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Ugh! Frustrated with doctor (TMI warning - and long)

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Old 03-27-2011, 06:17 PM   #1
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Angry Ugh! Frustrated with doctor (TMI warning - and long)

So I've been constipated for about 5 weeks now. I've taken multiple products in the last 5 weeks that have helped, but I keep returning to my incredibly frustrating state of constipation. Now, I know that not everyone goes daily, but I do. Without fail, 10-15 minutes after breakfast and coffee - even when I was eating like crap. Now, I'm eating 35g a fiber a day on a low-fiber day, averaging closer to 50g, and some days as high as 75g.

So, after a couple weeks, some research, and many trips to Walgreens, I emailed my doctor. I was very clear about my diet, my regular exercise, my water intake, and the fact that this was a sudden, abnormal change. Her response, take some Colace, add Metamucil, and get more exercise.

I tried the Colace - it worked for a couple days, then stopped. I upped the dosage to the max for the next 4-5 days with no change. Tried to make an appointment to see her, but she was out of office for awhile, and I couldn't get in until March 31st.

Tuesday this week, I couldn't take it anymore. I saw a different doctor (Kaiser, HMO). She said she didn't feel any masses after doing a quick feel-around on top of my clothes, but she did order a thyroid test (which came back normal).

Since I still have the appointment scheduled for the 31st, I sent an update email to my doctor letting her know that I was still having problems, and asking whether or not to continue on generic Miralax (the one thing I found that did work after the Colace stopped and that wasn't a stimulant laxative). I let her know that even with the Miralax, I was still feeling uncomfortable and bloated, but no sharp cramping or pain. Her response..."well, not everyone has a bowel movement daily." She said I should stop taking the Miralax (which I will stop), told me to go back on Colace, and said to eat more fruits and veggies.... REALLY!!! Good God, I swear she only reads the subject lines of my emails! I emailed back, being as crystal clear as possible - so, we'll see what she says...

I am not a hypochondriac. I've been to the doctor about 6 times in the last 8 years, and that includes trips to my gynecologist. I don't think I'm in danger; I don't think I have some huge problem; however, I'm getting pretty sick of just being dismissed ---

and I apparently feel the need to vent a bit

I'm really hoping the office visit will go better than the emails~
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:22 PM   #2
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I like my acupuncturist for things like that.
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:31 PM   #3
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Hopefully your Dr will pay more attention to you at the office visit.

I'm a lot like you. That's why I asked the fiber question. I was going 7 days with no BM and boy did I feel it. When I was able to go it was not enough. So I started taking probiotics everyday, I now drink 120 oz of water a day and eat anywhere from 22-35g (i think. don't remember if 35 was highest) of fiber. It has helped already. I only have gone 4 days with one. I will keep tweaking things til I can get to at min. every 3 days. When I was eating high fat foods all the time I didn't have this problem but I think it's because my body just couldn't handle all that fat.

Good luck!
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:42 PM   #4
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Wow, the way you were treated was unfair.

I hope your doctor pays more attention to you at your appointment this week. In the meantime, you could try your local pharmacy and see what the pharmacist recommends.

The only thing I can suggest is to continue taking the Colace. Just one day, consider trying Peri-Colace (which does include a stimulant laxative). See if it helps because it may be what you need to get things moving again. Other than that, if you need immediate relief, you could consider Fleet's... ugh, I know, not the most fun option. But hey, you eventually need to go!

This situation definitely needs to be further explored. Your doctor should listen to you.
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:26 PM   #5
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The fact your Doctor would email you is surprising to me, never heard of that around here. Also I just read in Prevention magazine that research has shown that most people fib about their diets and amount of exercise and water to their Doctor. That might could be part of her drilling in the fruits/veggies/exercise stuff.

I hope you get some answers at your appointment. You didn't say but having children with GI issues I would bet she will ask for a daily food log to look at exactly what you are eating. Include what serving size, and even Brand name of each food. If you had this ready when you go to the appointment you might be one step ahead of her there. Obviously there seems to be a correlation with your new lifestyle if this is a new problem.
I hope you feel better soon. HUGS!
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:50 PM   #6
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If you track your cals on a tracker print it out and take it to her so she can see what you're eating.

I have ibs-c, so I get crazy constipated as well. Apparently insoluble fiber is not so good for ibs-c, that you should eat soluble first, then insoluble, to help things along.

I've started waking up and an hour or so before eating I'll have some citrucel (all soluble, unlike metamucil which did nothing for me, neither did miralax every 4 hours for three days!) then eat a bit later, then I eat lunch a normal lunch, and then take citrucel an hour before dinner. I find this helps me go most days now, maybe not enough but it's way better than it was. I'm also eating way less than before, and every other day I go more than the days in between so I think this is my new regular.

