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Old 11-26-2008, 02:58 AM   #1  
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Default I lost ONLY 1.2 lbs after laxatives?!


To make a long story short, I have iron-deficient anemia, so I have been taking iron supplements (along with other vitamins) for the last few months.

It's only in the last five days or so, that I noticed some constipation. I tried a stool softener first and it helped slightly, but unfortunately i had to take it on the day I weighed myself. (Mind you, I can still go to the bathroom, but I've just have had more difficulty in the last few days.)

It's amazing just how dreary weighing urself can be when its very possible you could have lost a little more but don't really know due to constipation. (I finally ended up taking a stronger laxative and was really relieved to clean out my insides today since I was becoming a bit concerned about any possible buildup).

My diet (or vitamins) hasn't changed, it's quite healthy with veggies, poultry/fish, nuts, olives, etc. I walk several miles 5 days a week and am on my feet all day at work. I drink 8-10 glasses of water/plain herbal tea a day.

I guess... it just happened on one of those dreary, miserable rainy weather days where you just really want a "pick-me-up," ya know?

I've gotten quite a lot of compliments on how I look as I'm dropping weight, I feel great, getting more muscle tone in my legs and elsewhere, my pants are getting looser, etc.

I just hope that this constipation episode goes away in a bit since I'm not wild on taking laxatives. Actually, I've never taken a laxative until just last night.

Luckily, I'm good enough to stay away from the junk food in this kind of situation. The next day after weighing myself, I got a ton of new dvds and books on hold from my neighborhood library as a treat during my week-long thanksgiving vacation, which cheered me up, lol.

I do hope I can keep losing the pounds despite this current slight constipation issue! It's just a bit tough at times, especially around the holiday season, ya know?
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:17 AM   #2  
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Many laxatives can cause or exacerbate anemia and other nutritional deficiencies, so you should not be taking laxatives or stool softeners of any kind without instructions from your doctor. He or she can tell you if there are any that are safe to take with your anemia and/or how often they can be used. The safest is just water and fruits and vegetables (or possibly a fiber supplement - but ask your doctor first).

I would also ask your doctor about the safety of a weight loss plan while your iron levels are so low. Maintenance may be safer than weight loss while you're trying to get your iron up. If you are able to speak to a dietitian, you may be able to get even more accurate information than from your doctor regarding the impact of diet and laxatives on anemia.

Take care.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:35 AM   #3  
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Hi Kaplods,

Yeah I'm aware about that. I was advised to try it just once to see if it helped and then monitor my bowel movements for awhile and then if there were still problems, then try another laxative in addition to following further recommendations on what to do next.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:56 AM   #4  
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Iron supplements give me terrible constipation. (And after a "big event" I do discover the pounds have disappeared.)

Nevertheless, someone (Mandy I think) has as a tagline "the number on the scale isn't the best measure of weight loss, just the most convenient." (Forgive me if I have misattributed or misquoted.)

If you are looking slimmer, your clothes are fitting better, and you are feeling great...you are losing weight (and gaining muscle tone which is also terrific.)

Put aside the number on the scale. (Let's face it, if the scale never changed but you wore a size 4, would you care about the scale?)

Maybe for the moment use waist measurement to track how things are going.

The one thing I can promise...if you are losing, no matter how constipated you are...it will eventually show up. Maybe more in bunches than a little at a time. But it will show up.

Meanwhile...Congratulations! You look great, have looser clothes, and feel great! That's awesome!
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Old 11-26-2008, 08:59 AM   #5  
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When I have a feeling that things are getting a bit .... err.... stuck, I eat steamed broccoli. It never failed. Half a head of steamed broccoli and the next morning the issue is resolved.
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:45 AM   #6  
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Originally Posted by Pandora123a View Post
Put aside the number on the scale. (Let's face it, if the scale never changed but you wore a size 4, would you care about the scale?)
Ohh that is a great way to think of it! I need to add that to my collestion of motivational quotes

Tea -

I'm sorry you're dealing with something so un-fun while you're trying so hard. I thought I'd add that something that really gets me "moving" is eating a fiber one bar (especially the oats & chocolate ones) they are 140 calories and have 35% of the recommended daily fiber intake in them.

:Strong: ~Strong
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:25 PM   #7  
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to quote Gilda Radner, "nevermind." Seriously, though it sounds like you've got a decent doctor. You'd be surprised at how many don't go over stuff like this with patients. When I first was prescribed a statin drug, the doctor I had at the time, didn't even mention that I should avoid grapefruit. When I had the scrip filled, I saw a warning written on the bottle, and I had heard that you should avoid grapefruit, but didn't know why. I spoke with the pharmacist and learned that grapefruit juice alters how the medicine is absorbed and can cause a dangerous, even fatal reaction (glad I asked).

