Hi everybody, I have come into the group today because I want to ask if anybody else has terrible & painful trouble with their bowels. I have suffered from extreme constipation for ages now & I have had to perform manual evacuations too many times, so my continence nurse has prescribed a system where you have a cone connected to a grenade-shaped container which holds warm water. The cone is then inserted into the anus & when the container is squeezed, it shoots the warm water into the lower bowel, which is meant to cause an immediate bowel movement.

I have performed this today & it was very painful, you can refill the container three times when you're doing this, so I put gel on the cone & inserted it up my bottom but the second time I did it, my anus shut tightly & it was very painful from then on. I have to find a way to use this system because I've tried a lot of different medications to no avail, so if anybody else uses this system & has any tips to share, I would be very grateful.

I try very hard to stay upbeat all the time but my experience today had me in floods of tears & I've got a feeling of despondency that I'm struggling to shake off. Sorry I've had to describe something so personal & private, I understand completely if people would prefer not to comment.

Love & gentle hugs,

Tracey xx

32 Replies

  • Hi Tracey,

    I totally sympathize with you as I suffer the same.

    Don't think people get how painful & difficult extreme constipation can be.

    I've had times when finally emptying bowels has massively affected my already rubbish mobility & fatigue, felt sick with the pain.

    Only have self help. Regular, good diet, avoid large meals & eating late. High fibre breakfast, and milky coffee. This seems to ward off the very extreme constipation. Keeping regular seems to help but not always what my bowels agree to!! I take Mavicol when necessary, gentle but not instant. Your Nurse/gp can provide the sachets to you.

    There is also timeinvolved. I frequently been stuck on the toilet for more than an hour or two. Relaxation tactics help.


  • Hi Jellynpain,

    Thanks so much for responding to my post, I'm sorry to hear that you suffer like I do with your bowels, it really is one of the most painful things I've experienced & it is so debilitating! I've tried most of the prescription medicines & sadly, they've not worked, which is why I have to use this mini colon irrigation system! I eat one healthy meal a day, if I eat more than that, I put weight on because I'm not getting any regular exercise, which just adds to the constipation. I guess I will just have to get used to it & use relaxation techniques, as you suggest.

    Thanks again, I really appreciate your comment, it's not an easily discussed problem!

    Love & best wishes,

    Tracey xx

  • Hi so sorry you r having a bad time I'm really pleased you were so open. I can not help with what you are have to do, but I was wondering if I could as u a question about itself. The last two month I've found I've been constipated it's been hard and painfully to go. I've not spoke to any one about this but I know it's not normal could u give me any advice. Thank u for not making me feel on my own look forward to your reply and than you for giving me courage to ask about this angela fibro friend

  • I advise that you do seek medical help with this. There are many causes for constipation, I'm not medically trained just from my own experience. I was always told plenty of fluids, eat if you can and in my case meds help, and contrary to that some meds cause the problem. xx

  • Thank you, I've been docs a lot lately as I'm going through a painfully flare, I just get fed up and when u have a bad time don't like to keep pestering them , I'll have to be brave if it's still the same by end of Jan I'll have to say something once again thank u for being so open about this angela

  • Lots of medications cause constipation. Anything that slows you down will cause constipation

  • I've never had to resort to such measures however I really do understand this and how debilitating this is, it is one of the few things where you cannot distract yourself from the pain and discomfort. All I can suggest, and you've probably done this, is heat on the abdomen and rest. I do find gentle exercise also helps. Best Wishes. Lou xx

  • Hi Lou, I've sent you a message but it's not showing up on the thread, so I don't know if you've received it or whether I've pressed the wrong thing! Anyway, to sum it up, I was thanking you for responding to me & to tell you how much I appreciate it. I hope you are feeling well at the moment, love a gentle hugs sent to you.


  • Hi Angela,

    Thanks so much for replying to my comment & for your kind words. I'm so sorry you are suffering from constipation, it is a difficult thing to discuss but now I've overcome that barrier, I already feel better & that's down to you & the other kind people for responding to my post & sharing your experiences. As your problems have started quite recently, I wouldn't hesitate to contact your GP, as Lou suggests, as there are many medications available to help you. I've been rather unlucky with prescription meds but I have had to try them all before I've got to this point. Hopefully, your GP will prescribe something for you, that you respond to straight away. Good luck & I want you to know that you can contact me anytime to discuss your problem, if it will help. Take care, Angela, love & gentle hugs sent your way. xx

  • Hi dovetail

    I am so very sorry to read that you are suffering in this way, and I sincerely hope that you can find some resolution and relief to this issue. Fibro can affect any part of the body where there is muscle or soft tissue therefore the bowels are not excluded from this, it is the same with many other illnesses such as MS.