It's a struggle.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:21 PM   #7
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Spixiet,

You might want to try Psyllium Husks -they are what's in metamucil without anything else. BUT -it's really important to drink a lot of water when you take the dose. If things don't change, ask your Dr. to do an ultrasound to see what's going on... Good luck
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:36 PM   #8
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How much fat are you getting in your diet? It can be very easy to worry so much about the calories in fat that you simply don't get enough to make your system function properly. I never let myself fall below 30 grams a day when I was dieting or I was guaranteed a bout with constipation, and like you, I was drinking a ton of water, exercising, and eating my weight in fiber.

One of the reasons that people have regular bowel movements when they eat crap like Taco Bell or McD's is that the fat content is so high. I'm not recommending fast food or anything like it, just that you monitor your intake for a few days and be sure you haven't let that slip too low.

Too bad that your doctor can't seem to be bothered to read the actual facts you're including in your e-mails. The e-mail thing is a great tool, but I think doctors tend to answer in a fairly cut and paste manner without looking at the facts specific to this e-mail. They see "constipation", cut and paste their standard constipation response, and move on.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbieblogger3 View Post
Spixiet,

You might want to try Psyllium Husks -they are what's in metamucil without anything else. BUT -it's really important to drink a lot of water when you take the dose. If things don't change, ask your Dr. to do an ultrasound to see what's going on... Good luck
I 2nd straight psyllium husks. I mix a heaping teaspoon with soymilk, and followup with about 2 glasses of water. It's been a life saver after suffering with constipation issues for years. And I mean suffering.

Hope you feel better. Try the psyllium!!!
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:25 PM   #10
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Quick question for those of you recommending psyllium or citrucel...were you taking these on top of a high fiber diet? Sometimes I worry that my fiber intake is already really high, and adding more fiber may not have the desired effect -
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:41 PM   #11
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I generally eat about 25-45 grams plus I take citrucel and use flax meal. The flax meal has REALLY made a difference for me.

Just be sure to drink plenty of water. Citrucel is EDIT: SOLUBLE fiber, psyllium is I think insoluble, and metamucil is both. It's just a matter of finding what works for you. I can't do too much insoluble myself, it just makes things worse. But the key for me was taking it before eating to kind of pave the way for the insoluble. Try flax in your smoothies, I've been doing that for the last few days and really it's helped so much. It also has healthy fats that might be helping to get things moving.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:19 PM   #12
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oh I don't think I saw that, are you on high protein?

That will definitely do it. I pretty much was constipated for four months almost constantly unless I took stuff, when I was on a high protein diet.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spixiet View Post
Quick question for those of you recommending psyllium or citrucel...were you taking these on top of a high fiber diet? Sometimes I worry that my fiber intake is already really high, and adding more fiber may not have the desired effect -

Yes, I try and eat a high fiber diet. Seems fiber alone doesn't do much in the moving things along area. But I have diverticulitis.

I will seriously eat well, loads of fruits and veggies, and nothing will happen. Then I trade off psyllium, or laxative tea, and miralax. Not all in the same day though obviously.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:01 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the advice, and we'll see how my appointment goes Thursday. In further emails, she suggested that I might benefit from a consult with a dietitian, and I think I'll take her up on that.

I'm not specifically eating a high protein diet, but I do manage about 100g a day. About 160-210g of carbs and about 30g of fat round it out. I'm upping my fat intake and decreasing protein a touch this week to see if that helps. I'm also limiting dairy to one serving a day.

I've been taking Benefiber, but I may switch to a psyllium product and see how that goes if things don't start moving without medication pretty soon.

While constipation itself is certainly annoying, if not outright painful, the thing that bugs me the most is that I didn't change anything about the diet I've been following since September... I don't like unexpected, unexplained changes in my body - especially when they last for weeks and weeks in spite of medications (of course, no one likes that kind of thing, lol). But it just really annoyed me that she was so dismissive. If you're not going to actually read the emails, then don't advertise that patients should email you with concerns

...although, I think she's listening/reading a bit more now...one of my emails was a bit...terse
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:11 AM   #15
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Ugh, it's SO frustrating not being heard. Hopefully she'll have more time during your appt on the 31st to sit and actually listen to what you're saying. If not, get a new doctor!

I will say my my BM's stopped being as frequent after a few months OP despite eating a ton more fruits/veggies/fiber than when I was eating crap.
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