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Ask 911DOC Your Own Question

911DOC
911DOC, Board Certified Dr.
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5086
Experience:  Emergency Medicine Physician
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Ive always had few bowel moments but I recently broken my

Customer Question

I've always had few bowel moments but I recently broken my foot and medication had made me more constipated. I'm no longer on any medication but I also cannot have a movement unless I take some kind of laxative ( I'll go days without a movement). I also increased my fiber intake but it doesn't help. How much fiber should I have in my diet? I'm worried
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  911DOC replied 1 year ago.

911DOC :

How long ago did you discontinue the narcotic pain medicines for your foot?

911DOC :

simply place your cursor in the box below and type... then hit reply or 'enter'

Customer:

I had the injury Jan 1 and discontinued at end of January and switched to IBuprofen for my broken rt toe. Unfortunately, I injured my left toe at beginning of june and was using ibuprofen again for 2 weeks since tramadol was horrendous for me. Both times it was 800 mg ibuprofen

911DOC :

one problem people can get into is to focus on their movments and start counting them and then go to the laxatives to get 'regular', but with the exception of fiber, like metamucil, many OTC laxatives like senna and ex-lax are not to be taken regularly.

911DOC :

i see your response now

911DOC :

stand by

911DOC :

so it is extremely unlikely now that your current problem has anything to do with the pain medicines taken in January.

911DOC :

ibuprofen is not constipating

911DOC :

have you had an Xray of your abdomen?

911DOC :

the possibility exists that you are not, in fact, constipated, and an Xray would tell.

Customer:

I'm afraid that's what I did and want to correct the situation. I haven't tried Metamucil yet

911DOC :

Metamucil, the powdered kind

Customer:

I cannot get in to see my regular doctor until late august

911DOC :

would be a good thing for you to try

911DOC :

and when you do try it

911DOC :

use it just like it says

911DOC :

I'm curious, when you used the fleets, did you get results?

911DOC :

and are bowel movements painful for you?

911DOC :

standing by

Customer:

yes. And they're not painful. It comes out fast

911DOC :

ah, i see

Customer:

no...not painful...sorry

911DOC :

so it is likely, from what you are telling me, that the laxatives you are using do not allow enough time for you to actually create a formed stool

Customer:

but I do get results

911DOC :

there is really nothing to fear from your lack of 'regularity'

911DOC :

if you had painful movements I would worry about a fecal impaction, which is a collection of hard stool in the rectum

911DOC :

and this often requires manual removal

Customer:

Is there any downside from using Metamucil for too long?

911DOC :

and when this occurs, the hard stool can not come out, so loose stool comes out around the hard stool, leaving the hard stool in place

911DOC :

great question

911DOC :

no

911DOC :

of course, this means using it as directed and not overdoing it

911DOC :

metamucil works the following way

911DOC :

the fiber is not absorbed by your body, but it goes through the intestines and pulls water into the stool

911DOC :

it does make the stool softer, which is good, but since it is inactive, unlike many of the OTC remedies, it can be used regularly

911DOC :

standing by

911DOC :

by the way, the definition of constipation, as you will learn when you read the link from Mayo clinic, is less than three stools per week.

911DOC :

standing by

Customer:

Ok. How much fiber should I have in my diet if I'm 5'8 and 170lbs?

911DOC :

i think until you get 'regular' that increasing your fruits (peaches are good for this) and vegetable intake (broccoli is good, lightly cooked) will get you more than enough fiber. the metamucil is also fiber, and with all of these in action you should get regular within a week or two

911DOC :

but I would resist the temptation to add anything else

911DOC :

and I would eat regularly

911DOC :

and give your body a week or two to get back to normal

911DOC :

distention of the abdomen, pain in the abdomen, and fever with either of these, would be reasons to seek care quickly

911DOC :

standing by

Customer:

Thank you. Because of both injuries, I haven't been able to exercise for most of this year. I had just started to get back into the gym when the second injury happened.

911DOC :

That's bad luck!

911DOC :

Getting back into shape will also help with you regaining your regularity

Customer:

yes :(. I hope so..... So much has happened that I cannot wait until I can start working out again. That's for all your help. I really appreciate it.

911DOC :

you are most welcome

911DOC, Board Certified Dr.
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5086
Experience: Emergency Medicine Physician
911DOC and 3 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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