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Managing IBS/Constipation Pre-OP?

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Managing IBS/Constipation Pre-OP?

Post by lovelydark on Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:31 pm

Hi all,

I find it embarrassing to ask this question, but I could use some guidance. Between taking Vitamin D and Iron supplements, and pre-op anxiety, I've been having stomach discomfort mostly in my upper left abdomen, which my doctor thinks is due to constipation. He suggested I take something called Fibercon (main ingredient: 625mg of calcium polycarbophil per tablet) or Metamucil (main ingredient: psyllium husk). My doctor wants me to be more "regular" before and following my surgery. Do any of you have experience or suggestions on which one of these might be better to take? My main concern is that Fibercon has some calcium in it, and my recent lab results came back with my calcium levels being their highest yet (11.4 mg/dL or 2.85 mmol/L), and my Vitamin D, 25OH came back with improved results (now 24ng/mL instead of 11). Of course, my doctor knows that I have PHPT, and he's been in conversation with my endocrinologist and surgeon, but I thought I'd reach out for advice from the forum!

Here are some of the medications/supplements I am currently taking:
Vitamin D (1000iu) twice a day
Iron (28mg) once a day
Famotidine (acid reducer) (10mg) once a day

Thanks so much -- trying to get as ready as I can before my surgery on the 17th!

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Re: Managing IBS/Constipation Pre-OP?

Post by Hadleigh on Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:23 pm

Hi Lovelyd

It will probably be the iron causing problems.  I don't have any experience with this but I know people on the Ulcerative Colitis forum often recommend the psyllium husk.
Calcium polycarbophil info states under Precautions ..... High calcium level so personally I would be unhappy about taking it, your calcium is quite high so might be safer to stick with the husk.

Good luck 

Nelly
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Re: Managing IBS/Constipation Pre-OP?

Post by Amanda Lynne on Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:03 am

Hi Lovelydark
I agree with Nelly, the husk is better and you can buy it over the counter under the name of Fybogel. It's just a powder you add to water which turns into a gel and swells in your bowel adding fluid and bulk.
It doesn't cause diahorrea or any side affects, it's not too unpleasant to take and you can adjust how many times you take it to suit yourself. I think you can get it on prescription if that's easier.
Iron usually causes constipation so Nelly is right that it's probably to blame.
Amanda xxxx
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Re: Managing IBS/Constipation Pre-OP?

Post by Tigerlily on Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:17 pm

That's strange, Lovelydark, throughout the whole PTH odyssey I've had a nagging upper left abdomen pain too - since about 2011 - and I was alternating between constipation and diarrhoea.

The pain doesn't seem to be inside any of my "tubes", though it can be relieved somewhat by food even though I don't actually feel the pain anywhere in/near my stomach.

I'd be pleased to hear if this disappears for you after surgery - I'm afraid I still have that discomfort. Perhaps you could check out the ingredients in your acid-reducer?

I wouldn't use anything containing more calcium - I agree with Nelly and Amanda. California Syrup of Figs does it for me - as well as Natural Senna Tablets and increasing consumption of apples and and prunes!

Keep us posted on development up to and after surgery.

Love from Tigerlily xxxx

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Re: Managing IBS/Constipation Pre-OP?

Post by lovelydark on Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:37 pm

Thanks for the responses everyone! I ended up reaching out to my Endo to get her opinion - hopefully will hear back soon. I suspected that the husk would be the better option... and I certainly can't give up the iron, since I have a family and personal history of being anemic. 

@tigerlily So you had a similar feeling in your upper left stomach, too? Mine has mostly been a discomfort/occasional burning. My PCP said that it was likely my large intestine since that's where it "turns" downward - thus his recommendation for FiberCon/Metamucil. The acid reducer I'm taking is a generic one, with the main ingredient of Famotidine (10mg). Did that feeling not go away post-op? 

Thanks again everyone!

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Re: Managing IBS/Constipation Pre-OP?

Post by Tigerlily on Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:33 pm

Hi lovelydark - yes there is a kink there - is it called the sigmoid flexure or something similar?

But no, the discomfort didn't go away post-op, and I get periods of "unannounced" looseness in the bowel department, rather than constipation.

There's always something else to research, isn't there? !! I'll let you know if I ever get it diagnosed or relieved.

Tigerlily xx

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Re: Managing IBS/Constipation Pre-OP?

Post by Jasmine2 on Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:50 pm

So Tigerlily, when you've got to go you've REALLY got to go.......!

My teenage grandson suffers (and I mean - suffers) with Crohn's and he has a similar problem. He was given a medalert card to carry with him for emergencies and it has some explanatory wording on it along the lines of 'when I need to go I REALLY need to go' in case he's faced with a queue for the loo somewhere so he can reasonably expect to be allowed to jump the queue. However, being a teenage boy he says he would sooner soil himself than present this card at a public convenience queue.......deep sigh! Rolling Eyes

Joking aside though, it's bloomin' miserable......

Jasmine x
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Re: Managing IBS/Constipation Pre-OP?

Post by Tigerlily on Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:43 pm

Yes, Jasmine, it's all go generally here at the mo!!

Bless your grandson - so sorry he's having to content with Crohn's - must be awful for a youngster to be faced with having to discuss his innards - in any situation.

I hope things are progressing behind the scenes for you at the moment.

Love from Tigerlily xxxx

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