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Chronic Constipation... Is It Celiac's?


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#1 MStalnaker1

 
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Posted 18 April 2011 - 01:15 PM



I am 26 years old and I've always been perfectly healthy. I had my tonsils out at 13, I had my appendix out when I was one month pregnant, at 18 years old, and I've had 2 c-sections. I have a healthy 8 year old daughter and my son was stillborn, still delivered c-section. His death was caused by a cord accident. I've never had any health issues or been diagnosed with any sicknesses, or even stayed overnight in the hospital, aside from my surgeries. In January of 2009, I became pregnant. I stopped going #2. I figured, hormonal change... I'm pregnant... what the heck, I'm probably supposed to be constipated. I never looked into it or did anything about it. I went to the bathroom probably once a week, if that, and it was always aided by laxatives. I had/lost my son in October of 2009. After the surgery, I was still constipated... I figured, my bowels are sedentary, I'm taking vicodin for the surgery (and also a little for the emotional pain), and those both probably contribute. 3 months later, I still wasn't going to the bathroom... here it is, January of 2010, and one day I felt extremely nauseous. I ran in the bathroom and threw up... this is a little graphic, but literally, I could've sorted through my food and divided it into meals I had eaten over the past 3 days. NONE of it was digested. It was disgusting! I started going to the doctor and got prescribed laxative after laxative, mineral oil, drink water, exercise, fiber, this food, that food, try this, try that... I have tried every over the counter medicine or herbal remedy known to man! I've even tried herbal home remedies that my co-works uncles cousin's daughter's friend suggested! NOTHING worked... UNTIL I found a tea called herbal laxative through a website I found online. It provided overnight relief (watery, unless taken with 3 fiber gummies), and it worked like clockwork. I used that for about a year. If I didn't drink the tea, I didn't go. Well, lo and behold... it stopped working. I made a doctor's appointment and told my doctor that I don't want to be told to "try this..." I want to know the problem. I don't want to try and find something that makes me go... I want to know WHY I'm not going and fix the problem... she referred me to a gastroenterologist. I did a colonoscopy and everything looked good. I started researching gluten intolerence, as a friend suggested... and I find more and more that people are being misdiagnosed because they're constipated instead of having diarrhea. Well, my gastro flat out told me, "That's not it. You'd have diarrhea if you had that." I let him be right... but I just can't shake the feeling that he's wrong. I went in for the colonoscopy and because that came out negative for anything, he wants to run some other tests. I told him that before I go further with him, I want the test for celiac's disease. Here's the catch... LAST Tuesday, I decided to kick all gluten from my diet. It was extremely hard, but I did it... and my husband did it with me (He's such a great supporter!). Tuesday came and went, Wednesday, Thursday... and Friday afternoon, I went!!! No laxatives, no tea, no abnormal amount of water... I just went... like I haven't in 2 years! Saturday morning, I went... Saturday afternoon, I went AGAIN!!! THEN... we attended a suprise birthday party for my Aunt. I was told by the cook that the marinades she used for the chicken were gluten free. I ate some chicken and some beans... and since the party, I have gone once, and it was diarrhea. In the middle of it, it felt like my colon seized up and I haven't gone since. Everything I've eaten yesterday and today is still sitting in my stomach. I can't feel it digesting, I don't have the urge to go... I think there may have been gluten in the marinade... or the beans... however, I'm still on the fence as to whether that was originally my problem... sounds like it, right??? So now I have a test for celiac's disease scheduled for 6:30 tonight... and I went to Rubio's on my lunch break to get some gluten in me... They bread their fish, they use flour in the tortillas... I figured that should get me some positive test results... I'm just so worried. What if that wasn't the problem to begin with? What if it is, but I test negative because I haven't been eating gluten consistently? What if I test positive and I have to stop eating so many of the things I love? I did it for a week, but that was to "test" myself... seeing it as a lifestyle is so hard to imagine! I'm hoping for a positive test (so I can know and fix the reason for my constipation) as much as I'm hoping for a negative one! I'm so confused and worried... there are so many things pointing toward this, but there are so many pointing away from it. If I went the route of listening to my body... as much as I hate to admit it, I'd say it's gluten. However, if I go with research, how many of you guys have other symptoms? Skin conditions? Hair conditions, fibromyalgia, fatigue (which I do have a lot), migraines (which I get too...) Wow... maybe I do have it... Any advice? Any thoughts on hyping up the gluten before my test? Anyone with the same symptoms? I know that when someone develops gluten intolerance all of a sudden, it's caused by a "hormonal change." Pregnancy, trauma, surgery... I had all of those within a period of 8 months... that's another pointer toward celiac's. I guess I'm just super worried that I won't test positive for celiac's, but I do have a gluten intolerance... and I'll never know... Thanks for your input!!! And thanks for reading my book! LOL!
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#2 etta694

