Constipation: embarrassment, discomfort … and Poo Pride!

14 Apr
Alternative Bristol stool form chart from rewarm.co.uk

Alternative Bristol stool form chart from rewarm.co.uk

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On Thursday 1st August at 8pm, the #PooPride tweet chat with We Nurses took place – woo Update smallhoo!

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Having been on twitter for a little over a year, I’ve seen lots of topics discussed. Bowel problems aren’t one of them. Which is odd, given the effect many psychiatric medications have on your digestive system. My hints on twitter about my debilitating bowel problems seemed to go unnoticed. However, since there are a lot of people taking psychiatric medications, and for long periods, there must be a lot of people out there with constipation and other bowel problems who are suffering in silence.

At Easter, Charlotte Walker (@BipolarBlogger) blogged about a weekend away and how medication and bowel problems had affected her. I recognised the juggling act and stress of taking medications and planning toilet breaks. Then, yesterday evening, I spotted a tweet by Charlotte about constipation, to which I responded. When Charlotte asked me if I had any recommendations, it turned out that, after years of managing my own bowel problems, I could come up with 20 off the top of my head! (See below.)

That started up a spontaneous tweet chat. (All the tweets are linked below.) Then, because the issue is much wider than our personal experiences, because people were suggesting medications and treatments to try, and because constipation can cause serious complications, I decided to see if we could have an organised tweet chat involving medical professionals too. Watch this space!

Here’s the tweet of Charlotte’s that caught my eye:

“Dear antipsychotics, love what you’re doing on the bipolar, great stuff. Just concerned my bowel may RUPTURE, ease off a bit there, maybe?”

Charlotte explained that she was experiencing antipsychotic-induced chronic constipation which had flared up into faecal impaction. Not fun. Not fun at all.

Problems with your digestive system – whether it’s too much movement, or too little, or both; whether it’s frequency, consistency or volume; or colour, smell, blood or mucus; or some other charming symptom – can be a blush-making topic. I know, because I’ve blushed those blushes.

The first time I plucked up courage to mention to a medical professional the bowel problems I was experiencing, I received a reaction I hadn’t anticipated: laughter. As a result, I didn’t raise the issue again till an Atos medical. Through bodily sobs and streaming tears caused by shame, I forced myself to describe my symptoms. This time, the reaction was disbelief: zero points. Laughter; then disbelief. After that, through trial and error, a keen  memory for toilet locations and a well-stocked handbag, I gradually found ways to manage my bowel problems myself.

That was no longer possible, however, when I was detained in hospital. The combination of enforced inactivity, a diet devoid of fibre and the side effects of psychiatric medications meant my bowels came to a halt. There was one fortnight when I passed just one motion. Thank goodness for stretchy trousers that could accommodate my massive and growing belly, taut as a drum, as I waddled round the ward in pain, unheeded and untreated except for senna.

Since then, through my own efforts and working with my GP and the specialists she’s referred me to, I’ve found a way to manage the problems. And I can talk to pretty much any health professionals without embarrassment now so I know that, if problems come up in future, I’ll be able to talk about them and, hopefully, get the help I need.

You know you’ve got constipation when your digestive system has slowed down so you pass motions less often than you want to or when your stools are hard and difficult to pass. You may also have indigestion. It’s uncomfortable. It’s embarrassing. It’s even potentially dangerous. It’s an important topic.

Normally, constipation is a short-term problem which responds well to lifestyle changes and, if necessary, treatment. However, if constipation is drug-induced and there isn’t an alternative, you may be looking at a multi-pronged approach in order to successfully keep on top of constipation. So, for those of us taking medication, it’s a topic of even more importance.

Below, as a starting point for discussion, as food for thought, are the twenty tips I came up with off the top of my head for Charlotte to try out, plus a few more I thought of later. They are things that have helped me personally (or people I know) to manage the impact of drug-induced constipation. They’re aimed at someone who’s otherwise physically healthy. They’re tips you could use as a springboard for discussion. They’re common sense, not rocket science. They’re not comprehensive. For medical advice, take a look at the NHS website or ask your medical practitioner. Maybe they’re worth a try. We’re all different, after all.

