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Constipation!

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Hello all,

I'm one of the celiac sufferers who experiences constipation instead of diarrhea. Although I've been following a strict gluten-free diet, I do accidentally get glutened once in a while, as I'm still figuring out what else I'm sensitive to.

A couple days ago, just after getting glutened the night before, I caught my son's stomach bug which for him (and my husband) entailed lots of diarrhea. I had some in the morning, but then it seemed all get stuck in my system, causing such bloatedness that I could not eat anything at all yesterday. I remained bloated all day, and still somewhat this morning, although I was able to eat two eggs with a red pepper and zuchinni without too much difficulty. But as today progresses, and after eating a salad, I am getting more and more bloated again, and I may not eat anything (or very little) for the rest of the day.

I should say at this point that of course as a celiac sufferer I am used to being bloated, almost all the time, and I'm sure this sounds like a familiar story to many. It's just that this is really extreme! I'm realizing that since I've been pretty constipated for months on end now, it's just getting worse, and I need to take action beyond altering my diet in order to get rid of the constipation. I've even started considering whether I have a blockage, or something even more serious. Today I took Laxoberon, which I'm sure has a different brand name in North America (I'm in Finland), but nothing has happened. Also, it seems like other regular remedies, such as drinking lots of water and exercising, don't seem to work either.

Any advice for constipation medication welcome!

Jessica

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Hi, Jessica,

I have exactly the same troble like you do. It's a horrible filling and I do understand very well your pain. I live this way from three years now and no doctor have been able to tell me what's wrong with me (apart of the celiac desseas).

The first advice I can give you is to never exaggerate with the lassative drugs because they only destroy the intestine (that's what happened to me:(..) Ask your doctor for the colonscopy, that's the only thing that helps to see where is the problem.

Try with some natural remedies like herbal teas.

My mother use this recipe from years now:

1 tbsp raw honey + 1 cup warm water: Dissolve the honey into the water and drink every morning before having breakfast (an empty stomach)

I drink a cup of hot rice milk when I wake up as a first thing in the morning and that's the only thing that helps me. Also, after lunch and dinner I always drink a cup of fennel and star anice flavored tea (fennel helps to remove the intestinal gas, which is blowing your stomach and anice helps to digest better).

I also drink a bag of benefiber everyday, half hour before having breakfast.

Don't trust to the legend that dry figs helps, that's simply not true, it only makes you feel worst. Try to eat steamed green vegetables, such as escarole, broccoli, asparagus which are high in fiber.

Some people say the baked apples helps too.

I hope I gave you some help, Jessica. I wish you to start to feel better as soon as possible.

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I've had similar problems with c for a long time - I never have d. Yoplait yo with probiotics has helped dramatically! I have 1 serving every day and it tastes like regular yogurt. There is another kind of yogurt that has probiotics - can't remember the name of it but Jamie Lee Curtis advertises it on TV. Plus, added benefits, I get calcium and I eat it as my mid-morning snack so it fills me up a bit and gives me an energy boost at work.

That's a quick, inexpensive, and yummy way to help chronic constipation. I was really surprised at how well it worked. REALLY

surprised! You could try it for two weeks before turning to medication that could have side effects.

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Make sure to have your Thyroid checked-- and even if your numbers are within "normal range" you want your TSH to be around 1 and FreeT3 to be above 3 (MAKE SURE THEY TEST FreeT3- insist that they do).

I have Celiac and was constipated for years. Nothing I took helped at all and once i started thyroid medication about a month later it was gone! it was amazing!

The other thing that helped me cope was water enemas. No laxative pills worked for me, I was on perscriptions ate VERY healthy exercised every day etc. You can get an enema bag from the pharmacy, and they do not harm your intestines or colon the way that laxatives do. Make sure you are taking a probiotic when you use it and you can use it every other day or so if needed. Good luck.

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Make sure to have your Thyroid checked-- and even if your numbers are within "normal range" you want your TSH to be around 1 and FreeT3 to be above 3 (MAKE SURE THEY TEST FreeT3- insist that they do).

I have Celiac and was constipated for years. Nothing I took helped at all and once i started thyroid medication about a month later it was gone! it was amazing!