 
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Posted 18 April 2011 - 05:01 PM

This was the symptom that did me in as well. I kept going to the doctor for bloating, pain under my shoulder blade and ribs, stiffness everywhere...yada yada, but the constipation is what made me feel like I was dieing. It was as if the food was causing a very toxic environment in me.. and the doctors said I had IBS..and stress, and blood tests for everything were normal (they didn't even think of testing for Celiac). They wanted me to take antidepressants.. I declined. I finally went gluten free 3 days before a colonoscopy, endoscopy, and biopsy (which was a last second thing because I told them I was feeling somewhat better from not eating gluten [in 3 days!]. I hadn't been able to 'go' without aids ... if I hadn't used aids.. I probably never would have gone. After 5 days gluten free I began going, sometimes 2 times a day.. :D I have never gone that well before in my life! The biopsy? - negative for Celiac. But if I eat gluten now I seize up critically, and nothing - NOTHING moves.. and I get very sick.
Sooo... that's my story.
And you can't pay me any money in the world to eat gluten again (knowingly).
I hope this helps you to sort through your own situation..
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Anemia and IBS through my life
2005 Joint pain, exhaustion, general feeling of not being well 2006 Beginning of testing for everything but Celiac 2008 Bloating, more muscle stiffness, feeling sicker, more exhausted-testing 'normal' 2010 March insides begin to shut down, cough that won't go away 2010 June Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, biopsy - all show no problems
Self diagnosed gluten intolerant - went gluten free. Within 3 days feeling better.
After 5 days - insides began to move
Now - feel better than I have felt for 15 years (except when I gluten myself.. which I'm good at)

#3 MStalnaker1

 
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Posted 18 April 2011 - 08:51 PM

This was the symptom that did me in as well. I kept going to the doctor for bloating, pain under my shoulder blade and ribs, stiffness everywhere...yada yada, but the constipation is what made me feel like I was dieing. It was as if the food was causing a very toxic environment in me.. and the doctors said I had IBS..and stress, and blood tests for everything were normal (they didn't even think of testing for Celiac). They wanted me to take antidepressants.. I declined. I finally went gluten free 3 days before a colonoscopy, endoscopy, and biopsy (which was a last second thing because I told them I was feeling somewhat better from not eating gluten [in 3 days!]. I hadn't been able to 'go' without aids ... if I hadn't used aids.. I probably never would have gone. After 5 days gluten free I began going, sometimes 2 times a day.. :D I have never gone that well before in my life! The biopsy? - negative for Celiac. But if I eat gluten now I seize up critically, and nothing - NOTHING moves.. and I get very sick.
Sooo... that's my story.
And you can't pay me any money in the world to eat gluten again (knowingly).
I hope this helps you to sort through your own situation..


Etta, it does, thank you! It seems that I'm the only person I know that's dealt with what I have... it seems so "odd" to everyone. Even my doctor (gastro) said, "Hmm, I've never heard that before..." My primary, before sending me to the gastro, also tested my thyroid. Everything was normal. So it seems I've had most of the testing done for what the doctors try to blame it on... but either way, no matter how the results come back, I know it's gluten. The more people I hear say that they tested negative, but still can't eat it... I'm more sure that's it. I'm glad you figured it out! However, I'm curious... how did gluten come into the picture for you?
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#4 keithceliac2010

 
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Posted 19 April 2011 - 05:52 AM

I, like you, suffered from chronic constip. Usually only went one time a week and that was usually diarrhea. Chronic stomach issues for 30+ years and none of my doctors EVER suggested gluten issues/celiac disease!!!. I drank Pepto-Bismol and Immodium AD regularly to deal with my symptoms. After observing all my symptoms, my wife concluded I was gluten intolerant and suggested I try a gluten free diet. A week later, with nothing to lose, I took her advice and went gluten free. Within 48 hours I was going #2 daily. Now 2 months later I go twice daily. I have not had any stomach, intestinal, or bowel issues(no constip or diarrh) for over 2 months now and I feel great. I never got tested for celiac by a doctor since I have already seen the amazing and miraculous results of keeping gluten out of my body.
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#5 etta694