    I am sorry that I do not really have any good advice for you, but I would like to say to other members that if they are experiencing such serious bowel issues they should always discuss it with their GP's or Medical Specialists just to have other medical conditions ruled out of the equation.

    I want to genuinely wish you all the best of luck with this, and as a fellow sufferer I understand only too well how painful and frustrating it can be.

    All my hopes and dreams for you

    Ken x

  • Hi Ken

    Thanks for your response, I'm sorry to hear you have the same problem as me, it is so painful for us all! You've made a very good point about people seeing a medical professional, if these symptoms just spring up suddenly, to rule out other serious problems, as you say. Mine is down to my pain medication, low exercise opportunities & low food intake, plus my bowel has become lazy, as I have been taking laxatives for years!

    I hope you are feeling well today, love & best wishes sent to you :-) xx

  • Hi tracey love I know what you mean I too suffer with my bowels I dont go for days then when I do I'm screaming with pain I too have tried all sorts people dont know how much it hurts till they suffer take care love and hugs jillxxx

  • Hi Chatterbox-69,

    Thanks for your response, yet somebody else who suffers with the dreaded constipation! I feel so sorry for you, that you are screaming with pain when you go, it is just awful & I completely sympathise with you. My continence nurse has prescribed me some older type laxatives, along with the mini colon irrigation system, but they've not arrived yet & the only thing I can remember about them is that they're called sodium something or other! I am placing a lot of hope on them, I'm desperate for them to work, then I might not have to use the irrigation system as often.

    You've probably read the good advice people have put in their posts, so I can't really add anything more, other than to say you know now that it's a very common problem & if you need to talk privately about this issue again, please don't hesitate to message me.

    Love & best wishes, babe,


  • I have the same problem, sometimes eleven days before a movement it can be very distressing. I have found six to eight sachets of laxidol in a six hour period works for me. The painkillers we take make the symptoms worse. Apparently it's because the stools get very dry and compact so drinking at least two litres of water a day is very important and does help.

    You really do have my sympathy as I know how upsetting this is x

  • Hi Glochessum,

    Thanks for your response, I have to say that you sound similar to me, as I have gone two weeks at a time without a bowel movement & you are spot on about the amount you need to drink to avoid very hard & dry stools, as the bowel does need a LOT of fluid, to help it to move along. It is times like you describe when I have had to carry out a manual evacuation because I have had no other option. There comes a time where there is a point of no return & if it won't come out, what else can you do?

    I really hope you can find some resolution to this & I hope the Laxidol continues to be a help to you. You take care, love & best wishes to you. xx

  • My mother has this same problem all the time. and has been prescribed Laxido to be taken one per day in half a glass of water, and she has improved greatly...also fluid needs to be increased as glochessum says to at least 2 litres a day, Hope you feel better soon

  • Hi Mrs. R,

    Thanks for responding to my post, I just wanted to let you know that I've had Laxido before & it didn't help me at all, which just goes to show how different things work so differently in different people. I also drink far more than two litres of fluid a day, so I've tried to overcome the problem in lots of different ways but the pain meds interfere all the time!

    I'm trying to come to terms with all this & I appreciate the help & suggestions that everybody has made, so thanks again,

    Best wishes,


  • I too have sufferred a bit in this way, I was sent for a colonoscopy, all clear with that but the consultant did recommend not taking an iron supplement and I've been much better since stopping that, I only took them as I'm veggie and thought I might be feeling so tired as I needed more iron (now I realise that the tiredness is the Fibro. x

  • Hi Sunnygirl2,

    Thanks for your response, I find it very interesting that you were sent for a colonoscopy, in all the time I've been struggling with this, I have never been offered a colonoscopy, my doctor assumes that my issues are mainly down to my meds & a lack of exercise etc! Years ago, and for a different reason, I was sent for a colonoscopy &, apparently, when they started the procedure, I struggled really hard & kicked the surgeon quite hard! I had been given sedation so I don't remember any of it! I woke up thinking "oh, I'm glad that's over with!" Then a grim faced nurse came towards me & told me all about it, oh the shame! Maybe the surgeon put it in my records, so nobody has suggested it again ;-)