As Charlotte tweeted later that evening:

 “Goodness! What a lot of people have followed me since @Sectioned_ and I started talking about constipation! #goodtoshare

And, as Phil Dore (@thus_spake_z) tweeted:

“Poo Pride! :D”

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Bristol stool form scale

My personal tips on dealing with drug-induced constipation:

1. Keep a poo diary

If you keep a record of the motions you pass, you may start to see a (monthly or other) pattern. Women in particular can find their bowel movements are affected by their monthly cycle. Maybe it’s not a relapse or a remission; it’s just your monthly cycle. If you get to know the effect (if any) that your monthly cycle has on your bowels, you’ll be better able to distinguish what works and what doesn’t for your constipation. And improving constipation involves trial and error.

What to include in the poo diary? Time of day you pass (each) motion, what you were doing at the time (eg had you just smoked a cigarette). You’ll need to keep a record of what you eat and and your fluid intake, to see what effect that has too.

Also, include your Bristol stool scale number. It classifies stools into 7 different types. The ideal is around around a 3 or 4. The official Bristol stool form chart is above.

Bear in mind when looking at the chart above that your poo may not be the same as the colour shown: stools vary in colour depending on what you’ve eaten. I’ve pooed red after beetroot juice and green after spinach. Taking an iron supplement can (I’m told) blacken stools (and harden them). If there’s blood or mucus in your poo though, that’s not a good sign. Mention it to your medical practitioner.

Such a detailed diary won’t be necessary forever, but it’s a useful tool to see where you are now, and to identify any patterns emerging. Try to keep one for at least 2 weeks (men) or two cycles (women).

2.Eat or drink something

Stimulating one end of the alimentary canal (the long tube that runs from your mouth to your bum) can stimulate the other. Therefore, when you want to poop, first eat or drink something. I find that, if it’s going to work, it does so within around half an hour. So if I need to leave the house by 10am, I’ll eat drink or something (however light) at 9am to give it a chance to work its magic.

3. Try a stool softener

An effect of some psychiatric medications is to reduce the fluid content of foods. A stool softener (or osmotic laxative) is a medication that draws water into the stools, making them softer and therefore easier to pass. Lactulose is the stool softener I’ve tried and it’s worked for me. Brilliantly. Movicol is another one, though I haven’t tried that.

A downside is its taste: exceptionally sweet. But hey, just clean your teeth afterwards. Especially as another side effect of some psychiatric medications is dry mouth, or rather reduced saliva – and hence reduced protection for the teeth.

4. Use a jug

If your problem is hard stools, it’s water that will soften them; so you’ll need to take in sufficient fluids during the day. To ensure I push through enough fluids, I fill a jug with water on rising and fill my glass from it throughout the day. That gives me a goal to work through during the day.

Don’t drown yourself in fluids late in the day and end up wetting the bed. And yes, I have done this too: the meds I take knock me out so I sleep like the dead and wake up in a puddle. The way round that is to spread my fluid intake throughout the day so it’s not gulped down in a rush towards bedtime.

5. Prunes

Fluids rock. As do prunes. Drinking prune juice helps me too. And it’s super yummy. As are prunes with custard. I’ll take any excuse to eat prunes.

Beware though: don’t take too many. Once, before I knew the laxative effect of prune juice, I drank a whole litre in one go. That’s how I know it works. Now, I just drink a glass.

6. “Doing a Paula”

If you’re just not going, your bowels may be sluggish. Your digestive transit time (the time it takes from something going in your mouth to it coming out the other end) may have been slowed – whether caused by medications, or enforced inactivity if on ward, or lack of motivation to get active (a side effect of some drugs). If you want to know your transit time, you can do the sweetcorn test (eat some sweetcorn and see how long it takes to spot it in your stool – transit time should be around 24 hours).

One way to get the bowels moving is high impact exercise, which can stimulate the bowel to open. If I’m indoors, I’ll fire up my trampet and bounce along for a song. Jogging works too. Just be sure you know those toilet locations or have a handy pack of tissues in your bum bag.