So anyway, "carry on."
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:03 PM   #8  
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Hi Teawithsunshine,

I also take iron supplements daily, well, except for the days I forget. When I first realized my iron was so low I was told I would need stool softeners with the supplements from now on and I was not about to do that. I tried many brands of iron pills and different strengths too, with mostly the same results, terrible constipation and stomach upset. Eventually, I talked to the pharmacist and she recommended a brand called Ferro-Sequals. It's a little more spendy, but I haven't had any problems with these and it's been about a year now. Of course, I also try to eat lots of iron rich foods and plenty of fiber, but the pills I take now make all the difference for me. Maybe you could try them and see if they work for you. HTH

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Old 11-26-2008, 09:39 PM   #9  
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Something that works for me in terms of, er, loosening things up is Glucosamine. It's apparently a side effect. And I'm not even taking Glucosamine orally; I'm rubbing a tiny amount in lotion form on one knee. Yet even in this very small quantity, absorbed through my skin, it still is remarkably effective as a stool softener. Now, I have no idea how it would interact with your iron supplements, so you would definitely want to talk to your doctor about it before taking it but it might be a good alternative to laxatives (and, if you happen to have any joint pain, it would probably help with that too).

Also between the constipation caused by the iron supplements and the laxatives, you are probably retaining water. I'm not sure the laxatives will really help with that. So I think maybe you're going to just have to know in your heart that you should weigh less than what the scale says right now. So long as your eating is still on plan, the scale will eventually work itself out, but it may take a while.
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:54 PM   #10  
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How about eating cabbage, drinking prune juice or asking your Dr. about decreasing the dosage?
A good sized bowl of cole slaw (low fat of course) might do the trick.

I knew a lady once that had a really low hemoglobin (5.0) and would not take iron because it bothered her stomach.
I told her even a Flintstone vitamin would be better than nothing.

Good luck

Last edited by ddc; 11-26-2008 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:24 AM   #11  
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ddc, I can totally understand the lady with the low hemoglobin. I don't have that problem...but I was taking woman's once a day vitamins ...and every morning no matter what, I'd be in the bathroom puking. For awhile there I was like terrified I had morning sickness. Lol... I can't even do the flintstones unless they have no iron. I just get so sick off them.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:13 AM   #12  
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Prior to stopping work due to illness I was a psychiatric nurse but part of my job I was the elected continence nurse. In English it meant I went to lectures every month about different illness, conditions you name it if it came under the umbrella of human waste or water then I learnt about it So that is a little of my background and where I am coming from if you get my drift.

Firstly as you have found out to your cost medication can be the bane of your life curing one thing and giving you another problem in its place. Constipation as you know is painful and very uncomfortable to say the least.

Here are a few simple things that you may try that might stop you going down that route of taking more pills and potions. I would first start by upping your fluid intake by one or two more glasses to see if that gives any relief

Add into your "diet" a fruit juice preferably prune but if your really can not stomach that one. Try orange, pineapple, grapefruit well I think you get the idea of an alternative juice Just one serving per day might just do the trick.

Upping your diet with more fibre can also be the way forward. Though I can not stress enough that you must increase your fluid intake if you up your fibre. Otherwise it will have the opposite effect and just constipate you even more which you do not want. So look at fruits, vegetables and beans etc which are high in fibre and add more into your diet.

Finally from my own personal experience I have MS and I am on numerous medications which each one in turn causes constipation. Like you I didn't want to go down the route of laxatives. So I now take flaxseed (ground) every morning on my cereal which has worked wonders. Though I have had to up my fluid intake quite considerably to have the desired effects.

I hope this may help a little in progressing forward to finding an non drug therapy to treat your constipation.
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Old 11-27-2008, 04:35 PM   #13  
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Tea - I was on iron supplements (90mg/day) for iron deficiency anemia for about 3yrs after my son was born.

Yep, talk about severe constipation (black BM's) & back pain - lots of water, prunes, aloe vera juice, you name it, I tried it & still, even with reg BM's, they were quite the event. I did find though that warm/hot baths really helped. But, I had to do what I had to do to get my iron back up to a minimum acceptable levels. The moment my doctor said that it was ok to get off the supplements, I rejoiced!!!

Now, I take a maternity vitamin - it has the highest iron, folic acid & vitamin c in a multivitamin. Yes, I'm totally drained & exhausted for about 3 days after my mthly cycle - but such is my life & I start right back at re-building up my iron levels (just to be depleted again next period).

Sorry I can't be any more help & yes, to answer to your orig post, a single BM/laxative induced movement would weigh between 1-2 lbs. Were you confusing that with the weight losses that people claim to have (~ 5lbs) after having a colon cleanse?

- cher
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:21 AM   #14  
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I had to take iron because of a fibroid tumor. One period, I bled so much it landed me in the hospital with my heart racing. Thankfully, a doctor was able to remove the tumor. My body did eventually get used to the extra iron, and it did make me feel so much better once I got the counts up. Hang in there! I found that plum juice tastes better than prune juice, although don't drink a big full glass of it, as the results were quite, er, frantic.

Have you thought that maybe your body is wanting to hold onto the weight until your health is better?
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