    I don't take an iron supplement but I know they are well known for causing constipation, so it's probably a good thing that you're not taking them anymore. Fibro tiredness can be so debilitating, I can understand you taking iron, just in case it could have helped you. I wish I knew the answer to that one, I'd spread it like wildfire! I hope you feel well today, I'm sending love & gentle hugs your way. xx

  • Firstly can I say how brave I think you are to put a voice to something that alot of us appear to be suffering from but are often too squemish to talk openly about. I am so sorry to hear what you have been going through. I have had IBS for years and it was always the trots not the other way round. It is only since I have been on all these painkillers that constipation has loomed its ugly head and before then I never realised how debilitating and painful it is and what a bad effect it has on the whole body. I also have piles so you can imagine the pain the constipation can cause. I can never seem to get the dose right of the anticonstipation sachets. I either take too little and end up waiting days for them to work or take too many and end up nearly living on the toilet. I can remember my poor mother in law ending up in A & E because her painkillers had blocked her up so badly and she likened it to giving birth. I do hope you and all the others out there can find something that helps.

  • Hi Rosewine,

    Thanks so much for replying to my post & for your kind words, I have IBS too, though mine is at the other end of the spectrum than usual! It has an awful effect on my body, I often feel sick, shivery & weak when I try to open my bowels but if I do manage to go, the relief is immense! I also have piles, which is another story in itself :-) I feel so sorry for you, I know what you're going through & it's something you wouldn't wish on anybody! The story about you're mothe-in-law is my worst nightmare, seriously, I don't know how she coped with that, what a brave lady. I do hope you find the right dose for your laxatives, it is a hard balance to get right. You take care, love & gentle hugs,

    Tracey xxx

  • Hi, I feel so very sorry for you, but thank you for being so brave and for telling your very painful story. Constipation is a very painful, debilitating problem that affects so many people, but because we are embarresed it's a problem that we tend not to talk about. I've been constipated for as long as I can remember, most probably all of my life, I too have had to carry out procedures that are both very painful and embarresing. At the moment and for a long time half of my bowels are compacted and are literally causing a distinct mound in my abdomen! My doctor has just started dealing with the problem, mainly because stupidly I have had my head in the sand for a long time and also I've been looking for a doctor that I feel I can trust. The first treatment only dealt with the side that's not as compacted as the other- which it never touched, but it didn't last. I've had to start taking large doses of movicol for it to work again but still not touching the large impacted side. So it's back to the doctor in a couple of weeks time to see what's next. I have fibro, arthritis and herniated discs in my upper and lower back, so I'm on a great deal of pain medication which I desperately need. It's a catch22 problem for all of us and no one seems to have the answer! I sincerely hope that you get some relief and some help, and if you find a miracle cure, or even something that just helps please share as I will do also. Huge hugs. S xx

  • Hi Sukest,

    Thanks for replying to my post & for sharing your story too. How awful things are for you, being constipated all your life is terrible, you've obviously been very private with it, which I understand completely. I think you are a courageous lady, considering just how private you are about it, you've come here & opened up, I truly hope this has helped you in some way, even if it's the fact that you are most definitely not on your own.

    If you have only recently consulted your doctor about this, I think you will probably have to try a few different meds for this, which your doctor will prescribe for you, before you find the one that's right for you. I can't tell you how sorry I am that you have a visible mound in your abdomen, you must be doubled up with the pain. Yours does seem to be a complex problem, I wish I had something new to tell you, but sadly, I don't. I can tell you the name of the colonic irrigation system I have been prescribed (the one I described in my original post), it's called Qufora & its a rectal irrigation mini system. You might want to mention this to your doctor, it doesn't hurt to ask a question. It sounds like you have had to perform manual evacuations too, so using a system like mine won't cause you further embarrassment.

    You sound like you're in severe pain & with the amount of problems you face with your health, this is one thing you can definitely do without! I really hope that your doctor can find something that will help to heal your bowels, unfortunately we all face this problem because of our pain meds, which as you say, we desperately need, so it truly is a vicious circle. Take care, I'm sending love & gentle hugs to you,

    Tracey xxx

  • Tracey, thank you so much for those kind words, and now I don't feel as lonely as I did with this problem. Although I certainly wouldn't wish bowel problems on anyone it is comforting to know that there are other people who unfortunately like me have them. Thank you also for the help and the name of the system that you have used, I will definitely tell my doctor on my next appointment. I have already told her about this forum and about the lovely people who have taken the time and effort to reply to my problems, I now have someone else to add to that, thank you again.