Incidentally, if you normally have healthy bowels but find yourself almost or actually involuntarily evacuating your bowels during a run (pooing yourself), that may not necessarily mean you have a bowel problem. It can happen to normal, healthy runners the world over. It’s an occasional downside of the pastime. After all, the phrase “Doing a Paula” derives from the reason Olympic athlete Paula Radcliffe had to retire from the Athens marathon. Don’t panic. Just plan ahead. And learn the technique that enables you to delay passing a motion.

7. Vitamin C

Heard of the vitamin C “bowel tolerance dose”? Taking over 1g vit C gives me the trots. Everyone’s dose is different. I know the trots aren’t ideal, but sometimes you just need to pass a motion.

Incidentally, if you’ve recently changed your diet to include a high dose vitamin C supplement and find your stools are loose, the vitamin C could be the problem. Don’t automatically assume you’ve caught a bug or got IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Experiment with the dose till you find the one that works for you.

8. A bathroom step

Essential bathroom kit is a little step (about 8” high), so that, when you sit to poo, your knees are a little above your bum. Sitting in this position relaxes your lower body and places your bowel in the correct position to pass a motion easily. It reduces the need to strain (which risks causing haemorrhoids/piles). And, bonus, it also means you can rest your reading material on a flat surface!

They’re cheap as chips (mine cost £2). Once you’ve used one of these, you’ll never want to poop any other way. If you’re visiting, you can usually find something to stick  under your feet – eg a couple of thick books, a pack of loo rolls – so your knees are at the right height. Simples.

9. Try training/routine

This is a controversial point because some bowel specialists I’ve seen say it’s impossible to train the bowel and others say the opposite.

The idea is that, at the same time each day – eg half an hour after breakfast (when you’ve stimulated the bowel by drinking or eating something) – you go into the bathroom whether or not you want to pass a motion. A sort of potty training for adults. You sit on the toilet, hang out there for 5 minutes, then leave. If you pass a motion good; if not, no problem. Maybe next time.

10. Latex gloves

This comes from a little trick I recall my mother showed me as a child. To get newborn kittens to poop for the first few weeks, rub their little bottoms. It worked. Why wouldn’t it work for humans too?

The idea is to very gently circle the anus with a gloved finger to relax it and, hopefully, give it that little extra  nudge it needs to stimulate the passing of a motion. Use lubrication of some sort (eg vaseline).

11. Smoking

Seriously. There’s a reason people smoke after a meal! I nearly took it up  in hospital again because I was so blocked. (Also because only the smokers were allowed into the garden.) Before I became a non-smoker, smoking a cigarette was a guaranteed way to bring on what I believe the Girl Guides call the “daily clear out” (though I suspect they don’t get the little girls to smoke).

12. Coffee

Again, there’s a reason people drink coffee after a meal. If you don’t like the taste, think of it as medicine: it may not taste good but, if it does the job, that’s what matters.

13. Stimulant laxatives

Senna is a laxative that works by stimulating the muscles of the gut to push your poo towards the anus (a stimulant laxative). Maybe this is just what you need. Bear in mind though that that senna is aimed at relatively short term use because it can, over time, make your bowels lazy.

Personally, senna was not good for me. When the nurses offered me various medications on ward, I made the mistake of thinking that, because it is a natural product, it would be the best choice. Wrong.

In fact it’s what caused me to blow up like one of the sheep in Far From the Madding Crowd: I wanted someone to spike me in the guts to relieve me of the terrible pain. I felt like I was going to die. In one fortnight, I only passed one motion.  I didn’t know what was causing the problem. I thought I’d be even worse without the senna. Luckily I was able to speak to a hospital pharmacist for an hour, and he helped me to work out what the problem was and what would help. If in doubt, seek medical advice.

Bulk-forming laxatives such as Fybogel are a third type, which help stools retain fluids.

14. Fibre

It’s a key recommendation for the prevention and management of constipation to have sufficient dietary fibre. Most adults don’t eat enough, and constipation is your clue that that means you.  You can increase your fibre intake by eating more fruit, vegetables, wholegrain rice, wholewheat pasta, wholemeal bread, seeds, nuts and oats. Eating more fibre helps keep bowel movements regular by helping food pass through your digestive tract more easily. High fibre foods can also make you feel fuller for longer, in case you’re struggling with cravings (another side effect of psychiatric drugs which contributes towards weight gain).

