Up date and constipation

Hello everyone

I hope things are going well for you all.

I would just like to give those of you that have helped me an update of the situations I have been in.

First with my glasses, I found an independent optician and have vary vocals of which I am very pleased with, next was having a back double tooth out, my doctor and dentist thought things would be fine as they are with my preds and other meds, everything went well with the extraction although the gap still has not closed properly it is doing well, I was told as I am on preds it would take longer to heel and lastly the reduction plan of steroids that DorsetLady suggested to me well I do not like to speak too soon but so far so good and I am very greatful to everyone that has listened and helped me through these things.

There is one other thing I hope someone there would be able to help or suggest to me which is constipation. I have been costipated since the start of having GCA in March this year, I spoke to my doctor and he said some medication would do that to you and offered nothing so I went to see a pharmacist and he suggested lactulose I gave him a list of my medication asking if I could take it with them and agreed it would be fine. After about a week or so (it took some to work) I found that I was getting more niggles which were getting worse so I read the leaflet and lactulose contains something that can interfere with steroids, I stopped taking it and things were a lot better. I then went to natural options and landed up taking dried prunes and almonds, my stomachs found it hard to digest the prunes and I landed up with very bad indigestion. I wondered if anyone had any other idea that I could try.

I would be very greatful for any suggestions.


20 Replies

  • Lots of water and fibre in your diet - it doesn't have to be prunes in bulk, there are loads of foods with more fibre than average.

    This is a really good article about things to try - and it also mentions that if you make the dietary changes too quickly you may get an upset stomach! Did you go from no prunes to lots straight away?

    It suggests amounts in "cups" - that's American measuring cups which are just under 250ml or 8 1/2 fluid ounces. That's a small measuring jug.


    and this is also pretty good for ideas


    but don't believe the bit about breakfast cereals! The ones that are edible have massive amounts of sugar and not a lot of fibre.

    The NHS site is a bit of a drier read but says much the same


  • Thank you so much for your reply I find it very informative I will have a look at the sites you suggest and do more investigation. I think I might have overdone the prunes a bit, as for breakfast I always have porridge and the bread I use is Warburtons five seeded. I thought they would be enough fibre, perhaps not.

    Thanking you again, hope all is well with you.


  • If you use porridge oats you can increase the fibre by using whole grain - but it does change the texture. You'd be surprised how much we have to eat to get the amount of fibre we need - or how much fibre is removed from our food in manufacturing or processing! That's why an orange is far better for us than a glass of orange juice - and why smoothies and juicing are really not ideal ways of getting our 5-a-day.

    I remember my mum decided she needed to eat more fruit for a similar reason - and just increased the amount she ate straight off. She got an upset stomach too.

    I love the Californian prunes and raisins - but it is probably a good idea to start with 1 at a time and spread the others over the rest of the day as you increase the amount!

    Good luck

  • Hi pmrpro

    Thank you for replying and your good advice, yes that sounds good to me. I shall be careful when tucking into my grapes this afternoon.


  • Hi notnice,

    Glad to hear your reduction is going ok at present. Just remember, don't try and rush things!

    As for your other problem, plenty of fluids and fruit and veg works for me. I always find grapes are particularly effective!

    Are you on any type of painkiller? They are notorious for causing constipation, so I try and be as sparing as I can with them, but sometimes they have to be taken. So when I'm taking them, I up the fluid intake.

  • Hi DorsetLady

    Thank you for your reply.

    I did not know that about pain killers, for the whole of January I had a headache which would not go, ease of or stop for a bit, I took loads of pain killers at that time which could have resulted in the constipation. I also have paracetamol at bed time as it helps me sleep, but I will try to do without it.

    I do like my veg but not a great lover of fruit as I have a very acid tummy (I take omeprazole twice a day plus gaviscon after meals and at bed time) but I am going to get some grapes as I do like them and have them half hour after taking gaviscon.

    Yes I will try not to rush things reducing, my idea is to get my Rheumie happy so he discharges me then I can eventually get on the dead slow to stop plan but think I have a way to go yet.

    Thank you so much for your advice and hope things are well with you.


  • You did tell your doctor about the headache didn't you? A persistent headache that painkillers don't help can be a sign of GCA - something that patients with PMR are at a higher risk of developing.

  • Hi pmrpro

    Yes I went to the docs and he sent me for blood tests and as a result of them he phoned a Rheumie at the hospital I went straight on preds and also had an appointment at the hospital a week later where I found out I had GCA, I do not have PMR which is good.

    Hope you are keeping well.


  • Hi pmrpro

    I forgot to mention that the Rheumie gave me lots of tests which took about a month to get the results plus he gave me a course of preds starting with 40mg hence I was diagnosed with GCA in March.


  • Hi again, sorry haven't responded before but couldn't access site for some reason, don't think that a couple of paracetamol before bed will do much harm, but as you say, better if you can manage without. I try and go without when I can, ' cos I think they lose their effectiveness if you take them all the time. Take care

  • Hi DL

    No worries about getting back to me everyone gets problems at times with their internet. Yes I think you could be right, thank you for that I will consider carefully when to take them before bed and when not to.

    Thanks again and hope you are well.


  • Sue, apart from plenty of veggies and high fibre foods and drinking plenty of water as suggested by others (warm water can help more), a daily walk of about half an hour can also help to get things moving! Good to hear everything else is going well, and long may that continue!

  • Hi Celtic

    Thank you for your reply and kind wishes.

    I do like hot water and walking, I try and have a walk every day but it does not always work out that way.

    I hope things are going well with you.


  • I know that some medications make constipation worse but I have found that it also . affected my PMR pain .. I use a stool softener called Colace. As far as I know it does not interfere with anything. Miralax is also pretty safe also. Both are over the counter/

  • Hi 30048

    Thank you for that information, it is nice to know there is something I can buy if all else fails. Hope you are keeping well.


  • Figs, dried or fresh. taken with porage should do the trick -sometimes too well - so start off with caution!

  • Thank you for that information maria40 I shall buy some today and give it a go.

  • Hi there. I have been on pred since March with no constipation as I decided from the very first tablet to take a very good quality pro biotic each day (2 capsules). I get them from the local health food shop. Some take live yogurt but you have to get a really good quality that stays live. Either way it prevents the various drugs we take killing of the natural good bacteria that lines our digestive tract and makes everything work better along with fruit veg and a good basic diet. All the other advice above is brill too especially to keep moving. I have PMR/GCA so have been on big doses. Am now on 36mgs. All the best. Lv cc🌻🌻

  • I eat oatmeal (thick cut, slow cooked) every day for one of my meals. Usually have slivered nuts and some sort of dried fruit in it. If I don't have it I have bowel issues. I also drink a lot of water and it's peak fruit season here in the U.S. so I'm indulging in peaches, nectarines and plums on some days and skipping the oatmeal. Lots of fluids, but not too much caffeine or black tea as it causes constipation. Since I went gluten free I have to watch how much rice I eat. So far so good, it's been 2 months on pred and haven't had too many issues as long as I think about what I'm eating.

  • Hi PamalAnn

    I am pleased things are going well for you.

    Thank you for your advice I will have a try and sees what happens.


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