constipation and PBC

Hi everybody, Im really in a fix - I have really hard stools and although I want

to go I cant. What does anyone else take? Could it be varices? Ive tried the usual

and nothing works. I even stopped taking Urso to see if that was causing it. But No.

I know its an unsavoury problem to talk about but Im desperate. Not a hope of

seeing my consultant early. thanks

24 Replies

  • My consultant recommended Movicol but actually Laxido was given by the doctor which is the same thing but cheaper. I am still experimenting with it. I tried a daily dose to try to get regular but now I just take it when I feel it is starting to get more difficult. It isn`t a nice topic I know but I have had this problem since childhood so don`t think it is PBC connected but this may be incorrect. I have also had 2 colonoscopies over the last few years. I noticed that a high dosage of Movicol was given before these to clear out the colon so I am careful I don`t over do the Laxido as I may not be able to leave the house!

  • thankyou so much for your quick reply,

    much appreciated.

  • Hello kandiepat.

    I never had any bowel problems until I started taking urso Dec 2010. I started having bouts of constipation that I knew were from taking these. It seems that more often than not PBC patients taking urso are more prone to diarrhoea with them as opposed to constipation though I have read on here like myself some have developed a bit of a minor problem.

    What I did was to step up my fibre daily and I've managed to be fine. I'm not one for resorting to taking any medications as to me they might be unnecessary and to me, I don't want to start perhaps causing the bloods to change (my bloods are still not normal but have come down slowly with time).

    Drink plenty of water if you can as that can be a good help. I use wholemeal flour when I am baking most of the time. I sometimes use half wholemeal, half white flour too. I tend to eat cereals for breakfast that have firbe or the addition of. I often put some milled linseed into instant porridge as that is good for fibre intake but also linseed is supposed to be good in omega 3. I have standard porridge oats too and also buy a basic supermarket brand 'weetabix' that we have in the UK.

    I often treat myself to a packet of fig rolls and have a couple of these in the daytime, fig is supposed to be good for fibre. Dates are another good one, the dried variety I tend to buy. Anything with seeds like tomatoes and also sweetcorn can be good. We cannot digest the tomato seeds nor the husks from the sweetcorn.

    I know my one concern about laxatives is that they could maybe reduce the dose of urso in the system. Not sure if I am right as I'm no doctor but I know that if a woman is taking a contraceptive pill and uses laxatives, they can have a reduced effect so this is where I get that trail of thought from.

    Hope I've helped perhaps in a little way but you could always have a chat with a pharmacist maybe? Or why not make a telephone appt with your GP if you are in the UK that is as I don't know how other systems in other countries work.

  • Hi peridot know you mean well but it is possible to drink too much. can upset the kidneys. Think we have to be careful what we tell people as what we are all saying is done with good intentions but not always quite right..

    Hope you don't mind me saying.cazer.x

  • Hello again cazer.

    I did post on this thread earlier about fluids.

    You can usually tell if you are hydrated due to the colour of urine.

  • Done you an injustice just realised several others have said about the water so hope others will also take on board.

  • I haven't had constipation unless I don't drink enough water. I drink copious amounts of water though and I also have issues with things moving through my system in a reasonable about of time. I think PBC will effect this if you dont' eat the right things. If your liver is compromised, which most of ours are, things don't digest as quickly. If you eat things that take a long time to digest on top of that you are going to get plugged. I would recommend something like Metamucil, lots of water and lots of greens. If you are totally plugged, use an enema to get things moving first.

  • I have had that a couple of times...usually a sign I am dehydrated. Drink plenty up the food that helps (like prunes). Usually once I pass the first hard compacted stool it's fine.

  • Hello janey-babs.

    The best way to tell if one is dehydrated is to go by the urine colour. Usually in a morning urine is a dark yellow but then after getting up and the day kicking in, breakfast and liquid, it goes to a pretty clear colour. I don't think you can drink too much fluid as in water as if so all we would do is visit the loo more.

    I also think that moving about is another key factor regarding bowel movement. The more we move the more we get the body moving.