If you decide to increase your fibre intake, however, do so gradually: a sudden increase may make you feel bloated, produce more flatulance and give you stomach cramps. Eek!

15. There may be no magic bullet

Bear in mind that, though the hard stools and slow transit may be caused by psychiatric drugs, they may not be fixed just with drugs. It may take a package of measures to bring constipation under control. But finding the right drug/combination can surely go a long way to helping.

And be prepared for the fact that you may end up taking more drugs to deal with side effects (like constipation) than the number of drugs you take for your primary psychiatric symptoms. That’s just the way it is. Just as every surgery causes scars, so every drug has side effects. It’s just a question of finding the side effects profile you’re prepared to live with.

16.Experiment

You could try each of these suggestions to see which ones work for you. Perhaps put them together into a morning routine, tweaking as you go to work out the right combination for you: we’re all different.  However, it’s hard to tell what’s working when you’re doing lots of different things at the same time. You could consider doing them all at the same time and then gradually cutting each one out, one by one, to see what works; or stopping everything then adding them back in one by one.

17.Input and output

Reducing food intake (a little) can help. I wouldn’t have got quite so bunged up if I hadn’t eaten quite so much! Obviously we all vary and some people are under-weight or need to follow a special diet. On the whole, however, many of us would benefit from cutting down a little on what we eat. And, the less you put in, the less there is to get stuck inside!

18.Wet food

If the problem is constipation & hard stools, eating “wetter food” (eg soups, stews, curries) can also help a little. If you live on crisps, you’re asking for trouble.

19.We can all learn

Even clued up healthy eaters who think they know a lot about diet and lifestyle may benefit from a food diary & having their diet tweaked by a dietician. I’ve learned new stuff from the professionals I’ve seen. Even if we’re doing everything we know 100% spot on, science might have moved on since then. There are lots of fad diets and food myths we might have fallen prone to without noticing, so reviewing a food diary or having a professional do so can lead to improvements – even small tweaks – being found. And, with constipation, it’s these little things that add up.

We might even learn that things we thought were healthy options were actually contributing to bowel problems. For instance, taking supplements is always good, right? Wrong. For instance, taking too much vitamin C can cause loose stools, whilst taking iron tablets can harden stools. Fibre is always a good thing, right? Wrong. For some, a high fibre diet can irritate the bowel and lead to bloating and frequent loose stools. What you may think is IBS may resolve entirely on a lower fibre diet. Exercise is always good for you, right? Wrong. For some, high impact exercise can lead to involuntary bowel evacuations (“Doing a Paula”). If so, stick to gentler exercise. Or practice bowel control techniques.

20.Try it

Even if you’ve tried something before, it may be worthwhile trying it again. Bowels can be contrary beasties. “I’ve tried everything already” may mean you miss out on doing something that now works.

21. Tummy massage

Another way to stimulate the bowels to start moving is with tummy massage. Use the heel of your hand to make a big circle in a clockwise direction (the direction the bowels go in). Alternatively, lie on a hard surface face down and roll around. Or lie on your back with your legs in the air and cycle, to get the tummy muscles moving. All very elegant!

22. A hot bath

As Sylvia Plath wrote in her novel The Bell Jar, “There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” A hot bath is another great way to get the bowels moving.

23.Specialist help

Ask your GP for a referral to a specialist clinic. If at first they say there isn’t one (my otherwise excellent GP did), do your research so you know the right terminology to use when asking for the service. For instance, I’ve had referals to a community dietician; a colposcopy clinic; a continence clinic; a bowel education group; a colonoscopy consultant; and a hospital consultant for anatomical investigations.

24. A tricky balance

Once you start taking steps to actively treat constipation, you might push your bowels the other way. Oh joy! Your bowels become as unpredictable as climate change. You might swing back and forth between the two before getting it right. Ho hum. You’ll get there. And in the meantime, be prepared.