    I hope all of the replys to your post, which were considerable, give you the help that you need, you so deserve it. Take care, huge hugs. S xx

  • Hi Tracey,

    Bowel troubles can take over your life and is a topic that needs talking about as people have had many different experiences and some suggestions may help others. I was diagnosed with IBS 30 years ago, at which time I was told to avoid alcohol and spicy food. Me being me, went home and had a big bowl of chilli and my fair share of a bottle of red wine. I'm pleased to report that it did not aggravate my digestive tract at all. Over the years I have found that if I am constipated, which I tend to be without any pain medication, then I can get it moving with fatty food. I used to use fried food or cream cakes but since I've become less mobile I like to keep an eye on my weight as it has crept up. I find that the best solution is to eat some nuts and if I'm really fed up with it, peanut M & M's. If I eat too much fatty food I will get the runs, I have found the balance over the years and can measure the dose quite well now.


    Like you I was having the one meal for the same reason as you, but now know that this can put the body into fasting mode and will result in a slower metabolism. To overcome this I now try to have some sort of breakfast, even if it is fruit and/or yoghurt. I tend to opt for healthy snacks when possible and try to eat these spread out fairly evenly during the day. It's not as easy to do as it is to type as the constipation does make me feel generally sickly. I would encourage you to give eating little and often a go, I sometimes have four or five times when I will eat something during the day. This practice can increase your metabolism and I know it makes me feel better. I know it works as I followed the Slimming World diet, a number of years ago now, I lost 3 stones over a year. The weeks that I had little or no loss were the weeks when I failed to eat enough. The way I look at it now is that I can't expect the car to operate effectively without andpetrol, if I want the machine to operate properly it needs energy. I have found that since I have been eating at regular intervals that my bowels are more regular and I have not had to manually evacuate them for some weeks now. I have had fewer low mood days, this might be the anti-depressants doing their thing but I think it's more likely to be increased nutrients in my system.

    I have spoken to my GP regarding my bowel problems and have been told that I qualify for a referral to a surgeon as I have a rectocele due to vaginal trauma during child birth and also being regularly constipated. I have not had the referral as I have to think about benefits vs increased pain initially due to the Fibro. I see a few people have recommended that you consult your doctor, it's a good idea. During my lifetime I have had colonoscopies and a barium enema, these were used to rule out the nasties and to confirm my diagnosis. My colon went into full spasm whilst being x-rayed during the barium enema which was confirmation of IBS. Over the years I have tried laxatives, Movicol (Move-it-all lol), Fibergel, and anti-spasmodics. I was not happy with any of them as they would give me additional pain or discomfort to deal with. Lactulose helps when my stools are particularly hard as it softens them. I don't take it unless i'm desperate as I find that drinking plenty, eating regularly and encouraging movement with the ingestion of nuts and/or chocolate seems to work for me.

    I hope you find what works for you soon.

    Gentle hugs,

    Gin :-)

  • Hi Gin,

    Thanks for replying to my post & for all the suggestions you have made, which I really appreciate. Unfortunately, I have a similar experience to yours, so I have followed a lot of the same steps as you, though it sounds like you have been more successful than me, with some of the things you've tried. I've had problems with my weight practically all my life, having had anorexia when I was younger. Now I'm at the other end of the scale, though I have managed to lose 2 stone over the past 7 months but it's much easier to lose weight in summer! I will start to have healthy snacks, as you suggest, to see if I lose anymore weight, or should I say lose weight more quickly, as I want to have lost another 2 stone before summer.

    The problem I am facing is lack of exercise at the moment, due to the freezing conditions that have carried on & carried on! I like to walk my dogs, with my husband, at least once a day but I've not been able to go with him because I really cannot cope with cold weather, it affects me physically if I try to venture out in it. Even going from my house to the car sets me off shivering!

    Getting back to the bowel problems, it sounds like you have structural problems, making the situation ten times worse. I wish you the very best of luck when you do have your surgery, maybe it will make a world of difference to you. My doctor is good & she has always been willing to prescribe me different meds for my constipation, though it was my continence nurse specialist who has prescribed the irrigation system I described in my original post. I was originally referred to the continence service because I wet the bed, after having tests it showed that my bladder wasn't emptying properly at night. My husband has to catheterise me at night to empty my bladder but it makes me feel like I've got a urine infection all the time, so I'm not keen on it.