    I did start having the odd bouts of constipation following taking urso over 4yrs ago now but for me it was a case I didn't go to the loo for a few days but so far I've never had real trouble as in having what are known as hard stools and had trouble going when I do. I do think the urso plays a part in it as in someone without any liver issues, stools have a more brown colouring as I have read due to bile. With urso it can make stools paler and also with a compromised liver it too can affect stool colour.

  • Thanks peridot. I just meant that my stools tend to get harder when I have been dehydrated.

    I was nearly suggesting that she try drinking a bit more and using food with natural laxative effect. I personally wasn't looking for any advice as I tend to understand what my body is doing and why and can usually rectify things.

    Your body gets used to the fluids you take in. Even if you up them a bit you will run the loo a few more times until your body catches up with what is happening then adjusts to make best use of the fluids and as always gets rid of waste and additional fluids through pee.

    I agree that Exercise is really good for bowel health and can often get things moving.

  • Yeah I realise about the urine colour but it was the implication that we can drink any amount of water.....we can't too much to quick can b dangerous.

  • Fybgel orange is very gentle laxative you can buy at the chemist and take each day .

  • Fybgel lemon to start with one sachet am and pm till I go, then I use as needed, I drink loads of water.

  • I was always led to believe that taking a laxative every day is not that good for the system as it can reduce absorption of vitamins and minerals in the system. Also taking laxatives daily, aren't they supposed to then make the bowel lazy.

    Not sure if the newer versions of laxatives are like this.

    I've never really had any laxatives myself. My father-in-law is taking morphine daily for a hip problem and I found out that he has presribed laxatives as this can cause constipation.

  • Hi don't suffer too much from this but my sister does and she tales movocol which does the job and she tolerates pretty well.have you had any tummy surgery? Sometimes have heard bowel cam get sleepy and cause these sort of problems. Be careful with the water ....yes it's good to drink plenty but if you drimk too much water that can be dangerous if you go over the top. Have you been to docs they should be able to prescrbe something that is okay with other meds you sister had an exactly diet as shes a chef so knew all the facts about the right thing s to eat.sometimes we just cant solve it all with diet.hope you get something To make you more comfortable. X cazer.

  • Forgot to say when put up last comment that meant gp rather than consultant .they can always check with consult.would think it was not good to be straining ...sorry bit basis but having re read your postwould definitely see gp.x

  • thankyou all for your replies, lots to think about and try.

    PBC is such a constant nag, I would love to be able to think

    about other things - I cant remember what my life was like

    pre pbc!! and that was only two months ago! thanks

  • Hi Kandiepat,

    Have you spoken with your GP or consultant regarding this? how is your diet? Try to drink water, recommended amount is 2 to 3 litres per day. This along with a balanced diet should help, but always best to check with your GP before taking anything.

    Hope you get a solution.

  • I think also dry plumes, figues can do much. I also realised, that if I take urso one after lunch, 3 in evening, it's much better. And yes, exercices, mostly deep breathing. ANd there is a special yoga tommy moving exercise (always on empty stomach) Try eg this:

    that helps me a lot :)

  • The most important part (not only for constip. but for speeding up a little our slow digestion) is from 5.10. It's a very funny experience and really effective method! Not expencive too.

  • Constipation has been a real issue for me. Initially I took Senokot but was told that this can lead to a 'lazy bowel' so chatted with my GP who suggested using Fibogel instead. Initially I was taking one sachet twice a day plus tweaking my diet. It has taken a few weeks to sort itself out but now I am taking one sachet in the morning and manage to 'go' every other day without too much trouble. Am now going to take the Fibogel every other day and hopefully in a week or two I can leave them out all together.

  • Pre-diagnosis (26+ years ago) I suffered regularly from constipation, post-diagnosis I consulted with a naturopath who suggested mixing two glasses of warm water with the juice of half a lemon and drinking them first thing in the morning. I have done this every morning since and very, very, rarely get constipated - now, not sure if this is the reason, but I hardly ever had itching (not the case now that I have moved into Stage 4 though). Could be worth trying the lemon and water thing first, better for you than laxettes.

  • I find porridge mixed with milled golden linseeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds works and keeps me regular every day.

  • First morning drink - hot water and squeezed fresh lime :)

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