25. The pitfalls of syndromes

If, along your constipation journey, someone mentions IBS, be careful how you use the diagnosis. With family and friends it may provide a label that helpfully enables you to side-step that awkward conversation about symptoms. However, if you’re going for medical treatment and you mention IBS, you’ll most likely see the doctor’s eyes glaze over. In essence, a syndrome is the medical profession’s way of saying they don’t know what’s wrong with you. It’s saying you’ve got a collection of symptoms they don’t know how to treat. It is a label that says to a medical professional, “Nothing you do will make the patient better. Next!” Use with care.

If you have any tips for easing constipation that you’d like to share, please feel free to comment below. Happy pooing!

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web links 5

.Bristol stool chart NOV 2013

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28 Responses to “Constipation: embarrassment, discomfort … and Poo Pride!”

  1. jamjar21 14 April 2013 at 7:11 am #

    Great post. Over the last year as part of my dysautonomia I have developed Gastric Dumping Syndrome. Prior to that I had terrible constipation which not to put too fine a point on it, lead to tears in my bottom & worries about infections. I can testify that a lot of the above helps, I also used a hot water bottle on my digestive area to help it relax in conjunction with the massaging. Taking water into the bathroom to drink too as it can be very tiring especially if it’s a weeks worth. For me something to squeeze with my hands like a rolled up towel helped too.

    • Sectioned 14 April 2013 at 8:54 am #

      I’m glad you found it helpful and thanks for sharing your tips – really useful.

  2. Zarathustra 14 April 2013 at 7:45 am #

    I feel both honoured and slightly unnerved that my flippant “poo pride” comment is now a hashtag. 😀

    Though on a serious note I think it’s a very valid point that constipation can be a side effect of psychiatric meds, and therefore it needs to be discussed.

    So yeah, poo pride. Log on and start the movement! Log…movement….Sorry, I am twelve.

  3. LittleFeetFeet 14 April 2013 at 8:19 am #

    Thanks for a really well written and informative blog post. There are loads of resources out there on t’internetz in relation to bowel problems (e.g. IBS Group) but it’s great to see the discussion taking place in the context of mental health.

    I have always tended towards the looser side of poo problems so most of my expertise lies in trying to slow things down. Unfortunately, like your experience, I once went 15 days without a poo due to meds. It was horrendous but the support and reassurance gained from people online was invaluable.

    • Sectioned 14 April 2013 at 8:56 am #

      Thanks. This blog post focusses on constipation, though I may do a second post on the other end of the Bristol stool chart. I have tales to tell there too! Though possibly fewer tips.

  4. elamonster 14 April 2013 at 9:42 am #

    I’m so glad to find this via Twitter! Would love to see your “other end of the scale” post as well–I’ve had problems at both ends, on and off meds, not helped by having an ED as well as bipolar…
    But one HUGE tip for me is Magnesium intake. Magnesium relaxes the muscles, and many of us run deficient (especially people who take Calcium which can displace it). I take a huge dose of Mg — about 1600mg/day — but taking that amount, I run low-normal in bloodwork. So it was infuriating last time I was in treatment and they wouldn’t give me “my” dose of Mg until they’d done two rounds of bloodwork to see that I was doubled up with muscle cramps plus constipated for exactly the reason I’d told them… So it might be worth trying more Mg and seeing if it helps. NB there are people who say chocolate is perfect because it’s high in Mg, but it’s also high in Iron, which is constipating. I haven’t found choc to be either constipating or the opposite, but I do find it’s addictive and can exacerbate some of my psychotic tendencies.
    Speaking of muscle relaxation, progesterone can be an issue too (for women). If you have way too little, it can interfere with smooth muscle contractions, both in the colon and in the uterus.
    cheers,
    Ela

    • Sectioned 14 April 2013 at 10:43 am #

      Wow, another thoughtful and helpful tip. Thanks for sharing!