 
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Posted 19 April 2011 - 09:21 AM

Etta, it does, thank you! It seems that I'm the only person I know that's dealt with what I have... it seems so "odd" to everyone. Even my doctor (gastro) said, "Hmm, I've never heard that before..." My primary, before sending me to the gastro, also tested my thyroid. Everything was normal. So it seems I've had most of the testing done for what the doctors try to blame it on... but either way, no matter how the results come back, I know it's gluten. The more people I hear say that they tested negative, but still can't eat it... I'm more sure that's it. I'm glad you figured it out! However, I'm curious... how did gluten come into the picture for you?

One of the chronic symptoms that the doctors had no answer for was a dry cough that wouldn't go away. It set in about the time my bowels began to really slow down and I was beginning to feel very ill. My Dr. sent me for x-rays that came back clear but the cough persisted. My instincts told me it was food related because I would cough after eating carbs. But when I told the Dr. she just looked at me like I had a screw loose. So I googled.. and read and read. And I found something that talked about gluten intolerance. And it answered so many of the issues I was fighting with. So I decided to go gluten free to try it. And the rest is history.... thankfully. And the cough is gone, for the most part, except if I eat way too many carbs, sugars..junk food basically.

There are so many stories on here.. so many people who figured it out themselves and many who have the big C (constipation).
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Anemia and IBS through my life
2005 Joint pain, exhaustion, general feeling of not being well 2006 Beginning of testing for everything but Celiac 2008 Bloating, more muscle stiffness, feeling sicker, more exhausted-testing 'normal' 2010 March insides begin to shut down, cough that won't go away 2010 June Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, biopsy - all show no problems
Self diagnosed gluten intolerant - went gluten free. Within 3 days feeling better.
After 5 days - insides began to move
Now - feel better than I have felt for 15 years (except when I gluten myself.. which I'm good at)

#6 MStalnaker1

 
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Posted 19 April 2011 - 10:08 AM

One of the chronic symptoms that the doctors had no answer for was a dry cough that wouldn't go away. It set in about the time my bowels began to really slow down and I was beginning to feel very ill. My Dr. sent me for x-rays that came back clear but the cough persisted. My instincts told me it was food related because I would cough after eating carbs. But when I told the Dr. she just looked at me like I had a screw loose. So I googled.. and read and read. And I found something that talked about gluten intolerance. And it answered so many of the issues I was fighting with. So I decided to go gluten free to try it. And the rest is history.... thankfully. And the cough is gone, for the most part, except if I eat way too many carbs, sugars..junk food basically.

There are so many stories on here.. so many people who figured it out themselves and many who have the big C (constipation).


Wow I'm surprised you found it online. With all of my research, I NEVER came across it. It's insane that something you'd never think of could cause two things so different from each other... constipation and a cough... but I'm glad you've found some relief! I just called my doctor's office and they said it'd be 3-5 days before they'd have test results. Waiting is so hard!
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#7 etta694

 
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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:09 PM

Yes, don't be disappointed if it is negative although I sure hope there is something conclusive for you. The proof is what your body tells you. If gluten free fixes you.. celebrate and join the crowd! :P
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Anemia and IBS through my life
2005 Joint pain, exhaustion, general feeling of not being well 2006 Beginning of testing for everything but Celiac 2008 Bloating, more muscle stiffness, feeling sicker, more exhausted-testing 'normal' 2010 March insides begin to shut down, cough that won't go away 2010 June Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, biopsy - all show no problems
Self diagnosed gluten intolerant - went gluten free. Within 3 days feeling better.
After 5 days - insides began to move
Now - feel better than I have felt for 15 years (except when I gluten myself.. which I'm good at)

#8 hikermom4

 
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Posted 19 April 2011 - 02:29 PM

Thanks to you all for sharing your experiences. I have been to several doctors over the past few years about the cough, fatigue, and GI symptoms. They would usually hand me a bag of acid inhibitors, allergy meds and nasal spray, which worked in the short run but didn't really cure anything. In January I had a bout of constipation which made me feel like my body had shut down completely. Going gluten free is helping immensely. Twenty years ago I was diagnosed with wheat intolerance via the elimination diet, but no one ever suggested cutting out other glutens. Now I have done the (Company Name Removed - They Spammed This Forum and are Banned) test and it showed many food intolerances...I spoke to an allergist, who said it isn't a reliable test, but I get the "cough" after eating many of the foods which showed up positive. So right now I am waiting to see a GI specialist in 2 weeks. I am hoping he will be modern and open minded. In the meantime, I'm not sure what to eat..a nutritionist was advising me, but it sn't covered by my insurance and I was running up quite a bill. So now I eat chicken for breakfast, soup for snacks, etc!