The other thing that helped me cope was water enemas. No laxative pills worked for me, I was on perscriptions ate VERY healthy exercised every day etc. You can get an enema bag from the pharmacy, and they do not harm your intestines or colon the way that laxatives do. Make sure you are taking a probiotic when you use it and you can use it every other day or so if needed. Good luck.

Thanks for the tip about the thyroid. I just have to find a doctor that will do as I say! :-). I live in Finland, so there's a language barrier in addition to general problems that most of us gastro-intestinal issue sufferers have. Hmmm, come to think of it, maybe I'll just go straight to the lab myself and pay for it myself. Just so that I can make sure to get the translation right, could you spell out for me what TSH stands for and FreeT3?

I've suspected my thyroid and one doctor sent me for tests. He was very insistent that that test was the one and only that I needed. One of my levels was within normal range but lower than average. I'm so tired (and a bit embarrassed) of going to so many different doctors, but if I can get this figured out, life would be so much easier: I'm a mother to a 2 year old who is not in daycare and still breast-feeding, doing a master's degree, and working part time in a country where I don't speak the language. Challenges abound!

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Make sure to have your Thyroid checked-- and even if your numbers are within "normal range" you want your TSH to be around 1 and FreeT3 to be above 3 (MAKE SURE THEY TEST FreeT3- insist that they do).

I have Celiac and was constipated for years. Nothing I took helped at all and once i started thyroid medication about a month later it was gone! it was amazing!

The other thing that helped me cope was water enemas. No laxative pills worked for me, I was on perscriptions ate VERY healthy exercised every day etc. You can get an enema bag from the pharmacy, and they do not harm your intestines or colon the way that laxatives do. Make sure you are taking a probiotic when you use it and you can use it every other day or so if needed. Good luck.

By the way, did you also find it surprisingly easy to gain weight, I mean too much weight? For the amount of exercise I do, and how healthily I eat, I'm surprised at how heavy and out of shape I feel! This is another reason I suspect thyroid!

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I have the same tendency as you. Bloat and constipation.

Checking the thyroid is a good idea--my boyfriend has that problem and thyroid medication has certainly helped him. However he also uses the following remedies as do I. (My thyroid is just fine but I still tend to get C if I don't look out--though not as bad as his.)

Magnesium citrate works great. Start with 1/2 tsp. or 500 mg. and gradually increase up to as much as a total of 1 1/4 tsp. or so a day. Take in smaller divided doses. Back down to bowel tolerance as the results begin to flow.

Just want to say that it sounds like you also could have other sensitivities going on plus possible candida or fungal overgrowth. It might help to avoid all grains and sugars for a while (as I have) and simplify your diet to the basics as in a cave man diet. Gradually add foods in one at a time every two days or so after you feel a lot better. Then it will be easier to figure out what is bothering you and what isn't.

If you do have some kind of dysbiosis going on it would be wise to slowly begin a regime of taking olive leaf extract capsules. Just start with one capsule a day and work your way up. It helps kill all kinds of fungi, bacteria, viruses and even parasites. Drink a lot of water between doses. Your body can go into a herxheimer effect at first (where you feel a lot worse rather than better)--if it does, it means its working. Nevertheless, back off (reduce dosage) a lot before taking much more.

Meanwhile too eating a lot of cooked greens can help a lot too.

As far as safe herbs go, dandelion root that stimulate the body to release bile that helps with peristalsis and is a gentle laxative. Yellow dock can also be a great help for constipation and works well with dandelion root. Neither herb is addictive.

Alternatively, if you can't wait and nothing is working, have you considered getting a colonic??

No matter what, regularly having freshly ground flax seed (ground in you own dedicated tiny coffee grinder) can do wonders. Use 1 tablespoon dry un-ground seed a day to begin with and work up to two tablespoons a day--and of course grind in the grinder. Mix in water and then chase with more water... The flax seed not only swells up and helps provide bulk that pushes along evacuation, but it also gives you lots of needed omega 3's which are usually lacking given our degraded intestines. I often combine it with 1/4 tsp. apple pectin--added to the dry seeds before grinding so the pectin will mix in with the water afterwards rather than resist it and just float. Has always worked like a champ for me.

And yes, I am assuming you are drinking at least 8 cups of water throughout each day--if not more??

Bea

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I have the same tendency as you. Bloat and constipation.

Checking the thyroid is a good idea--my boyfriend has that problem and thyroid medication has certainly helped him. However he also uses the following remedies as do I. (My thyroid is just fine but I still tend to get C if I don't look out--though not as bad as his.)

