I am a 58 y/o white male, 230#, 5'7", who recently substantially changed my diet, eating significantly less meat, and very reduced fat and carbs. I am eating more rice and beans, other non-meat proteins, and try to eat more raw veggies and fruits; however I know that I am not eating enough fiber. Although I have reduced my coffee consumption from 6-8 cups/day to 1 cup, and I am drinking more water than ever, I know I'm still not drinking enough water. I have never been a heavy drinker (less than 6 oz per week), but have not had any alcohol since April 1st. I have lost 60 pounds since April 1st, although the first 50 pounds were lost in the first 8 weeks subsequent to the removal of 5 stones from my pancreas. All of my recent labs have reported that my liver/pancreatic enzymes have returned to normal levels. I had a very thorough physical a week ago, and the labs were all excellent.
I have a very sedentary job (a psychologist). And, although I clearly know better, I am not exercising at all, due to an extremely demanding work schedule and mostly, because of my lack of motivation. That motivation has also changed, and I have an exercise plan arranged.
Here's my presenting problem: I have an impacted bowel. Since my diet change, I have had BM's about every 3rd day, but I really haven't been constipated until 2 weeks ago. For the past two weeks or so, my stool has been much harder and elimination has become increasingly more difficult. I am presently on vacation and have spent the last two days driving. My last BM was Thurs evening. I am constipated, and I took a laxative (docusate sodium, 100mgX3) earlier this evening. After being unable to evacuate twice today, I digitally inspected my anus and the stool is very hard, obviously very wide, and I had no luck in trying to evacuate using a warm water enema
. So my questions:
1. Could stool softeners loosen the already hard and impacted stool?
2. Might over-the-counter enema's help?
3. Having arrived at my destination late this evening, I have the time and capacity to walk/exercise. At this stage of the game, will walking or exercise help rectify the impaction?
4. I REALLY do not want to go to the ER to have the impaction manually removed until all other options are exhausted, however, I also do not want to jeopardize my health since I have not had a BM for more than 72 hours. Other than feeling mild anal pressure, I am not having any pains or discomfort.
5. What are your suggestions? I am perfectly glad to try over-the-counter remedies, exercise, meditation, etc., and I am not opposed to extremely cautious manual removal. BTW, I am a gay male, my partner of 26 years is with me, and I am very aware of the issues regarding finger tears of the anal wall, etc.
Thank you very much for your advise.