  5. oldisgoodisntit 14 April 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Extremely well written & lucid blog. I’ve never understood the reluctance,even among medical professionals, to discuss this issue. Constipation,& avoiding it, seem to have been fairly significant in my life right from the word go as I was born with an umbilical hernia,had it repaired at 18 months, and my Mum was admonished not to let me get “bunged up”.
    So, it was ‘California Syrup of Figs’ every Friday as a child. ( Google it & you’ll realise how old I am.)
    Before I retired just over 2 years ago I worked in a residential care setting,becoming part of a care home management team. Because I was older residents would often ask to speak to me about their bowels & after attending some training the dear old ‘Bristol Bowel Chart’ became very familiar – love your alternative one.
    One of our biggest struggles in care was getting older people to see the need to take in more fluid, more fibre & not to make laxatives/purgatives the FIRST port-of-call.
    Now, as my pain & disability increases I’m starting to find constipation more of a problem, especially as I’m taking a variety of pain relief including Gabapentin.
    Your 20 points are very valuable & I think I’ve implemented them, if not all at the same time!
    As you so rightly say, constipation can have very dramatic side effects, not just in terms of pain but also confusion levels or sudden onset confusion. It’s neither humorous nor unimportant & ought to be discussed earlier rather than later when diagnosing.
    When we have ‘times’ columnists like Victoria Peckham using terms like “gaga incontinents” to describe the trials of the “mentally alert” living in residential care settings alongside dementia sufferers, it’s going to be an uphill struggle. Nevertheless, it has to be talked about.
    Sorry to have rambled on but it’s often those aspects of our lives which are regarded as insignificant that have major impacts.

    • Sectioned 14 April 2013 at 6:56 pm #

      Thanks very much for sharing 🙂

  6. Emma 15 April 2013 at 1:21 am #

    Really interesting post! I suffer from the opposite problem, but the (two) times I have had constipation were truly disgusting. I think I “prefer” the runs! At least then you don’t feel like you’re being poisoned! I’d be interested in you writing about the decidedly-not-constipated end of things, too. Though I have no tips, apart from learning where toilets are located!

  7. The Goldfish 15 April 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    I read this yesterday during the worst bout in a long while, and it was quite a comfort, thank you. For me, it’s genes, physical illness, poor mobility but especially opiate painkillers. Of course, I have been treated more sympathetically, although it took a few years of very general dietary advice (all of which I was already well aware of) before I got my half tonne of movicol on repeat prescription.

    Further to your advice, my top tips would include:

    1. Remember there’s two types of fibre; soluable and insoluable, and your bowel needs plenty of both. Linseeds (I stir them into yoghurt to make them palatable) are really good – bran, dried fruit etc. doesn’t touch my problem, but linseeds (also known as flaxseeds) do.

    2. Peppermint. Delightfully, mint icecream seems to help me – because it’s harder to taste things that are cold, they put a load of peppermint oil in it. Peppermint is really good for your bowels, it’s anti-spasmodic so eases the worst of that very special pain when your colon goes into spasm.

    3. Visualisation techniques. This sounds unlikely, and this is by no means a cure. But I find visualising some great metaphor – like a glacier with a big rock in the way, and the rock becoming gradually looser so the glacier can moves on – to be helpful. I don’t know whether that just helps me relax, and the relaxation is what does it, or whether it is all a great coincidence, but it does seem to be useful on occasion.

    • Sectioned 15 April 2013 at 9:15 pm #

      Thanks, those are really helpful tips from the front line (or bathroom)! 🙂

  8. James Andrews (@aptaim) 16 April 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Thanks for blogging on such an emotive and sometimes ignored aspect of patient care. As a pharmacist who trains continence specialist nurses in the medicines aspects of their role it’s been really interesting to read patient thoughts and experiences on the matter.

    I obviously can’t leave person-specific or formal professional advice in this comment, but I will say that the impact of mental health and medication on bowel function is very person specific such that treatments which work for one person may not work for another despite apparently identical symptoms, and regardless of cause, prevention wherever possible (having a healthy diet, decent fluid intake and regular exercise) is always better than cure!

    If anyone feels they’d like more advice on this then I’d advocate speaking directly with the pharmacist who dispenses your medication as they will be able to talk through the available options and their relative merit.

    I look forward to the next #poopride installment from the lower end of the stool chart!

    • Sectioned 17 April 2013 at 8:35 pm #

      Thanks for your comments. It’s good to hear from someone who’s studied the field as well as “experts by experience”, especially as personal experiences can vary so much. I’ve got a really helpful pharmacist I can ask about medication queries so I agree with your recommendation there.