Magnesium citrate works great. Start with 1/2 tsp. or 500 mg. and gradually increase up to as much as a total of 1 1/4 tsp. or so a day. Take in smaller divided doses. Back down to bowel tolerance as the results begin to flow.

Just want to say that it sounds like you also could have other sensitivities going on plus possible candida or fungal overgrowth. It might help to avoid all grains and sugars for a while (as I have) and simplify your diet to the basics as in a cave man diet. Gradually add foods in one at a time every two days or so after you feel a lot better. Then it will be easier to figure out what is bothering you and what isn't.

If you do have some kind of dysbiosis going on it would be wise to slowly begin a regime of taking olive leaf extract capsules. Just start with one capsule a day and work your way up. It helps kill all kinds of fungi, bacteria, viruses and even parasites. Drink a lot of water between doses. Your body can go into a herxheimer effect at first (where you feel a lot worse rather than better)--if it does, it means its working. Nevertheless, back off (reduce dosage) a lot before taking much more.

Meanwhile too eating a lot of cooked greens can help a lot too.

As far as safe herbs go, dandelion root that stimulate the body to release bile that helps with peristalsis and is a gentle laxative. Yellow dock can also be a great help for constipation and works well with dandelion root. Neither herb is addictive.

Alternatively, if you can't wait and nothing is working, have you considered getting a colonic??

No matter what, regularly having freshly ground flax seed (ground in you own dedicated tiny coffee grinder) can do wonders. Use 1 tablespoon dry un-ground seed a day to begin with and work up to two tablespoons a day--and of course grind in the grinder. Mix in water and then chase with more water... The flax seed not only swells up and helps provide bulk that pushes along evacuation, but it also gives you lots of needed omega 3's which are usually lacking given our degraded intestines. I often combine it with 1/4 tsp. apple pectin--added to the dry seeds before grinding so the pectin will mix in with the water afterwards rather than resist it and just float. Has always worked like a champ for me.

And yes, I am assuming you are drinking at least 8 cups of water throughout each day--if not more??

Bea

Thanks, Bea, for all those suggestions. I'll see if I can get some of those herbs from Helsinki. I'm working on limiting I eat beyond gluten-free. I have to admit, it's a bit hard for me, as I love food, and baking, and cooking. So far it seems that corn and rice flours are okay, but I'm not sure about potato. Actually, I do have a whole list going. As for fungus, yes, I probably have a candida overgrowth, but I'm waiting until I stop breast feeding before I go on a candida diet, as the carbs are pretty important for making milk, or so I've read. I do take probiotics every day. I'm looking forward to feeling better. I's been 6 months now that I've been gluten-free, but I only have a handful of days at a time before I get another reaction! Working on it!

Jessica

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I have found eating a lot of sauerkraut helps with C. If you just eat a whole can of it without rinsing it off first. It is probably all the salt that does the trick. They say it has lots of good bacteria in it also, but I usually cook it so that isn't the reason it helps me.

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Hi Jessica, I just checked and the dandelion and yellow dock are supposed to be just fine for lactating mothers. I hope they help!

Also the suggestion of eating sauerkraut sounds like a good one. If it works for you, you might want to make your own. Am planning to try it out myself. Home made yogurt fermented for 24 hours is also wonderful for soothing the gut and providing probiotics without the lactose.

My rule of thumb--if you are eating grains, its better to eat them whole rather than made into flour if you have any kind of fungal or candida overgrowth... the flour converts to sugar too easily otherwise. But nevertheless, if you still want to use the flours, the more ancient the grain the better--like teff for instance...

Bea

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Make sure to have your Thyroid checked-- and even if your numbers are within "normal range" you want your TSH to be around 1 and FreeT3 to be above 3 (MAKE SURE THEY TEST FreeT3- insist that they do).

I have Celiac and was constipated for years. Nothing I took helped at all and once i started thyroid medication about a month later it was gone! it was amazing!

The other thing that helped me cope was water enemas. No laxative pills worked for me, I was on perscriptions ate VERY healthy exercised every day etc. You can get an enema bag from the pharmacy, and they do not harm your intestines or colon the way that laxatives do. Make sure you are taking a probiotic when you use it and you can use it every other day or so if needed. Good luck.

