CONSTIPATION – what a “shitty” topic… but not at all uncommon if you have Multiple Sclerosis. MS itself can cause constipation, but it is frequently made worse by the drugs prescribed for the pain, depression, or treatment of MS. When you suffer from bladder urgency or incontinence and restrict your fluid intake constipation gets worse. If you have difficulties with walking, or exercise….. you guessed it….Constipation gets worse. If you combine all of those things, it can really play havoc with your body.
What works for one person may not work for another, so I can’t tell you what to do. I can tell you about what I have tried, and things that I know are available to help treat constipation. (I am listing them in the order I tried them, not in a recommended order) I end this page with a link to a post about Power Pudding, which is my current treatment of choice.
Prescription medications for treatment of Constipation
Let’s start with big pharma. I have been prescribed Amitiza, and Reglan to treat constipation, but they did not work for me, because of the way they interacted with OTHER BIG pharma drugs that I was taking. I am not saying that they don’t help, they just didn’t help me.
OTC or Over the Counter Medications to treat Constipation
Pictured here are several over the counter or “home remedies” that were recommended to me by my doctor, or therapists. This includes:
- increasing fiber with a supplement
- stool softeners
- Magnesium Citrate ( not pictured)
- more fiber through fruits and vegetables
- even using the new “Squatty Potty”
While all of the over the counter products have helped me in some way for a short period of time, over the course of time they became not practical or too difficult to continue using.
Using an Enema or suppository for constipation
Try positioning yourself in the recommended position for administering an enema when you have mobility issues. While you might not have a problem getting into the position, getting out of it can be very difficult, especially if using the enema works. Enema’s are just gross to me, the same with suppositories. (not that anything to do with a bowel movement isn’t, but they are out of my comfort level for regular use)
Taking Stool softeners or Fiber Supplements for constipation
These treatments can also help provided you drink A LOT OF WATER. When I was using them, they didn’t help. (I assume it’s because I didn’t drink enough water) I also suffer from neurogenic bladder, (but that’s a whole different ballgame for me) so drinking the recommended amount of water was out of the question. My lack of hydration also made the constipation worse.
Magnesium (Mag) Citrate or Dulcolax Tablets for constipation
Drinking Mag Citrate or taking Dulcolax Tablets has helped me for occasional relief, BUT if you think constipation is bad, try the opposite end of the spectrum…Explosive Diarrhea. For me, Mag Citrate TASTES terrible, and dulcolax does sometimes provide relief, but who wants to stay “chained” to their toilet all day, just in case. ( just an fyi, doctors prescribe a “prescription form” of Magnesium Citrate for Colonoscopy prep) Maybe you don’t want to go there? Or maybe you do?
MS and Cannabis MMJ or Medical Marijuana for constipation?
Of course, I have NO EXPERIENCE with this topic, BUT I have it on GOOD AUTHORITY that MMJ not only helps with pain and sleep in MS, but it is also rumored to help with constipation. In her blog, bbhwithms, Meg Lewellyn says,
Another “side-effect” to my year of using cannabis – I am no longer full of shit. Having struggled with severe constipation for the past 3-4 years (thanks to my stint with Methadone) I am elated to share with you that this “issue” seems to have been resolved. I no longer am taking copious amounts of Myralax, Ducolax, psyllium husks, probiotic supplements, milk of magnesia or anything else and I sure as hell don’t miss the suppositories the doctor has me using daily for a while. It seems my body just decided to click back on and begin processing and metabolizing the food that I consume.
Here is the link to her full blog, if you are interested. Meg’s post about Cannabis and Constipation.