Dieting with Obstacles - not going related to bingeing? (another TMI thread)

02-25-2012, 09:55 PM
Just wondering if anyone else has had this issue. I have a chronic constipation problem that may be due to MS & I think that when I start getting 'bound up' and unable to 'go' I get an almost uncontrollable urge to eat and eat and eat. Unfortunately, I only seem to realize what's going on AFTER the food-fest:p. I especially want junk when this happens, usually salty chips or chocolate. Of course, since I'm eating and eating and not going, after a couple days, I get really sick, even to the point of vomiting:barf: at times.

Has anyone else noticed a connection between constipation and overeating? I tried asking a doctor once and she just looked at me like I was an idiot. And, I can't find any info online showing a connection, so maybe I am an idiot:dizzy:, but if there's ANYONE out there who's dealt with this, I'd sure like to know if there's a solution. I do eat a lot of fiber & fruit and veggies, no milk (due to lactose intolerance), and have been taking psyllium for several months, which has helped a lot, but still get the issue once or twice a month.

Thanks for any info anyone might give:)

02-25-2012, 10:31 PM
I do get constipated a time or two per month but I usually relate it to not drinking enough or eating too many foods that are processed. I take Colace (a stool softener) on occasion once I realize that it has been a while since my last bm. I am still struggling with binge eating but when I am able to control myself I am usually mOre regular. I hope you get it sorted out! I hate when my doctor shrugs me off.

02-25-2012, 11:08 PM
hv u tried drinking a couple of glassses of water as soon as u get up...and the problem might be gone. altho it might take a few days to get used to , so start gradually.
and yes, i too have found tht when i am not able to 'go' (very very rare tho'), i eat and eat.

02-25-2012, 11:09 PM
I have heard that chocolate can cause constipation, which is probably not helping you. Have you tried a magnesium powder called Natural Calm? Here is a link:

I also like to take psyllium husk. Just make sure you're drinking LOTS of water because if you take lots of fiber and don't use water, you may become even more constipated. I've heard dairy products can cause some constipation in some people as well, although yogurt can help.

I hope you figure it out and feel better asap!

02-26-2012, 06:07 PM
thanks for the info everyone and iamritu, it's good to know I'm not the only person who's noticed a link with 'not going' and urges to overeat--I really appreciate the feedback:)

02-27-2012, 04:26 PM
Yup. I apparently have chronic idiopathic constipation, and an idiosyncratic response to fiber. (Which is much better than most of the diagnosis I could have gotten.) Essentially "You're blocked up all the time, and fiber just makes it worse."

And yes, the more blocked up I get, the more I want to eat, and the more I want to eat things that aren't good for me, because they make things better. Sugar makes my guts feel better, so I crave it like crazy when I get like that. Eating also stimulates peristalsis, which helps to move things along a little.

My doctor told me not to take magnesium for the constipation (because it will make things worse in the long term), so you might consult yours before you try it.

On the bright side, 3-4 doses of miralax a day, and things tend to keep moving, so all of the "feed me, Seymour!" has passed again.

Also, if you're hitting "nothing comes out for days, and then I start vomiting" - I'd be talking to a GI. Related to your MS or not, that level of constipation is hard on your intestine/colon, and obstructions are serious business.

02-27-2012, 09:19 PM
Flourless-thanks for all the info! Some, not all, but some of what you talked about sounds very similar to my issue. I think I'll definitely be finding a doc to see what she might think. How did they diagnose your problem and find a solution? I definitely crave carbs when this happens, sugary things and chips. I also read something about too much bile absorption in the small intestine leading to chronic constipation. I no longer have a gall bladder, so bile is continually flowing through my system instead of getting a big influx after eating for digestion. That's the first I'd ever read about bile and bowel function, so am wondering if that may be an issue for me. I definitely need to talk to a doc:) Thank you again!

02-28-2012, 01:01 PM
How did they diagnose your problem and find a solution?

In December there was a GI bug going around my family. Everyone else got a day of diarrhea and nausea and was fine. I got a week of nausea, followed by a day of slightly looser stools. A week and a half after that was my annual physical, and I said to the doctor "I had this GI bug, and I'm still kind of achy..." She told me it could last up to three weeks after gastroenteritis. So when I hit 4 weeks and was in enough pain that I wasn't eating, I went in again.