Hi again,

Thanks again for the advice on the thyroid testing. I got my TSH and T4 tested, and the results were 3.09 and 14, respectively. But then I went and got my T3V and TSH tested again and they were 1.4 and 3.4, respectively. I don't know what's going on with my TSH, and, according to the information I have, T3V should be between 3.5 and 6.5. I'm trying to find a specialist, but it's a bit of a challenge to begin with, and then there's the fact that I live in Finland where I don't speak the language. This is making me really homesick. I'm feeling pretty bad these days. But one good thing is that ground flax seeds seem to be helping with the constipation. I just hope the flax seeds aren't screwing around with my estrogen levels, as I've read they can.

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I know the answers you were given are very good advise but in your situation where quick relief is needed I use a wax bullet! A suppository inserted before my shower has me going before I leave the room.

When I have a rash and can't go it's to late for flax, water and a jog around the block.

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For a while my boyfriend got help using the Wilson's Thyroid Syndrome info. online. They list doctors in various places as well as offer some herbs that can help (he still uses some of them--and they do seem to help--though for him he needs the T-4--but without the initial treatment with the T-3 the T-4 did him little good).

The big emphasis is on T-3 on that site as well as why it is one has the condition to begin with and what one can do about it to get better.

I personally don't have this problem with my thyroid but I have noticed that thyroid problems aren't that uncommon with celiac--and that sometimes it goes away or reduces its impact as one overall gets better via diet and healing the intestinal villi. However meanwhile it is important to get treated if you can. Surely there must be someone who knows something about T3 uptake in Finland!

Hadn't read about flax messing with estrogen. Some people swear by psylium seeds. Might work for you. Maybe you could alternate between the one remedy and the other? They are too irritating for me, however.

Magnesium citrate to bowel tolerance is a good remedy too--just back down a little on the amount if it gives you D! Best taken at night some say. Can help one sleep too.

Bea

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A good way to get cleaned out good is to take Milk Of Magnesia 2 tablespoons every four hours until you have a result. Then start some sort of daily stool softener, that will help keep you going consistently. My AIH and my celiac cause constipation. I am also on pain meds which definitly don't help the situation. Just thought I would chime in.

Brooklyn

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A good way to get cleaned out good is to take Milk Of Magnesia 2 tablespoons every four hours until you have a result. Then start some sort of daily stool softener, that will help keep you going consistently. My AIH and my celiac cause constipation. I am also on pain meds which definitly don't help the situation. Just thought I would chime in.

Brooklyn

....same constipation/motility problem here. Magnesium works excedingly well.....sometimes too well, and can be a little harsh. I try to use a natural solution whenever possible for simple ailments.

I suggest drinking aloe vera juice as a remedy. There are many benefits to using aloe vera. You can find it in any health food store and even grocerystores. Go ahead and google it. You will thank me later.

Thomas

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Hi again,

Thanks again for the advice on the thyroid testing. I got my TSH and T4 tested, and the results were 3.09 and 14, respectively. But then I went and got my T3V and TSH tested again and they were 1.4 and 3.4, respectively. I don't know what's going on with my TSH, and, according to the information I have, T3V should be between 3.5 and 6.5. I'm trying to find a specialist, but it's a bit of a challenge to begin with, and then there's the fact that I live in Finland where I don't speak the language. This is making me really homesick. I'm feeling pretty bad these days. But one good thing is that ground flax seeds seem to be helping with the constipation. I just hope the flax seeds aren't screwing around with my estrogen levels, as I've read they can.

Yep! You definitely need to see a GOOD thyroid Dr. Make sure you get a natural thyroid medication similar to Armour (which has T3 and T4) This will help your constipation TONS! Go to www.stopthethyroidmadness.com and there is a ton of information that is very helpful.

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Easier, more natural and works...........a glass of prune juice in the morning and evening.

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I have had constipation for 4 years. I started going gluten-free in March of this year and it hasn't worked yet, although I had dramatic improvement with other symptoms.

Even though I eat lots of fruit and vegetables, and bake with fiber rich alternative grains like quinoa, amaranth and teff, I am still dependant on Miralax. Nothing else ever worked. I'm going with that for now, then I'll stop and see what happens in a couple of months. I don't know if I am ingesting gluten accidentally or what.

Getting the thyroid checked is a great idea. So is Miralax!

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