    It was during discussions with my nurse that I explained how bad my constipation was & she acted immediately, I explained my problems to her last Friday & the irrigation system arrived on Monday morning, despite the snow! I will continue to persevere with the system, after all, you can get used to a lot of things if you do it for long enough! On that bright note, I wish you the best of luck with everything you face on a daily basis, love & gentle hugs sent to you :-),

    Tracey xxx

  • My apologies if I missed someone else mentioning this but are you taking any opiate pain meds? Opioids are notorious for causing constipation, it's why diarrhoea is an issue in herion withdrawal (I work for a drug treatment agency). I have the opposite problem so am very grateful to this property of codeine.

    Both diarrhoea and constipation can be painful, and you have my sympathy. You may find the IBS network on healthunlocked to be a useful source of information.

    Best wishes

  • Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for replying to my post, I take a lot of different medications for different ailments but I know which two are the culprits, I take tramadol & high dose co-codamol for my pain, I use the lower dose of co-codamol when my pain feels a little easier but that's been impossible lately because of the weather! It has been so cold for ages now & I've only been out of the house once in two weeks! Lack of exercise is adding to the constipation, so it's all added up & that's why I've been suffering a lot.

    In my initial post, I was asking for tips on how to use the mini colonic irrigation system that I've been prescribed to deal with constipation but it must have struck a chord with quite a few people, hence the replies that followed it, which I was pleased to see because constipation is a much bigger issue than I thought! Whilst I wouldn't wish it on anybody, it is comforting to know I'm not the only one who has to use extreme procedures when I need to go.

    I see you have the other extreme to deal with, which is equally debilitating & I hope you can get that sorted out, I can see how codeine is a necessity in a case like yours. I wish you all the best for the future,

    Love & gentle hugs,

    Tracey xx

  • Hi Tracey, I know how you feel. I've been suffering from vulvadinya for 12 years and have been put on countless constipating meds. Through the years I have struggled and suffered. I've had hemrhoid and fissure surgery twice and can't have a bowel movement without laxatives. It's beyond painful and I can barely leave the house never mind dream of taking a trip. Having family at the other end of the country and travel being almost impossible, has ruined more than a few relationships along the way too I'm afraid. I would give anything to have one pain free bowel movement. I know you feel the same way. Here is a recipe you may want to try. I think my bowels are too far gone honestly, there's just no elastic left, but a friend of mine swears by it and my doctor who has colon cancer swears by it too. So this makes a jam paste of sorts and you can put it on toast or ice cream, anything you want really. 3 oz senna leaves, 8 oz pitted prunes, 8 oz figs, 2 cups pitted dates, 2 cups dark raisins, 1cup dark brown sugar. Simmer dates until very soft, then put mixture in a food processor and add figs, raisins and prunes. Blend to a smooth paste and store in fridge. 1 tbsp= 45 cal and 1 gr of fibre You can change up the ingredients to suit your taste. I really do hope it helps if even just a bit. Hope your having a good day today. By the way my name is Jewels.

  • I wanted to say that I give myself enemas all the time as I suffer from severe chronic constipation. I can't emphasize to go slow when you insert anything into your rectum, use petroleum jelly to lubricate, and dispense the water into your rectum slowly. As soon as you cramp take deep breathes and go slow. Rub your abdomen while you apply the solution. You should not use tap water only distilled. Feel free to ask and there are lots of videos on you tube about enemas.

  • Hiya i have to irrigate due to severe constipation and bowels not working properly. I use the quofora mini cone system which is a bag filled with warm tap water. You should only.use tap water during an enema or irrigation as your bowel can absorb the water if you are dehydrated. Also petrolium jelly or vaseline should never be used as a lubricant as this can leave a residue inside the bowel which can cause a severe infection. Ky jelly or other water based lubricant should be used. I only wanted to share this information as when i first told my nurse about using petroleum jelly myself she was not a happy bunny and went into great detail about why its not safe. I would hate for anyone to end up with an infection.

  • Hi dovetail,

    I too suffer with constipation. I had a proctogram at Guys (X-ray whilst trying to empty your bowels) which revealed I have a slow bowel movement, no lower muscle control and a tilt at the exit, which feels like I still need to empty bowels.

    I tried all types of laxatives, but nothing helped. My stomach was always bloated and very uncomfortable, causing nausea and lack of appetite, but no weight loss.

    Good news! My consultant recommended self irrigation, this is like a home colonic irrigation but without the expensive cost.

    Well worth looking into, or I can post more information if interested.

    Hope this helps.

    All the best


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