  9. Joanna 24 April 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    Movicol is very good and safe, it even be used with impaction to avoid hospitalisation. I take 2 sachets for a single dose with 1/2 glass of water. My tips are put sachets into a screw top plastic container and shake it up and down [quicker than stirring], and the lemon flavour [doesn’t taste of lemon] is the most palatable falvour, the ‘original’ is yuck.
    Seriously great blog piece and I’m loving the alternative Bristol chart.

  10. beachcat70 30 April 2013 at 5:03 am #

    http://www.safetyandquality.health.wa.gov.au/docs/mortality_review/inquest_finding/Greeuw_finding.pdf
    Print this out, have it laminated and show it to any person stupid enough to not understand that medication-induced constipation is an awful experience.

  11. Chloë (@chloemiriam) 1 August 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    This is interesting, I had rather a bad time in my late teens/early twenties with what the drs reluctantly called IBS (in the true ‘we dunno we can’t do anything go away’ sense) and it was then I first started taking anti depressants in ever increasing doses, I never thought to link the two at all! Come to think of it my bowels have been a lot better the last few years and I’ve been on a different anti ds. Hmmm.

  12. lucychapmanprints 8 August 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    Reblogged this on IBD & Beyond and commented:
    I was really pleased to see this alternative version of the Bristol Stool Chart. It includes one of the most creative uses of the Cadbury’s Picnic chocolate bar I’ve seen! Beyond that, Sectioned is a great blog about mental illness & ‘fun stuff’. Sectioned tweets as @Sectioned_ and is winner of 2013 Twental Health Awards for Patient Experience Tweeter & Subversive Tweeter. Praise indeed.

  13. irritable bowel syndrome symptoms dizziness 16 September 2013 at 6:55 pm #

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  14. Sidney 3 December 2013 at 2:43 am #

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write about this topic! Seriously. I’ve always been insanely “regular” when it came to bowel movements each day… Until my second pregnancy, that is. That’s when constipation & fissures barged into my life. I’d begun to notice a common denominator connected to each & every “occurrence” I’d suffered through: withdrawal of bowel movement (ie. having the urge to “go,” but ignored my body’s message & decided to “hold it in”) because of being tired & going to bed instead, causing me to wake up constipated/blocked up & in severe pain for hours, even DAYS to come. My Nana & Great Aunt gave me an amazingly-simple tip: peel an orange, eat the ENTIRE thing, brew a cup of BLACK coffee (absolutely NO cream/milk/dairy & NO sugar/sweetener) & immediately after eating the entire orange (making sure to chew each & every piece very well), chug the entire cup of black coffee while it’s still very warm (but be careful as to not drink it while it’s scolding hot, or you’ll burn your esophocas). Sounds crazy, because it probably is, but it really works wonders! Maybe not for every person out there, but I’m hoping that it will help at least 1 person!

  15. Bessie 2 April 2014 at 7:25 am #

    This is my first time go to see at here and
    i am truly impressed to read everthing at single place.

  16. Sheda Lotie 5 January 2016 at 2:27 pm #

    talking about “poop” over social media is so unusual for me… i find it very significant because good health starts with good digestion… i also like to share to share this link from mimonis…
    http://www.mimonis.com/you-dont-have-to-live-with-chronic-constipation/

    love to share new info i find..hope it helps plenty of people sufferinf from constipation.

  17. bipolarvictor 7 August 2016 at 7:36 pm #

    Yes coffee is the one for me. If I dont get coffee things don’t go right. Funny that caffeine in other forms don’t have any affect. Wonder why.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Let’s talk about poo! | Sectioned - 28 July 2013

    […] hosting a tweet chat about constipation problems, at my suggestion. Here’s my earlier blog on constipation induced by psychiatric medication, including 25 tips you can try for yourself. It is my most read […]

  2. What Your Bowel Movements Can Tell You | The Homestead Survival - 22 February 2016

    […] https://sectioneduk.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/constipation-embarrassment-discomfort-and-poo-pride/ […]

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