling your doctor, as laxative overuse can aggravate your symptoms.

 ***Foods that are Constipating: (Dang- All my favorites!)

Meats

A high-protein diet that includes a lot of meat, poultry, fish and other animal foods may be low in fiber and result in constipation.

Dairy Products

Milk, sour cream, ice cream, frozen yogurt and all cheeses, including cottage cheese, farmer’s cheese and other curd cheeses, can be very constipating for some people. These foods contain no fiber at all

Refined Grains

Low-fiber cereals and grain foods, such as white rice and white flour are constipating because they do not contain the bran and germ that give whole-grain foods their fiber boost. Other constipating foods in this category may include pasta, noodles, biscuits, rolls, crackers, frozen grain products such as pancakes, waffles and pastry shells and any commercial cereal that contains no more than 1 gram of fiber

Fat

A diet that is overall high in fats is going to be low in fiber. High-fat foods of all kinds are constipating, so avoid any food that is greasy or fried.

Sweets

All types of candy and most commercial baked goods such as cakes, cookies, pies and snack foods are low in fiber and high in sugar and fat and therefore can contribute to constipation.

Call your doctor if:

  • Constipation is a new problem for you
  • You have blood in your stool
  • You are losing weight even though you are not dieting
  • You have severe pain with bowel movements
  • Your constipation has lasted more than two weeks.

The books all say for constipation:

1. Drink plenty of water. (How can you drink water when you aren’t thirst? Or makes you pee all day!)

2. Increase exercise.  ( Do they not know that as you get older that just getting out of bed is a chore.)

3. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. (Come on now if I ate six serving a day like they suggest I would be as big as a horse.)

4. Drink warm liquids in the mornings. (I drink plenty of coffee) which can be part of the problem. Coffee can dehydrate you which in turn is a constipation problem.

5. Eat prunes (ug)

Guess I will just take another poop pill today.

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