Sorry this post is so scattered...it's a reflection of my inner thoughts. It's nice to know I am not alone! People have been commenting on my cough and I couldn't wait to get rid of it, and now it's mostly gone.
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#9 MStalnaker1

 
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Posted 20 April 2011 - 06:39 AM

Thanks to you all for sharing your experiences. I have been to several doctors over the past few years about the cough, fatigue, and GI symptoms. They would usually hand me a bag of acid inhibitors, allergy meds and nasal spray, which worked in the short run but didn't really cure anything. In January I had a bout of constipation which made me feel like my body had shut down completely. Going gluten free is helping immensely. Twenty years ago I was diagnosed with wheat intolerance via the elimination diet, but no one ever suggested cutting out other glutens. Now I have done the (Company Name Removed - They Spammed This Forum and are Banned) test and it showed many food intolerances...I spoke to an allergist, who said it isn't a reliable test, but I get the "cough" after eating many of the foods which showed up positive. So right now I am waiting to see a GI specialist in 2 weeks. I am hoping he will be modern and open minded. In the meantime, I'm not sure what to eat..a nutritionist was advising me, but it sn't covered by my insurance and I was running up quite a bill. So now I eat chicken for breakfast, soup for snacks, etc!

Sorry this post is so scattered...it's a reflection of my inner thoughts. It's nice to know I am not alone! People have been commenting on my cough and I couldn't wait to get rid of it, and now it's mostly gone.


The term "shut down" is exactly what I used when my bowels stopped moving. Weird, isn't it?! You're definitely not alone! As far as food goes, I'm totally new to this, so I haven't figured out much! However, I've been sticking with mostly whole foods... not only because of the price of gluten free food, but because I'm absent minded sometimes and I'm sure I'm going to stick SOMETHING in my food that I shouldn't if I'm preparing it. I have a George Foreman grill and it works WONDERS! It cooks everything perfectly... and fast! I cook chicken on it some nights, fish other nights... There are a lot of gluten free cereals... all fruits and veggies are gluten free. There really is a wide variety of stuff you can make, it's probably just not stuff that's usually on the menu, so it seems overwhelming. I know it is for me! I made a chicken stir fry the other day w/ gluten free soy sauce and some olive oil... it was awesome! Good luck finding more foods you can tolerate... and if you find anything great, please share!
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#10 MStalnaker1

 
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Posted 20 April 2011 - 06:42 AM

I, like you, suffered from chronic constip. Usually only went one time a week and that was usually diarrhea. Chronic stomach issues for 30+ years and none of my doctors EVER suggested gluten issues/celiac disease!!!. I drank Pepto-Bismol and Immodium AD regularly to deal with my symptoms. After observing all my symptoms, my wife concluded I was gluten intolerant and suggested I try a gluten free diet. A week later, with nothing to lose, I took her advice and went gluten free. Within 48 hours I was going #2 daily. Now 2 months later I go twice daily. I have not had any stomach, intestinal, or bowel issues(no constip or diarrh) for over 2 months now and I feel great. I never got tested for celiac by a doctor since I have already seen the amazing and miraculous results of keeping gluten out of my body.


Your wife is a smart one! It never crossed my mind that it could be an allergy... or intolerance. I mean, hello... I'm a perfectly healthy person, right? But didn't we all say that at one point or another? lol... Things change! I say that if it's working for you, GREAT! Keep it up! You don't need a doctor to tell you what your body is already screaming... I'm 99.9% positive that my test is going to come back negative for celiac's, but I know otherwise... so, gluten FREE it is!!!
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#11 txplowgirl

 
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Posted 20 April 2011 - 01:43 PM

I can remember at the age of 7 me fighting with my mom and grandmother because they were trying to give a an enema because I was so constipated. Wasn't unusual for me to only go once every 3 to 4 weeks. To me it was normal. Been that way since I was 7. All, and I mean all of my differnt problems includeing constipation went away after eliminating all the foods I had problems with.
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Lupus, Connective Tissue Disease with Fibro type symptoms, Anemia, Anxiety, Depression, RA, Rynauds Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Erosive Gastritis, Osteoporosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Scoliosis, Bulging discs in lower back and neck, Pinched Nerves.