We did....
An ultrasound of my gallbladder that came up normal.
A prescription of Bentyl that made the pain better (and helped wean me off narcotics for pain relief, but had its own nasty side effects)
A CT that came up normal.
A low residue/soft foods diet (which helped symptomatically)
A colonoscopy that came up with no abnormal biopsies, but diverticula in the ascending, transverse -and- descending colon.
And the very best I felt in a month and a half was during the middle of the colonoscopy prep.
They had me increase my fiber (Because that's the standard recommendation for diverticulosis) and -nothing- moved. I could feel my intestines spasming, but it didn't have an effect. The pain was pretty awful, so I stopped the fiber and went back to a low residue diet.
I met with the GI again, and we talked about the Bristol scale, and what I thought was "normal". We also touched on some aspects of the Rome II Criteria. I was pretty surprised to realize that I've been constipated for as long as I can remember, because it was just -normal- for me. That almost certainly explains my first diverticula being found when I was 22. So I actually have.... chronic idiopathic constipation, an idiosyncratic response to fiber, diverticular disease, and (at the time) subclinical diverticulitis.

I'd been experimenting with fiber and miralax after the colonoscopy and found that I could tolerate more fiber if I also took more miralax. At the time, I'd been taking miralax an hour or two after meals, because I didn't know if there was a malabsorption risk. The GI said I could take as much miralax as needed to keep things soft (but to let him know if there was an unexplained jump in either direction), and that I could take it with meals if it helped. He also said to expect to take miralax for the rest of my life if I wanted to keep my colon, due to the diverticular disease.

Currently I mix up a pint of juice with 3 doses of miralax in it every day, and eyeball how much I think I need with each meal. Some days I have a little left, and some days I mix more in the evening. I'm not perfect with the dosing yet, and there's a lot of experimentation ahead of me to see what foods give me more pain, but I'm definitely seeing the slow, steady improvement my GI told me I could expect.

02-28-2012, 08:57 PM
Flourless-Wow! I'm sorry you've had to go through all that, but glad you seem to have come up with a potential solution. Part of what scares me with my problem is all the potential tests. We just can't afford any more medical expenses right now, so I'm just trying to figure the problem out on my own (with help from anyone who'll share info). But, I have definitely wondered why sometimes the fiber seems to just not help at all. Although, I'm fairly certain my issue isn't identical to yours, as I have no pain (unless I get a huge gas bubble;)). I'm doing some more research on post-cholecystectomy syndrome, which I came upon by accident while looking up info on your problem (I'm not in the medical field, so wasn't familiar with the terms) & it is sounding very suspicious, based on my particular symptoms.

One thing I know for sure is that I've learned so much about how my body works and feels as I've aged and it doesn't take me long lately to figure out if something in my diet isn't going to work. Unfortunately, I just need to figure out what IS going to work for the long-term, as I'm sure you understand:)

03-20-2012, 07:16 PM
Hi. Some of what you talk about sounds a little like what I got when I had gallstones. Have you been checked for that? I ended up doing a liver cleanse that has helped me immensely. Maybe an u/s wouldn't be a bad idea? Good luck. I hope you start feeling better.

03-21-2012, 03:48 PM
I've been off rummaging around for options that help (and had another diverticulitis scare). The GI suggested I try a low FODMAP diet (it's pretty easy to google) and I got a book from the library with lists of low FODMAP foods. It's been helping a lot, and I'm down from 3 doses of miralax a day to a partial dose.

I suggest it mostly because it's cheap, and was effective in a couple of weeks, so if it doesn't work, there's not much loss.

03-30-2012, 10:10 PM
Just to update-In the last month, I found that the more I took the psyllium fiber, the worse I got, so quit all the extra fiber. I even quit eating any bread for a few days. I'm now just getting fiber from oatmeal and vegetables and feeling sooooooooo much better!!

This has started me researching a lot of stuff and trying to come up with natural solutions for some of my body's issues as well as my DH's high cholesterol problem. It's been eye-opening to say the least.

turboturtle-I had my gall bladder out 15 years ago and I'm wondering if the lack of one might have something to do with part of my issues.

Thanks for the info, everyone! I did look up the fodmap diet too-many of the high fodmap foods I already avoid, so wouldn't be too hard to try it for awhile if what I'm doing now doesn't continue to help.:)