my bowel problem is driving me more than nuts!

by julie
(ellicott city, md)

This is without doubt the best article I've ever read on bowel function and I've read my share and much more over the years. Doctors know nothing about it, amazingly enough. They just look at me blankly and move on. I'm 73 and until the age of 55 (coincidentally on the first day after being laid off after 23 years of a very nice career in the corporate world) my bowels were just fine as long as I stuck to my daily regimen of a dozen or more prunes, 1 raw carrot, and a heaping tbsp of miller's bran mixed in yogurt. Wonderful results like clockwork, typically twice a day. In 1995 I began experiencing bowel problems (basically extreme bloating and basically not being able to go at all). I began a daily journal of everything I ate, the countless things I tried, etc. None of the dozens and dozens of items worked for long. Raisin bran, fruits, all brands of fiber (powders and others), every kind of vegetable raw and steamed.
I've read every article known to mankind, etc. In the first frantic few weeks (which drove me nuts as I tried to keep interview appointments for new employment and frequently failed) I was miserable. One day I found the empty bag which contained the miller's brand that I used most of the time. It occurred to me that the I'd last used (when this problem started) wasn't the same as this empty bag. Then I recalled that I had been unable to get any of my usual brand. I went back to GNC and they had one bag on their shelf. While buying it, I asked when they'd be getting in more and they said it had been discontinued! I starting using that bran and like clockwork I was restored to my "normal" self. It was freakin' amazing. So I called around and managed to find another store that still had 3 bags on the shelf and hustled over there and bought them. With that, I now had about a 6-month supply.
Would you believe me when I tell you that while using that bran, I continued to be fine? It's true and utterly unbelievable, especially as I review this story as the years have passed and I'm so debilitated by my condition that I've been homebound for 10 years!
At this point I'm sure my colon is completely ruined. I now take 2 different OTC laxatives and virtually everything I eat is to promote
BMs. I'm afraid to have a colonoscopy because it will probably show something horrible that requires surgery, which I will not undergo, so why have it to begin with. This problem has subsumed
my every thought.
To add to the boring but nevertheless compelling story (to me, anyway), I had a cholesectomy in 2001. Of course, all the doctors ignore any questions I raise about the absence of my gall bladder and my bowels. And the blank stares just continue. My question is would the yellow dock remedy covered in this article help me in any way? If not, can you make any other recommendations? I've been trying to find a decent vitamin C that has not been buffered for stomach protection so I can give that a whirl. I'm thinking that a powdered C I just ran out of might have given me the few days of respite I recently experienced from the horrors of my problem. I do not think it was of good quality, but if it helps my BMs, I wouldn't care about that.
My body is completely wasted from my sedentary life, I'm afraid to
have some diagnostic tests I need because I'm not going to agree
to invasive surgery, I sometimes go to the toilet 5 times a day and
produce no BM with any density, my medications (Celebrex (poison), acetaminophen (poison), and carisoprodol (poison, generic
Soma) have anesthetsized both me and my colon, no doubt.
No allopathic doctor has a clue.
Any help will make me your friend for life. Just call and I'll do whatever!

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May 22, 2013
Re : my bowel problem is driving me more than nuts!
by: Chris (Moderator)

Hello Julie,
Thank you for sharing your story with us. Not having a gallbladder always has an impact on transit. Bile is our best lubricant and laxative. The role of the gallbladder in concentrating bile and making it more potent should not be dismissed so easily.

Yellow dock will indeed help your liver release more bile. Even though there is no more gallbladder to concentrate it, this more liquid bile is very important.

Before trying vitamin C, I would also definitely try magnesium, ideally with vitamin B6 included in the supplement. You can also try regular magnesium (magnesium citrate is my favorite form). I would not hesitate to go 500 mg or more per day, unless you have kidney weaknesses (minerals are a bit hard on the weak kidneys).

There is a possibility that even though bran helped you all those years by making your stools bulkier, it also slowly distended your colon, stretching it to the point of no return, and possibly creating some diverticulitis.

I wish you perseverance in finding a lasting solution.


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