 

Soy free, MSG free, mostly Dairy free. Endoscopy shows blunted Villi which dr states as gluten sensitivity, so goin back to being gluten free


#12 MStalnaker1

 
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Posted 28 April 2011 - 07:42 AM

Well, I got my results back... celiac's disease it ISN'T! Good to know... but like I said, I KNOW I'm intolerant to gluten to an extent... so... to what extent is it? How do I find out? Is the only way to do my own experimenting? On Easter, my mom forgot to make the deviled eggs w/ gluten free mayo... needless to say, she forgot other things as well. I said, "Oh well... it's Easter, I'll deal with it." Pfft! Wish I hadn't done THAT! I still haven't gone to the bathroom!!! And I'm SO frustrated! I've been eating gluten free since then. I want something else to eat! I have a Nature Valley chewy trail mix on my desk and I've been researching for 15 minutes whether it contains gluten or not (because it doesn't say on the label) and I'm over it. I don't even want to eat it anymore. I'm SO sick of researching stuff! But I'm so sick of eating the same things over and over... when am I gonna go to the bathroom? How long does this have to last? And how bad is it???

Signed... SO FRUSTRATED!

Melissa Long!
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#13 cap6

 
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Posted 28 April 2011 - 08:50 PM

Boy was I glad to read this thread. I thought I was the only one that could feel my bowel "freeze up" and the food just sitting there. I know when I wake up whether this will be "a poop day" or a "no poop day". My problem is that although I have had chronic C all of my life it has become worse since going gluten-free. The rest of me is so much better, no more gut pain and all the other symptoms, but the C is unrelenting. I too drink an herbal laxative tea every night. If i don't then I don't go. It's that simple. Even with it sometime I don't go. Frustrating! Don't know where to go from here................ My dr doesn't want me drinking the tea all the time but...... what are my options.
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#14 MStalnaker1

 
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Posted 02 May 2011 - 07:33 AM

Boy was I glad to read this thread. I thought I was the only one that could feel my bowel "freeze up" and the food just sitting there. I know when I wake up whether this will be "a poop day" or a "no poop day". My problem is that although I have had chronic C all of my life it has become worse since going gluten-free. The rest of me is so much better, no more gut pain and all the other symptoms, but the C is unrelenting. I too drink an herbal laxative tea every night. If i don't then I don't go. It's that simple. Even with it sometime I don't go. Frustrating! Don't know where to go from here................ My dr doesn't want me drinking the tea all the time but...... what are my options.


Well, your doc's right... you definitely shouldn't drink it every day. I know, it feels great to go, but the last thing you want is for your bowels to become dependent on it... then you can't do ANYTHING! I wish I had some advice for you, as far as how to go... Actually, I do! I had a colonoscopy done and I had to do a liquid diet the day before I started the "cleanse." I was SO hungry, so I was drinking everything! If you can stand it, try this: Jello, One 2 cup packet, prepared, of course... 24 ounces of water, 2 cans of beef broth, really warm, and some gatorade! I don't know if it was one of those things, or all of them... but that's why I drank that morning and by noon... I went! A good one! Sort of like everything in there just soaked it all up and cleared out! I was amazed... and then of course after the colonoscopy, the misery started all over... but other than with my tea, and that one day, I haven't gone. It's literally crappy! I'm at the point now where I'm SO fed up, I'm about to pick one thing to eat... something I can stand for a long period of time, and eat JUST that! I'll eat it until I go, and then add something else. If I still go, I'll add something else! And we'll see how it goes.
For right now, I'm trying ONE more thing before I go that route. I'm eating gluten free and dairy free. I had a friend tell me last week that dairy constipates her. I know that a lot of cheese does it to me, moreso than anything else, but she said that sour cream is the worst. I said, "Really?! It's hard to imagine that something not solid can constipate you..." So, I've been researching and I think that might be a problem. So, I drank my tea last night, I'm good right now... and I'll keep you updated! Let me know what you decide to try! And GOOD LUCK! :)
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#15 momof2peanutz

 
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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:12 AM

Probiotics!!! They work wonders for me and won't cause any diahrrea. Solgar, Solaray.. those are some good qual brands. Make sure they're refrigerated. otherwise not really effective. Try to get several diff. strains (in one bottle.) I like the ones w/ lactobacillus.
I have the same problem and I think I'm just very wheat intolerant.
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