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Internist, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 4766
Experience:  Int. Med., Gastroenterology. Fellow American College of Physicians. Trained, located in the U.S.
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What could cause chronic constipation? I have never had a problem

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What could cause chronic constipation? I have never had a problem until I moved to a fairly remote island in the Bahamas months ago. I have had a Colonoscopy in the last 5 years (age 54) and had a clean bill of health, although they found 3 lesions 2 benign and 1 precancerous. I am not due for another one yet. I eat vegetables daily, kombucha green tea, and fiber as well as liquid vitamin and mineral supplements. I have been taking "Nature's Bounty" colon cleanser but I am not sure that is a good thing?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Internist replied 4 years ago.
HelloStop the colon cleanser it may actually be harmful. Your diet is no doubt responsible for your change in bowel habits. However you seem to be doing the correct pain with fiber etc. You must try to avoid stimulant laxatives. Give this regimen a chance. It takes time. I will recommend a regimen for you to try to get you to have one or two normal bowel movements a day. The first approach is to increase fiber and bulk in your stool. If this fails, then you must go on to stimulant laxatives or other agents.First, to increase the bulk in the stool, you must take fiber every am. ie. bran, bran cereal, bran muffin. Also 2 salads a day and ample fruits and vegetables. (avoid gas forming vegetables such as beans or broccoli, cabbage) Psyllium agents such as Metamucil, Citrocel, Konsyl, Hydrocil, Perdiem 2-4 heaping tablespoons a day should help increase the bulk in your stool. You may instead want to try Fibercon, 6-8 capsules a day.Also try Colace (stool moisturizer). Start slowly and increase the amount every day to avoid side effects of gas or bloating.Try to train yourself to have one or two movements a day by sitting on the toilet the same time every day.Probiotics, like Activia, will help.Make sure you don't have hypothyroidism as this can affect bowel movements.I have found this works for most of my patients after minor adjustments you must make yourself. Let me know how you make out after a few weeks. This takes time and does not work overnight.You can use Miralax on a short term basis or an enema if you are really uncomfortable.*****Click ***** "ACCEPT" (GREEN) ***** or I do not get credit for my answer and Just Answer holds your deposit. Take a moment to leave a ***** POSITIVE ***** feedback which does not cost you anything. This response is for your information only and does not substitute for a visit to your doctor.
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