Painkiller recommendations that don’t cau... - Endometriosis UK

Endometriosis UK
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Painkiller recommendations that don’t cause constipation


Hi all,

I have Endometriosis of the pelvis and bowel and even though codeine seems to work relatively well for me regarding pain management ( don’t get me wrong not all of the time but enough for now ) it does cause me terrible constipation, which is actually the worst when already suffering with my bowels. I do use lactulose but my body struggles to digest sugars so it’s all a bit of a mess. After a recent bout of horrendous constipation and forcing lactulose ( then dealing with terrible, TERRIBLE gas and bloating ) I feel the need to seek out an alternative pain killer.

I haven’t been to the GP yet regarding this, but have found this forum helpful in the past at recommendations which I then usually offer up to my GP.

Thank you in advance 🙏🏾

12 Replies

I have had the same struggle and am still seeking a good alternative. I have tried gabapentin and another one in the same category. My experience/side effects with these were terrible - however it was suggested by my consultant who is a specialist for endo so must work for some people. I will follow this feed as my search for a suitable painkiller also continues. x

in reply to hltz

Thank you , hopefully we can get some answers x

I've had the same problems. I found tramadol really great for the pain without the codeine side effects but unfortunately I was allergic to the tramadol and it gave me throat blisters. It's still tempting for me to take it though as it was great at the pain relief.

in reply to Mara_Simba

Thank you I was pondering on tramadol so glad to hear it’s effective but sorry to hear it gives you additional symptoms 👎🏼

Hi - I have severe endo in bowels also . I decided not to have operation and I took this step : I have two tablets of viridian high potency magnesium before bed almost every day . Everything works perfectly and I only have cramps when on my period which I control with painkillers . Try that - it is a life changer and you will be regular on the toilet but not diarrea . Start with two tabs and then you can ease down to one . Magnesium helps a lot making endo life easier .

in reply to annamariar

Thank you for your reply , I do take a magnesium supplement already but I will definitely give this a try

I’m taking Nefopam, non opiate, which I prefer. I’m getting occasional constipation. This could be the paracetamol and ibuprofen. I think most painkillers cause some disruption. Senokot is helping when I remember to take it.

Hope you feel better soon

in reply to Moon_maiden

Thank you I’ve added Nefopam to my list of queries to take to the consultant so I really appreciate the recommendation as I hadn’t heard of this one before

I cannot take codeine for exactly these reasons. The painkiller that works best for me is Naproxen.

in reply to MrsWalshy

Thank you again I hadn’t heard of Naproxen so I’ve added this to my list of queries , really helpful thanks

Tramadol is my main pain relief, although it also is supported by Mefenamic Acid. Coideine doesn't help with my pain levels, so not sure if it is a good choice for you if you can find something less potent that works. You may find Mefenamic Acid helps on its own, for example, and if it is also a symptom for you it can help with menstruation bleeding symptoms as well. Definitely something to talk to your Dr about.

A couple things you could try that may help with your bowels, that I find can be a help:

Self massage to move things along/ help with gas (look on line and you can find some videos).

Light movements that help with gas, when other pain doesn't prevent it. Example: laying on your back and raising your legs up and down, slowly. Touching toes and standing back up to a reaching stretch that you feel in your torso as well ( I find mixing up the stretch from straight up to the side and up works best for me). Movements don't need to be fast, and don't push yourself past your physical abilities. It may not help, but I know that sometimes anything that helps, even a little, is better than nothing.

Have you tried a little step stool when on the toilet to help with bowel movements when at home?

I find adding certain things to my diet can help to get things moving. Rosemary ( example: roast potatoes with garlic and rosemary or homemade chicken soup with rosemary added - add a good amount) is a good fall back for me as it gets things moving without causing diarrhea.

While I use my heat bags mainly for pain, I find laying one on my stomach can help with gas build up sometimes.

I hope you can speak with your doctor to find a better pain option, and ultimately something that works best for you.

in reply to Missy100

Thank you for your response that was super helpful! Again I’ve added your preferred pain relief to enquire about. Thank you for your other suggestions 🙏🏾 I will definitely give them a try , I’m going to have a few sessions of acupuncture aswell so I will let everyone know how I get on with those

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